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15 Common Causes Of Acne To Avoid

Acne Troubles: Why Do I Have Acne?

Have you ever felt so frustrated about why you constantly seem to break out? Even after establishing a proper skincare routine, researching the best anti-acne products to use, the pimples still pop up on your face nonetheless. Unfortunately, this is because you don’t know what causes your pimples, so naturally, you aren’t preventing them. Here, we bring you 15 common causes of acne so you can finally put this pimple issue to rest.

Regardless of your skin type, most pimples are caused by hormones and excess sebum production. Your hormones lead to excess sebum production and clogging of your pores, thus leading to a production of bacteria that causes the pimples. Furthermore, your habits could cause these breakouts, or worsen them as well.

1. Your pillowcase is dirty

Yes, you heard that right, a dirty pillowcase can cause acne! But how? If you often sleep on your sides, the bacteria and oil that have accumulated on your pillowcases contaminate your face. Our pillowcases can be dirtied when we don’t cleanse our face and hair properly, and it builds up over time. Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, reveals that if you expose your skin to the dirt on your pillowcase for a prolonged period of time, it can cause breakouts because your skin gets clogged. Acne is also caused due to infection from the bacteria that targets open areas on your face such as cuts or wounds. This is probably why some of your pimples that you’ve popped reoccur! The open wound allows for bacteria from your pillowcase to inflame your pimples further.

So what do you do? Wash or change your pillowcases regularly, ideally once a week to keep them fresh.

Breakouts are also aggravated by the friction of your face against your pillowcase, which is why it is recommended to get a silk pillowcase as well! Besides that, be sure to get the right products for your face; like Salameh’s Acne Cleanser or Dr.Jart Ctrl-A Teatreement Foam Cleansing.

Salameh Acne Cleanser

A unique sulfate and paraben-free formula that is specially formulated with the perfect balance of Salicylic Acid and skin nourishing botanicals. 

$63.00

Dr.Jart Ctrl-A Teatreement Foam Cleansing

A hypoallergenic cleansing foam that contains teatree and coconut extracts to balance the pH of your skin in your problem areas.

$36.54

Briskin Real Fit Second Skin Mask

Each mask is packed with rich essence that contains hyaluronic acid, adenosine and panthenol to hydrate, brighten and soothe your skin.

$35.00

Cell Fusion C Tre.AC Final Rescue Syrup Ampoule

A pink syrup ampoule to soothe your skin problems. It contains calamine substance and a plant-derived BHA ingredient to get rid of dead skin cells and sebum.

$31.20




2. Not enough sleep

You’ve probably heard this, but the lack of sleep can cause pimples. There are circadian rhythms that all of us go through, where certain things happen in our bodies in the morning and others at night. For example, when we sleep, our bodies go through repair, and cortisol (a type of hormone) levels go down. When you sleep less, that means that there is more exposure to cortisol in your body. As we mentioned earlier, this rise in hormone levels causes us to get pimples. The cortisol hormones can clog your pores, thus resulting in acne.

The solution to this is really straightforward, and that is to get more sleep!

3. Wrong treatments

If you take care of your skin with a perfect and carefully curated skincare routine but your skin does not look as clear as those who don’t, I share your frustration. The culprit here lies in the ingredients you use in your skincare that is incompatible with your skin. Cosmetic dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD, says that there are certain ingredients that could cause acne. For instance, you want to avoid mineral oils because they are too heavy and occlusive for your skin. They are often found in thick moisturizers They can cause your pores to be clogged and break out. Secondly, avoid SLS, or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in your cleansers. These are surfactants which are the agents responsible for actually cleansing your skin by lifting the dirt and oil. However, this type of surfactant is too harsh and strips your skin of natural oils, causing your skin to overproduce oils to compensate. Lastly, fragrance in skincare products can be sensitizing if you have sensitive or irritable skin. Besides cleansers, get the right serums like Salameh Acne Control Serum or Isntree Spot Saver Mugwort Ampoule.

