Blemishes, pimples, breakouts, zits, redness and acne are just a few words we absolutely hate hearing when it comes to the topic of ‘skin’. It is the worst when they seem to creep up on special occasions or on a day of your first date with a certain hottie! Arrrgh worst timing ever!
They are usually caused by the overproduction of sebum (oil). The overproduction of sebum can cause congestion and blockage in the hair follicle (pore), preventing the sebum to leave the pore. This then leads to the bacteria growth inside the actual follicle causing acne. Genetics can play a role in how your body reacts to the different hormones causing acne. However, along with the above factors, your daily routine or just with some simple things you could be doing wrong can make your acne worse. We are going to cover a few triggers that could be the issue for you. Read on for clearer, healthier looking skin!
1. You’re not changing your pillow cases.
Dermatologists recommend that you change your pillow cases at least once a week. This is to avoid build up of dead skin, bacteria and dust mites. If you’ve been itchy or getting allergies, you may also need to try changing your bed sheets more and see your doctor about dust mites! Sensitive skin types cannot tolerate a lot of fragrance that is in washing detergents. If you’re quite sensitive and have been noticing a lot of breakouts and allergies, try swapping your current washing detergent for one that is hypoallergenic and fragrance free.
2. You’re over exfoliating.
With exfoliating, you should only be doing it one to three times a week, depending on your skin type. By scrubbing your skin or exfoliating everyday can leave your skin feeling sensitive and dry. When your skin is dry from over exfoliating, the skin will try to replace it with natural oil (sebum) to help naturally moisturise the skin, but in this case, it can over produce oil leading to breakouts.
3. You’re using products that contain pore-clogging ingredients.
Watch out for super rich, heavy lotions and moisturisers that contain mineral oil. Mineral oil is known to be comedogenic (pore-clogging) which can cause a lot of issues for our skin in the long run.
4. You’re over using acne treatments.
Remember to always read the label and don’t over use! Topical treatments that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulphur over-the-counter treatments can dry out your skin, causing it to produce more oil and possibly blemishes (if misused). The active ingredients can slightly burn the tope layer of your skin, making it redder and harder to conceal if used too regularly.
5. You’re not washing and disinfecting your makeup brushes.
It is recommended that you wash your makeup brushes at least once a fortnight, and once a week for acne prone skin. It is so important to stay on top of hygiene to avoid issues for our skin. I mean who likes the idea of reapplying bacteria and dust back onto our freshly cleansed skin? Choose an antibacterial liquid or bar soap to wash your brushes, making sure that you get those bubbles foaming to make sure they’re squeaky clean! Especially with your foundation brushes, as sometimes you may find you need to wash more than once to get clean. Once washed, leave them laying flat on the edge of a table to dry over-night. Leaving the brush end hanging off the edge of a table, will allow the brush to dry evenly (360-degree air dry).
6. You’re eating too much dairy or spicy foods.
Eating too much spicy foods contain acidic lycopene that can be an irritant to some people, throwing off their skin's pH levels and triggering breakouts. Some people have an aversion to dairy foods as well. While others find too much sugar in their diet can cause breakouts. The key here is healthy balance. If you find that you’re breaking out a lot, take a step back and have a good look at your current diet. Too much dairy lately? Try reducing the dairy intake and see the results.
7. You’re not removing your makeup correctly.
Removing your makeup with just a makeup wipe is not good enough! Makeup wipes only remove a certain percentage of makeup. They leave behind a lot of makeup and excess oil in our pores, which causes a lot of issues in the long run. This not only causes acne but also break down of collagen and elastin in our skin! No to wrinkles! If you don’t want to wake up the next day with a few breakouts, then you need to start taking care of your skin. Choose a product like an oil cleansing one, or cleansing balm that turns into a milky emulsion (read our other post “Your skincare guide to healthier skin”), this is known as the pre-cleanse step. You want to start the day fresh, so your skincare products can absorb better without any barrier preventing beneficial skincare ingredients to work into the skin.
Did you know that every time you light up a cigarette, you decrease the amount of oxygen that goes to your face? This not only predisposes you to cancer and causes the breakdown of collagen and elastin that leads to wrinkles and increased pore size, but the carcinogens in the smoke also irritates your skin and dries it out, triggering your skin to produce more oil and possibly more breakouts. Want healthier skin and live longer? Stop smoking, its that simple.
9. You pick at your pimples.
Picking and popping your pimples can cause more issues than you think. When you pop one pimple you are risking that pimple to not only pop on the surface of your skin, but also push the bacteria deeper into your skin. This will lead to the spread of infection deep in the skin and a multiply pimples! Just simply leave it alone to heal by itself or apply a spot treatment on it overnight.
Stress is literally poison to our bodies. It causes all sorts of issues like breakouts, eczema and other medical issues. It is hard to avoid stress sometimes, but we need to remind ourselves to listen and look after our health. Your skin produces stress hormones, including cortisol, that can stimulate your oil glands to make testosterone that then increases oil production and clogs pores. Try to exercise regularly, introduce meditation, and take time out of your busy schedule to focus on your mental well-being and overall health. Day spa anyone?