Acne sucks, especially when you can't figure out what's making you break out. It shows up uninvited (but when is it ever really invited anyway?) at the worst possible times, and usually in an unfortunately obvious place like on the tip of your nose or smack-dab between your eyebrows. It hangs around way too long, and even leaves scars when it finally goes. But trying all of the zit-zapping products on the market is a waste of time and money. Generally speaking, prevention is easier than correction. So knowing why you're breaking out can really be the best defense in the battle against breakouts.
Of course hormones and oily skin can cause breakouts, but those aren't the only culprits. Stress levels, your diet, and even how you go about treating existing acne can cause (more) breakouts. Being in touch with yourself and your habits is the first step to deducing your breakout's modus operandi. If you're aware of your skin type and how it behaves (especially with respect to products and ingredients), this is the best way to start getting on track to clearer skin. But if you've omitted all of the usual suspects and find you still break out from time to time, maybe the culprit is a sneaky one. So you don't fall prey to such a one, here are six to look out for and what to do to ensure a clearer complexion.
1. Talking On Your Cell Phone
Think about all the times you've touched your phone today. Now think about all the other surfaces it's touched. Now imagine all of the contact your phone has had on your face. Gross, right? Whatever oils and debris are on your phone can clog your pores when pressed against your face, so try to wipe down your phone before making a call to stave breakouts.
Flying totally dries out skin. When your skin is subjected to extreme dryness, it overcompensates with excess oil production which can clog pores and cause breakouts. Make sure to always hydrate before (and during, if you can) a flight to keep your skin balanced, especially if you're a frequent flyer.
3. Touching Your Face
That means with your hands or hair. Both contain oils that can easily clog your pores. On top of that, any product you have in your hair can also linger on your skin and cause irritation and breakouts. If you have oily skin or are prone to breaking out on your forehead, you might want to stay away from bangs.
4. Your Shower Routine
Your hair products, even the kind you wash with, can break you out. Make sure shampoo and conditioner residue aren't clogging your pores by always washing your face and body last.
5. Your Makeup Brushes
Makeup brushes are a hotbed of dead skin cells and bacteria. Make sure to wash them as often as possible (everyday is best, if you can).
6. Your Yoga Mat/Pillowcase/Towel
Dead skin and bacteria easily build up on surfaces that routinely touch your face and body such as your yoga mat, pillowcase, and towels. Make sure all that gunk doesn't have a chance to build up and clog your pores by routinely wiping down your mat and washing your pillowcases and towels.