If you have blemish-prone skin, you probably already practice good skin habits. But even if you wash your makeup brushes regularly and never go to bed without washing your face, chances are there are things you’re doing — or not doing — that have an impact on your complexion.
Pro tip: If remembering to wash your face before bed is an issue for you, stash some natural face-cleansing cloths on your nightstand. (I like these unscented cleansing towelettes from Acure Organics.) Easy peasy for those nights when you crash and then realize you still need to wash your face!
Here are nine ways you could be sabotaging your complexion without even realizing it.
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1. Not doing enough laundry
No, really. If you notice frequent blemishes on one side of your face, check to see if it matches the side you sleep on. A grungy pillowcase could be the culprit; even one night of sleep is all it takes sometimes. To solve this issue, flip your pillow over on the second night, and wash or replace with a fresh one on the third day. Sure, you’ll have more laundry to do, but your clear complexion will reward you!
2. Washing your face too often
If you’re working to eliminate blemishes, chances are good that you rarely skip your cleansing routine. But washing too often (in most cases, once a day is plenty!) can dry out and irritate your skin, causing it to overproduce oil and, yes, break out. Don’t do this!
3. Assuming all acne products are alike
Complexion issues are just as varied as the people who have them. That means what works for your sister or your best friend won’t necessarily work for you too. Some people are sensitive to salicylic acid, a common but harsh blemish-fighting ingredient. Some people need more exfoliation. Some people are sensitive to even a little bit of exfoliation. The point is: Your skin is as unique as you are, and if you’re not paying attention to how your skin reacts to your acne regimen, you might just be making it worse.
4. Skipping the moisturizer
Repeat after me: My skin needs moisturizer. This goes for everyone. No matter how oily your skin is, you need moisturizer or a facial oil. I mean it. Dry skin is not your friend (see #2 above), and your skin needs hydration to heal. It also helps keep wrinkles away! Bonus points if your moisturizer or CC cream contains SPF, since many acne-fighting products make your skin extra sensitive to sun exposure.
5. Too much layering
OK, so yes, the typical Korean beauty regimen is about a 10-step (or more!) process, but that doesn’t mean if you have blemish-prone skin, you should only use skin-clearing products. Layering on too many acne fighting products probably isn’t going to help your complexion — and it many cases, it will just irritate your skin, making the problem worse. Two acne-fighting products a day is plenty. The rest of the products you use should help your skin heal, protect it from the sun, or offer other benefits.
6. Soaking up the Vitamin D
It’s true, you might get a temporary reprieve from blemishes after a little sun exposure. And a little Vitamin D is good for your whole body. But if you’re also using acne-fighting skincare products, your skin might be even more sensitive to sun exposure, and that means your normal habits (skipping the sunscreen on your afternoon run, for example) could set you up for sunburns, irritation, and even more inflamed skin.
7. Your coffee habit
There’s conflicting evidence out there about coffee and its impact on acne, but some studies have shown that a daily coffee habit can have a negative effect on hormonal acne. So if you’re loading up on the caffeinated stuff every day and noticing unhappy skin, it might be worth examining your caffeine routine to see if cutting back or eliminating it entirely makes a difference. (PS: If you do this, don’t give up too soon! See #9, below.)
8. Overdoing the exfoliation
Exfoliation, in moderation, can be a wonderful thing, scrubbing off dull skin and uncovering the new, baby-soft skin underneath. But if you exfoliate during a breakout, you might just be spreading all that bacteria around. (Gross.) And if you exfoliate when you’re skin is in a sensitive state, you’ll just aggravate those blemishes and make them take longer to heal — or worse, turn blemishes into small open wounds that can leave behind scars. No thank you.
9. Abandoning your regimen too soon
There’s no fast track to healing a breakout. It takes time and dedication. So if you start a new regimen, add a new product to your routine — I love this Foaming Cream Cleanser by Fig + Yarrow with activated charcoal for acne-prone skin — or even start following one of the tips above, don’t expect overnight results. You’ll be disappointed. Instead, take a “before” photo when you start your new regimen, and take another one a week (or two!) later. Even if there’s subtle improvement, it’ll help remind you that you’re on the right track, and give you inspiration to keep it up.
Are you guilty of skin self-sabotage? Share your tips and experiences in the comments and let’s talk about it!
(Image via Eva Rinaldi)Pin It