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Sep 18, 2012

The 10 Most Common Causes For Breakouts

Ever since I was in middle school, I've always struggled with acne. Thankfully, makeup over the years hasn't made me too self-conscious about it, but I do envy those with naturally perfect, glowing skin. Breaking out more recently made me curious as to what the main causes are and therefore what I should change to prevent future breakouts.

After quite a bit of research, here are the top 10 most common causes for breakouts (in no particular order):

  1. Stress - When you are especially stressed, your skin and body as a whole will suffer, physically and mentally. In regards to skin, stress causes an overproduction of cortisol, a steroid that makes your skin extra oily, therefore leading to pesky breakouts. 
  2. Using New Skincare Products - As many products will warn you, the beginning of using new products on your skin may cause your skin to react to the change. Give the new product about 2 weeks, and if you are still experiencing breakouts, it may not be your best fit. An inconsistent skincare regimen may also have negative effects on the skin. Use products as directed!
  3. Touching Your Face - This is a pretty obvious one and one of the most common culprits for breakouts. Everyone subconsciously touches their face and it's a tricky habit to break! An example is when you are working with phones or computers. Your face can easily become the dirtiest part of your body! The most common areas of your face for these habits to effect are your cheeks, chin, and jawline. Clean your cell phone and keyboard frequently and try to reduce the amount of times you touch your face. Hand sanitizer can be a good idea to have at your desk too!
  4. Hormones - Ancient Chinese medicine has linked breakouts around the mouth and jawline with hormones. Estrogen dominant birth control pills may help some to control this, but more natural approaches are reducing stress, getting plenty of sleep and taking evening primrose oil. 
  5. Diet (Dairy and Sugar Consumption especially) - Another factor that can affect the chin, jaw line and neck areas are too much dairy and sugar in your diet than your body can tolerate. This is one that I learned through my research, particularly dairy. It's a good idea to try significantly cutting back on milk, cheese, yogurt, chocolate, etc. to see if you experience less breakouts. 
  6. Air Travel
  7. Changes in Weather - It's inevitable unfortunately, but the best way to avoid the weather altering your skin condition is to adjust your products. When it is cold and dry, use serums and heavier, creamier moisturizers. When it is hot and humid, use mineral-based moisturizers with SPF. 
  8. Allergies - Usually when your breakouts resemble tiny bumps all over the face or on the forehead, it can be an allergy to food or makeup. Getting checked by your doctor for an intolerance to foods like gluten or dairy is a good idea. This is why natural brands such as BareMinerals, Lush and Tarte have been so successful. Natural is better. 
  9. Excess SebumSebum is an oily substance secreted from the skin to protect and keep the skin hydrated. When you have too much sebum, you will most likely experience acne. Your doctor can prescribe you Retin-A to allow the skin to properly slough off dead skin cells and keep sebum levels regulated. Retinol serves the same purpose but is not as strong and can be bought in a drugstore.
  10. Not Washing Your Face/Taking Off Your Makeup - Bacteria is commonly formed from oil, causing blemishes. Not taking off your makeup means accumulated oil, dirt and debris. Yuck! Make sure you ALWAYS wash your face morning and night, take off your makeup using a makeup removed wipe, toner or Clarisonic-like device.
Interested in more skin tips? Comment below and I'll be sure to post more often about tips/tricks I've found :)

xx, Ariana

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