12 Reasons Your Skin May Be Breaking Out
I have had my own battle with acne on and off for over 10 years, and have been helping many of you clear up your skin over the years. We are sadly no longer in the days of "over 21, no breakouts!" If your struggle with breakouts we have probably talked about many of these potential causes, but lets have a refresher course!
Hormones - Skin care is amazing, but ultimately hormones rule when it comes to your skin. Whether it's before your period, stress which produces cortisol and causes breakouts or even birth control. Hormonal balance is key for great skin. Seeing a doctor to get your hormones tested and adding stress relieving practices or exercise to your life can be a great start to getting your hormones back on track.
Medication - Have your recently started or stopped taking birth control? I have many clients that have come off of birth control, and their skin goes crazy. Some birth control pills can also cause acne to worsen. I have had multiple clients even generic brands can cause this. Fertility treatment medications among a long list of other types of medications can often cause breakouts or even extreme dryness.
Gut Issues - From my research I believe an imbalanced gut is a big root cause of breakouts. Gut issues are becoming more and more common, and are related to many health problems. I love eating probiotic rich foods, and take oral probiotic supplements to help balance my gut for better digestion, and better skin. In some cases an elimination diet is needed to truly balance the gut. Books like "The Beauty Of Dirty Skin" by Whitney Bowe and "Younger Skin Starts In The Gut" by Nigma Talib are great reads to help you learn more about if this may be a culprit for your skin.
Dairy - Linking up with hormones, dairy is often another big skin culprit, especially for cheek and jawline breakouts. Even milia on the cheeks and around the eyes! Even when it's organic, the hormones that cows make are not the same as humans, and therefore disrupt our hormones. I always recommend going off of dairy for 2 weeks to see if it is an issue for your skin or not. Wheat and sugar are also inflammatory foods that may also be foods to consider testing how they affect your skin.
Pillowcase - I change my pillow case every 2-3 nights. Since I have oily skin, it breeds more bacteria. We definitely do not want to be slathering acne bacteria on our skin from the days before, just making it worse! Oils from our hair can also get on our pillows and then onto our skin causing breakouts as well.
Skincare - Maybe you are using the wrong skincare products and that is causing your skin to breakout. Or, you just started a new skincare regimen that is purging your skin. If the second is the case, hang in there! But know, no purging affect should last more than 2 weeks! If you need guidance on what you should be using for your skin do not hesitate to ask! I will do my best to work with any budget and lifestyle to get your skin to a clearer state!
Panthenol - Panthenol is a vitamin B5 which is really great for the hair and skin, but it is often the culprit for back breakouts, and some face breakouts. Typically around the perimeter of the face where your hair touches your skin, but it can also be all over. I believe there is a higher percentage of panthenol in hair care than skincare products, which is what causes the issue. Check all of your haircare product and try switching to a different product and see if after a few weeks your skin improves.
Not Washing Your Face - Sleeping in makeup? That's a big NO NO! If you struggle falling asleep on the couch or get too tired later in the evening I recommend washing your face right after dinner! Do you only wash your face once a day? I's important to wash your face twice a day whether you experience breakouts or not, but especially if you do! In the morning you remove toxins excreted from the night before, and at night you are removing dirt, oil and environmental debris.
Touching Your Face - Our hands contain so many germs! Touching your face constantly can induce breakouts that may otherwise not be a problem.
Dirty Makeup Brushes - This is a big one! Makeup brushes really need to be washed every couple of weeks, or else they are also introducing more bacteria into the skin. Especially your blemish concealer brush! I like using Dr. Bronners baby hemp unscented castile soap to wash my brushes every couple of weeks. Also make sure you're keeping your brushes covered or in a plastic container when not in use to protect from dust and debris.
Weather Fluctuations - Cooler months reduce oiliness and can sometimes cause dead skin cells to not shed as quickly, causing pores to clog. Especially when weather is so back and forth! Keeping up with exfoliation and switching to the right moisturizer can help this! (Just like we switch clothes every season, it's important to adjust skincare to keep your skin in it's best shape!) Layering a hyaluronic acid serum under your moisturizer is a great way to hydrate your skin during cooler months as it binds water to your skin. Helps you keep that summer glow too!
Flying - The low humidity on an airplane dries out skin cells and often causes more oiliness as well.This often induces breakouts. I like to layer up on moisturizer before, during and after a flight to keep skin hydrated! Read about how I prevent post flight breakouts here.
For each individual depending on your skin care habits, diet and lifestyle choices there are many other potential reasons you are breaking out, but these tend to be the most common reasons. Never hesitate to ask me questions about your skin and my recommendations for you!
Updated - April 2020