If its true that acne and pimples are signs of youth then I’m never growing out of my teenage years! The sad truth is that adults do get acne or if not acne, then pimples or spots.
You always know when to expect an outbreak – during that dreaded time of the month when hormones go a little nuts. I was told that if your breakouts are confined mostly to the chin area, those are hormone related. I paid attention and true enough, time of the month spots happen around the chin. Less so now, but I do still get one or two.
But sometimes, you may find yourself breaking out on other parts of the face at a time that is unrelated to your period. You might want to consider then, if it is related to any of the following factors:-
Cause: Your Shampoo or Conditioner
I experienced a bad breakout once with a conditioner that was great for my hair but hell for my skin. True, washing your face after washing your hair may help, but I tried that and it still didn’t do much for me. So, I’ve decided that there are some ingredients in hair shampoo or conditioner that may cause people to break out.
Cure: To check, stop using that particular shampoo or conditioner for a week or two. If your breakouts clear up, it might be because of the hair product.
Obvious as it sounds, stress is bad for the skin. If you close to exams, having a rough time at work, going through a bad relationship… anything that puts you under stress, then chances are your breakouts are caused by stress.
Cure: If its exams then its temporary until the exams are over. If its work or worry, then I suppose its harder to resolve but taking stock of the situation and trying to find a solution may help. Alternatively take time off and go on a holiday, or to a spa or just go for a facial or massage and relax.
Cause: Lack of sleep
I found that when I don’t have enough sleep, I start breaking out. There was a period of my life when I was not sleeping enough due mainly to my own folly, and my skin paid the price.
Cure: When I realised the problem, I made it a point to cut out distractions, stop staying up late, and get some restful sleep. 2 weeks later, my skin was back to normal. Don’t underestimate the curative powers of sleep.
Sometimes, breakouts may be related to certain foods especially if you might be allergic to them. Dairy products are a common cause as well as over doing the fried foods. There is no scientific proof that chocolates will cause breakouts, but I’m Chinese and I believe that foods are “heaty” and “cooling” and “heaty” foods are more likely to cause breakouts. Chocolates fall under being “heaty” and if you overindulge, the skin pays the price.
Cure: If you can isolate the problem food, then it will be easy to cut it out of your diet. However, for most of us, its not that easy so moderation is key.
Cause: Dirty makeup brushes and sponges
Again, this is something quite obvious but often overlooked. Makeup brushes that are used everyday get dirty and caked up with powders and oils from your skin. Facial sponges for foundation or powder are the same.
Cure: Wash your brushes weekly! Some people say daily but I think a weekly wash is sufficient. Make it routine and you’ll find it easy to do. For facial sponges, wash them or replace them regularly. If you don’t want to use facial soap, there are any number of brush cleaners in the market that you can use. Look in any major brand and they should have a cleaner that is usually very easy to use.
Cause: Bedsheets and Pillow Cases
Another easily overlooked cause for pimples and spots are pillow cases. When you sleep, your hair oils will get onto your pillow case and this builds up. Then, when you put your face on it, it causes breakouts.
Cure: Change your bed linen often. If you have oily hair or an oily scalp then change your pillow cases at least once a week.
Cause: Touching your face often
Sometimes, without realising it, you may find yourself touching your face throughout the day. Your fingers and hands pick up bacteria easily and when you touch your face, you transfer this bacteria to your face.
Cure: Don’t touch your face or pick at your face! Picking at your face or at a spot will only make it worse. Easier said than done, I know but try.
Cause: Using the telephone
If you notice a breakout along your jawline, and you are prone to cradling the phone headset against your face, stop. Phone headsets have bacteria and cradling it against your face and shoulder is not only bad for your posture, it also introduces bacteria that forms spots.
Cure: Hold the telephone headset in your hand in a proper manner away from your face. Your face and shoulders will thank you for it!
Cause: The Sun
The sun is not only bad for the skin in terms of UV rays, but it also causes spots. I’m not quite sure how this is so. Perhaps, the sun and heat causes the skin to get oilier and the sebum gets trapped and turns infected thereby causing a pimple to form. But if you have been out in the sun for any long period of time, you may notice that your skin tends to be spotty or rough.
Cure: Stay out of the sun. Easier said than done in this tropical land of ours, but where possible, carry an umbrella, wear a hat or stay in the shade. Of course, these precautions are over an above using a suitable sunscreen!
There are lots more causes of acne or spots that I have read of but these are just a few that I personally have experienced and so wanted to share. If you know of other causes, or if you have experienced a breakout as a result of something not mentioned, feel free to share in the comments below! 🙂