Habits That May Worsen Your Acne Breakouts

What Your Breakouts Tell You About Your Acne | Everyday Health

Acne is a problem that just doesn’t affect our skin, but our self-confidence as well. To treat or conceal it, we’d either wear full-coverage makeup all the time or experiment with different products until we find the one that effectively improves our skin.

But applying too many products on our skin can aggravate our acne, instead of healing it. While there are acne skincare products that truly work, we can unwittingly make the mistake of mixing them with other products that contain unfriendly ingredients. As a result, our breakouts may worsen, plummeting our self-confidence further.

So if you’ve been dealing with persistent acne for a while now, chances are you also combine different products together, or engage in habits that are harmful to your skin. But you can still fix that. Below are the things you need to stop doing to your acne-prone skin now:

1. Mixing Certain Skincare Ingredients Together

Some skincare ingredients don’t play well with each other, causing breakouts, redness, or irritations. Before buying a new product for your collection, ensure that they won’t create these combinations:

  • Retinoid or Retinol and Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)

Because they both exfoliate the skin’s outer layer, retinoid or retinol, and AHA may be too harsh on acne-prone skin. They may cause redness, stings, flaking, or peeling. There’s an exception, though: Clinically-tested products with these ingredients combined, which may be gentler. 

  • Retinoid or Retinol and Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is known as an acne-fighting skincare ingredient, but when combined with retinoid or retinol, both of which also combat acne, it may deactivate the latter’s molecules. Dermatologists recommend using benzoyl peroxide in the day, and the retinoid or retinol at night.

  • Retinoid or Retinol and Vitamin C

Despite retinoid’s good purpose, it can be a menace in skincare, so use it wisely. Again, use these two different ingredients at different times of the day. Keep your vitamin C in the morning, and your retinol at night, when it is best applied.

  • Retinoid or Retinol and Salicylic Acid

Like the previous two, salicylic acid is also best applied in the morning. Combining it with retinoid or retinol may over-dry your skin, and make it produce more oil to compensate.

  • Soap-based Cleanser and Vitamin C

Soap-based cleansers and vitamin C has opposing pH levels. The former has a high pH, while the best vitamin C’s have a low pH. So when combined, your skin’s ability to absorb vitamin C may decrease.

  • Two Products With the Same Active Ingredients

Using two benzoyl peroxide products, for example, may be too harsh on your skin, and cause redness and irritation. But if you don’t get these reactions, then two actives are most likely safe for you. Avoid them only if you have sensitive skin.

2. Doing Your Makeup Carelessly

Before donning a full-coverage foundation, you must prep your skin with a primer or a moisturizer first. It will create a barrier on your skin that prevents your pores from clogging.

Never apply makeup with your fingers. Brushes and sponges may be a pain to maintain, but when thoroughly washed, they’re often cleaner than your washed hands.

If you’re still breaking out even after using a primer or moisturizer, check your foundation’s formula. Makeup doesn’t cause acne, but its ingredients can clog your pores, which would cause acne. So opt for a hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic foundation.

Lastly, go easy on the setting powder. “Baking” your face may help it stay matte all day, but too much powder can also clog the pores and pop out acne.

3. Applying Fragrance

Fragrance or parfum is commonly found in skincare products and laundry detergents. It’s not inherently unsafe, but it can also clog the pores. So avoid scented skincare products and laundry detergents; for the latter, choose the gentlest and hypoallergenic formulas. Be wary of essential oils as well, because even if they’re natural fragrances, they may still irritate your skin.

Consider replacing your fabric softener with vinegar as well. A cup in the fabric softener dispenser won’t make your clothes smell pungent, so don’t be afraid. It will soften your clothes just as excellently, and save your skin.

Now, you know the drill: Always check the label first before buying skincare products, makeup, and laundry products. Wash your makeup and skincare tools well, and watch your acne get banished!