The teenage years are notorious for breakouts and oily, pimple-prone skin. We can often put this down to hormonal changes and generally for most of us the problem eases with age. But why is adult acne still a thing? There can be many reasons why you still break out every now and then once you reach adulthood, but there are things that you can do to prevent the unexpected spot or blemish. Below I have outlined the top ten reasons why you still get pimples and how you can counteract this to get rid of breakouts once and for all!
#1- Dirty face or pillowcase
One of the most common reasons I have found for adult acne is actually not washing your face or pillowcase enough! A pillowcase that has been used for weeks on end without a proper clean can harbor harmful bacteria and dirt that can cause acne on the face. I make sure that I wash my pillowcase every few nights with my daily wash and this keeps all the dirt, bacteria, and worst of all makeup off my face while I sleep. Washing your face before you go to bed is also a great way to prevent acne and I usually wash once in the morning as well!
#2- Not getting enough sleep
Sleep is so important in our daily lives. It can promote weight loss, boost our energy levels, but did you know that lack of sleep can actually cause breakouts? That’s right! Lack of sleep increases cortisol levels which can cause breakouts of the skin. That is why I aim for between 6 to 8 hours a night, which is the recommended guideline for women.
#3- Drying your skin out with treatments
I used to reach straight for the acne cream every time I noticed a slight bump on my face, attacking the problem before it got worse. However, it has been proven that these creams act to dry your face out, as they are designed to counteract excessive oil production. When your face is dry this can trigger more oil production and have the opposite effect! So, hold off on the zit cream ladies! Try natural products such as witch hazel to tackle your pimples and avoid dry or oily skin.
#4- Face scrubs make acne worse
Again, I was under the misconception that a face scrub every now and then would decrease my chance of acne. But this can damage the barrier of our skin that keeps the bad bacteria out! Excessive face scrubbing is a big no-no when it comes to reducing the signs of acne. If you are breaking out then it is definitely something that you will want to avoid!
#5- Your hair products are clogging your pores
Hair products often contain the same pore-clogging chemicals and ingredients that are in your least favourite beauty products! I have experienced first hand the effects of these ingredients on my skin, back acne, chest acne, even acne along the hairline. The easiest way to avoid this is by switching to a sulfate-free shampoo. This will stop the acne from appearing as a result of your haircare routine.
#6- Sweaty workouts
It is important to stay fit and healthy. But sweaty, vigorous workouts can result in unsightly body acne all over. I make sure that I shower immediately after an intense workout to make sure that my hard work does not cause anybody acne, as it can be hard to get rid of! Before working out you should also remove all your makeup!
#7- Laundry detergent irritation
It could be something as little as the type of detergent you use to wash your clothes! Certain laundry detergents can react with our skin and cause irritation and acne, but there is an easy fix. Switch to a sensitive, fragrance-free brand of detergent, and hopefully, you will notice the difference. It took just one wash for me to realize that my detergent was causing all kinds of problems and I didn’t even know!
It is no surprise that sunbathing will dry out your skin. It triggers excess oil production and makes acne ten times worse! So, if skin cancer isn’t enough to scare you away, then you should think of all the other issues that can result from just a short time in direct sun. Make sure to slather on the sunscreen if you are going to be outside and this should also act to reduce your acne at the same time.
Tomatoes and peppers are two ingredients in spicy foods that contain acidic lycopene. It has been found to throw out the pH balance of your skin and cause breakouts! Reactions to foods that we are intolerant to can also have this effect, for example, dairy or gluten intolerances. If you feel as if you may have an intolerance problem then consult your doctor to investigate further. One small dietary change could mean blemish-free skin!
#10- Stressful living
Stress increases our stress hormone production and in turn that triggers cortisol production which as we have already covered promotes oil production in turn. It’s a vicious cycle! This kind of acne trigger can lead to clogged pores and even blind pimples. Take time out of your busy schedule for yourself. I like to set aside time each day to meditate, exercise, and just breathe. It does make all the difference and your skin will end up smoother and acne-free.
If none of the above options work for you and you are still experiencing acne then seeing your doctor is probably the next best point of call. But I can assure you that a few simple changes to your lifestyle, and your shopping list, are often enough to transform your skin from spotty to fabulous! Acne can have a lasting effect on your self-esteem and it is often so easy to minimize, you will feel great and your skin will thank you too. Love & Blessings, X