As many as 60 million Americans develop acne each year. You may think you are trying everything you can to fight off acne, but it’s the little things that add up. Are you making any of these mistakes?
1. You try a new acne treatment every other week.
Everyone wants the magic bullet – the treatment that starts working the next day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. According to Dr. Kathleen Garvey, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology, “acne treatments can take weeks to start taking effect. You need to allow 6 to 8 weeks to see improvement, but complete clearing of acne can take up to three or four months. Have patience and trust your doctor.”
2. You apply acne medication only to the existing acne.
It makes sense to treat what you see, but this approach fails to prevent new acne breakouts. It is important to spread a thin layer of your acne medication evenly over your skin.
3. You don’t clean your makeup brushes.
Have you ever washed your makeup brushes? Unwanted acne-causing bacteria and dead skin cells build up on brushes. When you use the brushes you transfer that bacterium onto your skin which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.
4. You sleep in your makeup.
Repeat after me: I must remove my makeup before I go to bed. There should be no exceptions to that. It doesn’t matter how tired you are or how long of a day you had – you must remove your makeup before going to bed. Clean your face, at minimum, with a makeup removing towelette, otherwise you are letting a days’ worth of bacteria and grime work their way into your pores while you sleep.
5. You scrub your face when you clean it.
While you may be tempted to harshly scrub your face to get rid of acne it is important to be gentle with your skin. According to Dr. Garvey, “You want to use a mild cleanser. Apply the cleanser lightly with your fingertips, using a circular motion. Gently rinse it off with warm water, using only your fingers. Then pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Never rub, and always be gentle.”
6. You never clean your cell phone.
Have you ever thought about how dirty your cell phone is? You take it everywhere. You hold it when your hands are dirty – and you press it against your face. If you are not regularly cleaning your cell phone, you may be transferring the bacteria to your face which can promote acne breakouts.
7. You touch your face – a lot
You may not realize it, but you probably touch your face a lot through any given day. From rubbing your eyes to resting your chin in the palm of your hand those subtle actions can cause acne breakouts. The friction against the skin from rubbing or leaning creates inflammation and transfers dirt and oil that may get trapped in your pores. Take some time to become mentally aware of the movements you are making with your hands. Are you touching your face more than you realize?
8. You rarely change your pillowcase.
Even if you never miss your bedtime skin care routine, by not changing your pillowcase on a regular basis you can be causing more breakouts. When you don’t refresh your pillowcase every couple of days, dirt and oil build up. When you put your face on the pillow at night, these blemish-causing bacteria can transfer to your face and clog pores.
9. You don’t wash up quickly after working out.
Sweating does not cause acne; however sweating can be a contributing factor to breakouts if you aren’t properly washing your skin post-workout. If sweat mixes with the natural oils of our hair follicles and isn’t washed off properly, the combination can lead to clogged pores. Moral of the story – don’t sit around in your sweaty clothes after a workout. Hop in the shower and rinse away the bacteria.
If you are struggling with acne or other skin issues and don’t know where to turn, the skin health experts at Forefront Dermatology are ready to help. To find the Forefront dermatologist nearest you, visit the locations page today.