Whether caused by ‘maskne’ or the wrong products, here’s your blemish-busting plan of action for a smoother chin & clearer skin

You might know from experience that spots can pop up in many places, but many of us tend to notice them in one place in particular: the chin! And, even if you’d been blessed enough to barely have any breakouts before the pandemic, the need to wear a mask all the time might have changed that.

While you could just grab some concealer and forget that these chin spots exist, we also understand the urge to ask a few questions.

So, what do spots on your chin mean? And what skincare products should you use to get rid of them? Find out here. You won’t be thinking the words “Why do I get spots on my chin?” once you’ve finished reading this.

What causes spots on the chin?

Generally, spots on your chin happen for the same reasons that spots anywhere else do: “Excess oil production, blockage of pores and bacteria,” says Dr Derrick Phillips, consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic in London. “In women, these processes are under hormonal influence and there’s a tendency for flares to occur before the period,” he continues.

There’s also the matter of masks! “Mask-wearing has become a part of everyday life, but has also been associated with acne breakouts around the mouth and nose, termed ‘maskne’,” says Dr Phillips. “It’s thought to be due to a combination of humid air and friction from the mask, both of which encourage the growth of bacteria and yeast on the skin,” he explains.

How do you manage spots on the chin?

While spots that are particularly bad might need things like benzoyl peroxide (“which unblocks pores and reduces the amount of C. acnes bacteria on the skin,” Dr Phillips tells us) or “medical grade retinoids that tackle the root cause of acne by unblocking the pores and reducing the amount of oil production,” most can be managed at home. Products featuring ingredients such as salicylic acid, are much-loved by dermatologists for its ability to unclog pores. And, although Dr Phillips informs us that, “those with dry sensitive skin may find retinoids irritating and should start with twice weekly application before building up to nightly use over time,” there are retinol serums available to buy that are suitable for even the most sensitive of skin types.

But what products should you steer clear of to avoid getting spots on your chin? “Oily skincare products will aggravate acne-prone skin and should be avoided. Look for ‘non-comedogenic’ products which are less likely to block your pores and cause breakouts,” suggests Dr Phillips.

“And frequent changing or washing of masks and wearing a light, non-oil based moisturiser can reduce the risk of ‘maskne’,” he advises.

Whatever the reason you have spots on your chin, “the worst thing you can do is pick and squeeze them as this spreads inflammation and makes scarring more likely,” says aesthetic doctor Dr Barbara Kubicka.

And don’t forget to be targeted with the products you use: if your chin is the only place you’re getting spots, there’s no need to apply a treatment to tackle them all over your face. It might result in unnecessary dryness.


From a cleanser that offers a solution to spots, even when used as part of the most minimal skincare routine, to retinol serums and niacinamide serums that will appeal to skincare obsessives, these are the products that will help you manage spots on your chin.

A word of caution though - there’s no need to use them all at once as excessive use of exfoliating acids and actives may lead to sensitivity. But whether you’re looking for a leave-on or rinse-off treatment to add to your routine, our list of current faves should have a range of preferences covered. Read your skin’s response and introduce any new actives gradually and one at a time (‘low and slow’ is usually a worthwhile mantra in our experience!) to avoid irritation and redness.

If you haven’t quite found what you’re looking for in this guide though, you can also explore more great spot treatments here.

For a blemish-busting cleanser to kickstart your skincare routine
Try: The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser

• Size: 150ml

Salicylic acid is referenced time and time again when talking about reducing the appearance of spots, so adding a salicylic acid cleanser to your skincare routine makes perfect sense. If you’ve ever wondered how to manage bumpy spots on your chin, it might be the answer.

For a toner to apply after your cleanser to absorb any excess oil and unclog pores
Try: Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Clarifying Lotion for Blemish Prone Skin

• Size: 200ml

With salicylic acid and acetyl glucosamine to help clear dead skin cells (that can lead to clogged pores) and silica to absorb excess oil, a swipe of this on your chin after cleansing can help to reduce the appearance of spots.

For a bargain serum to fight blemishes and regulate oil production
Try: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

• Size: 30ml

Both niacinamide and zinc are prime ingredients for fighting the appearance of blemishes and regulating sebum production, so this is a great purchase if you’re struggling with spots on your chin.

For a retinol serum to stimulate cell turnover
Try: Boots Ingredients Retinol Serum

• Size: 30ml

Once you find a routine that suits you, a retinol serum is a great buy. Retinoids can reduce the appearance of acne and regulate the excessive oil production that often leads to acne. And they don’t have to be expensive either!

For a super salicylic acid spot treatment
Try: Origins Super Spot Remover Acne Treatment Gel

• Size: 10ml

Who knew so much good could be held within such a tiny bottle? Just a dab of this salicylic acid treatment helps mask blemishes while discouraging them from popping up again.

For rapid action on the appearance of spots
Try: Boots Skin Clear 2 Hour Spot Gel with Salicylic Acid

• Size: 25ml

Apply after cleansing for a clearer looking complexion within a couple of hours. There’s no need to wash it off and the salicylic acid formulation will help reduce excess oils.

For gentle and effective spot-on cover
Try: Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Spot Wand

• Size: 3.5ml

Keep this 2-in-1 wand to hand to help soothe and calm the appearance of blemishes. With separate ends for day and night application, you’ll be ready whenever a problem area occurs.

For an oil-free hydrating moisturiser
Try: No7 HydraLuminous Water Surge Gel

• Size: 50ml

• Oil-free

This one’s a luxury to use, offering instant hydration without feeling heavy on skin. The perfect balance for breakout-prone skin.

Discover more top moisturisers here and more great spot treatments here.

Experiencing more than a few sporadic breakouts? It might be worth trying the Boots Online Doctor Acne Treatment Service - an easy way to get clinician advice without any need to leave the house. Eligibility criteria and charges apply.