Your skin has tiny holes called pores that can become blocked by oil, bacteria, dead skin cells, and dirt. When this occurs, you may develop a pimple or “zit.” If your skin is repeatedly affected by this condition, you may have acne.
Acne can be found almost anywhere on your body. It most commonly develops on your face, back, neck, chest, and shoulders.
If you’re on the quest for clear skin and you can’t help but come across a few bumps along the way, there’s a good chance something in your daily routine is contributing to your breakouts.
You’re making your pimple worse by picking your face.
It’s tempting in the moment, but it’s never a good idea to pick your own pimple because it could make a red mark that could turn into a scar. Even worse, when you press the blackhead or pus out of your pore, you run the risk of pushing the bacteria deeper and making the problem worse. Challenge yourself not to pick or even touch your face for unnecessary reasons.
Your diet could be causing acne breakouts.
Some people have a reaction to dairy, gluten, or other types of foods. How diet affects the skin is totally dependent on the person.
Talk to your dermatologist or make an appointment with a gastroenterologist to see if the food you’re eating is the source of your problem or if something more serious is going on in your gastrointestinal tract. And while you’re at it, you could always try incorporating a few healthy foods for clear skin into your diet.
You’re not washing your face and pillowcase enough.
During the day, dirt, oil and makeup build up on the skin. If you don’t wash your face before you go to sleep, all of that garbage then gets transferred to your pillowcase, which gets transferred back to your face again. Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, says long-term exposure of your skin to this type of soiling, along with the friction of the face rubbing against the pillowcase, may promote inflammation and acne breakouts. An oily environment may be a breeding ground for bacteria that can infect the skin if there are any raw or open areas—one of the many acne causes.
Wash your pillowcases every few nights. Oh, and if you haven’t yet, switch to a satin or silk pillowcase to reduce friction (your hair will thank you, too).
Lack of sleep and stress is triggering breakouts.
Not to bore you to sleep, but our bodies undergo daily circadian rhythms, in which certain activities occur in the morning, and others occur while we’re snoozing. “Sleep is a time of rest and repair, and cortisol levels decrease,” Dr. Zeichner explains. “Not getting enough sleep means that our body is exposed to continuously high levels of cortisol, which can trigger breakouts.” Sleep and get your eight hours.
Your sweaty workouts are causing body acne.
Skipping the shower right after working out or not washing your face allows the mixture of makeup, dirt, bacteria, oil, and sweat to find a nice little home in your skin and cause breakouts and clogged pores.
Before you start sweating, always wash your face to remove your makeup. After you’ve finished your workout, shower. If you don’t have time, use a facial wipe to clear away any pore-clogging oil and bacteria.
Your face scrub is making your breakouts worse.
Not regularly exfoliating is one of the acne causes, yes, but if you’re of the mindset that the more you scrub your skin with a washcloth or face scrubs the smoother it will be, I’m here to tell you that your breakouts are only going to get worse. The idea here is to repair your skin’s protective barrier to keep bacteria out, not to cause further trauma by scrubbing the hell out of it.
Wash and exfoliate your face with a mild yet effective formula that contains chemical exfoliators and don’t require scrubbing, like lactic and glycolic acids.
Your laundry detergent is irritating your skin.
Some of the chemicals in certain laundry detergents can be too harsh for your skin. And once you slip on your clothes or use your bath towels, your complexion might react to the residue that’s left on the fabric, resulting in breakouts on your face, back, butt, chest, etc.
Choose a detergent that’s fragrance-free, dye-free, and dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin, like Seventh Generation Concentrated Free & Clear Unscented Laundry Detergent.