You know what’s annoying? That in 2019 we’re still suffering from stress and hormonal acne breakouts. What’s worse is that you may not even know what kind of breakout you're having. Pimples and acne are one of those aspects of life that can make us feel utterly powerless. From the occasional t-zone pimple to that recurring mouth area bump that just won’t seem to go away, an acne breakout can be untimely and inconvenient.
With that said, we’re all guilty of a few things that don’t exactly help us avoid an acne breakout. If you are a serial fall-asleep-with-makeup-on offender, or perhaps you haven’t changed your bed sheets for a while (and by a while, we mean not since 2018), this post is going to change your life. We’ve put all our best acne prevention tips right here, just for you!
Factors Contributing to Your Acne Breakouts
There are 3 main contributors to acne breakouts. We all know that the first and probably the most impactful is our diet, and that secondly we should be changing our pillowcases a lot more than we are currently. But other factors such as our habits, vices, stressors, and overall lifestyle can definitely play a part in how our skin behaves.
It’s important to note that some acne breakouts are hormonal, or linked to medical related concerns. If you think either of these might apply to you, be sure to discuss with your dermatologist or doctor for help!
Below we’ll break down exactly what might be contributing to your breakouts, and how you can work with your skin for a clearer complexion.
Factor #1: DIET
We’ll say it once – chocolate does not cause breakouts! BUT, components of chocolate, especially milk chocolate, can cause pimples or recurring acne. And no, you’re not just crazy; PMS or the emotional side effects of being burdened with a period means we as women are predisposed to chocolate cravings during that time of the month. Still, a diet that involves too much sugar is slowly eating away at the youth of our skin.
While a diet including some sugar is almost unavoidable, when sugar is consumed in excess it does all kinds of damage to our skin. This process is called glycation. This process takes place when sugar works against our immune system and makes it harder for our skin to fight bacteria, leading to more breakouts. Worse still, a diet high in sugar feeds on collagen, which breaks down the smoothness and suppleness in our skin, literally eating away our youth. So the next time you’re having a candy craving, smell something sweet instead of snacking on it.
Regular consumption of some dairy products – like milk or ice cream – brings more bad guys into the world of well-behaved skin. While these products are fine in moderation, there are studies that show increased dairy intake can cause more regular acne breakouts. There is some back and forth about if the breakouts are caused by dairy or by the hormones in certain types of dairy products, one thing is for sure: avoiding or reducing dairy consumption is good for the skin.
Factor #2: SKIN CARE
How we care for our skin is paramount in the game of acne breakout prevention. It isn’t necessary to be overboard or type-A about your skin, but it is important to be consistent. Here are some great anti-acne tips that could give your skin the reprieve it needs from breakouts:
Wash your face as soon as you walk through the door! It’s tempting to come home after a long day and sit down to relax. Before you know it, you’re caught up in home life – and cleansing impurities and pore-clogging toxins from skin sinks lower and lower on your list of priorities. Give yourself 3 minutes to at least remove your makeup and wash your face as soon as you get home for the night. Later on, when you’re faced with completing the other steps of your skin care routine, your more tired self with be thanking you.
Use a targeted toner after cleansing or before your bedtime skin routine (if you washed your face earlier), to ensure pores are free from dirt and impurities. Our refreshingly herbal Tea Tree + Willow Acne Clarifying Astringent immediately soothes and purifies, as it banishes acne causing bacteria with tea tree and willow bark. This vegan toner also features balancing witch hazel and rosemary, as well as neem extract to treat acne on a cellular level.
Why is our Anti Acne Sheet Mask something you should consider adding to your regular skin care routine? The base of this mask is aloe leaf juice, which is super reparative for the skin. The other main ingredients also include hydrating hyaluronic acid and visibly brightening grapefruit, for an unbelievably glowing reflection in 20 minutes or less.
Factor #3: HABITS
We’ll be the first to admit that we’ve made some *questionable* life choices (like those patchwork bell bottoms were not our finest moment), but all of those are forgivable when compared to some skin care sins that none of us can afford to commit. These are habits that can make or break healthy skin, such as not changing your pillowcase for weeks to months, or not washing your face thoroughly at night.
Here are some bad habits you might be tempted to maintain, and ways to stop those habits in their tracks to help prevent acne breakouts:
Touching your face
Scratching, rubbing, and touching in general is one of the biggest no-no’s for the face. Every time you touch your face, you are transferring bacteria from your hands right onto your skin. If you must scratch, use a clean napkin to pat or gently swipe instead of scratching with fingernails.
Hair on your face
This is one that everyone forgets about! How we wear our hair means that sometimes our hair is rubbing against our face. If you notice that you’re commonly breakout in one place, like your forehead or along your hairline, it could be because the products and oils in your hair are getting trapped in your skin. Keep a hair elastic or scarf handy to tie your hair away from your face as often as possible. At night, pull the hair back loosely and wrap with a silk scarf to reduce exposure on the skin, and to increase the softness of your hair.
PRO TIP: Want something to freshen up and fight the dirt that could be in the premature phase of causing a breakout? A quick spritz of the Lavender Pore Refining Toner (especially near your hairline) can help keep the skin balances, hydrated and soothed.
With the rise in popularity of DIY facials and addicting media stars like Dr. Pimple Popper, we’re all just a little obsessed with keeping our skin smooth and breakout-free. We have a list of at least 8 Things to Never Do to a Pimple but we’ll share the gist here: if you are going to address a pimple, do it when the pimple is ready and only using safe methods that are less likely to damage the skin.
PRO TIP: Gone a little too far with the picking? Use a brightening and toning product to bring calm and consistency back to the skin. Something like the 100% PURE Dark Spot Remover uses healing aloe to repair the wound, active lime to tone the skin and papaya extract to support new skin cell renewal.