Does long hair cause acne

9 Bad Habits That Can Cause Pimples

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, you can alter 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.

Are your hair care products causing breakouts?

The oils in hair care products can cause tiny breakouts along your hairline and forehead. Do you have tiny bumps along your hairline, the upper part of your forehead, or both? Have you noticed tiny bumps along the back of your neck?

The culprit may be your hair care products. Shampoos, conditioners, and styling products can cause whiteheads and other types of acne in these areas. The bumps can be so subtle that you can feel but not see them. Some people develop numerous, closely packed bumps that they can see.

Even if you’ve never had acne, hair care products can cause breakouts. This is so common that there’s actually a medical name for it—acne cosmetica. This literally means acne caused by products we apply to our skin or hair.

Why some hair care products cause breakouts

When hair care products contain oil, the oil can find its way to your skin. Once this happens, the oil can clog your pores. Clogged pores can lead to acne.

When hair care products are the culprit, you’ll likely get whiteheads and tiny flesh-colored bumps called “papules.” These can appear along your hairline, forehead, or the back of your neck.

What gets rid of this acne?

When you stop using the product(s) clogging your pores, the acne will slowly clear.

Sometimes, it’s easy to determine the product(s) causing the breakouts. If you’re using a hairstyling product that contains a lot of oil, such as a pomade, that’s likely the culprit.

Give acne time to clear

After you stop using acne-causing products, it can take 4 to 6 weeks for the acne to clear.

The cause could also be something less obvious. Many hair care products, including shampoos, conditioners, styling gels, waxes, pastes, and sprays, contain oil. Even shaving creams and aftershave can contain oil. You’ll want to consider whether any of these products could be causing your acne.

If nothing seems the likely culprit, stop using products when you don’t see one of the following words on the label:

  • Won’t clog pores

  • Oil free

  • Non-comedogenic

  • Non-acnegenic

Wash off residue from hair care products

To see clear skin, you’ll must also get rid of the residue from hair care products. This residue can stick to just about anything. Be sure to wash everything your head touched, including:

  • Pillow cases and sheets

  • Caps

  • Hats

  • Headbands

  • Visors

When a dermatologist can help

This type of acne tends to clear on its own once the product(s) causing the problem stops coming into contact with your skin. You should see clearing within 6 weeks. If your skin doesn’t clear by then, you may want to see a dermatologist for help.

Images
Getty Images

Reference
Fulton JE, Acne Rx: What acne really is and how to eliminate its devastating effects! Self-published; 2001.

So… you’ve found the perfect product that gives you movie-star quality hair. The only problem is it’s causing breakouts. Do you keep using the gel, paste, clay or pomade, hoping it will pass? Or do you start looking for another product?

Before you do anything ask yourself the following questions.

  1. When did the breakouts start occurring? If the breakouts started a week after you started using the product, and you otherwise have clear skin, chances are you’ve found your culprit.
  2. Where did the breakouts appear? Breakouts occurring on the forehead, sideburn area and back of the neck are tell-tale signs that your hair product is causing breakouts.
  3. Do you wear the hair product during exercise? Sweating can cause excess hair product to runoff onto your forehead and face, leaving oil residue which can cause acne. Shower after the gym to prevent this from happening.
  4. Do you wash your hair before bed? If not, your hair product can transfer to your face as you toss and turn throughout the night.
  5. How often do you wash your pillow? Over time, the residue from your hair product can build up and cause breakouts. Wash your pillow regularly to prevent this from happening.
  6. Is your product oil-based? The three main contributing factors to acne are Oil, Dead Skin Cells and Bacteria. If your product is oil-based, it could be trapping bacteria and creating a breeding ground for acne. If this is the case, it’s time to ditch your oil-based product and switch to water-based hair products for effective, oil-free haircare.

Still confused? Check out our guide to the best hair-styling products for men.

Water-Based Pomade

Get the non-greasy, easy-to-wash out pomade that won’t cause breakouts. Unlike oil-based pomades, that can be difficult to wash out and can damage your hair, our premium water-based pomade can be washed out easily, and won’t strip the natural oils from your hair.

Do hair products cause acne or are they responsible for your skin issues?

