8 surprising things that make you breakout

Published: April 6, 2015

You’re long past the issues that caused teenage angst or are your random breakouts saying otherwise? Hormones and stress aren’t the only factors to blame for those pesky pimples. As compiled from birdie.com, Self magazine and Good Housekeeping magazine, here are pimple-causing things you should take note of. Read on and zap those zits forever.


If you notice red, rash-like bumps around your mouth, it could be the result of a condition called perioral dermatitis. It’s said to be an allergy caused by fluoride found in toothpaste. “People, who brush their teeth with their right hand, will invariably develop more perioral dermatitis on the left side of the mouth, so if it’s more concentrated there, it might be a sign that it’s from your toothpaste,” explains celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau. To fight it, try fluoride-free toothpaste that’s not the ‘whitening’ variety for a couple of weeks and watch it clear up.

Cell phones

They’re not exactly the root of breakouts as such but your beloved cell phones have an immeasurable amount of bacteria embedded on them, which could cause your existing acne prone areas to become inflamed. “Bacteria can exacerbate acne by getting into the pores,” says Rouleau. To clean your phone, take a wet wipe that doesn’t contain alcohol or bleach, and wipe the phone thoroughly. A hand sanitiser will work too to kill the germs on it. Repeat daily or as necessary.

Over-the-ear headphones

You’re a music buff and take your headphones everywhere and, as a result, they’re collecting tons of bacteria and germs in the process. Plus, by their very nature, they’re constantly rubbing against your skin when you put them on and take them off. To keep grubby transfers from your favourite accessory to a minimum, clean your headphones daily, especially before use, with an anti-bacterial wipe or hand sanitiser.


While sleeping eight hours a night could be great for your health, sleeping on your pillowcases can be unfavourable for your complexion. “When we toss around at night, all the oils and dirt from our hair soak into those sheets and can transfer onto our faces,” explains Dr Rachel Nazarian from Schweiger Dermatology Group. “If you’re an on occasional drooler, the enzymes in saliva are incredibly irritating to skin.” To help prevent breakouts, change your pillowcase as often as possible.

Significant other

Your partner, especially if they happen to be a bearded guy could be your worst skin criminal. “Your husband’s scruffy beard can irritate your delicate facial skin, causing tenderness and acne lesions,” says Nazarian. “The same is true for the transfer of their facial sweat, oil and dirt onto your skin.” By no means should you sacrifice your affection for one another but be sure to thoroughly clean your skin with a gentle hydrating cleanser after contact with his stubble.

Hand cream

Slathering on hand cream is a frequent habit for many women. Sure, the velvety formulae may be doing wonders for your hands but could be wreaking mayhem on your skin when you touch your face with your cream-infused hand. “You may notice an increase in clogged pores on your face,” warns Rouleau. But don’t give up hand creams — just try not to lay your hand on the face after using it. It’s going to be super tough but worth the effort.


A spritz of your signature perfume is an essential part of your daily routine but artificial fragrances and scents can be irritating, especially if sprayed directly on the skin. To avoid this, spray your perfume neatly on your wrists and then rub them softly against your neck to ensure there’s no surplus. You must also be mindful of the fragrances that are added to your laundry detergents and fabric softeners as these can cause skin inflammation and breakouts as well.


If you’re like most women, you allow your conditioner to soak in a few minutes and use your face and body wash during this time — big blunder. Ingredients, such as silicone and Laureth-23, are very common in many hair conditioners and deep-conditioning treatments, and these may leave your locks feeling silky smooth but are major skin-offenders and pore-cloggers. To keep your face blemish-free, make it a habit to always wash your face and body after shampooing and conditioning. 

Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th,  2015.

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