Skin Science Sunday: 10 Things Making Your Acne Worse, Or Causing It.


Why are you breaking out?

This is a question that many ask themselves while looking in the mirror feeling aggravated, and the frustration of forever finding some sort of remedy or solution. If you deal with acne or have acne prone skin I am sure that you have tried every acne product on the shelves, possibly even taken dermatologist prescribed medications, and had still no such luck. If that sounds like you, it can be possible that you are making simple mistakes, or have acquired bad habits that can be making your skin worse. 

Here are 10 common causes or worsening factors for acne prone skin:

  1. You Sleep in Your Makeup/Don't Cleanse Before Bed. Too lazy to wash your face before bed? This could be a major factor in your acne. Sleeping with your makeup on can cause extremely clogged pores, which can then lead to more breakouts & blackheads. Your skin must be cleansed before bed to remove any dirt, oil, and bacteria that collects throughout the day. Going to bed and placing your head on your pillow can cause all that junk to get embedded into your skin. 
  2. You Constantly Touch Your Face/Pick at Breakouts. As everyone knows, germs are everywhere. They are on surfaces, doorknobs, cell phones, & of course, your hands. This means you should never be touching your face unless your hands are fully washed. Even then you should not mess with any current breakouts, picking at them can lead to breaking open the skin & causing possible scarring & infection. Make sure to wash your hands before cleansing your skin and applying products.
  3. You are Eating Excessive Dairy/Sugar. Both dairy & sugar can cause inflammation. The inflammation can cause acne to become worse and or enlarged. In milk, hormones are one of the biggest factors that can then affect your breakouts. There is also evidence that these hormones bind to your sebaceous glands (oil glands) which then produce more sebum (oil) in your follicles, leading to more breakouts. If you are eating/drinking lots of dairy products and your acne is an issue, cut back or slowly cut out any dairy if your acne is quite severe.
  4. You're Sleeping on Dirty Pillow Cases.  When was the last time you washed your pillow case? Your face lays on your pillow for hours at a time, and if it is loaded with excess oil from your skin and even from your hair, this can be creating an issue for your breakouts. Make sure to wash your pillow case at-least every week, if you overly produce oil throughout the night, you may want to switch it every 3 days. 
  5. You are Using to0 Many DIY Concoctions. Been scrolling through Pinterest too often? The many DIY face masks, exfoliants, etc. can actually be making your skin worse. Many of the concoctions are not recommend from a skin professional, but rather someone who has too much fun mixing leftover ingredients from their pantry. A big no no that is recommended a lot through Pinterest is baking soda. Baking soda is not a skincare product, this can ruin the barrier of your skin & irritate acne. The PH of your skin is between a 4 - 5.5, while baking soda is at a PH of 9. Due to it's alkaline content, this can create extreme water loss in your skin causing sensitivity & an overproducing of oil which then become a breeding ground for acne. 
  6. Your Cell Phone is Dirty. Cell phones carry lots of bacteria and germs. Wiping them down daily with a cleansing wipe can help kill that bacteria. We use our phones constantly, they rest on our faces during phone calls, we text, some people even sleep with them. Make sure it is disinfected daily to help avoid any buildup that can create a worsening in your breakouts.
  7. You're Lacking Water Intake. This one may create a bit of controversy, but I personally still believe in its affects. Drinking water can help flush out toxins in your body and transport nutrients throughout, then helping contribute in clearer skin and a healthier body. Our bodies consist of 60-70% of water, so water is essential to us. Think of it as if we are not drinking water, we are most likely replacing that with drinks such as, coffee, soda, juice, which all contain lots of sugar, which as we stated before can make acne worse. All in all, water is essential in keeping your skin healthy and preventing acne. 
  8. You're Using too Many Acne Products. This may sound confusing, but a lot of the times these acne products can be quite harsh on the skin. Many strip your skin of its natural moisture which then can result in your skin trying to make up for that by producing excessive oil, causing breakouts. Other products like certain drying spot treatments can lead to your breakout taking longer to heal. When you dry the area of a breakout it is trapping in that bacteria with dead flaky skin. The bacteria has no way to release, then prolonging to breakout. Your best bet is to leave the breakout alone, and applying a spot treatment that is not drying, or to apply it only to post acne marks. 
  9. Your Shampoo Contains Sulfates. Many know that sulfates are bad for color treated hair, as it strips the color out and fades color quickly. Sulfates, also known as cleansing agents, are the ingredients that create the ultra sudsy effect in your shampoo. This can lead to breakouts around the hairline, chest, and back of your body. These sulfates can adhere to your skin & clog pores, creating little breakouts. 
  10. Your Using Bad Makeup. This is a hard one for some, as there are so many brands to choose from. Makeup tends to not have the best ingredients in them. Parabens, synthetics, added fragrance or dyes, talc, silicones, etc. Although makeup has come a long way, these ingredients still exist in many brands, and can all aggravate acne. Making sure you read ingredients and choosing non comedogenic makeup can help ensure you are making the right choice. Brands like Jane Iredale (my personal favorite) and GloMinerals have skin-loving ingredients. 

Do you have any of these bad habits in your daily life?