This has been the subject of several email questions lately and the answer is a little bit complicated, as it always is with skin issues.

You may not know this, but over the last one to two years, I have been struggling with acne. I wanted to write about it here but I didn’t really have a solution to share…yet. I’m getting close, and so I’ll be writing about that soon.

Now I don’t believe that hair products themselves cause acne, but there are a few situations when you’re using a lot of product that can cause skin irritations. These irritations are triggers from which you can develop pimples, spots and breakouts.

Here are a few easy steps you can take to minimise the risk.

Fringe benefits… and problems

My first experience of skin issues related to my hair was when I had a fringe (bangs). After a little while, I started noticing really small bumps all over my forehead and I knew it was because of my hair.

I love a fringe but the hair resting on my forehead can be an issue. It easily transfers hair products and the oil from my scalp onto my forehead and causes irritation. If you’ve got oily skin this can really be problem.

An easy way to try and fix this is simply by clipping your hair up whenever you can, like when you’re at home or overnight.

It is also really important to wash your forehead more carefully when you have a fringe. Your hair is resting on it all the time it’s not able to breathe like the rest of your skin. Make sure you’re doing a double cleanse to really wash your face properly at the end of the day. This should minimise any risk you have of skin problems from your fringe.

Skin problems while you sleep

If you wear a lot of hair products every day and then sleep with your hair out, you’re transferring a lot those products to your pillow every night.

Just think about how much hairspray, mousse, wax, pomade – whatever you’re using – is sitting on your pillow every night rubbing against your face. It’s kind of gross, right?

So while I wouldn’t recommend washing your hair every day, because that’s not my style, I do believe in washing your pillowcase more regularly. It’s easy to switch your pillow, or turn it over, so that you can start the night with a fresh pillowcase.

I’d also recommend you clip your hair up while you sleep, I’ve written about my trick to waking up with great hair, as clipping your hair up at night, whether you have straight or curly hair, will mean you wake up with tangle-free and bouncy hair in the morning.

Breakouts on your hairline

Another skin issue that a reader emailed me about is acne or breakouts on their hairline after using certain products. There are three main possible causes – the product is reacting with your skin, you’re using too much product or you’re not rinsing the product out of your hair. So let’s talk about each of those issues and how we can solve them.

1. Product reactions

Firstly, if the product is reacting with your skin, stop using it. There is no reason to keep using a hair product that is causing you to breakout or causing any skin irritation.

What you need to do is look at the label and look for ingredients that could be the cause of the irritation. Compare it to a product you’ve used before that worked fine and see if there’s a difference. Keep a note of any ingredients that you think could be the issue.

2. Using too much product

Excess product on your skin can cause a reaction. This could be true for mousses, hair powders and hair products that are applied close to your scalp.

First check, are you happy from the result you’re getting from your hair products? That’s a good way to tell if it’s actually working for you. If so, try using a little bit less product and see if that makes a difference to your skin.

Also check that you’re washing your face really well each night, and washing right up to your hairline. Make sure that any residue is staying in your hair and is not lying on your skin.

If you really love that product and want to keep using it, just use it a little bit less often and keep it away from your hairline, so that it’s more comfortable for you to use.

3. Product residues

Often hairline breakouts can be caused by leaving rinse-out hair products on your skin.

Some conditioners can be quite heavy on the skin and can block the pores on your skin around your face. Take that extra couple of minutes in the shower to make sure your hair really rinses clean.

Conditioners are usually the problem and one trick is to not put conditioner on your scalp. You don’t really need it there to begin with anyway.

Shampoo the roots of your hair and let it rinse through. Then condition from the mid lengths to the ends and that’s how the two products work together to really clean and nourish your hair.

So, do hair products cause acne?

Sometimes, but the issue could be more about actually cleaning your skin and keeping the products in the right place rather than letting them rest on your skin.

Now if you do break out, it’s really important to not go crazy and try and scrub and over clean your skin. Acne is an inflammation and you really need to be gentle on your skin to help it heal.

Be careful of products that are too drying. Although you do want to remove some of the oil, skin that’s too dry can’t heal and you will be left with red marks.

Has anyone else suffered with skin issues or acne from using hair products? Or just general adult acne like me? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below. What was the cause of your breakouts and what actually fixed the problem for you?

