Written by Natalie Nichols, Health & Beauty Writer
Breakouts got your skin feeling bad? It turns out that hormones and the environment aren't always to blame for pimples and other skin woes. Your everyday skin care routine could be your skin's worst enemy. Make it a habit to break these eight common face faux pas to control breakouts before they surface.
One of the most common causes of those annoying breakouts on your chin and jawline comes from something youíre most likely mindlessly doing each day: touching your face. If youíre resting your chin in your hand as you read this, do your pores a favor and quit right now! Our fingers and hands come in contact with a lot of dirty, icky things each day, and because of this, they are a breeding ground for all sorts of pimple-producing bacteria. Keep your skin clear by making a conscious effort to stop putting pressure on your face with not only your fingers, but your cell phone as well. Studies show that the average cell phone is 10 times as dirty as a toilet seat. I mean, think about where you use your cell phone--the bathroom is just one of the many germy places in which it sits! Just in case you do have to touch your face, be sure to wash your hands regularly, and go ahead and purchase an earpiece for all that phone chatter.
If youíre a smart makeup maven, you know that tossing expired makeup products is a must when it comes to preventing harmful bacteria from seeping into your skin. But what many women seem to overlook is a regular washing of their many makeup tools. Those makeup sponges, brushes, pads and applicators you use each day are crawling with not only pore-clogging bacteria, but dead skin cells making them major acne instigators. Makeup experts say that you should only use a makeup sponge one time before tossing it into the trashcan! All other makeup brushes and applicators should be cleansed on a weekly basis with brush cleanser, or even face wash you already have on hand. Doing so will keep your makeup tools free of germs and your skin clearer than you ever dreamed.
Are embarrassing bumps surfacing on your forehead and near your hairline? Your hairspray could be the acne-causing culprit. Many hair products contain oils, silicones and plasticizers that clog pores and cause breakouts. So unless you want to wear your hair off your face every day, steer clear of hairsprays and gels that contain these ingredients. You can still get the hold your hair needs with unscented, natural noncomedogenic hair products that wonít clog pores. And, when using hairspray, just make sure you cover your entire face with a clean towel to prevent hair product residue from clinging to your skin.
Unfortunately, some of the most enjoyable things in life are the worst for you. This is true when it comes to decadent desserts, fried foods and long, hot showers. Shower water thatís too hot can wreak havoc on your outermost layer of skin and cause breakouts. Your body naturally produces a thin layer of oil on your skin in order to retain protective moisture, but when you shower with excessively hot water, that oil gets dried out and washed down the drain. Without the oil, moisture escapes and leads to dry, inflamed skin which can irritate acne you already have, or create more. So skip that daily, steamy shower and only opt for this kind on occasion.
When was the last time you washed your sheets? If you have to think hard in order to come up with an answer, itís been way too long and your skin is probably suffering because of it. Face the facts: you lay on your pillowcase for eight hours every night, and when that pillowcase isnít clean, youíre just smearing your face all over a bunch of bacteria and dead skin. Gross! And unclean sheets arenít the only acne-causing linen that your skin needs to worry about. Think about that hand towel hanging in the bathroom. If itís not fresh and clean, you could be dabbing dirt and germs across your face and deep into your pores. So wash sheets every week, and use fresh towels and washcloths every time you cleanse your skin.
Sure, we all want to smell like roses, but an easy way to make your cheeks rosy (in a bad way) is to spray perfume or cologne near your face. Many of those popular, synthetic perfumes found in major department stores contain oils that clog your pores and alcohol that dries your skin. And if you have been paying attention to the other face faux paus on this list, you know that both of these factors can cause your skin to break out. Yes, you can still wear perfume, but be sure to avoid spraying any of it near your face. Simply dab your favorite fragrance on your wrists and rub them against your neck to spread the delightful scent.
This should go without saying, but if you've been sweating, it's an absolute must to shower off, lather up and cleanse your skin of excess perspiration and oil. Whether you've just finished a hard workout at the gym, or stepped inside after working in the garden in the hot sun, your skin is covered in sweat, clogging your pores as it dries. Plus, the longer you stay in sweaty clothes, the longer bacteria lingers on your skin which can result in breakouts--and sometimes itchy rashes. So, never skip that shower no matter how tired you are.
Even though face masks, scrubs, washes and toners can rid your skin of pimple-causing dirt and oil, you have to be careful that they donít dry your skin to the point of irritation. Why? Because skin that is irritated and overly dry can result in more breakouts. Word to the wise: moisturize. And moisturizing is for every skin type--whether itís dry, combination and even oily. Just make sure you keep hydrated with a moisturizer thatís right for your unique skin type in order to achieve a clear, healthy glow!
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