This acne face map explains WTF is causing your breakouts

This week’s TIFF and NYFW festivities mean our feed is flooded with beautiful, blemish-free complexions all day, every day, which makes it easy to forget that not everyone was blessed with perma-filtered skin like Gigi, Kendall and Karlie. Teens struggle the most with acne it seems, but even if you dodged the bullet in high school, and during your post-secondary years (according to the Acne and Rosacea Society five million college and university students are struggling with acne in Canada), you’re not out of the woods; an apartment and steady job aren’t firewalls against acne. In my late 20s, literally overnight, pimples swarmed my chin and nose like paparazzi waiting for a Kardashian. My derm’s explanation: “You didn’t pay your dues in high school. Now it’s your turn.” Whatever our age and situation, stress, hormones and other enemies of a clear complexion can eff everything up. Not to mention deliver a face punch to our self-confidence.

Also frustrating is trying to figure out the cause, as it can be difficult to troubleshoot without that intel. “When treating acne, it is vital to determine the causes and triggers,” says Roula Khoury, Montreal Manager for Dermalogica. “Each cause is treated differently, sometimes it could be as simple as changing your cleanser or maybe introducing an exfoliation.” The good news: the location of your breakout is like a map to the stars. “Every zone has its own story to tell,” she says.  To mark Acne Awareness Week, we asked Khoury to break down what acne-prone areas to watch for, and the likely cause of a breakout in that zone.