The amount of information out there on acne and oily skin is overwhelming. But even if you had the time for some research, how do you separate the facts from the fiction?

Knowing the truth about acne and oiliness can help you get closer to clearer skin. So here are some common myths you should know about…

Healthy skin starts from the inside out. Let our experts help you pinpoint the specific nutrients you need for healthier looking skin. Start Consultation.

Myth #1: Moisturiser makes acne and oily skin worse

Moisturising oily and acne-prone skin makes it even oilier, right? Wrong. in fact drying out oily skin by not moisturising could make your body produce even more oil to compensate.

Moisturising is part of a good skincare routine, whatever your skin type. Aim to moisturise twice a day after cleansing – look for a light moisturiser developed for oily skin and acne (products labelled non-comedogenic will also help prevent blackheads forming).

Myth #2: Oily skin and acne are the result of bad hygiene

If oily skin and spots were caused by dirty skin we could fix the problem simply by washing repetitively. But the real truth is cleansing your skin too much can make the problem worse. That’s because, like avoiding moisturising, over-washing and scrubbing can strip away too much of your natural oils, making your skin produce more.

Stick to cleansing twice a day to remove excess oil and the bacteria and dead skin cells that cause acne. Use a gentle cleanser that contains a little benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Also avoid cleansers and toners containing alcohol as they can strip oil from your skin.

Myth #3: Greasy foods make oily skin and acne worse

There’s still a lot of conflicting information out there about diet and oily skin and acne. These days, however, experts are more interested in how sugar affects the skin rather than high-fat foods. Eating too much sugar may well be linked with oily skin and acne, they say.

That’s no excuse for bingeing on pizza and chips. Choosing healthy foods is the best way to eat, whatever your skin type, because good nutrition supports your overall health. So try to follow a balanced diet and include foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, especially if you have acne-inflamed skin (omega-3s – found in oily fish – may limit the production of inflammatory chemicals responsible for breakouts). If you struggle to eat enough fish or want to increase your omega 3 intake, try supplementing with a high quality omega-3 fish oil.

Myth #4: Chocolate makes oily skin and acne worse too

People used to think chocolate was bad for your skin. Then experts said it wasn’t linked with oily skin and acne after all. But now we know the truth may be somewhere between the two. And it may all depend on what type of chocolate you eat.

Milk chocolate contains two things that are currently thought to make acne and oily skin worse, namely milk and sugar. But dark chocolate doesn’t contain milk, plus varieties that have a cocoa content of 70% or higher contain less sugar (the higher the cocoa content, the lower the amount of sugar).

Myth #5: Adult acne is a female problem

According to the NHS about 80% of people aged 11 – 30 are affected by acne. This includes about 5% of women and 1% of men aged 25 or older. So while more women are affected than men, it’s not exclusively a female thing.

In fact, the hormones involved in oily skin and acne are often referred to as ‘male’ hormones, or androgens, as men produce higher levels of them than women. To lower your androgen levels, try having less sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

The bottom line: There’s lots you can do to improve oily skin and acne, including eating healthily and having a first-rate skincare routine.

Browse skin supplements.

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How to Manage Dehydrated, Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

Having dehydrated, dry, and oily skin, and acne all at that same time are a difficult combination of problems that seem impossible to handle. But once you understand what’s happening plus which products you need to use (and what products to avoid), you can assemble an ideal skincare routine and start seeing impressive results.

What is Dehydrated, Oily, and Acne-Prone Skin?

This combination of skin problems is recognizable when the surface of skin is dry or flaky with a layer of oil sitting on top, all accompanied by blemishes (either a lot or a little). In terms of dealing with the dehydrated, dry part, thankfully it’s often a temporary condition caused from using the wrong skincare products.

However, although acne and oily skin can persist because they are almost always inherited disorders, they can also be exacerbated by choosing the wrong products.

Here’s what you may be doing incorrectly:

1. If you are using skincare products that aren’t right for your skin type (too emollient or too drying) or contain harsh, skin-aggravating ingredients, you could be causing your skin to be oilier, drier, dehydrate its surface, and possibly even cause more breakouts.

