If the last time you had a mass breakout was commemorated by your 10th grade [permanent] yearbook picture, you are a part of the blessed 50% of people over 20 who have not had adult acne!
But if you are reading this because you are having breakouts now after years of clear skin, you might be having a mild freak-out, thinking, “Why is my face breaking out suddenly?!”.
Not to worry. If you are experiencing a sudden change in your complexion, chances are you can pin-point the problem.
There are a few things you might be doing to cause your breakout, so let’s clear it up!
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What Is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition – the most common one, actually – that according to Web MD will affect most people at some point in their lives.
It might be so minor that you don’t notice it.
Or you might be like the rest of us that have had to miss a day of school or work because of the giant “thing” on our face that we are certain could pass for an unsolved medical mystery.
Most acne is hormonal, caused by Androgenic hormones. These are male hormones found in both females and males.
If you are sensitive to these hormones, they could cause your oil glands to go into hyper drive, producing way too much oil.
This overproduction of oil, mixed with bacteria and (eww) dead skin cells, causes clogged pores.
Which leads to either:
- Whitehead – clogged pore that is closed off and has not been in contact with oxygen.
- Blackhead – the gunk in the pore becomes oxidized. To you folks who find satisfaction in the popping of pimples (I may or may not be one of these people), the black at the top of the pore is actually just oxidized gunk.
And before we move on, if you are a female and are having issues with breakouts in hormonal zones, and are having trouble with an abnormal amount of facial hair, your hormone levels may be a touch out of whack, so it would be a good idea to see a dermatologist. This isn’t something that can be treated at home.
Now, let’s check out the things we’re doing to cause breakouts:
1. Hair Stuff
This includes bangs, hair that falls on your face during any part of the day, or any product that you’re using.
The sebaceous glands that produce oil in your scalp are good at their job for the most part.
If you don’t keep your hair clean, this oil will inevitably come into contact with the face.
Washing every two to three days is important, and more frequently if you perspire regularly.
I know this may be a bummer, but if you have naturally oily skin, I would recommend nixing the bangs altogether. Having hair sit on your forehead all day long, however clean, will not help your situation.
It’s also not a great idea to wear a hat for a long time (especially if you’re gonna be sweaty). Whether you have got dry or oily skin, any sort of material causing friction on the forehead for long periods of time will cause irritation or overproduction of oil.
As for hair products- if you know that you have oily skin to begin with, you should consider using a clarifying shampoo.
You won’t want to use it on a daily basis, but you can use it every other wash or so. It will strip the hair of excess oil and product, making a difference in how much gunk hangs out in your hair.
Don’t get gel, mousse, or hairspray on your face at all, and if you do, immediately wash it off.
Nothing should be on your face that isn’t specifically formulated for it.
2. Skin Products Are For Skin, Everything Else Is Not
This sounds silly, but it’s so important. Using products that are not formulated to be on the facial skin will definitely not help in clearing up the skin.
Don’t use anything on your face that doesn’t claim to be “non-comedogenic”, “non-acneic”, or at least says something to the effect of “doesn’t clog pores”.
Anything in the realm of skin care or cosmetics should be carefully chosen. Choose a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and makeup regimen that state that they are formulated not to clog the pores.
And for Heaven’s sakes girls, wash your brushes.
Using dirty makeup brushes is basically asking for acne.
If you use just anything on your face, you are working against your acne fighting efforts!
Just because it’s technically a skin care product or makeup doesn’t mean it’s high quality and OK to put on your face.
Check the label, gals. Your breakout solution could be as simple as eliminating a couple products.
3. Check Yourself
The other day, I was at my wits end.
I could NOT figure out why I kept getting breakouts on my chin and around my mouth.
I use professional products and don’t eat terribly.
Then, as I sat down to write an article, I realized that every time I was leaning in to do research on the computer, or waiting for something to load…. I was resting my chin on my hand.
Hand to face is not good, ladies.
There are many actions and body postures that come completely naturally to a person throughout the day.
Try to be conscious of what you’re doing when your hands are not busy. If you notice that you push your hair back a lot, chew your nails, rub your nose (allergy headquarters over here), or rest your head in your hand like yours truly, make a conscious effort to change the habit.
All the gross bacteria on your hands is getting on your face. This will definitely cause breakouts. You’ll have to train yourself not to, but it will clear up the breakout if this is the cause.
4. Clean It Up
You should wash your face twice a day.
Any more or less could be causing your breakout.
Wash once in the morning, and once before your go to bed.
