Are you faithfully treating your acne but still seeing new breakouts? Your skincare routine could be to blame. Here you’ll find 10 skincare habits that can worsen acne and dermatologists’ tips to help you change those habits.
- Trying out a new acne treatment every week
This approach can irritate your skin, which can cause breakouts. What you can do instead is to give an acne treatment time to work. You want to use a product for 6 to 8 weeks. It takes that long to see some improvement. If you don’t see any improvement by then, you can try another product. Complete clearing generally takes 3 to 4 months.
- Apply acne medication only to your blemishes
It makes sense to treat what you see, but this approach fails to prevent new breakouts. What you can do instead is to prevent new blemishes, and spread a thin layer of the acne medication evenly over your acne-prone skin. For example, if you tend to break out on your forehead, nose, and chin, you would want to apply the acne treatment evenly on all of these areas of your face.
- Use makeup, skin care products, and hair care products that can cause acne
Some makeup, along with many skin and hair care products, contains oil or other ingredients that can cause acne breakouts. If you continue to use them, you may continue to see blemishes. What you can do instead is to use only makeup, sunscreen, skin, and hair-care products that are labeled “non-comedogenic” or “won’t clog pores.” These products don’t cause breakouts in most people.
- Share makeup, makeup brushes, or makeup applicators
Even if you use only non-comedogenic products, sharing makeup can lead to blemishes. Acne isn’t contagious, but when you share makeup, makeup brushes, or applicators, the acne-causing bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells on other people’s skin can wind up in your makeup. When you use that makeup, you can transfer bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells to your skin. These can clog your pores, leading to breakouts. Make sure you’re the only person who uses your makeup, makeup brushes, and makeup applicators.
- Sleep in your makeup
Even non-comedogenic makeup can cause acne if you sleep in it. Remove your makeup before you go to bed. No exceptions. If you’re too tired to wash your face, use a makeup remover towelette. Just make sure it’s a non-comedogenic towelette.
- Wash your face throughout the day
Washing your face several times a day can further irritate your skin, leading to more breakouts. Wash your face twice a day — when you wake up and before you go to bed. You’ll also want to wash your face when you finish an activity that makes you sweat.
- Dry out your skin
Skin with acne is oily, so it can be tempting to apply astringent and acne treatments until your face feels dry. Don’t. Dry skin is irritated skin. Anytime you irritate your skin, you risk getting more acne. Use acne treatments as directed. If your skin feels dry, apply a moisturizer made for acne-prone skin. You’ll want to apply the moisturizer twice a day, after washing your face. You also want to avoid using astringents, rubbing alcohol, and anything else that can dry out your skin.