What It Really Means When You Break Out Between Your Eyebrows

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Random breakouts on your cheeks and neck are pretty annoying to deal with, but breaking out right between your eyebrows can be a real piece of work. The area between your eyebrows is the glabella and is part of a zone on your face called the T-zone. Shaped like the letter "T," the T-zone spans from your forehead, which is above the glabella, to your nose and then your chin. According to Look Fantastic, the T-zone is significant in skincare, as it contains a higher number of sebaceous glands compared to other areas of your face. The T-zone's many sebaceous glands cause the area to be more oily and prone to debris-clogged pores due to the high amount of sebum secreted. 


Clogged pores manifest as different types of acne or pimples, which range from pustules, papules, and blackheads to whiteheads and comedones, per Derm Collective). Like the other areas of your face, there are several reasons why pesky pimples set up shop between your brows. Here are a few of them.

Reasons you're breaking out between your eyebrows

According to SLMD Skincare, ingrown hairs are a major culprit in in-between eyebrow breakouts. Tweezing or waxing the unibrow-forming bits of hair between your brows pulls the hairs out of the follicle. During regrowth, newly-formed hair can get trapped within the follicle, causing ingrown hairs. Tweezing also makes the skin between your eyebrows more breakout-prone as the risk of the hair breaking and leaving the root in the follicle is high, leading to ingrown hairs (per IsHonest). 


Furthermore, the hair around your eyebrows can lead to breakouts. Bangs are cute, but as Be Beautiful explains, they hold dirt, oils, and/or debris from comedogenic hair products, all of which irritate the skin and clog pores. Heavy use of cosmetics like foundation and concealers, or failing to take them off the skin efficiently, can also be pore-clogging and cause pimples in the area (via Skincare.com). 

Besides cosmetics and ingrown hairs, hormones and a bad diet can affect the skin between your eyebrows. As Stryx says, a nutrient-light diet with too many fatty foods and sugars can cause glabellar breakouts. Also, under chronic pressure or looming deadlines, stress can also impact your skin health, per Tiege. According to Michele Green, M.D., stress can worsen acne and cause breakouts by increasing levels of cortisol, the body's stress hormone. 


Breakouts between the eyebrows and your liver

Factors like dirty hair, ingrown hairs, and a bad diet can cause breakouts between the eyebrows, but some believe it's a sign that your liver is trying to tell you something is wrong. This belief is part of a practice called face mapping, an ancient Chinese tradition where the face is divided into sections believed to be connected to organs, according to the McGill Office for Science and Society. The idea is that when an organ is congested or close to sickness, the organ sends breakouts to specific areas of the face as a message or warning. 


While many believe face mapping is pseudoscience, skincare brands like Sole Toscana are convinced pimples between the eyebrows signify a stressed liver. Face mapping may have little to no evidence to back it up, but The Center for Advanced Dermatology confirms that you'll find more use for the face map with occasional breakouts than in a consistent case of acne.

How to prevent breakouts between your eyebrows

To prevent recurring glabellar area breakouts, implementing a few lifestyle changes might be necessary, and it starts with upgrading your cleaning routine. According to Healthline, it's crucial to keep the things you wear close to your brow area clean as this keeps breakouts between your eyebrows minimal. Glasses that lie at the bridge of your nose, headbands, and bucket hats are included. This also includes your bangs and the rest of your hair, with Healthline suggesting that you wash with shampoo regularly and Be Beautiful suggesting you tie it up to keep it away from your face. 


In addition to keeping your clothes and hats clean, L'Oréal Paris says it's also essential to keep your bedding clean. Changing your pillowcases and bed sheets regularly reduces the chance of breakouts. Clogged pores are the major reason for breakouts, so going for non-comedogenic makeup and skincare products helps prevent said breakouts, per SLMD Skincare. Finally, stop touching your face or picking at your pimples. On your hands are many microorganisms, and they can irritate your pores and cause inflammation, leading to breakouts (via Exposed Skincare).

How to treat breakouts between your eyebrows

Thankfully, there are prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) treatments for getting rid of breakouts between your eyebrows. Benzoyl peroxide for one is a great topical treatment that kills acne-causing bacteria and helps with the resulting redness. According to Derm Collective, benzoyl peroxide clears your pores, regulates oil production, and can be found as a mask, cream, or wash. We're fans of the PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash Benzoyl Peroxide 10%. Azelaic acid is another OTC anti-bacterial treatment that Get Healthy Skin affirms is also anti-inflammatory, gentle on the skin, and exfoliating in action. For this, we love the Paula's Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster, which boasts a rating of 4.7 stars at Sephora. 


For larger pimples, spot treatments like the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Acne Spot Treatment, which has a rating of 4.4 stars at Ulta Beauty, are a quick fix. And for sudden pimples before a big event, pimple patches like the fan-favorite Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Acne Patch are a go-to. With these, you can finally rest easy.