If you have gotten sweaty, use a makeup wipe or cleansing facial towelette to wipe down your face IMMEDIATELY after perspiring.
Don’t let the sweat or dirt dry on your face.
If you are over-washing, your oil glands aren’t going to be very happy with you and they will begin producing too much oil to make up for the loss.
AND…if you are ever tempted to hop into bed after a long day without washing…just think, dears:
Not washing the face even one time before bed will result in an advance in the aging process. And, You need those skin care products on at night too.
Not so commonly thought of: the bedding. Specifically the pillow case
Wash your bedding at least once a week, and try to slip a clean pillow case on every couple of days.
Dirt and oil left behind from your hair and face can contribute to clogged pores.
It might sound excessive, but it could be the one thing standing between you and a clear complexion.
6. Clean Up Your Skin Care
It’s possible that you might be using a product that is irritating to the skin, causing some sort of adverse reaction.
Example, if I wax anywhere on my face besides my eyebrows, I will not be going into public again for the next week 🙂
Little white bumps that are similar to pimples can emerge, and this is luckily very easy to avoid.
Narrow it down to the one common denominator.
Try to eliminate each one of the products that you are using as the source, until you come across the problem causer.
You can do a patch test on the inside of your wrist to determine which product is irritating, but if the reaction is severe, immediately go see a dermatologist.
You don’t want to fool around with severe allergic reactions.
And not just the cigarette smoke.
In fact, I’m actually referring more the fact that your hands come into contact with the skin around your mouth.
But if we’re being honest, smoke does cause rapid aging AND enlarges the pores. Just sayin.
Well, this one is an obvious fix. I can’t say that I have any idea how difficult this is, but I do know all the skin problems smoking causes, let alone the horrible health risks.
8. No Sharing!
In the sense of cleansing devices. Washcloth, electric cleansing brush, facial sponge, etc.
Bacteria run rampant in moist conditions – and bathrooms are their own personal paradise.
If you use your hands to cleanse, ALWAYS wash them before cleansing.
When using a washcloth, be sure to toss it in the laundry and grab a new one for the next face washing.
You definitely don’t want a moist washcloth sitting around in between cleanings – not to mention the debris, oil, and makeup that are probably on it from the last cleaning.
If you use an electric cleansing brush like I do, you’ll need to change the brush head every four months or so. Be sure to rinse the bristles out very well after cleansing the skin, and never EVER share it with anyone else.
8. No Touching
This is the one I struggle with big time.
Don’t try to pop your pimples.
If you try to pop them with your fingers, there is a good chance that you will do some damage to the skin tissue, and then you will forever be reminded of the pimple with a lovely scar.
If you feel like you really need to mess with them, definitely use an extractor. This tool will allow you to manipulate the pore without doing damage.
I would recommend using a home facial steamer to open up the pores first, giving you easier access.
Also, when you put your fingers all over your face, you stand a good chance of spreading acneic bacteria all over.
It’s much better to use a treatment cream or solution, and allow the pimple to dry up on its own, which it probably will do.
There are over-the-counter creams available, and you’ll want to make sure that the product has Benzoyl Peroxide in it. This will accelerate the treatment process.
If you’d rather go a more natural route, there are essential oils that can speed up the healing process of pimples.
9. You Are What You Eat
If you are eating poorly, don’t gain an ounce of weight, and think it won’t show…you’re wrong! Oh,
Haha, I’m kidding.
But really, if you are eating foods with a lot of sugar and bad fats, it will most definitely show in your complexion. Sooner or later.
Try to maintain a healthy diet. You can start a little at a time, and you’ll see a change in your skin! Not only will it clear up, but it will also have a healthy glow.
I’m telling you this as I inhale a chocolate covered donut…but I’ll do better tomorrow.
10. Too Much Treatment
Over applying of creams and ointments is a no-no.
If you are applying too much cream to your pimples, the only thing likely to occur is the drying out and irritation of the surrounding skin.
This could again cause an increase in oil production, therefore resulting in even more pimples.
Keep the skin consistently clean and dry. Don’t overuse any treatment cream, whether over-the-counter or prescription strength.
If you feel like you’re going to lose your mind and need the pimple to be covered, there are actually some great concealer and foundation options that will not clog the pores and have soothing properties.
Well, there you have it Lovelies!
Acne is a pain in the neck (like, literally), and shows up at the worst times.
I hope this article has helped you to figure out why you’re experiencing pesky breakouts, and how to eliminate them!
Questions about treating acne? Leave them below! Let us know what worked for you in the comment section, as well!
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Have a beautifully blessed day!