2. Even more problematic is if you aren’t using anti-acne products containing salicylic acid (BHA) or benzoyl peroxide. These two ingredients are basic to getting breakouts under control.

3. Without question, changing to the right products usually relieves the problem or at the very least will lessen the severity and eliminate a dehydrated, flaky surface.

What Causes Dehydrated and Acne-Prone Skin

These are some of the most common skin-aggravating culprits that may be messing with your skin, causing it to be dehydrated, oilier, and have more breakouts at the same time:

  • Using drying soaps, harsh scrubs, or being too aggressive with cleansing brushes (especially ones with bristles that are stiff and rough on skin)
  • Applying toners, astringents, or any product that contain high amounts of alcohol or other irritating ingredients (think witch hazel, menthol, citruses, eucalyptus)
  • Using products that contain high amounts of natural or synthetic fragrances, including fragrant oils.
  • Foregoing daily sunscreen use—sun damage plays a significant role in permanently disrupting the surface of skin.

Eliminating these faulty practices will go a long way toward getting your skin back on the right track, but you also need to choose your anti-acne skin carefully because not all of them are created equally!

Choosing Anti-Acne Products Wisely

Numerous studies have shown that salicylic acid (BHA) and benzoyl peroxide are essential anti-acne ingredients and the first over-the-counter choice before you seek professional attention. However, many products containing salicylic acid (BHA) and benzoyl peroxide also include skin-aggravating ingredients that can increase oil production and cause flaky, dry patches at the same time. That’s why it’s so critical that you choose anti-acne products carefully.

You can easily avoid this problem by choosing products from our Paula’s Choice Skincare CLEAR products which are formulated to be completely non-irritating. (If you prefer to do your own detective work by looking for products from other brands, just be sure to choose those that are completely non-irritating)

Paula’s Choice Skincare CLEAR options:

  • CLEAR Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid
  • CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid
  • CLEAR Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide
  • CLEAR Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide

Balancing Your Anti-Acne Skincare Routine

Even the best anti-acne skincare routines can go awry if you get overzealous, don’t monitor how your skin responds, and you don’t choose the appropriate skincare routine to complement your anti-acne products.

For example, for some people you may not need to use both a salicylic acid (BHA) and a benzoyl peroxide product. For some people, one or the other is fine and it would take experimenting to see what works best for you.

Another way to experiment is applying the benzoyl peroxide product one day and the next day use the salicylic acid (BHA) product. You can also experiment with using the salicylic acid (BHA) product during the day and the benzoyl peroxide product at night.

Products with retinol, niacinamide, and vitamin C can also help because each ingredient works to improve a dull, uneven skin tone, minimize pores, and has skin-restoring properties to help skin get back to looking and feeling normal.

What Else You Should be Using

Because of your unique skincare needs, you will need to find a middle ground to address the entire combination all at the same time. That means using a skincare routine whose formulas are lightweight enough so they don’t clog pores or make skin oilier (no emollient products). This next part is crucial: Each leave-on product in your routine must contain an ample amount of beneficial ingredients to get skin’s surface back to normal.

This means selecting gentle cleansers, liquid toners filled with skin-replenishing ingredients and a serum or moisturizer with a fluid or lotion-like texture complete with skin-restoring and replenishing ingredients and an array of potent but soothing antioxidants. And of course a broad spectrum sunscreen for daytime. Along with your anti-acne products this routine can help you achieve the best skin of your life. That’s what we hope this information lets you achieve!

Here are some options from Paula’s Choice Skincare that will work perfectly for dehydrated, oily & acne-prone skin:

  • RESIST Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser
  • RESIST Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner
  • RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator or RESIST Ultra-Light Antioxidant Serum
  • RESIST Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50

If you still find yourself a bit confused on which products to use, contact our Paula’s Choice Client Services Experts for a personalized skincare consultation!

Learn more about combination skin.

Learn more about oily skin.

Top 9 Ways Your Hair Is Causing Acne Breakout

Yes, your hair could be the culprit behind your acne breakouts. Crazy, right? Just when you thought you’re already using all the right products for your face and being diligent about not touching it because you’re trying to prevent breakouts, turns out your hair is sabotaging your efforts! Learn about how your hair is doing this and prevent it from causing problems again.

