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Causes of Acne – Mistakes You Make Leading up to Acne Breakouts

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, between 40 and 50 million people in America have acne. But what causes this irritating and challenging skin disorder? Have you ever thought that you might be to blame?

We all know the usual causes of acne, including overproduction of oil, clogged pores, and so on. But what about your own habits and behavior? The fact of the matter is that certain patterns you repeat on a daily basis might contribute to acne breakouts.

Here are a couple of mistakes that you certainly should avoid making.

Using products with pore-clogging ingredients

The first thing you need to do when buying a skincare product is to look at the label. Sometimes, even the healthy and good ingredients can be bad for your acne problems. For example, mineral oil is a great moisturizing agent. However, at the same time, this oil can clog pores. Another ingredient to avoid is silicone, found in many skin care cosmetics.

With that in mind, you can avoid the disaster by looking at the label. Make sure all of your products are labeled as “noncomedogenic”, which means that they are formulated to not clog your pores.

Overusing spot treatments

Another common mistake is the excessive use of treatments. You notice acne breakouts, and you go hard on salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or other over-the-counter treatments. Read the manual, all of these ingredients have a recommended dosage and usage. Over-using them can dry out your skin, which will encourage your skin to produce more oil. And you are back to square one, trying to prevent excess oil and acne.

Instead of trying hard to get rid of acne with over-the-counter spot-treatment products, try some natural remedies. Or try employing the best toner for acne, a product that will unclog your pores and will not dry your skin in the process.

Eating spicy foods

Spicy foods can be healthy. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and other healing ingredients. But spicy foods also contain acidic lycopene, an ingredient which can be an irritant to some people. This single ingredient can throw your skin pH level out of control and trigger acne breakouts. People can also have aversions to dairy foods, bread, and other types of food.

It is important that you find out if you have any problems with certain types of foods. Spicy foods are the most problematic. And if your skin gets irritated after eating spicy foods, you might want to change your diet.

Using harsh hair products

You might think, how can hair products cause acne? After all, we put those products on our hair, not on our face. Well, you might not know it, but some hair products can wreak havoc on your skin. That is because they are rich in sulfates, which can seep into your pores and clog them.

It is also all about how you wash your hair. Tilt your head over to the side to prevent product residue moving down your face. Be sure to wash your face last when you are in the shower, ensuring there is no residue left on your skin.

Scrubbing skin too hard

Some people think that the more they scrub their skin, the smoother it will be. Wrong! No matter what you use for scrubbing, be it loofah, cleansing brushes, or any other exfoliator, scrubbing more and more will make matters worse. Why? Because when you scrub active acne, you drag the blemish’s bacteria across your skin, and you are actually worsening the condition.

Instead, gently wash and moisturize your skin. The system goes like this: first use a cleanser, then use a toner for acne, and then moisturize. Make sure your products contain pore-clearing ingredients.

Picking pimples

You might think it is a good idea to play a dermatologist, but more often than not, things go horribly wrong. It is nearly impossible to pick your own pimple and not leave a red mark behind that turns into a scar. When you try to press the pimple, you run the risk of pushing the bacteria deeper and allow it to spread on your face.

Try not to pick pimples or even touch your face for unnecessary reasons. Any time you touch your face, you run the risk of transferring bacteria onto your skin. Avoid touching zits, and allow them to heal on their own.

Wearing hats constantly

Anything that can trap sweat against your skin can clog your pores. That includes the lining of a tight hat. Now, we are not against wearing hats every now and then. But wearing hats on a daily basis? You have to know the risks and live with them. Hats are fashionable, but try to wear them every now and then. And keep your hands off of your face.

Not washing your face after a workout

After you are done with your workout, the most important thing to do is wash your face. Unless you were just sitting and sleeping through your workout, you have tons of sweat on your face. Washing your face afterward helps you clean the face of all that sweat, as well as dirt, bacteria, and oil.

Wipe your face, but also your chest and hands with facial wipes, if nothing more. If you do not have time to get a shower, use another facial wipe to clear away sweat and bacteria on your skin.


Smoking is your worst enemy when it comes to acne. Every time you light up a cigarette, you reduce the amount of oxygen that comes to your facial skin. Do not smoke. It is as simple as that. You will be healthier, acne-free, and live longer.

Living with constant stress

Stress can trigger acne and make your breakouts even worse. When you are under pressure, your body releases hormones that can stimulate the production of oils, testosterone, and other things that contribute to acne.

Find a way to relieve stress, and do it on a daily basis. Sometimes, just a simple 10-minute walk in peace and quiet can be more than enough to relieve stress.

Staying in the sun for long periods

If you are a sun-worshiper, we have some bad news for you. Staying in the sun can cause acne, and even worse, skin cancer. Going to the beach or out in the sun without sunscreen is a recipe for disaster. Yes, being out in the sun helps our skin produce vitamin D. But not if you stay out for 2-3 hours without sunscreen. Sun exposure can dry your skin, make your face red, and encourage excess oil production which will clog your pores.

Stop going out in the sun without sunscreen, and avoid tanning beds.


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