No one likes pimples. They’re distracting, painful, ugly… and usually unavoidable. Most teenagers are familiar with the rite of passage that is acne but sometimes simple things that seem harmless can be the culprit behind a fresh smattering across your chin or cheek. While some of these may seem obvious, others won’t and by changing a few things in your daily routine, your face will be blemish-free and happy.
Common Culprit #1: Dirty Makeup Brushes
It seems silly that we are so fastidious about keeping our faces clean, but something that touches our face everyday we forget to clean every now and again. I never really thought about cleaning my makeup brushes until I saw a makeup brush cleaner in the beauty aisle at Wal-Mart, but then I got kind of icked out. Why hadn’t I ever cleaned them? I kept asking myself. When I have a zit, I still use my make-up brushes and it’s well known that zits are bacteria breeding grounds. By reusing my brushes every day, even after a breakout, I was essentially spreading that icky bacteria all over my face and basically negating any good my facial cleanser had done that day. My suggestion would be to clean your brushes at least once every two weeks and you will definitely see an improvement in your breakouts. But honestly, you are probably going to be so alarmed at how much gunk comes off your brush (I was!) that you will wash them once a week and your face will thank you for it! Brush cleaners don’t have to be expensive to be effective either. I like this brush shampoo by e.l.f and you can find it in most stores such as Target and Wal-Mart. The best part? It’s under $5 a bottle.
Common Culprit #2: Your Cellphone
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that little thing you tote around with you all day that never leaves your side? Yeah, it’s pretty dirty. We are constantly touching the screen on our cellphones, laying it down in places we probably shouldn’t, throwing it in our bag where it gets mixed up with old receipts, gum wrappers, and what have you and then we… put it up to our face. A lot. Gross. If you’re a chatty Cathy and always on the phone, chances are you may be breaking out on the side of your face where you rest your phone most often or even on your chin, depending on how big your cellphone is. It’s important to wipe down your phone a few times a day with a wipe (quickly so you don’t cause any damage) to ensure you’re killing all the little nasties taking up real estate on your screen and cover. I like these you can pick up at Target for $4.99And it goes without saying that you should be washing your hands after you use the bathroom or do anything else that can create a breeding ground for bacteria. Otherwise, you’re transferring all those germs to your phone every time you pick it up to send a text or snap a selfie. And this common culprit goes hand-in-hand with another (no pun intended): Don’t rest your face in your hand! I know it can be tempting when 2pm rolls around and you’re feeling that mid-afternoon slump to rest your chin or cheek in your hand, but that’s a good way to transfer bacteria to your face. Get up and walk around for a second or take a little stroll to the bathroom (where you can, oh I don’t know, wash your hands!) to wake yourself up a bit.
Common Culprit #3: Scrubbing Your Face Too Hard
I know the temptation to scrub your face when you are experiencing a breakout is hard to resist. It seems like it would make sense that the harder you scrub your face when you’re washing it, the more germs you’ll kill and dead skin you’ll exfoliate. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way and you’re doing more harm than good. By scrubbing an already irritated face too hard, you actually increase the irritation, causing the pimples you already have take longer to heal. If the goal is to reduce the number of breakouts you have and the length of time they stick around, make sure you are gentle when cleaning your face. Remember: less is more. For a perfect amount of exfoliating, I like the Go 360 Clean Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Scrub by L’Oreal Paris. The beads in the wash get rid of dry skin without being overly aggressive and the rubber scrublet that’s included with each bottle is a nice soothing way to massage the cleanser into your face. You can pick up at bottle at Wal-mart for $4.15
Common Culprit #4: Your boyfriend
Well, okay, not your boyfriend exactly but more that manly beard you’re so fond of. If your guy likes to sport some facial hair, chances are it’s aggravating your baby smooth skin and causing breakouts. Anytime you engage in a make-out session, your smooth skin is rubbing against his beard, irritating the sensitive skin on your face causing breakouts and possibly even beard burn. So no, that scratchiness you feel during your make-out session isn’t actually exfoliating your face; instead, the friction causes your face to produce more oil and as we all know more oil usually equals more zits. If you or your guy are too attached to his beard to say adios just yet, don’t fret! Instead, makes sure he uses a conditioner with a moisturizing oil such as shea or coconut oil to reduce the prickliness of his beard. Surprise your honey with this beard conditioner from Target for only $5.99 and you can both be happy.
Common Culprit #5: The Sun
If you still hit up the tanning salon even knowing it can cause cancer, stop. It can also be the reason behind your breakouts. While many people think that their skin looks like it actually improves when they sit out in the sun or in a tanning bed, that isn’t the case. Instead, as your face gets redder from the sun, the redness of your zits blends in making it appear your breakouts have cleared up. Unfortunately for you and your face, more sun time means your skin gets dried out, triggering oil production that will cause more blemishes to mar your pretty complexion. This one has a really simple solution: ditch the tanning salons and make sure you are wearing sunscreen on your face whenever you leave the house (especially here in Arizona!). Many moisturizers, like this one from Aveeno, have sunscreen included so you don’t have to apply two different lotions. Talk about keeping it simple! You can pick this one up at Wal-mart for about $13.
If all else fails and these tips don’t help, try scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician. A simple blood test can determine if your body is producing too much testosterone which can be triggering those pesky breakouts.
Have a solution that solved your pimple problem? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to hear it!