1. Wearing Bangs

Oil and skin do not make for the best combination. Even if you do not have oily hair, your scalp still produces oil which is distributed through your strands. So if you wear bangs, you probably notice that your forehead never seems to clear up. Try pinning them back whenever you have the chance to give your forehead a break.

2. Using 2-In-1 Shampoo

This type of hair product is usually so heavy; it can sometimes sit on the hair and can be transferred to your skin, which clogs pores. This is especially true if you’re the type who always wears your hair down, so your hair touches your face often.

3. Getting Hair Products On Your Skin

It can be not rinsing your hair thoroughly which is why some of your shampoo or your conditioner are still left sitting on your scalp and transferred on your face or over-applying styling products like mousse or hairspray to carelessly so half of the product end up landing on your face. Not only that this cause pimple but it can also lead to hair and scalp problems. So aside from trying to keep hair products off your skin and washing your face if they do come in contact, try a hair and scalp treatment at LUXE because they can help you address hair and scalp issues accordingly. You’ll need them in case you end up suffering from hair problems like hair loss, premature greying, eczema, psoriasis, and more that can all lead to thinning hair because of this habit.

4. Shampooing At The Wrong Time

When you sleep, there’s no controlling where your hair will go, so it’s best that you shower at night so that your locks are clean before you sleep on it. If you do this, you’re less likely to wake up and be greeted by a pimple.

5. Leaving Your Hair Down When Your Sleep

Keeping your hair clean definitely, helps prevent acne but washing your hair every day can dry out your strands. So, for those days that you’re not washing your hair, don’t forget to pull it back and out of your face while you sleep.

6. Showering In The Wrong Order

Does your face always adorn with acne as well as your body? That’s probably because you wash your hair last. This means, your shampoo and conditioner leave some residue on your face and body. That can irritate your skin and lead to acne breakouts. To prevent this, you should wash your hair before you wash the rest of your body. This makes sure that the skin is clean after the hair products are rinsed from it.

7. Not Showering After A Workout

Exercising is generally good for your body, but not for your skin when you let sweat and dirt linger long after your workout. You should still at least be rinsing your hair after working out avoid sweat from clogging pores, especially when it sitting around your hairline from a good workout.

8. Using Too Much Heat

The constant heat from blow-drying your hair can dry out your scalp and lead to acne just like leaving it too oil will. Instead, you try using a diffuser to aim the heat on the hair and not your forehead.

9. Wearing Hats

For the record, wearing hats, especially wide-brimmed hats helps protect your face from directly hitting your face which can help prevent damage from UV rays. However, if it’s too tight, it can also clog your pores and make acne worse. If you want to wear a hat, make sure that you’re washing the accessory regularly.

If you’re struggling with your hair problem or scalp condition, Try LUXE Signature MTM Herbal Scalp Strengthening Treatment, an effective way to restore that and boost hair growth!

How can I control the excessive oil secretions on my face that leads to acne? Anonymous

Pimples are the worst! They hurt, pop up overnight and can be impossible to hide.

You’re right that oily skin is believed to be the most critical factor for causing acne.

But rest assured, there are a few things you can do to keep your oil at bay and control the likelihood of a break out.

Why am I so oily… all the time!

Before we start talking about how to avoid acne, let’s chat about why oily skin causes acne.

Oily skin is caused by the overproduction of sebum by an overactive oil gland (also known as the pilosebaceous unit, which is just a fancy term for a hair follicle and its oil gland).

There are a few reasons we get acne, one being the pore of the oil gland can be blocked – this can be made worse by using certain types of makeup.

Some of our hormones during puberty drive sebum overproduction, hence acne-overload. Fun fact: anabolic steroids, typically used by bodybuilders, can trigger acne too.

Acne bacteria lives on the skin and its overgrowth around your oil glands can worsen inflammation and pus formation. This is what causes acne to hurt sometimes.

If there’s a strong history of acne in your family, there’s a good chance you might get it too.

It is also linked to medical conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Read more: ‘What is wrong with me? I’m never happy and I hate school’

Trust me on this, a proper skin routine is everything

As a dermatologist, I recommend cleaning your face every morning and evening. If you wear make up, ALWAYS wipe it off before going to bed – no excuses!

