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Kick These 10 Bad Habits and Avoid Acne Breakouts

Photographed by David Sims, Vogue, February 2013

Photographed by David Sims, Vogue, February 2013

Acne isn’t always hormonal or genetic. Sometimes, breakouts are a result of our lifestyle and daily habits. Once you know what is causing your pores to clog, then you can take the proper measures to prevent acne breakouts. Here are 10 main causes of pimples—and how you can tackle them head-on.

1. Sleeping With Makeup On
Not cleansing your face before bedtime is the biggest culprit when it comes to acne breakouts. Sleeping with makeup on slows down the skin’s nightly renewal process, resulting in blocked pores that ultimately manifest into acne. Thoroughly cleanse and remove your makeup every night and on the days when you’re just too tired, opt for makeup wipes (stored conveniently on your bedside table).

2. Your Bed Sheets
When was the last time you changed your pillowcase? Your bed lining, if not changed frequently, can accumulate sweat, dirt, and oil that results in acne. Make sure to change your bed sheets and pillowcases at least once a week.

3. Bangs
The eye grazing cut is a hot hairstyle (cue Taylor swift), but it can cause forehead acne. Bangs deposit debris from styling products as well as oil onto your face. Shampoo your bangs daily to get rid of oil and dirt. Pin your bangs back when working out and when you’re sleeping.

4. Foaming Cleanser
Almost every skincare brand markets foaming cleansers to those with acne-prone skin but in many cases, these formulas might actually be the cause of your breakouts. Many foaming cleansers contain harsh ingredients that irritate the skin and make acne worse. Switch to a gel or lotion cleanser for sensitive skin. These are not as efficient for removing cosmetics, so use an oil-free makeup wipe prior to cleansing.

5. A Poor Diet
Improving your skin can be as simple as changing your diet. Dairy products, caffeine, sugar, fried food, and lack of water can all lead to bad skin. Incorporate vitamin B, proteins, and antioxidants into your diet and make sure you are always hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

6. The Wrong Makeup Products
Comedogenic products seep into your pores and clog them. Additionally, those who have oily skin can experience breakouts from oil-based cosmetics. Avoid products that aren’t non-comedogenic. If you have oily skin, use water-based or powder-based foundations, and always keep a pack of blotting papers at hand.

7. Stress
When you’re stressed, your cortisol level rises, which increases inflammation as well as oil secretion that in turn forms or worsens acne. Reduce stress by making time for activities that you enjoy, such as yoga, meditation, or anything else that calms you.

8. Dirty Makeup Brushes
Your makeup brushes harbor dead skin cells, oil, and product build-up, making them essentially a breeding ground for bacteria and breakouts. Clean your makeup brushes at least once a month, not only to get rid of any germs and product build-up, but also to ensure that they stay in perfect condition.

9. Exercise
No, this isn’t an excuse to avoid the gym. Sweat after an intense workout can mix with the oil in your pores and cause acne. Always shower right after a workout. Opt for loose-fitting clothing when exercising as tight outfits can cause friction and aggravate your skin.

10. Touching Your Face
Subconsciously touching your face or popping your pimple will only aggravate your skin and introduce germs, create scarring, and result in even more breakouts. Leave your blackheads, whiteheads, and everything else alone if you don’t want more of them.

Khaoula Ghanem

Homepage image: Photographed by Mario Testino

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