9 Bad Habits That Can Cause Pimples
Avoiding certain behaviors can lessen your risk of having acne breakouts.
By Diana Rodriguez
Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
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Clear, healthy, blemish-free skin is a dream for many — and though you can’t do anything about your hormones or hereditary, two main causes of acne, youcanalter your daily routine to improve your skin’s appearance. Break your skin care bad habits to prevent acne and enjoy the healthy glow of clear skin.
Acne, the term for what's commonly called pimples or zits, occurs when oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells clog hair follicles. People with oily skin may be more susceptible to pimples because of their acne-prone skin, but breaking bad habits can still help them — and everyone else — prevent acne.
Break These Acne-Causing Habits
Here are the top bad habits that can take a toll on your acne-prone skin, resulting in pimples and blemishes:
Bad Habit No. 1: Washing your skin too often
Though it's important to keep your skin clean, washing it too often will only make acne worse. Instead, wash your face in the morning when you wake and at night before bed.
Bad Habit No. 2: Vigorously scrubbing your skin
Scrubbing your skin with a washcloth, loofah, or harsh exfoliant will cause significant irritation — and may worsen your acne-prone skin. To prevent acne, always wash with only lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser.
Bad Habit No. 3: Not cleaning sweaty skin
After you've had a tough workout or been outside in the hot sun, your skin may be covered with sweat. Don't let it dry on your skin — instead, always bathe or wash your skin promptly after sweating.
Bad Habit No. 4: Picking at your skin and popping your pimples
While it may be irresistible to pick or pop pimples, these behaviors can cause increased redness from squeezing the pus deeper into the skin and sometimes even scarring. Instead, keep your hands off your face and let pimples go back down to size with the help of an anti-acne lotion or cream.
Bad Habit No. 5: Skipping the shampoo
If you've got oily hair, that oil can seep down onto your face — and cause pimples. Make sure you wash your hair each day to keep excess oil off of your forehead, face, and back to help prevent acne.
Bad Habit No. 6: Getting hair products on your face
It's important to keep hair spray, gel, mousse, or other hair products off your face to prevent them from clogging up your pores. Cover your face when applying these products to keep them on your hair and off your skin.
Bad Habit No. 7: Eating greasy foods
While the food that you eat doesn't cause acne, greasy foods can make acne-prone skin worse because of the excess oil and grease that can get on the skin from the food itself. So stick to a healthy diet without greasy, fried foods to spare your skin — and your health.
Bad Habit No. 8: Using cosmetics that contain oil
If you've got acne-prone skin, the last thing you want to do is introduce even more oil. When you buy makeup and other skin products, look for oil-free options labeled with the terms "non-acnegenic" or "non-comedogenic" to help prevent acne.
Bad Habit No. 9: Stopping your acne treatment
If you're using prescription acne medications for your pimples, it's great news when your skin starts to clear up. But that doesn't mean you're free to stop using your medication. To keep a recurrent breakout at bay, finish all of your prescription acne medications as recommended by your doctor unless directed otherwise.
Replace your bad skin care habits and practices with good ones to help bring acne under control. With a few simple changes, your skin — not your pimples — will be glowing.
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