Jawline Acne Causes and Treatments

By Abby Vinas Acne Treatment

Jawline Acne Causes and Treatments

You’ve worked your way to a generally clear complexion, but those stubborn pimples peppered along your jaw just won’t go away. Sound familiar?

If you experience jawline acne or chin acne, we can sympathize with your frustration. However, we have some useful information to share which you can use to combat those crevices and craters for clearer skin.

Read on to learn the cause of acne on the jawline and the different treatment methods you can try to tackle those pesky pimples.

What Causes Chin and Jawline Acne?

When we talk about acne on the jaw and chin, we’re differentiating from the whiteheads and blackheads dotted across cheeks, noses and foreheads. While the latter can be easily removed with a comedone extractor and lancet, the former is not so simple.

Acne on the chin and acne on the jaw usually presents itself as deep and cystic. Before discussing why this happens—and why it’s so difficult to remove—let’s take a quick glance at the anatomy of a cystic pimple and how they form.

  1. A pore gets clogged with dirt, oil, or debris.
  2. Trapped beneath the plug, oil and dead skin cells buildup below the surface of the skin, filling the pore with pus.
  3. The acnes bacteria strain takes advantage of the warm, moist environment provided by the pus in the clogged pore.
  4. Infection and inflammation spreads deep down into the skin as acnes proliferates.
  5. The inflammation presents itself as large, swollen, red lesions often painful to the touch.

Cystic pimples aren’t exclusive to jawline acne and vice versa; you can definitely get a standard whitehead along your jaw, and cystic acne can also occur on the cheeks, forehead and even back. However, cysts are the most common culprit for the acne observed on chins and jaws—but why?


Hormones are almost always to blame for the development of chin acne and jawline acne. They react severely with sebaceous glands found within pores, causing your skin to freak out and flare up. Sebaceous glands produce the oil designed to keep skin lubricated and protected, but when triggered by hormones, produces oil in excess. An overabundant presence of oil on the surface of the skin causes pores to clog and repeat steps one through five listed above. Acne-inducing hormonal fluctuations are very common during:

  • - Puberty
  • - Menstruation
  • - Pregnancy
  • - Menopause

Researchers are a little fuzzy as to why exactly hormones react with the sebaceous glands, but they have a pretty solid working theory. It starts like this:

  1. Delicately balanced hormone levels regulate many bodily functions.
  2. When there’s a spike of certain hormone levels in the bloodstream, the body attempts to restore harmony and regulate the imbalance.
  3. Sebaceous glands contain androgen receptor cells, or cells that can receive hormones such as testosterone.
  4. Hormones travel to the androgen receptors to be purged through the opening of the pore.
  5. Once present, the hormone stimulates the gland and kicks it into overdrive, producing an excessive amount of oil.

Knowing what causes jawline acne gives your skin ailment more context, enabling you to fight it with full force. Now let’s get down to business and talk about the various options for jawline acne treatments to tackle those pimples once and for all.

top causes of jawline acne

How To Treat Acne on the Chin and Jaw

This type of acne usually forms solid bumps beneath the surface and never fully comes to a head, which makes jawline acne treatment a bit tricky. If the pus were closer to the outermost layer of the epidermis, treating acne on the chin or jaw would be much simpler; just dilate the pore and allow an acne-fighting product to penetrate the skin and break apart the debris. But because jawline acne and chin acne are embedded deep within the epidermis, they’re much harder to reach.

So what are the best strategies behind jaw and chin acne treatment? We suggest the following steps:

Start with a gentle cleanser twice a day.

Use a gentle, non-irritating face wash twice a day. Make sure your product is gentle, bereft of fragrances and harsh chemicals, or risk irritating your already sensitive skin. A good face wash will remove the excess oil from your complexion without making redness and inflammation worse, so start slow and work your way up.

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Add an over-the-counter (OTC) product to your regimen.

Once you have a fresh, clean face, consider using an FDA approved acne treatment. Look for labels that use salicylic acid, this is one the most effective acne treatment options. 

Recommended Product: Treat - Acne Clearing Gel

Or if you are looking for a simple 3-step solution clinically-proven to treat acne and blemishes, the Clear Skin Routine is the way to go. 

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Seek a professional.

If you’ve been working diligently at your jawline acne treatment for several weeks and seeing little to no improvement, it’s time to consult a dermatologist who can prescribe a prescription-grade acne medicine.

