Dealing with acne is frustrating. Sometimes it seems that no matter what you do, you keep breaking out. Why do pimples keep popping up? Are you not washing your face enough? Does stress cause those breakouts? Is your skin just acne prone? You may be surprised that there are many little known reasons that you keep breaking out. Figuring out why blemishes keep appearing is half the battle.
Learn about these secret reasons you keep breakout out, then make changes to finally enjoy clear, healthy skin.
Reason #1 – Blame Your DNA
Yes, DNA could be the culprit if you keep breaking out. Studies show that genetic factors play a big part in whether you are susceptible to blemishes. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to change your DNA.
Reason #2 – Dirty Makeup Brushes
It is easy to forget to clean your makeup brushes, but dirty makeup brushes could be causing acne breakouts. Bacteria can grow on your dirty brushes. When you use those dirty brushes, you will end up transferring those bacteria to your face, which can cause pimples.
Reason #3 – Period Pimples
Yes, your period could be causing pimples to crop up. Hormones go out of control at this time of the month, which may make your oil glands go haywire. This can lead to breakouts, which often occur around the jawline. Some women find relief by going on oral contraceptives — aka the Pill — but you’ll need to discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor.
Reason #4 – Laundry Detergent Allergies
If your skin is sensitive, your laundry detergent could be causing skin irritation that looks like acne. Dryer sheets may also be problematic. Try changing to a detergent that is fragrance-free and you may notice a difference.
Reason #5 – You’re Exercising
Exercising is great for your health, but it could be causing some of your breakouts. When sweat and sebum mix together, acne may develop. After you exercise, try showering with a body wash that contains salicylic acid, which will clean out those pores.
Reason #6 – Weather Changes
You may be surprised that changes in the weather could be the root cause of your breakouts. When seasonal shifts occur or you travel to a new climate, it may result in a breakout. If you took a vacation or moved to a new area, see a dermatologist for some help getting your skin blemish-free once again.
Reason #7 – Pimple Picking
Stop picking at your pimples. You should never pick at your skin. Your hands carry a lot of germs, which you will introduce to your face when you start picking at your skin. Keep your hands away to reduce breakouts.
Image: Helga Weber
Reason #8 – Baby Bump
If you’re pregnant, new acne outbreaks could be the result of your pregnancy. Your hormones are going crazy and your skin’s oil levels may be affected. Before finding a treatment for your acne, talk to your doctor to ensure you choose a treatment that is safe for you, and your baby.
Reason #9 – You’re Skipping Sleep
Sometimes it seems like your acne looks worse in the morning. If you are not sleeping enough, this could be the case. Failing to get enough sleep can increase stress hormones that cause more breakouts to occur. Start logging at least eight hours of sleep to reduce breakouts.
Reason #10 – Medications
Some medications may cause acne as a side effect. Check your prescription labels to find out if this is your problems.
Reason #11 – Racking Up Frequent Flier Miles
Traveling by plane brings crowded airports, frustrating security lines and yes, acne. When you are on the plane, the air is dry, which may make lead to increased oil production by your skin. Using a good moisturizer that won’t clog pores may help avoid this problem.
Reason #12 – Dirty Bed Linens
Maybe your bed linens don’t look dirty, but if you haven’t washed your sheets in a while, they could be causing blemishes to occur. Sheets can harbor bacteria, which can cause breakouts when they come in contact with skin. Start washing sheets twice a week.
Reason #13 – Stress
Stress can cause many negative reactions in the body and it may affect your skin too. Since levels of cortisol are raised by stress, oil glands may go nuts and inflammation rises in the body. The combination can lead to more breakouts. Try finding time to relax and unwind to calm yourself down and let go of stress.
Reason #14 – The Wrong Foods
What you eat is going to affect your body, including your skin. Start eating foods that are good for your skin and you will reduce acne problems. Foods to avoid include soy, sugar, peanuts, dairy and caffeine. Add foods like green tea, dark leafy greens and salmon to your diet for clearer skin.
Reason #15 – The Phone
Whether you use a traditional phone at work or you are always on your cell phone, the phone could be causing breakouts on your cheeks or chin. Since you touch the phone all the time, it can be harboring a lot of bacteria. Use alcohol wipes to clean phones weekly.
Reason #16 – You’re Not Washing Right
Washing too much or not enough could be causing acne breakouts. You need to cleanse your skin regularly, removing dirt, makeup and excess oil. However, washing more is not any better. Stick to cleansing twice a day for the best results.
Reason #17 – Beauty Products
Those beauty products you are using may be causing acne. Many beauty products can build up in your pores, and clogged pores can turn into blemishes. When purchasing beauty products, make sure that you look for noncomedogenic products. You can also look online to find lists of comedogenics so you know what ingredients to avoid when choosing beauty products for your skin.
Reason #18 – Failure to Remove Makeup
Sometimes when you are really tired, you just want to fall into bed without taking the time to remove your makeup. That’s a big mistake that could be causing your blemishes. Failure to remove makeup can cause big skin problems. If you are always exhausted at night, invest in cleansing wipes to remove makeup so you do not have to spend a lot of time removing your makeup before you finally crawl into the sheets.
Reason #19 – Problem Toothpaste
Toothpaste could be secretly causing your breakouts. You have probably heard that toothpaste can help heal your pimples. However, this is not the case. Breakouts on the side of the mouth could be the result of your toothpaste, so consider switching to an all-natural toothpaste if this is a problem for you. I use the all natural Kiss my Face toothpaste.
Reason #20 – No Patience
It is hard to be patient when you want to have clear, beautiful skin. However, acne doesn’t clear up overnight. Even if you are using a great treatment, it could take 4-12 weeks for you to see the results you want. Keep using quality products and have some patience. If you still have problems even after 12 weeks, talk to your dermatologist about other options.
Reason #21 – The Wrong Treatments
Using the wrong treatments may be the reason you keep dealing with breakouts. Cleansing is rarely enough to eliminate acne. Good over the counter treatments to consider include products that use salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. However, if you find that over the counter products offer no help, your acne may be more severe and you may need prescription strength treatments, which can be prescribed by your dermatologist.