Breakouts are demoralising. There you are, buying up the latest and greatest on the skincare front, making sure to wash, exfoliate, and moisturise your skin like no one’s done it before, and BAM! One zit becomes two, then three, now a cluster (???), and finally, a full-blown breakout cruising across your face with no signs of stopping. Uncool – and unnecessary, as it turns out. Read below for tips on how to stop the self-sabotage and find yourself on the way to clear skin.
YOU’RE NOT WASHING YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES
Let us paint you a picture. You buy a brand new brush – whoop, whoop! You use the brush to apply foundation, then place it back into your makeup bag or organiser. There the brush is often exposed to bacteria from the other products in your bag, or the air and dust around your organiser. You then use that same brush to apply foundation the next day, and all the bacteria your brush picked up the day before is now on your skin.
Repeat this often enough and your brush has a high chance of infecting skin prone to breakouts. This means acne, or even a rash. Ouch! So, get yourself a brush cleaner – we love silicone ones with ridges that enable a good scrub – and wash using hand soap. Squeeze-dry your brushes with a fresh towel, then let the rest of the moisture air dry by standing the brushes up vertically, bristles face-down. This keeps water from reaching the glue that connects the bristles to the brush itself, leading to damage.
YOU’RE REACTING TO MILK
If you’ve noticed a bunch of spots have popped up since you’ve picked up a latte-before-work habit, you might be reacting to milk. While there’s still investigation into a direct link between dairy and spots, initial studies say there’s enough evidence to be cautious (the same applies to carbs – how awful?!). While there are few substitutes as creamy and frothy as the original, both soya and almond milk are good stand-ins. Look for ‘barista’ blends that taste amazing when done right.
YOU’RE TOUCHING YOUR FACE
Almost all of us touch our face unconsciously throughout the day. If you’re thinking that this doesn’t sound like you, look back at your saved Instagram stories or look at recent selfies – chances are you’ll catch your hand cupping your chin or your fingers going up to your cheek as you think about about something unrelated. It’s only when you stop to think about what you’re doing that you realise how often your hands are busy. This wouldn’t be as big a deal as it is if our hands were spotless 24/7.
YOU NEED TO WIPE YOUR PHONE
Phones are notoriously dirty. One study even found they have ten times as much bacteria on them than toilet seats. Now, does that sound like something you should put in close contact with your face? No! Solution: clean your phone down with an antibacterial wipe, or do away with holding your phone altogether – earphones work just as well and they don’t carry the risk of a spot on your cheek.
YOU’RE NOT SHOWERING STRAIGHT AFTER A WORK OUT
While working out has loads of benefits for your health, sweat can take a toll on your skin. Not because sweat itself is bad, but because it can settle excess dirt into your pores – dirt from, say, a yoga mat that could use a clean – and we all know how that story plays out. Wash your face and have a quick shower after every workout to minimise any issues, or keep some wipes in your gym bag if you don’t have the time straight away.
We hope that answered questions you had about the seemingly-random break outs that tend to crop up, but get in touch with our Skin Renewal doctor’s through the Ask the Experts tab if you have any other skincare concerns. They’re happy to help and super knowledgable on all things concerning skincare. In the mean time, comment below with your favourite zit-zapping techniques!