Having a blemish-free, smooth complexion is a definitely a dream for many of us. Thankfully, even if acne is one of the biggest skincare concern that you have, this dream is still absolutely achievable – as long as you know exactly how to care for your skin!
Besides having a suitable skincare routine, for those who has been suffering constant breakouts and angry-looking acne, you’ll also need to take note of bad habits that you might be doing unconsciously, aggravating your skin’s condition. While it’s difficult to adopt or quit habits, remember that by breaking these bad habits comes with a great prize: you can kiss your acne days goodbye!
Diet to avoid for acne-free skin
1. Consuming dairy products
Several studies have related acne breakouts to consumption of dairy products such as milk and cheese. Although this might vary from people to people and is dependent on each individual’s health condition, you can try to cut down on dairy for at least a month and see if there is any improvements on your skin. This is so especially if you love your cheeses and milk.
2. Eating too much sugary products
We know how hard it is to resist those mouth-watering cakes and sweet treats but you know what you have to do when it is for the sake of your skin! Apart from reducing sugar intake, try to cut down also on carbs such as plain white rice, which converts very quickly into glucose in your body, and replace it with multi-grain rice instead, which releases glucose more slowly. Sugar is known to support inflammation, which can cause acne, so it’s definitely worth avoiding it.
3. Eating spicy food
There are definitely some days when you crave for spicy food but that has got to come to a stop if you find that it triggers breakouts. Spicy food contains acidic lycopene which may result in the tipping of pH balance in your skin! If you notice yourself breaking out more after eating spicy food, it is a sign for you to cut down on them.
4. Not drinking enough water
Drinking water is a good way to flush out toxins in your body and it also hydrates your body and skin. Regular consumption will help to increase blood flow, while cleansing the cells in your body! Many recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.
5. Not eating enough antioxidants products
Antioxidants are one of the most important substance that protects your skin cells from being damaged. The more you eat, the better your skin will become and it works wonders for those with acne. Antioxidants can also help to prevent toxins from reaching down to deeper layers of the skin. Food that includes antioxidants include green tea and berries.
6. Not eating enough nuts
Nuts are one of the few underrated snacks that are really good for our skin. Not only are they packed with healthy minerals and vitamins, they are also responsible for giving your face that radiant glow.
7. Not cutting down on alcohol
Alcohol can be another reason that some people are breaking out regularly. If consumed too often and too much, alcohol can slow down body functions. At the same time, the beverage is also notorious for dehydrating skin, and causing it to be less able to repair itself.
8. Not cutting down on processed food
Processed food contains a lot more salt, sugar and fats that our body actually needs. Sugar, in particular, can trigger inflammation of acne. Even though processed foods might be more convenient and tastier, it is not recommended compared to eating from meals made with fresh ingredients. Make a slow and steady process in changing your diet and your body will definitely thank you for the subtle changes.
Makeup habits to stay away from for acne-free skin
9. Not cleaning makeup brushes or sponges regularly
Our brushes and sponges should be washed at least once a week! These tools don’t just trap remnants of makeup but also sebum and grime from our skin. The combination of these impurities make our makeup tools the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which we know can aggravate inflammation of acne. Put a reminder on your phone to remind yourself to clean your tools every weekend so you’ll make it into a habit.
10. Blotting too much
Excessive blotting of face would cause your skin to be stripped from the necessary oils that it needs! This will result in your skin from producing even more oil to make up the absence which might cause clogging of pores and subsequently leading to breaking out.
11. Over-cleansing of skin
The same logic is behind over-blotting of your face! Washing your face in the morning and night is sufficient and overdoing may result in the opposite effect. Yikes!
12. Not exfoliating once a week
Raise your hand if you are guilty of exfoliating less than once a week. Exfoliating your face would allow dead skin cells to be removed, giving your skin a smooth and supple touch. More importantly, it prevents the clogging of pores, which is the first step to the development of acne. Bonus: Exfoliating can also help acne scars will diminish at a faster pace than usual!
13. Not using toner
Some may not see the importance of using a toner but it is essential to take it as the last step of cleansing since the toner will pick up the remaining residue left on your face. Be sure to use toner that suits the type of your skin for better results.
14. Not using sunscreen
Many people think that applying sunscreen can clog pores, resulting in more acne. Well, this is a myth. Using the right sunscreen and cleansing it away at the end of the day with a makeup remover should get rid of all traces of the product.
On the other hand, there are great benefits to wearing a sunscreen for those with acne-prone skin. Acne is is an inflammation problem that can be triggered by free radicals. Make a guess when we are exposed to free radicals – yes, through UV rays! Wearing a sunscreen defend our skin from UV exposure, which will help prevent the occurrence of acne.
15. Moisturising too much
You may think that moisturising your skin will help you reduce acne and to some extent, that is true. However, be sure that you are not piling up too much moisturiser such that it can no longer be absorbed but sit on top of your skin like a layer of goo.
