Acne can persist well into your late thirties and can even continue into your forties and, occasionally, your fifties.

“Acne can occur throughout your lifetime,” says dermatologist Dr Amy Derick. What’s more, breakouts can worsen and crop up in new places for a variety of reasons.

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But get this: The location of acne and other skin problems can tell you what’s causing the flare-up. Here are four of the most surprising breakout triggers, plus the skincare products you need to fix them fast.

Acne on your chin and jawline

Cause: Stress

Stress stimulates androgen hormones, which then mess with the oil glands, causing hormonal acne on your chin.

Stressed people also tend to be anxious and often can’t leave bumps on their face alone. And we all know that picking causes acne scarring…

So what’s the solution to fade those unsightly marks? Niacinamide.

What does this ingredient do? It hydrates and soothes skin, and alleviates the symptoms of rosacea.

Bonus: It also helps with fine lines, assists with pigmented skin and treats acne. Try Lamelle Luminesce Brighter Day (R840), available at SkinMiles.

Acne and whiteheads along your T-zone

Cause: Pollution

Urban areas emit all sorts of nasty stuff that clogs the skin.

Ever heard of gases called ground-level ozone? They’re a major component of smog and cause a chemical reaction with your skin’s natural oils, changing their consistency from a liquid to a wax, which, in turn, causes whiteheads.

Use a cleansing brush will help declog skin.

Try Sorbet Salon Skin Sonic Pro Facial Cleanser (R899), available at Clicks.

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Extreme congestion? Along with a cleansing brush, use a cleanser that contain salicylic acid.

Try Neutrogena Visibly Clear Spot Proofing Daily Wash (R105), available at TakeAlot.

Acne along the circumference of the face (cheeks, jawline, chin)

Cause: Diet

Flare-ups are a signal that other body systems may not be functioning at their best. Poor digestion can lead to your liver struggling to clear unwanted substances from the body. The result: Your body looks for another way to excrete them – through your skin.

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What to do? Skin loves fat, so opt for a diet rich in fatty acids like avo, nuts, seeds and leafy greens, along with foods rich in vitamin C and zinc. Also try SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore (R2 650), available at Dermatore.

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Acne along the forehead and hairline

Cause: Exercise

Sweat alone doesn’t cause acne – it’s the activities associated with sweat that cause it. Wiping away sweat with your dirty hands or a soiled towel can transfer bacteria.

And if your sports equipment rubs your skin, you seriously up your chances of breaking out.

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A post-workout cleanse will help keep pores clear. Glycolic acid works well, but avoid it if you have sensitive skin. Try NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash 20 AHA (R543), available at Dermastore.

This article was originally published on Women's Health South Africa.