9 Reasons Your Face Keeps Breaking Out
Pimples suck, full stop. Even if runway designers at Milan Fashion Week are actively trying to convince you otherwise, there’s no denying that one simple fact. And yet, no matter how hard you work to take good care of your skin—and despite the fact that you’re no longer going through puberty—the reality is that you’re likely to find one or more of these hot red numbers gracing your face in the not-so-distant future. But why? Well, for one, life’s just kind of cruel that way. But also due to a whole slew of zit-inducing factors you may never have thought to address. And so, to give you a better idea of what you’re up against, we’ve tracked down the worst undercover culprits.
1. You’re not getting enough sleep. Sleep is so damn important, it’s insane. Studies show that getting a solid eight hours doesn’t just help with your focus and attention, it’s also imperative when it comes to keeping your skin in top shape. On the flip side, not getting enough sleep can cause your glands to overproduce sebum, which can lead to acne only getting worse. So rest up, for your face.
2. Your pillowcase is the problem. You might not know this, but you should be changing your pillowcases every few days to get rid of the day-to-day dirt, grease, and bacteria that rub off on them while you’re sleeping. In that same vein, it’s in your best interest to clean pillowcases with fragrance-free detergent, as well as those labeled “non-comedogenic”, meaning that they’re less likely to clog pores and cause a breakout. Silk pillowcases can also help, since germs can’t grow on them.
3. Stress is getting the best of you. Go ahead and add acne to the list of shitty side effects of being stressed out. That’s because stress causes the release of cortisol, in turn stimulating glands in your skin to work overtime and mess up your mug. So if there’s anything you can do to chill out, get on it. Your face will thank you later.
4. Your diet needs a reboot. You are what you eat, as they say. The food you put in your body on the regular can have a pretty drastic effect on the health of your skin. High-glycemic choices like bread, candy and soda, which cause blood sugar spikes and throw insulin levels out of whack, have been shown to lead to significantly worsened skin if you’re not careful.
Our advice: Pick up a fruit or vegetable every once in a while.
5. You smoke like a chimney. Lighting up can have a whole host of bad effects on your body, as we all know. But what you probably don’t realize is that each time you take a drag, you’re actually increasing your risk of getting a zit. You see, the chemicals that make their way into your body when you inhale can pretty severely dry out your skin, forcing your sweat and oil glands to work overtime to compensate.
Luckily, the fix here is easy: Just stop smoking, dammit.
6. You’re spending too much time in the sun. Lie out in the sun more than you want to admit? Well, aside from putting yourself at a greater risk of skin cancer, you’re also exacerbating your acne troubles, since fragile, sun-damaged skin tends to dry out quicker than its healthy counterparts.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you that sunscreen was important.
7. Your hair products have gone rogue. Sweat happens. The trouble comes when it starts to really flow, carrying the gel, pomade, or styling cream you use to keep your mane in place straight down your face. And while those products may work problem-free on your hair and scalp, they’re certainly not formulated for your face, which is likely to suffer from blocked pores and zits due to the intrusion. Fight back by keeping a few face wipes at arm’s reach.
8. You’re not properly cleaning your beard. Here’s the thing about beards: They’re the best, but only if you give them the attention they deserve. Neglect them and they’re bound to bite you in the ass. By trapping dirt and grease close to the skin, clogging pores and allowing bacteria to flourish, an unkempt face forest can be ground zero for acne. So lather up a couple of times a week and go easy on the beard oil.
9. You don’t let nature run its course. As much as you’d like them to be gone in a flash, there’s only so much that you can do to get rid of a pimple. Any more than that and you’re apt to only make matters worse. For example, over-applying products like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can actually dry out your skin, which, as we mentioned earlier, will force it to overcompensate with oil and sebum, making breakouts more frequent. As for trying to pop a pimple that isn’t ready? Chances are it’ll end up more noticeable.
Hands off, if you can.