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You might be in your 30’s (or even 40’s or 50’s) living life and not worrying about your teenage years anymore, except one thing that has stuck around, your acne.


Acne doesn’t care how old you are, it’s an unfortunate skin issue many of us have to deal with!

The number of people with adult acne is growing (source) year after year as well. Acne is the most common skin issue despite all that we try to do to prevent it. If you think you are doing everything you can to prevent pimples but are still experiencing breakouts consult this list of 15 mistakes because a few habits could be unraveling even your best efforts.

1. Not changing your pillowcase and towels often enough.

Changing your pillowcases and towels on a weekly basis is a good habit, but changing them every few days is an even better habit to get into if you want to make sure you’re sleeping on a surface that is clean and bacteria-free. Change out small washcloths and have extra pillowcases you can swap out. Even when you wash your face at night, your pillowcase gets a buildup of sweat, dead skin, oil, and products quickly, so it is good to change every 2-3 days.

2. Touching your face during the day or at night.

Touching your face can be a huge issue you may not even be aware of. Some people have a habit of rubbing their skin when their hands are extremely dirty which can cause a transfer of oils to your face, causing acne or making it worse. Even at night they have a habit of holding their chin or sleeping on their hands.

3. Getting too much sun.

Some people live for tanning; however too much sun can be a dangerous thing. The dangers of skin cancer are very real, but exposing your skin to too much sun can also be bad for your acne. The sun and the heat cause your oil glands to go into overdrive which can cause breakouts. Not to mention skin spots, you may not realize it right away, but over time when you get older all your sun spots will appear. Protect your skin with SPF everyday!

4. Eating dairy.

Unfortunately for ice cream, cream cheese, and cheese connoisseurs, dairy can actually make your acne worse. The hormones in milk cause inflammation in humans. Dairy can also lead to excess sebum production in your skin, which means clogged pores and more breakouts.

5. Overusing your hair products.

Your hair shampoo/conditioner, hair spray, dry shampoo, and serums are full of pore-clogging ingredients and while it could be great for your hair, it is not so great for your skin. If you put these products too close to your hairline, around your face and scalp it could be the cause of your breakouts.

6. Barely washing or disinfecting your makeup brushes.

It is super important to wash your makeup brushes! However, it is one of those things that women forget to do because it is easy to let it go for a few weeks or even a few months if they don’t look “dirty.” If you don’t wash your makeup brushes, nasty bacteria keeps building on them, which you then use everyday on your skin to put makeup on. Plus, if you have them laying out in the bathroom, your makeup bag or even your room they are are collecting bacteria even faster. Try sticking them in a clean plastic bag everytime you wash them. Wash them on a weekly basis if you want to avoid bacteria buildup.

7. Sleeping with makeup on.

It can be tempting to sleep with makeup on when you’ve come home from a long night out or have a super early morning and want to try and get away with the same makeup, but it really is making your skin worse. Your skin will get clogged, bacteria will build up, and it can cause inflammation. Just don’t do it!

8. Eating too much sugar.

Eating too much sugar on a daily basis could be the reason behind your acne. High glycemic index (GI) foods encourage the body to make a hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). The hormone will basically increase the production of sebum and increase your chances of getting pimples.

9. Smoking cigarettes.

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you in so many ways, and it is commonly known that it causes wrinkles, but it can also cause acne. Just being around cigarette smoke on a regular basis can be bad for your skin. Quit that sh*t now!

10. Using too many products to treat your skin.

If you are trying to get rid of your acne by using a bunch of topical medications, you may be disappointed to see that using so many will just make your skin worse. Your acne won’t clear up any faster an you may experience redness, drying, irritation, and even peeling. You could be doing more damage by drying out your skin and causing your pores to be clogged even more. The trick is to find a healthy balance that ensures proper cell turnover.

11. Skipping the sunscreen.

You. Must. Wear. Sunscreen. Hearing this thousands of times makes this super obvious, going without it is like asking for bad skin. Since outside of genes, UV rays are the biggest factor in accelerated skin aging. Plus, some acne-fighting products, like retinol, can actually make skin more sensitive to sunlight and increase your chances of burning!

12. Picking at your skin.

Paws off! Picking at your skin won’t just worsen acne but it can also cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation- and, in some cases acne scars. Breakouts usually come and go, but dark spots can linger for years. If you’re dying to pop a pimple that looks like it’s come to a head, use clean hands and cotton pads (preferably after a shower once your pores are open) and be gentle. If slight pressure isn’t working don’t force it, because you may be pushing the plug into your skin which could result into a cyst or deep pimple.

13. Never cleaning your phone screen.

You probably answer a certain amount of calls daily and unless you’re using headphones all the time it’s likely you’re pressing your phone to your ear. Your phone screen is basically one big bacteria colony with a wifi connection. So when you’re pressing it against your skin, you’re essentially rubbing germs onto your face- which is a recipe for disaster. Clean your phone at least once a week!

14. You’re wearing glasses or sunglass all the time.

For those with acne-prone skin, glasses can provoke pimples if rubbing against the skin. The frames can make it easier for oil, dead skin, and dirt to remain on the skin, thus clogging the pores. If you don’t wash your frames or wipe them down, the problem only gets worse!

15. Skipping Hydration.

Breakouts go hand-in-hand with oily skin, since it’s excess oil and sebum combined with dirt that clogs pores and causes pimples in the first place. It makes sense to think that your skin has enough oil to moisturize well enough without the addition of a moisturizing product and skip it altogether. Don’t ever skip it! No matter what your skin type, a moisturizer is non-negotiable.

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April 21, 2022


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