7 Mistakes That Are Making You Break Out

1.SMART PHONES, HATS/CAPS, EYEWEAR

There’s a lot of gunk lurking on smartphone screens, eyeglasses, and the lining of your favorite hat: oil, makeup, and the residue of old hair products. All of that dirt and bacteria can quickly break you out,”

2.While the urge to go to town on a zit (especially when it appears many times its actual size in a magnifying mirror) can seem overwhelming, popping pimples only pushes bacteria further into the pore. So muster the strength to turn away—

3. There’s a difference between twice-weekly skin-brightening exfoliation (good), and daily obsessive overscrubbing (bad). That’s because the layers of our skin near the surface form a protective matrix of proteins and lipids that keep moisture in and acne-causing bacteria out. Aggressive scrubbing can impair the skin-barrier function and lead to inflammation. So think of that eager-beaver scouring as a means of exposing your skin to the very things that make it break out—and just don’t.

4. Splashing water on your face in the morning might seem like an adequate start to the day, since all that’s transpired since your last cleansing was a night of restful sleep on clean Egyptian cotton pillowcases. But you’d be surprised by how much settles on the face at night: Waste left from nighttime products and, if you had a glass of wine with dinner, the metabolized remains of alcohol. Wash your face before bed, at all costs, and repeat the process after you get up, since breakouts erupt when old makeup and your face’s natural oils meet pollutants and dirt during the day.

5. We all know that snack foods eventually end up on our hips and thighs. But tell a true beauty junkie that she’s also doing damage to her skin, and that should be enough to make her swear off sugar, white rice, and, well, everything nice. New evidence suggests that eating foods that cause blood sugar to spike—pizza, bagels, and cookies are all culprits—can trigger an avalanche of acne-generating hormones. Treat your skin to foods rich in vitamins A and E, like leafy greens, grapefruit, nuts, and avocado, which can help clear the complexion, and fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar into your system and reduces the risk of acne.

6. Indulging in alcohol doesn’t directly cause acne, although it has been blamed for turning skin blotchy, dry, and dull. It’s what accompanies alcohol in the glass that really brings on the breakouts. Ingredients like tonic water, fruit juice, syrups, and other sugary mixers are all offenders. (Remember what we said about sugary junk foods?) Stick with the basics at the bar (no sweetened mixed drinks ending in “toni”), match each round of booze with a glass of water (to combat dehydration), and consider a two-drink maximum as a worthy personal goal if you’re prone to pimples.

7. Skipping a shower after a workout may prolong the exercise induced euphoria, but wearing a damp sports bra or t shirt against your skin will form the perfect breeding ground for body acne, since the moist material pushes bacteria into sebum glands, producing zits. So wash your face and then change into clean, dry clothes. Also, if you’re still rocking your middle-school T-shirts and faded black stretch pants (the ones with the totally shot elastic waistband), consider a wardrobe overhaul: Invest in breathable designs made from moisture-wicking, fast-drying fabrics.