How To Avoid Those Painful Eyebrow Breakouts

No matter the location, breakouts are unwanted and can be very painful. We know when we get a new acne breakout on our chin, cheeks, or foreheads that they mean excess sebum and clogged pores. However, what happens when we get an acne breakout somewhere we typically don't think of? 


Eyebrow breakouts can be a challenge to pinpoint at first because they aren't always apparent. According to Dr. Sabrina Shah Desai, eyebrow breakouts are much more common than we can imagine. Their location on the face even makes it easier for them to occur (via Glamour), and then you don't often notice them because of the hairs.

To prevent your next eyebrow breakout, you should know how to prevent them from occurring. Once you've pinpointed the cause, finding how to get rid of it becomes easier. And this isn't different than any other breakout; therefore, one of the best solutions to eyebrow acne is prevention.

Why eyebrow breakouts happen

As Dendy Engleman, M.D., reports, eyebrow acne happens due to the same reason as other acne breakouts (via Byrdie). Clogged pores happen thanks to dirty brushes, makeup products, trapped dirt, and excess oil or sweat. Since this process occurs near the hair follicles of the eyebrows, it's called folliculitis. Most of the time, folliculitis occurs on the eyebrows because of excessive use of brow products. Since most eyebrow products are made as gels to keep the brows in place, they are extra harmful to the pores. Gels contain properties that are made to penetrate deep and stay in place, meaning they will penetrate the pores and clog them.


According to Vogue India, there are other reasons why you may be seeing breakouts along your eyebrows. Eyebrow services such as waxing, threading, and tweezing can make breakouts happen more often since they are directly affecting the hair follicles. When having any of these services, it's best to cleanse before and after to prevent any inflammation or infection. Furthermore, you will want to be careful when applying your hair products. Any gels, sprays, or powders you apply to your hair may be seeping down towards your eyebrows and clogging the pores in that area.

What you can do to prevent eyebrow breakouts

Since most of the causes of eyebrow breakouts can be traced to clogged pores, the best way to prevent them is by treating this area. According to Healthline, the best way to prevent a breakout is to make sure your skin is cleansed and free of anything that can clog your pores. Specifically for eyebrow breakouts, it's best to wash your face twice a day or after profusely sweating, such as just after a stint at the gym or after a hike.


The American Academy of Dermatology also suggests keeping your hair free from your face as much as possible. This lessens the chance that any hair products or oils from the hairline can clog your pores. The AAD also recommends routinely switching out your pillowcases and bedsheets for a clean set. Pillowcases and sheets can become a breeding ground for dead skin cells and bacteria very quickly. Since you spend eight hours laying on a pillowcase, they recommend that you keep it as clean as possible (via L'Oréal Paris).