Salameh Acne Control Serum

A fast-drying serum that contains micronized Benzoyl Peroxide and Glycolic Acid. The treatment product works to effectively fight acne, resulting in blemish-free complexion.

$88.00

Isntree Spot Saver Mugwort Ampoule

Great for soothing irritated skin, it contains panthenol and ceramide NP to moisturize and improve your skin’s texture. It also works to build your skin barrier and soothe your skin.

$32.70




4. You’re using too many physical exfoliants!

Here’s a fun one to debunk. You would think that exfoliating your skin and being harsh on them would cleanse your skin better and reduce these breakouts. However, there is such a thing where you over-exfoliate them. Physical exfoliants like those cleansers with beads in them can be too harsh on your skin. You end up damaging the skin barrier that protects you from bacteria.

Switch out those physical exfoliants with chemical exfoliants instead! They don’t require you to scrub your skin raw, but they are gentle in removing your dead skin cells. Look out for active ingredients like lactic acid, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid.

5. You’re using too much acne treatments

Our first instinct when we see pimples is to reach for all of our anti-acne treatments. However, this could result in overtreating your pimples and aggravate it instead. These treatments like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and clay masks dry up your pimples so they won’t thrive in the excess oil production. However, this can dry your skin too much and your skin compensates by producing even more oil. Furthermore, these acne treatments can peel off the surface layer of your skin and cause it to look red when you use them too much.

Don’t panic here! Apart from choosing the right exfoliants and treatments, another key is balance. Use these treatments two to three times a week maximum so your skin is not overworked.


6. Stop touching your face!

I get it, it’s tempting to touch your face especially when you have a pimple you want to pick at. But this can not only lead to hyperpigmentation or scars, but it also exposes your skin to the bacteria on your hands. Trying to squeeze out your blackheads or pimples can also cause the bacteria to be pushed within your skin and worsen it.

Make it a habit to not touch your face! If you need help, try using pimple patches so there is a barrier between your pimples and your itchy hands.

7. Not cleansing after working out

If you exercise often and don’t cleanse your skin afterward, you are allowing a lot of build-up of sweat, oil, and toxins on your skin. And that, as we have found, is the ideal condition for acne breakouts.

One obvious way to solve this is to always remove any makeup so they don’t clog your pores along with your sweat. Another is to always wash or shower after you exercise!

8. You’re wearing hats too often

If you encounter pimples along your hairline, this might be the culprit. When we wear hats, caps, or headbands, we often sweat and this can get trapped. This clogs our pores as well and causes those pimples to appear.

You can still wear hats, but don’t wear them for too long, and remember to always cleanse your face after so that sweat is removed!

9. Certain foods cause acne

Certain foods can cause you to break out, such as ingredients like tomatoes and chili peppers or milk. They disrupt your skin’s pH levels, thus causing pimples to form. Your diet is thus very important in your skin’s health. If you are unsure of what is causing your breakouts, it is best to visit a dermatologist.

10. The detergent is too harsh for your skin

Dermatologist Dr. Downie says that certain chemicals found in detergents are too harsh for your skin. The detergents used to wash your apparel can rub onto your skin. If you often have pimples on not just your face, but also your body, this might be the cause for it. 

Look out for detergents that do not have fragrance or dye, and are safe for sensitive skin.

11. It’s your hair products

Another culprit for pimples along the hairline is your hair products. Those moisturizing ingredients from your shampoo and hair treatments can be too rich for your skin and clog your pores. This means that other than your hairline, any place on your body it comes into contact with can result in acne as well, such as your back and even scalp.

Switch out your shampoo with sulfate-free ones, as they can cause the clogging. When you are conditioning your hair, remember to rinse them off properly so it doesn’t stay on your skin.

Salameh Hair Rejuvenation Shampoo

Achieve full-bodied, voluminous hair with this shampoo that uses sage leaf extract, clover flower, and other ingredients to re-energize your hair.