16. Wrong skincare products
It is not easy to find the right skincare products for your skin and truth is, it takes trial and error to find the correct brand. The best way to find the correct skincare is to do research, understanding your skin and also going through reviews of a certain product. If you are still unsure, you can always ask for a small sample to try out first!
17. Not letting your skin breathe enough
For those who have heard of the term ‘less is more’, it is definitely a phrase that those with acne prone skin should heed. Allow your skin to ‘breathe’ by reducing the amount of makeup on your face. Most people with acne would want to cover them with layers of foundation and concealer, but it only cause you to irritate the area with your fingers or tools, and allowing the pimples to get in contact with your cosmetics products that may not be the most hygienic.
Personal habits to quit if you want acne-free skin
18. Covering forehead with fringe
If you notice that you tend to get acne breakouts on your forehead, sporting bangs might be the main reason behind the problem! Our scalp produces sebum and perspiration throughout the day that goes onto our hair as well. These impurities then go from your fringe to your forehead. If it’s not washed properly, inflammation can happen, causing acne.
If you think this could be the issue you’re facing, it’s time to speak to your hairstylist about a new style that you like, or you may need to learn how to pin or tuck your fringe away.
19. Not washing pillow cases and sheets regularly
Washing your pillow case and sheets at least once a week will help to reduce your pores from being clogged with dirt and dust found on your bed!
20. Not getting enough sleep
There is a reason why bedtime is also called ‘beauty sleep’. This is because our body repairs itself when we sleep, and this includes the largest organ of our body – our skin! Failing to have sufficient rest means that we’re not giving our body enough time to rejuvenate ourselves and heal the acne that has surfaced. This is why you may find that it takes a long time for pimples to go down.
21. Not sleeping in a cool environment
When the temperature is warm and humid, and you find that you’re perspiring when you sleep, perhaps it’s time to invest in air-conditioning. Besides encouraging bacteria to thrive in a warm and humid environment, we will also tend to touch our faces in our sleep when we feel disturbed by the less-than-ideal environment. It also won’t help when we are compromising on the opportunity to have a good night’s sleep, which we know is important if we want clear skin (see previous point!)
22. Not sleeping properly
It was proven by scientific research that sleeping on your back would prevent your face from irritated by the dust and dirt accumulated on your pillow and sheets. Of course, it is not easy to change the way you sleep, but give it a shot by attempting to fall asleep on your back. If you don’t tend to actively move while you sleep, chances are you’d be able to keep to this position for a long time.
23. Touching your face
The less you touch your face, the less likely you are going to get germs and bacteria onto your skin! Especially for acne-prone skin, we are sure that you would not want your skin to get inflamed!
24. Squeezing and popping acne
The urge to pop the pimples can be hard to resist but remember that popping them will do you no good because it can cause scarring. More importantly, you might be introducing even more bacteria to the affected area, aggravating it or causing it to take longer to heal.
25. Not cleaning mobile phone
The screen on your mobile phone is said to be one of the dirtiest surfaces of all! Just think about all the places you’ve left it: on the hawker centre table, on top of the flushing system, on the surface of a food stall counter. Remember to clean the screen of your smartphone regularly and try to use earphones with microphone when you talk on the phone to reduce the contact of your face with the screen.
26. Not cleaning keyboard
Most of us spend a lot of our time typing on the keyboard, either for work or leisure. Like our phones, our keyboards are home to germs and bacteria, so remember to do regular cleaning if you want to see clearer skin.
27. Not washing your hands with soap
Washing your hand with soap regularly will not only remove the chances of you from getting sick and also keep your hands – which often wander to your face – clean!
28. Not exercising frequently
Exercising regularly will help you to relieve your stress which is known to be another key factor resulting in breaking out of acne. With the stress level piled up in your body being relieved, it will reduce the chances of you breaking out.
29. Not being patient enough with new products
Even though we did say that finding the right products involves trying different brands, it does not mean that you should change products within a short period of time. Changing brands too often may cause your skin to become irritated and eventually lead to breakout. If you’re worried that a new product doesn’t work for you, consider getting a sample from the counter first to try for a short period of time, and if that’s unavailable, do a patch test by applying a small amount along your jawline to see if there’s any reaction.
30. Using wrong shampoo
One of the reasons which can result in acne is because of the shampoo that you are using. Some might not have realise but ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate can result in breakouts. Make sure to check out the ingredients of the shampoo you are using!
31. Not keeping your nails short
Remember to keep your nails short if you are susceptible to acne. Germs lurk within your nail bed and keeping it short is one way to make sure that your skin won’t get inflamed because of these nail-bugs.
You may already know that smoking cause premature ageing, but did you know that there’s also a correlation with acne? This is because cigarette smoking releases free radicals that break down skin’s defenses and make it more susceptible to inflammation. And if you’re not a smoker, take note to stay away from cigarette smoke too, because the negative effect is also applicable to passive smoking.