Touching your face
It can be a hard habit to break, but you really need to stop touching your face if you have acne-prone skin. Most of us have no idea how often our fingers make their way onto our faces and press, poke, and rub existing spots. If you think about it, every time you apply makeup, rub your eyes, brush hair out of your face, you are coming into contact with your skin. This touchy-feely relationship is not good for those with acne-prone skin, because essentially you are transferring bacteria from your fingertips onto your skin.
As well as transferring bacteria, the automatic compulsion to touch our faces can even result in more serious damage such as microscopic tears and broken capillaries. Rubbing around our eyes, where there is incredibly delicate skin, can lead to tissue tearing and dark circles and small veins appearing.
If that isn’t bad enough, spreading all that bad bacteria around your face will trigger further breakouts and red inflamed skin. This concept extends to phones and wash cloths too! Be careful what you touch your skin with; anything that isn’t clean could be harbouring bacteria, which will exacerbate existing spots or form new ones. Also make sure you clean your hands regularly, and don’t forget to clean underneath your nails too.
Not reading the labels on skincare products
This is a seriously bad habit which is easily fixed with a little information and extra time. Take the time to check labels for ingredients and get clued up about what works for your acne and what makes it worse. By educating yourself about what is good for your skin you can make more informed choices about the products you chose to use.
Choosing products with artificial colours and fragrances is usually a no-go for those with sensitive skin with acne. This is because these products will often contain irritants such as lemon, eucalyptus, or menthol. Putting these ingredients on your skin may increase inflammation, marks, and also limit the skins ability to heal. Other common culprits lurking in skincare products include lanolin and mineral oil. Whilst both are great for those with normal skin, those with acne-prone skin may find their pores becoming increasingly blocked as lanolin and mineral oil mimic sebum on your skin.
Check the ingredients on skincare product labels and steer clear of any harmful irritants. Instead look out for the likes of salicylic acid and LHA which will have a keratolytic action on your skin, speeding up your skin cell renewal and unclogging pores. As a general rule you should be avoiding thick, heavy, and creamy consistencies and be opting instead for liquids, gels, and serums as these are less likely to cause blockages.
Just because your skin may appear shiny or greasy does not mean you should be skipping moisturiser. Let moisturisers help you fight your blemish battles instead!
Drying skin out will only force your body to go into overdrive and produce more oil to keep skin supple. So use water based or oil free moisturiser that will mattify the skin rather than exacerbate shiny skin concerns.
Also try and find a moisturiser which containssalicylic acid and LHA as this will help to combat existing breakout whilst also preventing future ones. The humectant glycerin is also a great ingredient to look out for in moisturisers, it will help your skin to hold onto its natural moisture and draw water to the skin. Select a non-comedogenic moisturiser that can loosen sebum without creating new spots.
Not changing your pillow cases enough
When we are sleeping we are literally rubbing our faces on all kinds of bacteria and dead skin cells which will transfer onto your skin and worsen or create new spots. Not a good move. You have to be vigilant that anything coming into contact with your face has been properly cleaned; this includes pillow cases and also makeup applicators. Sponges and brushes also harbour bacteria in the same way and can be spread around our face to worsen acne-prone skin. Whilst it’s a time consuming job to change pillowcases regularly and wash makeup applicators, your skin will reap the rewards.
Yes, it is true that the sun dries out the skin and UV rays have antibacterial elements, however this is no reason for those with acne-prone skin to bask in the sun.
Over-drying is as bad for acne-prone skin as too much oil. In addition, being in the sun will increase cell production, which means more dead skin cells to be shed. When you come out of the sun these dead skin cells are still trapped in pores and can form new blemishes when mixed with dirt and sebum.
It is definitely possible for those with acne-prone skin to use sunscreen. Just be sure to opt for a lightweight formula which won’t clog pores. Opt for a high protection sun care which will protect against UVB and UVA rays. A non-comedogenic formula will give you peace of mind that no new spots are forming whilst you’re enjoying the sunshine.
These 5 small changes will result in big changes in your skin, so it’s worth taking the time to break these bad habits and form some new spot-friendly ones if you want to see your blemishes erased sooner rather than later.