Acne breakouts happen quickly and without warning. Researchers still don't fully understand what causes acne, and treatments for acne are still deeply in development. Since the cause of acne is a series of internal mechanisms, it's difficult to pinpoint only a single culprit for your breakouts. However, by paying attention and caring for some of the household items you use every day, you may be able to reduce the number of breakouts that occur regularly.
Be aware of and make a habit of addressing the following possible causes of acne.
Tight, Restrictive Clothing
Activewear and designer clothing tend to hug the body. Unfortunately, the fabric also restricts air flow, which traps heat and encourages sweat production. Such an environment is a perfect place for bacteria to grow, including the type of bacteria that causes body acne. Beware when you're wearing tight clothing such as:
- Straps (bra straps, blouse straps)
- Sports bras
- Shoulder pads
Any kind of clothing or protective equipment that pulls tight on your skin is restrictive enough to create bacterial growth. Make a habit of taking these accessories and garments off once you're done using them and washing yourself with a mild soap to eliminate bacteria.
Comedogenic (Pore-Clogging) Beauty Products
Heavy oils and butters seep into pores and quickly mix with bacteria, dust, and dirt. When the pores become too full, the body triggers the inflammatory response and the full pores can help cause an acne breakout. Avoid these common skin products:
- Corn oil
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Cocoa butter
Lotions, skin care products, moisturizers, and makeup may contain these oils that quickly clog your pores. You can look at the label to spot pore-clogging oils in the ingredients. Most products that don't clog pores will place a non-comedogenic label near the list of ingredients. These are safe to use if you have problems with products causing acne breakouts.
Acne is caused by clogged pores under the skin.
Most Americans touch their smartphones frequently throughout the day. Every touch leaves bacteria from your environment on the screen of your phone, which you must pick up and put to your face to make a phone call. When the phone touches your face, the direct contact transfers the bacteria into the oily environment on your face. If the bacteria can find a clogged pore with oil and dirt, you'll have the beginning of an acne breakout on your hands.
To avoid bacteria from your phone, wipe your screen down every night with an antibacterial wipe. It will kill the bacteria on the phone and prevent them from growing while your phone rests at night.
Most mid-range, affordable pillow cases are made with cotton. Consumers select cotton pillowcases because they are comfortable, but the comfort comes at a price: Cotton traps dirt, oil, and bacteria when you lay on it. If you don't frequently wash your pillow case, the bacteria-causing contaminants attach to your face while you sleep and cause acne. The friction from the cotton may also irritate the skin on your face, encouraging an inflammatory response.
Instead of cotton, use a silk or satin pillowcase. The fabrics are gentler on the face and less prone to oil and dirt absorption.
If acne does become a problem, treatments such as Acanya are available. To maintain the effects of these treatments, get in the habit of regularly addressing the acne triggers that you encounter every day and try to minimize the potential causes of your acne breakouts.