5 (Seemingly Innocuous) Reasons You're Breaking Out

In my younger years, even throughout high school, I had beautiful, clear skin. Then, one day, that all changed dramatically. I don't remember if there was anything going on in my life at the time that could've contributed to the decline in my skin health, but I started breaking out like crazy. My skin became dry in some areas. It developed redness and blotchiness. Everything about it was terrible.

To this day, I never fully recovered, not even when I was on hormonal birth control, which clears up some women's skin. My skin is still red and blotchy and dry, and I break out frequently, especially in the week or so after my period. Of course, that's hormone-affected breaking out, but throughout the years, I've read and heard about and even seen and experienced for myself seemingly innocuous habits that can cause your skin to break out: everyday objects, picking and popping, skin (over)care, skin (under)care, unhealthy foods, unhealthy drinks, and a lack of post-workout skin care.

In this post, we'll take a look at these bad habits and talk about how you can break the cycle.

Everyday Objects
Think about the things that come into contact with your face on a daily basis: your cell phone, pillow, and hair, for example. Imagine how much bacteria is on your cell phone from all that use, then imagine all of that being put on your face when you talk on the phone, and if you're like, "I don't even talk on the phone. My phone comes nowhere near my face," then another culprit to beware of is your hair. If your hair is like mine and gets greasy quickly throughout the day, then it's best to keep it out of your face, i.e., avoid having bangs, because greasy hair on face equals greasy face equals breakouts. Basic math, right? ๐Ÿ˜› Along the same lines, change your pillowcases frequently because it's not just greasy hair that dirties pillowcases, and bacteria-ridden pillowcases plus face also equals breakouts.

Picking and Popping
This is something I am definitely, abso-fucking-lutely guilty as shit of. I know it's terrible for me, but I still do it, and I can't help it! I wonder if there's like a support group for face pickers or something. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Anyway, picking at your face and popping zits is a sure way to leave scars. That's why if you've ever seen me sans face makeup, you'll feel inclined to hand me a flyer for Face Pickers Anonymous. Most advice I've seen just say don't do it, but us face pickers, we know not to do it; we just can't help ourselves, so what I've been trying to do is to stop myself whenever I catch myself doing it.

Skin (Over)Care
Overzealous skincare might actually be one of the reasons my face ended up betraying me. Around the time when I started this blog, I started exploring more beauty brands and trying more skincare products, and that was unfortunately the same period of time when alcohol in skincare products was super in vogue, so what I suspect happened was that using too much alcohol-based products stripped away the important oils in my skin and seriously dried it out, causing irreparable damage that I'm still suffering to this day. Of course, that's just a theory, but experts do suggest staying away from alcohol-based products and use, for example, witch hazel instead.

Skin (Under)Care
I feel like this is something people more so do out of laziness. At least, that's why I do it. You get home late, especially after a night out, hear your comfy bed calling your name, and just think, "Fuck it." For me, I always feel like one night won't hurt, but it actually does. Makeup and your skin's natural sebum can clog pores, and clogged pores tend to turn into breakouts, especially when left to their own devices overnight, so think twice before going straight to bed without washing your face. Similarly, don't skip washing your face in the morning either because your skin still produces sebum while you sleep, even after you wash it before bed. An easy alternative to days and nights when you just can't is to leave a pack of face cleansing wipes next to your bed. It's not a recommended long-term solution, but it's at least something.

Post-Workout Skin
I used to do this all the time until I found out that it's really, really bad for your skin, not just your face but the entire rest of your body as well. It's along the same lines as not washing your face before and after bed—your body's own secretions can stab you in the back. Stab you in the face? Excess oils and sweat from working out can settle in your skin and clog your pores, and as we've learned before, that's not a fun time for your pores, so once again, it's cleansing wipes to the rescue! I always have a pack of them in my gym bag so that I can kind of clean my face after toweling off the sweat. That removes the excess oils and sweat and dirt temporarily until I hop in the shower or wash my face for realsies.

What other reasons do you know of for breaking out?

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