Let’s be real—battling acne on the daily is a drag. As someone who suffered with persistent breakouts in my teens, I know how much of an impact skin troubles can have on everything from your confidence to personality. (Being hyper-aware of your own spotty face isn’t exactly conducive to self-assuredness.) If you too know the pains of constantly skirmishing with your complexion, you’ve probably tried just about every skin-perfecting product, trick and treatment available. (If not, might we suggest starting with a blemish-reducing food plan, cult spot treatment, or even ditching salicylic acid to see what happens.) If you've tried all that (and more) and still don't see a clear, bright face in the mirror, you could be making a common breakout mistake. According to Bustle, the reason for your acne might be so simple you’re completely missing the opportunity to address it. Surprisingly, there are several pimple-encouraging habits most of us don't stop to consider.
Keep scrolling to find out what they are.
Hold up—what have hair products got to do with your face? If you deal with breakouts around your hairline or on the back of your neck or shoulders, they could be related to your shampoo and conditioner. Irritants like alcohol, as well as potentially pore-blocking ingredients like silicone and petroleum can send your skin into a breakout frenzy. Ensure you rinse away any residue left on your skin by cleansing your body and face washing after you wash your hair. If you use a lot of styling products (especially sprays), do your best to miss your face. Bustle also recommends switching to natural formulas like: Rahua Shampoo ($43); Acure Coconut Keratin Strengthening Shampoo ($20) and Pureology Hydrate Shampoo ($33).
There’s a common breakout myth that goes a little something like this: A little sunburn on your face = drier skin = less acne. I’m reluctant to admit that as a teenager I purposely skipped wearing sunscreen. I was willing to trade sun damage for the temporary drying effect of the sunburn. I also wholeheartedly believed that there wasn’t a sunscreen formula in existence that wouldn’t irritate my acne and make it worse. What I know now is that I was actually exacerbating the problem by perpetuating a cycle in which my skin overproduced oil to make up for the dryness. The result? More acne. As Bustle points out, the inflammation from sunburn can also worsen breakouts and darken post-pimple pigmentation marks. Happily there are loads of sunscreen formulas targeted towards acne-prone and oily skins at all price points. My favourites include: Ultraceuticals Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30 Mattifying ($69); Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Clear Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 ($17) and Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF 30+ ($38).
There’s something to be said for the fact that skincare formulas packaged in jars are exposed to more light and air than those in air-tight bottles. Sticking your fingers in the jar—even if they’re clean!—can also contaminate the formula with bacteria which you then reapply to your formerly clean face… Personally, I almost always opt for a tube over a tub but if your favourite product comes in a jar, ensure you use an application spatula like BeautyPro’s version ($14) for a more hygienic application.