Acne is most often associated with moody teens and for good reason — puberty and breakouts go hand and hand.
But what happens when you’re well into adulthood and you’re still getting pimples? At least as grown-ups with access to this amazing thing called Google, we have more resources to track down products to treat those pesky zits. But assuming they’re not caused by stress, that time of the month or hormonal changes like going off The Pill, it can be tricky to find out what’s making you break out in the first place!
Scroll through the gallery for some surprising potential causes you may not have considered.
1. Your makeup brushes are dirty
When you think about it, it’s hardly surprising that your makeup brushes or sponges can cause breakouts. Every time you use them, they collect oil, dust and dead skin — not to mention the bacteria and dirt hanging around in your home. Then, you re-deposit all of that nasty stuff back onto your skin. Yuck! To reduce your chance of breaking out, give your brushes a wash at least once a week. The Stylpro Makeup Brush Cleaner makes it super quick and easy by washing and drying your brushes within seconds.
2. You don’t wash your pillowcase often enough
Similarly, most of us are way too lax about cleaning our pillowcases — which we use on a nightly basis. Not only does this come into contact with our faces, but all the oils from our hair, too. Even if you shower before you go to bed, it’s a good idea to wash your case every two to three days. Yes, it seems like a lot but if you’re breakout-prone, your skin will thank you for ot! It’s also worth looking for a pillowcase made out of natural ingredients, as these are more breathable and transfer less oils. We love the mulberry silk Face Case from Go-To.
3. You’re eating too much spicy food
Been ordering Indian takeaway a little too often lately? Your skin may be paying the price. Spicy meals often include tomatoes and peppers which contain acidic lycopene. This can mess with your skin’s pH levels and lead to breakouts. The same goes for dairy and gluten — which can trigger breakouts in some people.
4. You’re using the wrong makeup
It’s funny to think that the thing you use to cover your breakouts could actually be making them worse! But some cosmetics (particularly lotions) contain a heavy moisturising ingredient called mineral oils, which is known to clog the pores and lead to breakouts. Silicones are another common skincare ingredient with a bad rep for blocking your pores. If any of your makeup or skincare products contains either of these ingredients, it may be worth benching them for a while to see if it makes a difference. When it comes to buying new ones, look for the tag ‘non-comedogenic’ — which means it won’t clog your pores.
5. You squeeze your pimples
Okay, so you know you’re not meant to pick or squeeze your zits. But what you may not know is why. Not only can squeezing your pimples lead to permanent scarring, it can actually spread the bacteria underneath the surface — turning one pimple into many. So, if you justify your pimple popping sesh by saying “oh, but my hands are clean!” — sorry, you’re out of luck.
6. You don’t shower after your workouts
We know when you’re super busy, it’s tempting to skip the shower after the gym. But you could be doing your skin a major disservice, as it allows the sweat to mix with any bacteria, makeup or dirt that was already there — creating the perfect breeding ground for pimples. Even if you don’t have time to hit the shower immediately after, make sure you give your face a good wash or at least a once-over with a facial wipe.
7. You’re drinking too much juice
Yep, your daily green juice habit could be behind your pesky skin issues — especially if you put a lot of fruit in them. When you juice fruits and veggies, it extracts the fibre, leaving behind natural concentrated sugars. These can ramp up your blood sugar and insulin levels, increasing your oil production and making your cells more likely to trap oil and bacteria. If you can’t part with your juice habit, the experts recommend sticking to mainly veggies with just one fruit for a hint of sweetness — like apple or lemon.