7 Daily Habits That Can Make Your Acne Worse

7 Daily Habits That Can Make Your Acne Worse

Published by Jill Goorman on Jul 18th 2022

You might think cleaning your face is the single key to clear skin, but there's so much more to skincare. If you have existing acne or acne-prone skin, several common habits and routines may actually worsen your acne and cause skin irritation. You may think you're doing everything possible to treat your skin. However, these seven daily habits can make your acne worse. This is true whether you're aware of them or not.

Cleansing Too Much

One of the most effective ways to eliminate unwanted breakouts is to keep your skin clean. However, it's possible to cleanse too much. Washing your face too frequently strips your skin of its natural oils, which it needs to stay hydrated. As a result, your body compensates by producing more sebum, making you even more oily. An excess amount of oil can clog your pores and cause additional breakouts.

How To Correct

You might think you need to clean your face multiple times each day to combat acne, but that's not the case. You can avoid cleansing too much by sticking to a twice-a-day cleansing regimen, regardless of your activities. Consider gently wiping your face with cool water after a workout to keep sweat from clogging your pores.

Picking and Popping Pimples

Unfortunately, it's our first instinct as humans to pick and pop blemishes to get rid of them. However, this can cause more harm than good. Believe it or not, squeezing pimples may force dirt and oil further into your pores and cause more irritation and redness. Waiting for a pimple to dissipate is the last thing anyone wants to do, but it's more likely to clear up if you let it be.

How To Correct

Consider seeing a dermatologist to extract blackheads if you can't stop yourself from picking at them. On the other hand, letting them be is the best way to allow them to heal naturally. However, you can dab some spot treatment on your blemishes overnight to help reduce the inflammation and redness. It might surprise you how much a good spot treatment can do in just one night.

Using Too Much Acne Cream

Although acne cream can be very helpful when it comes to reducing breakouts, it's possible to use too much. Because these products typically contain higher percentages of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, using too much can dry out your skin. Less is more, and you probably need less than you think to be effective.

How To Correct

Unless your doctor says otherwise, applying more product than necessary can cause more problems than it fixes. Most of the time, a pea-sized dot of acne treatment cream is enough to spread over your entire face. Furthermore, applying treatment cream to your blemishes rather than your whole face doesn't prevent new breakouts—it only treats the existing ones.

Sleeping in Your Makeup

While it's probably the last thing you want to think about when you're ready for bed, removing your makeup before laying down is essential for clear skin. Your body recovers and repairs itself while you sleep. This healing also extends to your acne. However, your body can't repair your blemishes if you still have makeup, dirt, debris, and excess oil sitting on your skin. In fact, your pores are more likely to become clogged overnight if you don't wash your face before bed.

How To Correct

Even though you might want to skip skincare for just one night, it can be detrimental to your skin. Even if you don't wear makeup, dirt, oil, and other debris gather on your skin's surface throughout the day. Be sure to thoroughly cleanse your face every evening to remove all impurities from your skin.

Pro-Tip: Clean your face as soon as you get home for the day rather than waiting until bedtime. You'll be less likely to put off skincare when you do it right away.

Exfoliating Too Frequently

It can be tempting to scrub your face every time you cleanse to rid your skin of bumpiness and unevenness. However, exfoliating too frequently can cause increased irritation and redness. In fact, scrubbing your skin too hard may break blemishes open and cause them to take longer to heal.

How To Correct

Rather than exfoliating every day, you should gently exfoliate your skin once or twice each week to rid your body of dead skin cells. Scrubbing too hard or too frequently can damage your skin's barrier and cause increased dryness and irritation. If dryness occurs, use a good moisturizer and avoid exfoliating until your skin is hydrated.

Choosing the Wrong Products

Many makeup, skincare, and hair care product formulations cause acne because they contain oils, butters, and other comedogenic ingredients. If you have acne-prone skin, using these products can wreak havoc on your face. Unfortunately, it's challenging to determine which product causes issues for you, and you may continue to experience breakouts until you find out which one is problematic.

How To Correct

You might have to do some trial-and-error testing to determine which products cause issues for your skin, but using products that claim to be non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic is the best way to prevent breakouts. Consider getting a complete skincare kit for acne-prone skin to ensure you don't fall victim to inflammatory products.

Sharing Makeup, Brushes, and Applicators

Although doing makeup with your friends is oh-so-fun, sharing makeup products, brushes, and applicators is the ultimate way to spread germs among each other. Bacteria is the number one cause of unwanted breakouts and blemishes, so you should avoid spreading it or applying extra bacteria to your skin.

How To Correct

Sharing makeup may seem like a good idea, but it can cause additional issues for your skin. Rather than sharing with other people, be sure to get your own makeup brushes and applicators. Even if you use your own brushes to apply someone else's makeup, there's a chance you're transferring their bacteria onto your face. Stick to your own makeup products and use your own brushes if you absolutely have to use someone else's makeup.

Although everyone's skin is different, these general skincare guidelines work positively for most people. Be gentle with your skin and have enough patience to let it heal. By avoiding these daily habits that can make your acne worse, you'll have a better chance of reducing your breakouts and clearing up your skin.