What do spots on temples mean?

What do spots on temples mean?

If you’ve heard of facial mapping, you’ll be familiar with the idea that what’s happening on our face can be an indicator of what’s going on inside our bodies. If you experience regular breakouts of spots on your temples and around your hairline, you may be wondering why and what it means.

Spots on the forehead are often said to indicate a stressed bladder or digestive system. But what if breakouts are just appearing around the temples (the area between the hairline and eyes)? In this article, we discuss the possible reasons for spots on temples and suggest the steps you can take to combat the issue.


Spots on temples are often a sign of dehydration. Not drinking enough water can cause the oil glands at your temples to go into overdrive, leading to clogged pores and breakouts.

Get into the habit of drinking water regularly throughout the day, to ensure you stay hydrated. Indulging in a few glasses of wine? Balance your intake with water to avoid extra blemishes in this area the next day.

You can also target dehydrated skin with products designed to refill moisture levels, such as a hydrating serum. Ours uses powerful natural ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid to quench skin's thirst.

What do spots on temples mean?

Too much salt

When we eat lots of salty food, we need more water to balance the sodium we’ve consumed. If we don’t drink enough to compensate, those savoury snacks can be a fast track to dehydration - which, as we've explained above, can lead to spots.

Try combining salty food, like a spoonful of peanut butter, with water-rich celery sticks or sliced apple to help keep your body hydrated.

Headwear habits

Acne and spots on temples can often be caused by wearing headwear, such as helmets or hats. Perhaps you cycle to work every day and need to wear a helmet, or maybe you’re never seen without a hat or headband. Headwear can lead to sweat getting trapped close to your skin around your temples and hairline, leading to breakouts.

If you do need to wear headwear, then we suggest cleansing the area with natural skincare products once you remove your headwear. If you're looking for a cleanser to use on wet skin, our foaming face wash, Phaze, gently exfoliates and hydrates skin. The sooner you can remove the sweat, the more likely it is that your pores won’t get clogged and those pimples won’t have a chance to form. Try our rebalancing Zinc serum for spot-prone skin, All Becomes Clear, to help prevent further breakouts.

What do spots on temples mean? What do spots on temples mean?

Hair products

According to facialist Kate Kerr, mysterious breakouts around the temples or hairline are often caused by what we put on our hair.

Serums, conditioners, hairsprays and gels tend to be the main culprits, thanks to irritating fragrances or ingredients that build up and cause congestion.

Avoid getting shampoo on your face while washing your hair, particularly if it contains sulphates. Try to avoid synthetic fragrances, silicones and panthenol (often used in conditioners), to help keep skin clear.

If you have small red bumps around your hairline, it may not be acne or spots but a condition called folliculitis - an inflammatory skin condition of your hair follicles. It can be caused by a (non-contagious) fungal or bacterial infection. It's usually triggered by damage to the follicles - for instance from scratching, hair being pulled too tight, or a build-up of hair products.

It's worth showing your doctor or pharmacist if you're unsure, but the good news is it's treatable at home. Try gentle antibacterial products containing anti-fungal ingredients such as tea tree oil, and wash with lukewarm water to avoid irritating your skin.

Sleep set-up

You could be doing everything you can to ward off spots by day, but perhaps it's your bedtime beauty habits that are the cause. If you’re dealing with persistent breakouts of spots on temples, try sleeping with your hair wrapped in a scarf or pulled away from your face with a soft headband.

Take a look at your skincare, too: adding targeted products to your evening routine could help you wake up to fewer breakouts. Our overnight oil for blemish-prone skin, Carbon Star, uses Black Cumin Seed Oil and Vegetable Charcoal to fight bacteria, buff away dead skin and regulate sebum levels. The result? Clearer skin that's beautifully balanced.

Carbon Star before and after Before and after using Carbon Star

We also recommend changing your pillowcase regularly. You’ll find that a lot of bacteria and sweat gets transferred from your hair (and face) to your pillowcase every night. You then rub your face in that bacteria, which can lead to spots. Making a point of switching your pillowcases more regularly should help you combat this.

Sweaty skin

When we exercise hard, our forehead is often the first place to break a sweat. Sweat glands around your hairline and temple can easily become clogged and lead to pesky pimples.

Shower swiftly after exercising and cleanse thoroughly to avoid blemishes. Invest in a mini skincare kit for your gym bag so you’re not tempted to chop and change products (or use the free shower gel!) to get your skin clean. Still shiny? Try a mattifying moisturiser that will keep your skin balanced post-workout.

Free expert advice

Whatever the trigger for a breakout or blemishes, our Pai Skin Coaches are available for one-on-one consultations to help you navigate skin that's acting up. Our free online skin consultation service offers 10 and 30 minute slots over the phone or Zoom. Our trained skin coaches offer invaluable advice and can point you in the right direction for a clearer complexion - so book your slot today.

Read more about what spots on different parts of your face mean here


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