If you’ve been noticing dry skin or breakouts despite your best efforts to moisturize daily and cleanse effectively, allow us to explain. Even if you follow a fool-proof skin care regimen by the books, there are still so many outside influences that can mess up your complexion. We know how annoying that is, especially since great skin care products are not cheap. But lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of what can cause breakouts so your skin can go back to its day job of looking beautiful.
Trying out too many products: As much as the free samples in Sephora seem like a dream come true and you just want to try them all like a kid in a candy store—please refrain. The same goes for trying out a bunch of different moisturizers or serums at home. Piling on products can actually counteract the effects of what you’re trying to improve in your skin and can also irritate you, leading to more breakouts. While we’re on the topic of free samples, be careful about what you use. Lotions and creams that come in a pump are generally safe, but using open blushes and lip colors that other customers have also tested is asking for trouble. These products are a breeding ground for bacteria which will not only break you out, but could also make you sick. Yikes!
Skipping meals: Even if a lunch break seems out of the question during your busy work day, pack a lunch ahead of time and eat at your desk. Missing a meal means missing out on key vitamins and nutrients that your body (and skin) need in order to thrive. By not getting proper nutrition, your skin can lose elasticity and dry out. Not to mention, what you put in your body is key, so if you’re noshing on mostly junky, processed foods, cut down and throw in some fresh, earthy items.
MORE: 101 Best Tips for Clear Skin
Blasting the AC: Whether it’s a long car ride or just hanging out at home, air conditioning is major factor in skin dryness, which can ultimately lead to breakouts. When the skin is lacking in moisture, it can go into oil production overload, which leads to those pesky blemishes. Cold, artificial air isn’t the least bit friendly to your skin, so if you have to run it, place a humidifier in the room to bring the moisture back in.
Taking super hot showers: Cranking up the temperature in your shower can feel therapeutic, especially on a cold day. In all honesty, it’s just about the last thing your skin needs. Hot water is incredibly drying, and as we’ve mentioned before, dryness can lead to breakouts. A rule of thumb: If your skin is turning red, it’s time to either end your shower or lower the temperature.
Too many trips to the waxer: Especially if you get a face wax, limit the number of times that you go in for a touch-up. Just like razors and bikini lines, over-waxing can cause those annoying little bumps too. The last place you want bumps is on your face, so keep this in mind before scheduling your next appointment.
Talking on your cell phone: Have you ever noticed those finger smears all over your phone’s screen? That’s evidence of dirt and bacteria, so imagine what that’s doing to your face when you press it up against your cheek for long periods of time. Gross, right? Always make sure to use antibacterial wipes on your phone as often you can to avoid breakouts (and to keep good hygiene in general).
MORE: How to Hide the Most Common Skin Issues
Not cleaning your makeup brushes: This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many women skip this incredibly important step. Brushes harbor a ton of bacteria, so essentially every time you apply makeup to your face, you’re also applying bacteria. To prevent this from happening, make sure to wash your brushes at least once a week with mild shampoo and warm water.
Letting hair fall in your face: Your hair’s natural oils (and especially hair that’s pretty greasy) will definitely cause breakouts. Try to keep your hair off your face, and if you have bangs, make sure that they’re clean, even if that means washing just your bangs more often than the rest of your hair.