Whether you’ve been plagued by breakouts and acne your entire life or have the odd spot now and then, finding the cause of your acne could be a daunting task. Is it stress? Dehydration? The phases of the moon? Who knows. While hormones definitely play a big role in causing breakouts and acne, sometimes it could be these surprising causes you didn’t even consider.
Cause: Your skincare
You’ve religiously been cleansing, toning, moisturising and even using sunscreen daily and yet you seem to have breakouts and acne. The culprit could be lurking in your skincare. Ingredients like mineral oil, silicones, sodium lauryl sulfate as well as fragrance are all known to trigger acne.
Solution: Look for lightweight, gel-textured products that are designed not to clog pores, Such products are usually labelled “non-comedogenic”. Picking products that are fragrance-free will also help minimise the chances of acne.
Cause: Your toothpaste
Yeap, if you’ve been breaking out around your mouth it might be time to swap your toothpaste. Ingredients like fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate are known to irritate the skin that could lead to acne and breakouts around the mouth.
Solution: Swap out your toothpaste with a fluoride-free option and make sure to cleanse after you brush your teeth.
Cause: Your face scrub
When you have oily, acne-prone skin, it’s easy to feel the need to scrub and exfoliate your skin in a bid to control the oil and shine. But this harsh approach will only make things worse, because the more you strip the skin of its natural oils, the more oil it will produce. And you know more oil just leads to more breakouts.
Solution: Adopt a gentle approach to your skincare. Use a gentle cleanser and exfoliator that will not strip the skin. And incorporate a light, gel moisturiser to ensure your skin doesn’t get dehydrated.
Cause: Your spot treatments
We’ve all slapped on a spot treatment or pimple patch at the first sign of a zit. They’re supposed to help but using them too often could make your acne and breakouts worse. Here’s what happens: ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in spot treatments dry out the skin, and this could lead it to producing more oil, and in turn more breakouts and acne.
Solution: While you shouldn’t completely stop using your spot treatments, scaling back on the frequency will help. Using it two to three times a week on the spot will help it heal without causing an overproduction of oil.
Cause: Your detergent or fabric softener
Suddenly breaking out even though you haven’t changed anything in your skincare routine? The cause could be something as unlikely as your detergent or fabric softener. These products can come with harsh chemicals and strong fragrances and the residue left on your clothes, towels and pillow cases can cause you to break out.
Solution: Switch to a milder one that’s suitable for sensitive skin and also fragrance-free.
Cause: Your morning coffee
Unless you’re drinking your coffee black, the dairy in the coffee could be breaking you out. Dairy is a common cause of inflammation that leads to acne and breakouts.
Solution: You don’t have to completely forgo your morning cuppa for clear skin. Just swap cow’s milk for almond or soy milk and your skin will thank you for it.
Cause: Your hair products
Hair care products like your conditioner and hair styling products like your hair gel and hair spray could also be contributing to your acne and breakouts. Residue from your conditioner can clog pores leading to breakouts around the hairline and the back. Plus, your hairspray or gel mixed with sweat and sebum does the same and leads to breakouts along the hairline.
Solution: Ensure you rinse off your conditioner thoroughly and there is no residue left behind. And make sure you wash off your styling products so they don’t have a chance to clog your pores.
Cause: Your cushion puff
Cushion makeup has made makeup life so convenient—you can apply your makeup wherever you want. However, if you don’t wash your cushion puff regularly, the moist conditions can be a breeding ground for bacteria which can then lead to breakouts and acne.
Solution: Minimise the risk of a breakout because of your cushion puff by washing it regularly. Here’s how you should do it.