Acne is tricky because everyone’s skin is different. There are no universal rules that help or hurt acne, so all you can do is to experiment until you find what works for you. However, these are some common culprits that may make your acne worse and some tips to help:
1. Don’t press your face against your screen when talking on the phone
Do you ever pull your phone away from your face after a conversation and notice the screen is all grimy and smudged with makeup? There are all kinds of bacteria that can build up on that screen and now it’s on your face. Either tilt your phone away from your face, use the speaker if you can, or use headphones with a microphone. Also be sure to regularly clean your screen with some sanitary wipes or any kind of disinfecting cleaners that are both effective and safe to use.
2. Change your pillowcases often
If you sleep on your side, oils and sweat from your skin can get trapped on your pillowcase. Think about that being pressed against your face all night. As a side note, using 100% silk pillowcases may help to keep your skin smooth because it doesn’t wrinkle as much and is much gentler.
3. Keep track of what you eat
There are myths out there that acne is made worse by fried food, dairy, shellfish, even chocolate. A good way to know if these foods make your skin breakout is to do an elimination diet. Try cutting one of these culprits out of your diet for a few weeks and see if your skin improves. Slowly introduce it back into your diet, and if you break out, you know that this food may be a problem.
4. Use products that are right for your skin
If your skin is sensitive, you may not want to use harsh scrubs or exfoliants that you irritate your skin more. Try using a wet washcloth to gently wipe your face after cleansing. If your skin is oily, don’t use heavy creams that can clog your pores. Look for products that are oil-free or non-comedogenic. If your skin is dry, don’t use a foaming cleanser as that may strip your skin of natural oils. You don’t want your face to feel tight and dry after washing. Try a gentle cream or lotion cleanser, or even an oil-based one if your skin can handle it.
5. Don’t ignore your skin during the day
You may have taken great care of your skin in the morning, but by noon your face could be oily and greasy. Use blotting papers to absorb the oil and give your skin a matte finish. Don’t pile on more makeup because this will just trap the oil. If your skin gets very dry during the day, especially during winter, use a hydrating spray to mist over your makeup without smudging it.
6. Never go to bed without washing your face
You hear this one all the time, but it’s true. You especially don’t want to go to bed without removing all your make-up! If you just use a moisturizer with SPF, that still needs to be washed off because it can clog your pores. Even if you have nothing on your face, you still need to wash off all the dirt and oil that accumulates on your skin. If you get lazy or are too tired, at least use a makeup remover wipe or micellar water on a cotton pad. These are quick ways to superficially clean your skin but should be used sparingly as they don’t provide a deep cleanse. Wash your face as soon as you get home so that you don’t have to worry about it later.