We’ve all been there. You wake up in the morning, go to the mirror and are aghast to see that, seemingly overnight, you’ve developed a pimple or maybe even a whole mess of them. When this happens your instinct might be to pop or pick at your breakout to make it go away, but spoiler alert: that never really ends well.
Instead, it may be time to take a closer look at a few of your lifestyle habits and do a bit of troubleshooting. As it happens, acne has many oft overlooked triggers that are easy to avoid or correct. So to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some common mistakes that could be contributing to your congested skin.
Five Common Causes of Breakouts to Watch Out For:
- Your Smart Phone - Don’t worry, no one is asking you to give up your phone. However, because phones come into close contact with our skin, this is often an easy way for dirt, oils, bacteria and other acne-causing debris to transfer from your phone to your face. The fix? Give your devices a daily wipe-down with an alcohol swipe or antibacterial cleaner and opt for the hands-free option when taking calls.
- Your Pillowcase - Another thing we spend a lot of time in close contact with is our bedsheets. In particular, your pillowcase is where you rest your head (and your face) seven nights a week. It only makes sense that the oils and bacteria from your skin transfer to the pillow and vice versa. In order to avoid this nightly exchange, regularly changing and washing your linens is a must. If possible, consider investing in multiple pillowcases so that you can swap out for a fresh one every night.
- Your Fingers - By now, we all know that touching your face can spread germs and viruses, but if that’s not reason enough to keep your hands off, do it for your skin. On an average day, think about all the things you touch - doorknobs, stair railings, food, pets, other people, and the list goes on. Many people aren’t conscious of habits like resting their chin in their hand or rubbing their temples when stressed, but unless you’re constantly washing your hands, you could be spreading more dirt and bacteria to your skin.
- Your Diet - While it may be a myth that potato crisps and chocolate will automatically cause a breakout, eating an imbalanced diet, or even just being dehydrated, can indeed have an impact on your complexion. Because your skin is a reflection of internal health, blemishes, blackheads, and breakouts can be a sign that something is off. When this happens, it may be helpful to look at cleaning up your eating habits to incorporate more water, fruits, veggies and other skin supporting foods.
- Your Stress Levels - We know that stress is bad for us, but how bad is it for your skin? Experts explain that increases in body chemicals like cortisol (your body’s fight or flight hormone) can lead to an uptick of oil production by the sebaceous glands. When this happens, the skin can become congested and compromised, leading to a whole host of issues. While stress is inevitable, it can help to incorporate mindful practices such as meditation or deep breaths to restore body balance. It’s also a good idea to get more sleep. Just be sure to wash your pillowcase first, of course.