10 Surprising Causes of Acne? Why You Keep Breaking Out & How You Can Prevent It.
October 12, 2018|By Lorena Jiménez
You probably clicked onto this article because EITHERa) have a huge pimple right now and have no clue whyOR b) you do everything you can in order to give your skin the best care but those unwanted pimples keep appearing here and there.
Unfortunately, you might have what we call ‘acne-prone type’. Skin that tends to breakout more and more prone to severe acne. However, whether you have skin that is dry, combination, oily or even when you have no idea on what the skin type might be, pimples are probably our shared biggest fear. With the added stress that we get them at random times without even clearly knowing the reason why.
It’s about time to finally get some answers. What is it that trigger acne? So, here is a list of 10 main causes of acne that you might want to take some notes on. They will not only be able to help you find the reason behind your acne, but also tips on how to avoid them in the first place.
The Top 10 Causes of Acne
"...even though you might find pride in having 10 step skincare & using trillion products in your attempts to control breakouts, over stimulating the skin is one of the major cause of breakouts."
1. Hormones Why is acne more common during our teen years or why do women break out even more during menstruation? I am sure you guessed it right, we have to thank that magic that flows in our body, the HORMONES.
Hormones are not only a huge influence in our health and our skin. But also one of the biggest potential causes of acne.
What is it about hormones that causes acne? To tell you the truth, what causes acne are not so much the hormones themselves but actually the hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalances, trigger excessive sebum production and you probably know how the story goes from there.
Now, you might be wondering about ‘what can trigger hormonal imbalance?’
Causes of Hormonal Imbalance
• the rise of androgen hormones • menstruation cycle • unhealthy dietary habits • stress levels • irregular sleeping patterns • medication • & other health conditions
Solution As obvious as it may sound, keeping a good hormonal balance will be the key to keep acne away. This might require major efforts in many different aspects of your life, from improvement in lifestyle to eating habits.
But wouldn't it be exciting if there is also a more instant solution to be able to avoid a big percentage of acne caused by hormones? If the answer is yes, you can find out more about it here.
2. Diet Let’s be honest, half of our Instagram feed might be filled with FOOD pictures. Many of us love to eat but surprisingly, it is not only our stomach what is greatly influenced by what we eat but also our skin. Diet has in many occasions a great influence in all sorts of blemishes and pimples.
How so? Well, diet has not only the potential to balance or disrupt hormonal levels, but also to improve or hinder your skin condition. Even when we all secretly wish we could have all the fun of eating, without the stress of gaining weight or developing skin troubles.
BAD News for Your Skin Now that you know that food can be a cause of acne, what are some ingredients to look out for? What foods cause acne? Those that you subconsciously know but you might be in denial because they are sooo good.
• heavily salted food • refined sugars • saturated fats • dairy products • and etc.
Might be bitter news but a little reminder before you devour those chocolate waffles might help you avoid the stress of developing that pimple in the middle of your forehead. Because unfortunately, all that deliciousness might be one one of the main triggers that unbalances your body, making you get acne.
GOOD News for Your Skin What about the good ones? What are some ingredients that can help our skin? Are there foods that fight acne?
3. Skincare Ingredients
"...some are allergic to peaches or nuts, our skin also has preferences and dislikes..."
What we eat affects our skin, and of course what we slather directly on it does too. It’s easy to be swept away with all those ingredients that are praised on the internet. BUT, you might want to start learning about your skin and figuring out what ingredients will work best for you, if you want to avoid unnecessary break outs.
Like some are allergic to peaches or nuts, our skin also has preferences and dislikes, or even allergic to some ingredients. So if you don’t want to irritate and over stress your skin, make sure to test the ingredients out before you go hands full with the product.
Also, ‘skin cocktailing’, a term encouraging to mix different skin care products or ingredients for better skincare effects, is something to be aware of. Because while some products work amazing together, some others are better used by themselves.
The same way you would not mix milk and vinegar, some ingredients just don’t get along well together. Don’t try your luck and just mix and match random ingredients. You could really irritate or even damage your skin causing unwanted reactions and opening a direct path for breakouts.
Why not start off with learning about one of the most beloved ingredient among acne products,‘Vitamin C’?
4. Your Skin in Too Dry Surprise! If you thought you only get pimples when your skin is oily, here comes the catch; you can get oily from being too dry. If you have oily and acne prone skin and have been skipping or avoiding the proper moisturizing steps, here is one of the fundamental reasons why you are breaking out.
