In a world where skin care is self-care, we’re investing more time and money into taking care of our complexion than ever. We double-cleanse, mask religiously, and never hesitate to try the latest and greatest new thing promising flawless skin. And yet despite all our care and effort, acne strikes again. Unfortunately, the root cause of pimples isn’t always clear—hormones, genetics, and our environment can all be factors.
It’s a perception among people that they know the basics when it comes to treating and preventing acne, but there are a number of habits that could be making your acne worse.
Over scrubbing Your Face
A common mistake made by most individual is overuse of a cleansing brush. Daily use of cleansing brush makes skin worse because excess exfoliation causes inflammation and swelling of clogged pores.
The safest strategy: Limit exfoliation (with a gadget or a manual scrub) to no more than twice per week.
Using Products that Make Acne Worse
Not all acne cleansers and treatment products are made equal, and not everyone has the same skin type. Without a professional dermatological consultation, you may be using the wrong product for your skin type.
While you may be eager to get rid of your acne, it’s also important to follow instructions for treatment products. If you wash your face or use your treatment product more often than necessary, you are over-drying your skin, and it will react by producing more oil, which feeds acne.
Popping Pimples the Wrong Way
We all have a problem with pimples, and always urge to get rid of it ahead of time. We poke, prod, push, and scratch trying to get it to break through the surface and to pop the pimple of its contents.
What most people don’t realize is that their efforts are making the problem worse. Their hands are inadvertently spreading bacteria across their face, and the pressure of trying to pop the pimple simply makes it inflamed.
Touching your Face
It is one of the leading causes of acne and breakouts. Even if your hands are clean, your face may not be, and you could be spreading harmful acne-causing bacteria around.
Additionally, your fingers secrete oil naturally, so touching your face increases oiliness, which leads to clogged pores! Even if you don’t touch your face, it’s important to be mindful of everything else that does!
Makeup brushes and applicators are another common source of acne breakouts as they collect bacteria, which then gets deliberately spread across your entire face. Clean your makeup brushes and tools regularly to maintain smooth, breakout-free skin.
The screen on your smart phone is the second biggest acne offender out there. It collects oil, lint, food particles and other types of bacteria, which are then immediately transferred to your face when you answer a phone call. Be sure to use anti-bacterial wipes on your phone to prevent acne breakouts.
There is one more product which we use in our day to day life, sunscreen. No doubt the importance of using it has been deeply ingrained into your brain by now, but there’s just one little problem: It’s common for some sunscreens to clog your pores. It’s the ultimate catch, but the solution is simple. Switch to a sunscreen which is non-greasy and non-comedogenic.
Dr. Niranjana Raj, MBBS. MD Skin,VD & Leprosy, FRGUHS – Dermatologist, Dermatosurgeon Joint Managing Director – YCDC