Most of us know the standard skincare commandments: Don’t sleep with your makeup on, wear SPF every day, don’t pop a pimple—the basics. But did you know that your phone could be making you break out? Or that your shower water might be wreaking havoc on your complexion?
While there are some truly random things that you never realized might be standing in the way of perfect skin, here’s the good news: The fixes are ridiculously simple. Keep reading to find out the tweaks to make today for a better complexion tomorrow.
Even if you wash your face religiously every night (kudos!), oil and dust still build up in those fabric fibers—forming a breeding ground for bacteria. Our bonus tip? Choose a natural, fragrance-free detergent (we like Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear Formula, $12) to keep unwanted chemicals away from your face.
Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that your cell phone might have 10 times more bacteria on it than a toilet seat does? Get in the habit of disinfecting at least once a day. We use Herbal Essentials Lavender Cleansing Towelettes ($16), which are made with non-irritating essential oils (and smell just lovely).
(For starters, know exactly what expires when.) If you’re totally devoted to that lipstick tube you’ve been using for three years, then by all means, buy another one! Avoiding breakouts (or worse, making yourself sick from bacteria) seems like a pretty worthy cause for that little investment, no? You wouldn’t eat expired food; apply those strict guidelines to your makeup regimen as well.
Ever noticed that at the salon, your hairstylist holds his or her hand over your face when misting on product? It’s not just to keep you from getting sprayed in the eyes—many hair formula ingredients do not belong on skin. (This is why you may also find that you tend to break out around your hairline.) Hold your hand or a tissue over your face as you spritz anything on, and cleanse your face after doing your hair to ensure it’s completely in the clear.
Many of us tend to rest our cheek in our palm when we’re bored or tired—it’s time to break that habit! Sit on your hands if you have to, in the name of going acne-free. Or, just think about all of the germs your hands come in contact with—from your morning public commute to your work’s bathroom door handle (ew).
If you have a habit of picking your face, you’ll want to know how our editor conquered her picking habit, once and for all.
Every city and region has different amounts of mineral deposits in its standard water system—meaning that if your area has particularly hard water (aka more sediment and minerals), it can mess with the effectiveness of the products you’re using with it and irritate your skin. If your city or region has hard water (find out here), invest in a water softener.
Notice breakouts around your mouth? Your tooth-brushing habits could be to blame—specifically, the fluoride content of your toothpaste. Switch to a formula with a lower concentration and see if your acne begins to disappear.
Have you tried any of these things before and found that they made a difference? What are some little tweaks you’ve made that have been great for your skin? Tell us in the comments below!