10 Things You Didn’t Realise Were Making Your Skin Break Out
Skin driving you crazy – despite the fact that you’re doing everything right? Well, the cause of your breakouts could actually be one of 10 not-so-well-documented culprits. We’ve teamed up with Dr Kim Ansley, final-year dermatology registrar and leading dermo-cosmetic brand Eau Thermale Avène, to provide expert tips to help you fight those blemishes and regain your confidence.
PS: Don’t forget to complete your details at the end of the article for a chance to receive a free Eau Thermale Avène sample pack! But first, the common causes of problem skin you probably never knew about…
1. You’re Vibing Hard With Your Phone
The glass touchscreens on mobile devices harbour large amounts of dirt and germs. These can end up on your cheeks and jawline every time you chat on your phone, causing blemishes and irritation. To keep your phone (and face) bacteria-free, wipe it down with antibacterial wipes – and make this a daily habit.
2. You Don’t Clean Your Make-Up Brushes
Make-up brushes and sponges often end up teeming with dirt and bacteria, which can lead to breakouts. Wash loose powder brushes every two weeks and those used to apply foundation once a week. This can be done with a gentle facial cleanser or shampoo in lukewarm water. Lay flat to air dry.
3. You Ignore Food Labels
Try to avoid high-glycaemic foods such as sweets, chocolate, refined breads and cereals, and fried or junk food. In one study, a low-glycaemic-load diet, rich in plant fibres and low in processed foods, was linked to an improvement in blemishes. Low-glycaemic foods include whole-grain carbohydrates such as seed/rye bread, oats, bran and wholewheat cereals/pasta.
4. You Just Love A Can Of Fizz
Water helps clear away the toxins that cause inflammation and blemishes. It also assists in transporting nutrients and oxygen to skin cells, and preventing dehydration, which can cause premature ageing. Drink as much water as you can and substitute fizzy and caffeinated drinks with water where possible.
5. You’re Touchy-Feely With Your Face
Avoid touching your face or propping your cheek or chin on your hands. Not only can you spread bacteria this way, you can also irritate already inflamed skin. Never pick or pop pimples with your fingers – this can lead to infection and scarring.
6. You’re A Sun Bunny
UV rays can increase inflammation and redness, and cause dark discoloration of blemishes. Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure. Look for specialised sunscreens adapted for oily, blemish-prone skin. Try
7. You’re All About Netflix On The Couch
Regular exercise is good for your whole body, including your skin. When you exercise, you can still wear make-up and possibly a sweat band to absorb excess sweat, but avoid wearing clothes or using exercise equipment that rubs your skin, causing irritation. Shower right after your sweat sesh! Also make sure you get enough sleep to speed up your body’s cellular repair process.
8. You Sleep With Your “Face On”
Wash your face twice daily to remove bacteria, dirt, dead skin cells and excess oil. Don’t go to bed without removing all your make-up. Try or .
9. You’re Getting Moisturising All Wrong
Most moisturisers have key ingredients that create a protective barrier on the surface of the skin to lock in moisture and allow the treatment to take full effect, so apply your product while your face is still slightly damp.
Most of us neglect our neck and chest area, but it’s recommended to continue past your chin using the same products. You can also apply it on your back if you experience blemishes in that area. Try in the morning and in the evening.
10. You’re Kinda Impatient…
We’re all in a hurry to see results, but a new skincare regime takes time to work as your body adjusts to the new products. Be persistent and consistent and continue only with those products recommended to you – don’t add or mix with additional products.
And hear this: In many cases, with a new treatment, blemishes actually get worse before they get better. This is just a sign that your body is positively responding to the products, not an indication to stop with the programme. You may experience some dryness and irritation initially as your skin adjusts, in which case, you can use the products every second day for the first week or until your skin has settled, and then daily, as prescribed, thereafter.
Eau Thermale Avène’s range offers specialised products for oily and blemish-prone skin, with solutions from teenagers to adults. Rich in the signature Avène Thermal Spring Water, the range not only fights blemishes, but soothes the skin. Available at leading pharmacies.
Get your sample pack!