Common topical options your doctor might recommend for a jaw or chin acne treatment include creams, lotions, and antibiotic gels (to fight that troublesome P. acnes infection). If your cystic jawline acne is too deep to reach, they might recommend oral medication instead. Options include oral retinoids—powerful vitamin A derivatives used to unclog pores—and birth control pills which help regulate hormones.

Your doctor may suggest some jawline acne treatments that don’t rely on drugs, too. These professional treatments include:

  • Extractions: Sometimes, large and hardened bumps beneath the skin will need to be drained. Your doctor can perform this by making an incision on an otherwise headless lesion to drain the pus therein. Remember to never (ever!) try to extract your jaw or skin acne at home; it’ll only make matters worse, and can turn your temporary pimple into a permanent scar.
  • Lasers: The good news is that if you did make the mistake of attempt to pop and gauge the acne on your jawline, lasers can be used to lessen the appearance of scars. There are several types of lasers your dermatologist might use as a jaw and chin acne treatment, but the most common method is Intense Pulse Light therapy (IPL). IPLs, or “photo facials”, work by heating up the sebaceous glands, causing them to shrink in size and produce less oil without damaging the skin. The laser light also destroys the acnes bacteria to prevent future breakouts and eliminate current ones.
  • Chemical peels: There are many types of professional-grade chemical peels on the market, but they all work using the same concept. A powerful, exfoliating agent sloughs off the dead, outer layer of skin, revealing the new, fresh, and healthier-looking layer beneath. Chemical peels are great at treating both uneven texture and discoloration for chin and jawline acne.
chin and jawline acne treatments

Natural Treatments for Chin and Jawline Acne

Are you looking for a natural treatment for chin acne or jaw acne you can do at home? We have options for you, too!

Sometimes in skincare, less is more, and taking a DIY natural approach could be well worth your while. Before heading to the doctor’s and paying for expensive—albeit effective—treatments, consider giving these at-home methods a shot:

  • Honey: This natural ingredient, similar to clay masks, helps draw out impurities. Place a dab on your chin acne and leave it on for about ten minutes before removing with a warm wash cloth to help draw out the infection deep within pores.
  • Aloe Vera: Aloe can sooth more than sunburnt skin, so try to massaging a bit of gel along your jawline acne to relieve your painful pimples and reduce swelling.
  • Tea Tree Oil: A natural disinfectant, this inexpensive healing agent can combat acnes and lower white blood cells that contribute to inflammation. Swab the infected area with one part tea tree oil, nine parts water, and watch for improvement.

From lemons to green tea extracts, there are a wide variety of natural jawline acne treatments, and these are just a few of our top favorites. 

Tips To Prevent Jawline and Chin Acne

As with everything in the world of skincare, prevention is always key. You might feel cursed with an endless battle against jawline acne, but remember that the best offense is defense. Instead of reacting and responding to acne on your chin or jaw, take a proactive treatment approach. Keep these tips in mind when trying to curb chin acne:

  • Stop touching your face. We have the tendency to constantly rest our chin on our hands or stroke our jaw mid thought, but this only contaminates the infected area with more dirt.
  • Get more rest. While we sleep, our bodies use the time to restore and repair skin cells, so be sure to get some ample shut-eye.
  • Stress less. Keep your stress in check, because cortisol levels spike under stress, leading to further bloodstream imbalance and worsened break outs.

Incorporate these tips into your chin acne treatment routine, whether it’s natural, store-bought, or in a doctor’s office. If you stay persistent, you’ll be saying your final goodbyes to those jawline acne blemishes in just a few weeks’ time.

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Abby Vinas

Abby Vinas

Abby Vinas has long been an active member of the holistic health community, advocating in favor of its benefits to both our physical and emotional well-being. Her commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle has made her an authority on self-care practices. Abby is passionate about fitness, nutrition, and proper skincare, and is also an avid lover of avocado toast and dog-petting.

  • Lu on

    I appreciate this post. Kinda gave me some light of hope for this doomed skin.

  • Kells on

    This was EXTREMELY helpful!

  • Kim on

    Thanks so much and especially for the natural home remedy ideas that you provided in the article!!

  • Cheri on

    Great information!! Thank you!!

  • Ann Sherley on

    Thank you very much for the information ! Hopefully I can get rid to these few acnes in my jawline 😢.

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