Today many of us invest more time and money in skincare – we double cleanse, exfoliate, mask religiously and never hesitate to try out the latest and greatest new thing promising clear, flawless and radiant skin. Yet, despite all our effort, we still get breakouts.
Unfortunately, the root of breakouts isn’t always clear – excess sebum (oil), hormones and bacteria can all be causative factors. However, there are things we may apply, eat, use and even habitually do without realizing they worsen breakouts.
Here are a few sneaky causes of breakouts:
Throughout the day, your hands accumulate dirt, from breakfast to bathroom door handles to keyboards. When you text and play on your phone a majority of the bacteria is transferred onto the screen, which at some point it will likely find itself against your cheek for a phone call.
The fix: Wipe your phone regularly with rubbing alcohol or hand wipes for a quick clean.
Every night when you are asleep, you are leaving oil, sweat, hair products, dead skin cells, and the traces of the previous day’s dirt. Pillowcases harbours and spreads that bacteria.
The fix: Change your pillowcase at least twice a week or use old T-shirts.
The feeling of squeaky clean skin is great but over-exfoliating worsens skin conditions. For most people exfoliating or scrubbing their skin regularly – whether with a washcloth, exfoliants, loofahs or cleansing brushes – is believed to prevent breakouts, acne and unclog pores making skin smoother and healthier. This in fact only worsens the skin causing inflammation and removing the top skin layer. The whole idea is to repair your skin’s protective barrier to keep bacteria out.
The fix: Exfoliate no more than 2 times a week using a gentle exfoliator to keep your skin clear.
Towels accumulate bacteria, debris and dead skin and can spread it.
The fix: Use a separate hand towel for your face and body. And wash it thoroughly every day. Soak it in sodium bicarbonate water ever so often to eliminate impurities.
These brushes if not thoroughly cleaned and stored can harbour a lot of acne-causing bacteria, debris and impurities and transferred right back onto your face when you use them for your next makeup application.
The fix: Wash your make up brushing ever so very often with soap and oil-soluble cleaners like micellar water. And soak them in sodium bicarbonate water to further eliminate impurities.
Breakouts are sometimes a result of stress due to cortisol aka “the stress hormone”. Stress creates inflammation and we usually notice the signs on our skin first. Skin becomes more sensitive to external agitators due to the release of cortisol causing a chemical chain reaction, in turn increasing inflammatory processes.
The fix: Try stress-relieving methods like exercise, diffusing anti-stress essential oils, eating stress combating foods, cutting down on sugar and caffeine and maintaining a regular sleep cycle.
Yes, water! If you have moved recently and you find that your skin is breaking out randomly, it’s probably due to the water. Water quality changes from city to city (or even block to block) and additional mineral deposits or cleansing agents could be to blame for your new, unexplained breakouts.
The fix: Consider filtering your water or using distilled water for cleaning your face.
Shampoos and conditioners tend to drip down to the face especially when washing your hair in the shower. This can lead to clogged pores and ingredients in the shampoo or conditioner may irritate the skin.
The fix: Wash your face post hair care.
Harbours and spreads bacteria, dirt and impurities from cell phones, handbags, money, door handles etc.
The fix: Avoid touching your face with your hands throughout the day
Toning should be considered an important part of the cleansing process. Toners prepare the skin for moisturizers and serums while getting rid of excess oil and stubborn dirt or makeup leftover your skin after cleansing it. It also balances your skins pH levels eliminating the possibility of breakouts and acne
The fix: Use an alcohol-free toner every morning and evening after cleansing your face.