$36.00

Innisfree Green Tea Fresh Shampoo

Enriched with green tea and mint extracts from Jeju island, this shampoo is silicone-free and deeply cleanses your scalp. Simply put an adequate amount each time for the best effects.

$10.50




12. Friction against beard

If you are attached and your significant other has a beard, then kissing them may cause friction against your skin. This triggers oil to be produced thus more pimples can form. So either get your man to shave or be more cautious!

13. Smoking

Smoking is one of the causes of acne. It causes the levels of oxygen that is transported to your skin to diminish. This means that it breaks down the collagen and elastin that keeps your face firm. Once your skin sags, your pore size increases, and that can cause even more sebum to be produced. Cigarettes also have carcinogenic agents that disturb and dry your skin. Soon enough, there will be pimples caused by your habit of smoking, so think twice before picking up another stick.


14. You tan without sunscreen

Tanning without wearing sunscreen can not only cause skin cancer but also aggravate your acne as well. The sun does this by drying your skin, again leading to an overproduction of oil in your skin.

Skip the tanning beds and always wear sunscreen under the sun! Mineral sunscreens are also less likely to cause sensitivities to your skin than chemical sunscreens.

Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk SPF50+

A double layer UV blocking system that provides long-lasting and impenetrable UV protection while feeling light on your skin. It is infused with 4 flower varieties to soothe and hydrate.

$13.90

Pine Treatment Sunscreen

Enriched with Pine Leaf extract, this is a lightweight sunscreen that has SPF50+ to protect and soothe your skin while keeping it bright and clear.

$17.50



15. Stress, stress, stress

Stress is one of the common factors that cause acne. Your skin produces hormones out of this stress, such as cortisol. This causes your oil glands to produce testosterone. Once again, oil production is increased and pimples form as your pores clog.

It is thus important to get that rest whenever needed to ensure that you are not stressing yourself out. Release that stress so your skin does not release that cortisol!

Conclusion

These causes can help you prevent and heal your acne the right way, so you don’t have to face breakouts after breakouts. However, if you find your acne breakouts still persist, then find a dermatologist to professionally help you.

Recommended Products

No. ProductPriceBuy
1Salameh Acne Cleanser

A unique sulfate and paraben-free formula that is specially formulated with the perfect balance of Salicylic Acid.
$63Shop
2Dr.Jart Ctrl-A Teatreement Foam Cleansing

A hypoallergenic cleansing foam that contains teatree extracts to balance the pH of your skin in your problem areas.
$36.54Shop
3Briskin Real Fit Second Skin Mask

Each mask is packed with rich essence that contains hyaluronic acid, adenosine and panthenol to hydrate and soothe your skin.
$35Shop
4Cell Fusion C Tre.AC Final Rescue Syrup Ampoule

A pink syrup ampoule to soothe your skin problems. It contains calamine substance and a plant-derived BHA ingredient.
$31.20Shop
5Salameh Acne Control Serum

A fast-drying serum that contains micronized Benzoyl Peroxide and Glycolic Acid, it works to effectively fight acne.
$88Shop
6Isntree Spot Saver Mugwort Ampoule

Great for soothing irritated skin, it contains panthenol and ceramide NP to moisturize and improve your skin's texture.
$32.70Shop
7Salameh Hair Rejuvenation Shampoo

Achieve full-bodied, voluminous hair with this shampoo that uses sage leaf extract, clover flower, and other ingredients.
$36Shop
8Innisfree Green Tea Fresh Shampoo

Enriched with green tea and mint extracts from Jeju island, this shampoo is silicone-free and deeply cleanses your scalp.
$10.50Shop
9Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk SPF50+

A double layer UV blocking system that provides long-lasting and impenetrable UV protection while feeling light on your skin.
$13.90Shop
10Pine Treatment Sunscreen

Enriched with Pine Leaf extract, this is a lightweight sunscreen that has SPF50+ to soothe your skin while keeping it bright.
$17.50Shop

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