Q. What happens when your skin is too dry?
- Rise in sebum production: Long story short, the skin's response to compensate for any lack of moisture is to overproduce sebum. It's a natural mechanism the skin has to avoid damage like skin tearing. But we know what happens when the skin starts producing too much sebum. We get the perfect shortcut to pimples.
- Skin’s health at risk:When you lose moisture you do not only mess with the skin´s basic functions, by creating an oil and water imbalance, but your skin also loses resilience and elasticity.
Good news is that the solution is simple. You just need to MOISTURIZE your skin well. Don’t forget, this is and must be the very first step and the commandment of any acne treatment.
5. Skincare Addiction Are you a skincare addict that is buying all the products possible to fight against acne and breakouts?
Unfortunately, even though you might find pride in having 10 step skincare and using trillion products in your attempts to control those breakouts, over stimulating the skin is one of the major cause of breakouts.
Too much can be just as bad as too little. Things like over cleansing, over exfoliating or using too many products can weaken your skin barrier or dry out the skin, which again leads to exposing the skin to bacteria and excessive sebum production.
So, when you are trying to build your skincare routine, look carefully to see what steps are really necessary and examine if you might be over stimulating the skin. Remember “More is not always best”.
6. Bacteria We are exposed to bacteria 24/7 and guess what, it plays a huge role in our breakouts.
Your phone, your hair, your hands and your pillowcase are major sources of bacteria are major sources of bacteria you might have never thought about.
Our beloved phones can hold more bacteria than a public restroom. And even though I am sure none of us would never want to hug the toilet seat (unless strictly necessary haha), we sometimes even kiss our phone. We are basically constantly touching our faces after a good scrolling through our instagram feed or we are putting our dirty phone right on our faces while making a phone call. It will not only cause acne but will make acne worse.
Bottom line: Wash your hands, sanitize your phone, change your pillowcase often and stop touching your face if your hands are not clean. Especially if you are prone to skin troubles. Further your hands are from the face, the happier the skin gets.
7. Makeup Talking about makeup, you might all know what I’m about to say. But it can still be one of the main causes for skin issues no matter how many times you have been told about it before. A very common mistake that we continue to make even though it can trigger many skin problems, from acne to even premature skin aging.
Proper cleansing before sleep. No matter how tired or how much you had to drink, proper makeup and dirt removal is key to healthy skin.
Makeup products can clog pores when mixed with dirt and not removed properly. Imagine going to bed with your pores blocked throughout the whole night, your skin is not able to breath and regenerate. All the sweat or sebum that are supposed to naturally flow out will stay in further clogging the pores, which we all know equals to breakouts.
How you should cleanse your face needs to vary according to the amount of makeup, sunscreen and products you applied that day. (So research well how to cleanse your skin properly)
And no matter what, please go to bed with clean and hydrated skin.
8. pH Level on Skin If you are prone to acne, you should be aware of the relationship that pH level has with acne.
When our skin´s PH gets compromised, due to the use of harsh ingredients or daily practices, our skin can become the perfect environment for fungus or bacteria to grow in. For those to whom PH sounds as something to be left on your junior high chemistry book.
This video will explain PH and all you need to know the easy way.
9. Seasonal Change There is beauty in every season, but even when we might love the change of air, the new weather conditions might not be the best for our skin. Especially if we talk about abrupt changes.If the environment changes so do your skin necessities, so in order to avoid skin issues it is smart to try to meet your skin needs ASAP.
When there is a dramatic change in the temperature, your skin might experience;
• dehydration • oil and water imbalance • enlarged pores • sensitized skin • redness • weakened skin barrier
You will not have the same necessities during summer on a humid climate, than during the winter on a very dry place. So learning about things like the best 3 skincare rules for humid weather or any other climates that your skin will be facing, might help out quite a lot.
10. Some Bad Habits Last but not least, everything else that we might do and might not be so good for the skin.
• smoking • alcohol intake • stress • picking on pimples • lack of exercise • bad sleeping habits • hair product residue • and others might also be big acne triggers
Small lifestyle changes like helping oxygenate the skin and keeping stress under control through regular exercise or improving skin regeneration cycles through healthy sleeping patterns. As cliche as they may sound, can not only significantly reduce acne but also improve your overall skin condition.
Congratulations! You have made it through the 10 list of causes of acne! Now that you are done, let's take time to look back at our lifestyle and habits that we've been carrying aroudn for a while now and see what amendments and improvement we can make in our lives and better our skin! Being aware of these few tips will be one of the best and the long lasting ways to keep your skin trouble free and healthy.