The Conversation, CC BY-ND

Using pore-clogging oil-based make up can worsen or cause acne. This can become worse if make up is not thoroughly removed!

If you want to hide your acne with make up, just be sure to use brands that contain good ingredients (I talk a bit more about this below).

A few tips to help keep your skin clear 🌟

  1. Diet: Eat a healthy balanced diet containing low glycaemic index food groups with complex carbohydrates and omega-3 fatty acids. There might be a role for oral zinc supplements. It is best to avoid sugary, processed and refined food.

  2. Make up and hair products: If you choose to wear make up, opt for mineral-based foundations, eg. La Roche Posay, Bare Minerals, Nude by Nature, Jane Iredale, Youngblood and Ultraceuticals. Wash your hair regularly with shampoo, especially if you’re using hair products and if you have oily hair or scalp. Avoid using oil-based products on your face and beware of oil-based pomades and hair wax, especially near your forehead.

  3. Regular use of a good quality broad spectrum SPF 30 and above ultralight sunscreen lotion: This reduces early onset wrinkles, pigmentation issues and in the long-term reduces your risk of developing sunspots and dangerous skin cancers.

  4. Maintain a healthy weight and embrace exercise: Not only is this good for mental health (stress can lead to acne), it also reduces levels of acne-causing hormones.

Read more: Common lumps and bumps on and under the skin: what are they?

About to leave the house and still feel oily?

I recommend using a blotting paper or oil-control film when this happens. They aren’t too expensive – Target sells packs of 100 for A$5 – and can be bought at supermarkets and pharmacies.

You can also apply a thin layer of mattifying gel or a mineral-based loose powder foundation to reduce and absorb excess oil.

Some final words of advice

  1. Use oil-free and non-comedogenic cleansers, moisturisers and make up. When picking a foundation opt for “oil free” liquid silicone (dimethicone or cyclomethicone) matte foundations over oil foundations

  2. remember to thoroughly remove your make up with a make up remover

  3. avoid touching, picking or scratching your pimples

  4. if you feel your acne is particularly bad, make sure you see your GP or get a referral to see a dermatologist. It’s always best to get on top of your acne and reduce risk of acne scarring.

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Not too long ago, the euphoria I felt letting my lengths splay across my pillowcase before bed was *almost* akin to the feeling of taking my bra off after work. After an acne-ridden stretch (ugh), I exasperatedly asked my friend what I should do to calm my temperamental skin. “Well, are you sleeping with your hair down?” she asked me.

It was one of those “no, duh” moments for me, and I immediately started twisting my hair into a top knot before calling it a night. But there was one thing I still couldn’t piece together: Was my hair really that much dirtier than my sheets?

According to New York City dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, the simple answer is: Yes. Your hair is filthy. “Hair acts like a magnet for dirt and pollution,” she tells me. And this might provide interesting insight into why we break out on places like our cheeks. While we know that the chin and jawline frequently see hormonal breakouts, those that sprout up other places are more mysterious—or at least, until now. “When you sleep, your hair can rub on your face and bedding making you more susceptible to breakouts,” she adds.

“Hair acts like a magnet for dirt and pollution. When you sleep, it can rub on your face and bedding making you more susceptible to breakouts.” -Dendy Engelman, MD

What’s more? Your scalp produces sebum (yep, the same stuff in pimples) and depending on how long it’s been since your last wash, the sebum can make its way down the hair strand. If you sleep with your hair down, your face will quite literally be pressed against oily strands all night, which could bring on breakouts. Case in point: Many a forehead pimple was caused by scalp oil finding its way down south.

So if you’re not yet in the shower-before-bed-camp, you just might consider altering your patterns. Not in the mood for a rinse before bed? Totally fine. Dr. Engelman says that, while freshly showered strands are golden for your skin, securing your hair away from your face is a close second. “Before going to sleep, I recommend pulling hair into a loose braid or ponytail,” she advises. “Secure that with a Slip Silk scrunchie, which are my favorite because they are gentle on the hair.” And that’s a wrap on bad skin days (and probably bad hair days too).

Besides your hair, your towels and your loofah could also be causing skin issues.

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