8 Surprising Reasons That Cause Acne Breakouts

8 Surprising Reasons That Cause Acne Breakouts
Image Credits: foodrevolution.org and storyblocks.com

You look in the mirror… and there they are, that dreaded acne. It’s unsightly, annoying and frankly, can make you lose your self-confidence. While common causes like eating too many chocolates can trigger possible breakouts, there are actually a few other unlikely things that you might not be aware of in the first place. And here are 8 Surprising Reasons That Cause Acne Breakouts.


1) Your Pillowcase Is Dirty

Okay, it’s time for a confession: how often do you wash your pillowcase? Once a fortnight? A month? Or worse, you can’t even recall the last time you tossed your pillowcase into the washing machine? If your pillowcase falls under the last category, you are risking sleeping on the nasty build-ups filled with acne-causing dirt, oils, bacteria and dead skin cells. This is especially true if you are prone to sleeping sideways, with your face pressing against the surface. So, make it a habit to wash your pillowcase often to stay dirt-free.

Your dirty pillowcase could be a culprit of acne breakouts.
Image Credit: veryhealth.com

2) You Are Stressed Out

No matter who you are, you can’t avoid stress in your life. Stress can be seen in two ways. On one side, it helps to motivate you to succeed and even stimulate creativity. But on the other side, stress can affect you both mentally and physically. It can be anything from work and relationship problems to personal and family matters. When you are overly stressed, your cortisol levels rise. This, in turn, causes a hormone imbalance that leads to acne breakouts. And that’s why managing your stress is crucial to prevent possible future breakouts. You can do so by learning how to meditate, doing a simple deep breathing exercise or watching a feel-good movie.

Too much stress causes a hormone imbalance, which can lead to acne breakouts.
Image Credit: tinycards.duolingo.com

3) Your Daily Smartphone Usage 

Let’s face it, most of us can’t live without a smartphone in today’s era. They happen to be an integral part of our lives both personally and professionally. So, some of you might be wondering: What does a smartphone have to do with acne breakouts?

Well, the answer lies in the way you make a call on your smartphone. Especially if you love to spend hours chatting with say, your best friend. The thing is, calling someone with a smartphone means you will usually press the device against the side of your cheek and chin. Prolonged usage in such a way can cause your facial oil to accumulate. And that is not all, the screen on your smartphone probably has lots of germs and bacteria on it.

What you can do here is try to keep your smartphone clean regularly with alcohol or disinfectant wipes. Or better yet, make use of the speakerphone or opt for a hands-free Bluetooth headset.

Disinfect your smartphone regularly after use to prevent acne breakouts.
Image Credit: storyblocks.com

4) You Wash Your Face Too Much

Just like how you should practise eating in moderation, the same principle also applies when it comes to washing your face. Overdoing it is generally a bad idea. The reasons? It can cause the skin on your face to dry out and increase its oil production. By then, you might be at risk of acne breakouts. Instead of overwashing your face every day, stick to a safer two-time-a-day ritual (one during the morning, and the other before you go to bed at night).

Acne breakouts can happen if you are prone to over-washing your face.
Image Credit: allure.com

5) You Do Not Prioritise Showering After Your Workout

A regular workout may be good for your mental and physical health. But at the same time, excessive sweating that soaks your body and drips down on your face can lead to acne. And yes, even clogged pores as well. Not to mention the combination of other build-ups like dirt, oil and bacteria accumulated on your skin do not help matters too. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should skip exercising altogether.

What you shouldn’t skip is the importance of showering after your workout. According to Times of India, it’s best “to wait for at least 20 minutes after your workout before you hit the shower”. This allows your sweaty body sufficient time to cool down. From there, a simple cold shower with body wash will do since it does not only feel relaxing but also helps get rid of the dirt and bacteria.

The importance of showering after workout matters to avoid acne breakouts.
Image Credit: hk.asiatatler.com

6) Your Irregular Sleeping Patterns

Are you one of those who regularly burn the midnight oil or love to stay awake beyond your sleeping hours? If so, you are jeopardising your health both mentally and physically in the long run. You might find yourself suffering from the likes of brain fog and irritable mood swings. Not to forget sleep deprivation can mess up your skin and one of them happens to be the dreaded acne breakouts.

Here’s how it happens: When you don’t get enough sleep, your skin suffers from a hormone imbalance (among them are stress hormones). It doesn’t stop there, as the result of your imbalanced skin causes dehydration, redness and finally, breakouts. So, the next time you are looking to sacrifice your good night’s sleep, say in favour of a Netflix binge-watching marathon, think again.

7) You Keep Reusing The Same Face Towel

So, you have cleansed your face in the bathroom and reach out for the face towel or washcloth from the towel rails. And then, you pat your face dry before hanging the towel back on the rails. Nothing wrong with that except… did you wash your face towel after each use or at least on a regular basis?¬†If not, you are basically patting your face dry with the same towel that has already been contaminated with bacteria. Keep a mental note to wash your face towel or grab a fresh one.

Avoid using the same face towel without washing it first to prevent acne breakouts.
Image Credit: medicalnewstoday.com

8) You Spend Too Much Time In The Sun

No doubt that getting a little dose of sunlight gives you a much-needed boost of vitamin D, just to name a few. But too much of it can lead to several negative effects including your skin. It can cause the skin to dry out and sending your oil glands into overdrive, which in turn, triggering acne breakouts. Even sunburn can cause acne. So, what you can do here is limit your sun exposure if possible while applying a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 might help.

Too much sun exposure can lead to possible acne breakouts.
Image Credit: nbcnews.com

Now that you know about these surprising acne-causing reasons, it is also important to practice a daily skincare ritual. There are plenty of skincare brands out there you can try, with one of them happening to be Dermalogica. They offer a wide range of specially-formulated products for many kinds of skin problems such as acne, dehydration and redness. You can find out more about their products here.