As skincare and skincare research continue to progress, the complexities of acne become more clear. Cutting out chocolate isn’t enough anymore- breakouts can be caused by a myriad of reasons. Some can be fixed with topical products, others with lifestyle changes, and others still, with starting better habits.
In today's post, we're listing a few unexpected reasons you might be experiencing breakouts, and we'll give you ideas on how to prevent them!
If you're looking for topical solutions, see our post here for our guide to treating acne-prone skin with our products.
Lack of sleep
The myth of “beauty sleep” might not be a myth at all. Not getting enough sleep has been proven to promote stress, which can then trigger a spike in cortisol levels. Increased cortisol can cause skin to produce more sebum and oil, resulting in breakouts.
On top of that, a lack of sleep can also upset your skin’s natural moisture balances. During sleep, your body perspires more, rebalancing its hydration. If your body misses out on those valuable rebalancing hours, your skin is left dry and unable to recover lost moisture. This can potentially lead to redness, irritation, increased inflammation, and breakouts.
If you find yourself breaking out, it may be time to assess your sleep schedule and consider making more time for the z’s. Adding ear plugs and an eye mask are some of our favorite tools for improving sleep hygiene. Your skin will thank you!
Facial hair removal
Though facial hair removal can feel like a necessary evil, it can also have adverse effects on the skin. Tweezing, waxing, and even shaving can cause the skin tissue to swell, effectively pushing bacteria deeper into your pores. This can cause breakouts, or at the very least, irritation. To prevent acne caused by hair removal, always make sure that the removal site is completely clean, to keep harmful bacteria out of your pores.
Body breakouts can be just as prevalent as facial breakouts. Interestingly enough, they are often caused by clothing. Tight clothing can block pores and trap oil, sweat, dead skin cells, and bacteria under the skin, leading to body breakouts. On top of that, synthetic fabrics further irritate skin by locking heat and sweat in and not allowing the skin to breathe.
If you struggle with body breakouts, it may be helpful to opt for clothing made of lightweight or natural fabrics, to avoid trapping bacteria or sweat on skin. To avoid irritation caused by sweat, make sure to shower directly after exercising or intense physical activity.
Post showering, spray our raspberry vinegar toner over the areas that are prone to breakouts. Let dry for a couple of minutes before putting on your clothes!
Harsh acne treatments
During unpleasant breakouts, your instinct might be to pile on topical gels and creams in hopes of eliminating it. Unfortunately, overdosing on products can have the opposite effect. Smothering a pimple with harsh drying lotions and acids can dry out the skin even more, leading to irritation, redness, and yes, more acne.
The solution? Everything in moderation. If you’re experiencing irritation, try switching to a more gentle product, or using it half as often. We always recommend introducing new types of products into your skincare routine every other night, initially. Then, through time, you will properly build your tolerance and be able to use them day and night - if that’s what they call for!
High glycemic index foods
Dairy has become commonly known as the enemy of great skin- however, processed sugars and carbs can be equally harmful. Studies have shown that foods with a high glycemic index can cause or exacerbate acne.
A little background- the glycemic index is a number assigned to carbohydrate-containing foods based on how quickly they increase blood sugar. Foods with a low glycemic index, like most fruits and vegetables, can be digested slowly, without causing extreme changes in blood sugar levels. High glycemic index foods, like sugars and processed carbs, cause blood sugar to rise and fall rapidly as they are digested.
Aside from their generally negative health effects, high glycemic index foods can also promote inflammation in the skin, causing irritation and acne. Even minor cutbacks in high glycemic index food intake can have a positive effect on skin.