So I woke up this morning and came across a pretty interesting article about some often overlooked causes for acne.
Acne, as most of us know, is a condition that causes an abnormal amount of zits and pimples to appear on the face and body from dirt and oil build up. Acne, like hirsutism, is typically hormonal, but other factors can play like stress and bad dieting decisions.
This article detailed some hidden things that may be causing acne in places that we may not realize.
The Yahoo Health article by Angela Haupt details activities that may be making you blow up zits all over the place.
What I will do here is summarize what Angela detailed in my words and give my own opinion on each “cause.”
- Cell Phones: This may hold some truth. I mean, who routinely cleans their cell phone? You talk to people all throughout the day, meaning before and after washing your face and hands so you are in essence just transferring dirt to your cell phone over and over. And then laying that device on one side of your face over and over. So when Angela points out the potential of developing acne on your face, particularly along the jaw line and chin, I believe it.
- Yoga Mats: I do not practice yoga, but Angela says that when you lay your hands on the same place you lay your feet and then put those very hands on your face, it is possible to promote pimple development. Keep your work out gear (mats, clothing, etc.) clean routinely.
- Makeup: It is imperative that if you wear makeup while acne-prone, keep your face washed at all times. And make sure you pay attention to ingredients too. Oil based make ups (especially ones containing mineral oil) need to be avoided at all costs. I personally develop God-awful blackheads if I wear oil-based foundation for too long. My preference is powdered foundations. According the Acne.org, a welcomed oil for acne is jojoba oil.
- Anti-Aging Creams: I do not use these either, but my guess is they are very oily, as Angela stated. She also points out that some ingredients in these types of creams, like retinol, while helpful with some skin conditions, may be an irritant to acne. So try to find a non-oil based aging cream or something without well-known skin irritants like retinol in it.
- Medications: I know some medicines, particularly those for steroids and hormonal disorders, may do more damage than good when dealing with acne. Angela suggest (and I agree) to chat with a doctor about all the pros and cons of all the medications you are taking for acne or other disorders you may have as to not trigger an acne outbreak unknowingly. Also, consider natural supplements to any medications you have to take for your conditions.
- Dandruff and Hair Products: Now I am not terribly sure how scalp flakes can cause acne, but I can imagine the build up of dirt in general in your hair and failing to shampoo your hair more often may lead to acne, particularly around the edges of your scalp. Ingredients from hair products (oil, alcohol, etc.) do not help either. For folks with longer hair, consider the idea of acne on your neck and back because of bad hair hygiene. Look into a medicine based shampoo, as Angela advised.
- Sunscreen: If it is not oil-based, you should be good to go.
- Traveling: Now I believe in this one passionately. I had a good friend suffer from horrible acne for quite some time. He moved to Seattle from Virginia and I swear his face cleared up over night! Coming from a place where there is a lot of industrial business (shipyards, military, dust, grime, etc.) to a place where it always rains and simply has a different climate to it, very much so helped in his case. Even when I go out in nice weather consecutively with my children, my face clears up from impurities too. My only beef is dieting while traveling. Make sure you eat healthy foods and foods that don’t look too questionable.
- Stress: Well, this should be a gimme. Stress will kill you slowly; I firmly believe that. It will cause you depression, illness, body soreness, and just a crabby mood in general. For me, stress makes me grey quicker, lose a ton a weight (considering I’m already skinny) and my hair falls out. I feel I develop mild acne as well and battling my hirsutism feels that much worse. Stress does truly make your body change; I believe that. Take more short breaks at work, find exercises that you actually enjoy, go for more walks, consider looking for a new job if your boss is a dickhead, hang out with more inspiring friends, get out of a bad relationship, read more, go for more rides, hell, if possible, pick up an easy part-time job or hobby that does not require any stress whatsoever. Stress should have no place in your life, even though it is not always avoidable. I can testify to that.
- YOU!: You may be causing your acne more than anything else! Laying in your bed you develop germs and then you wake up and wipe your eyes. You scratch your butt, back, hair and then maybe rub your eyes or scratch your chin in the morning. Throughout the day, you may hug or shake hands with friends and coworkers, go to the bathroom, forget to wash or hands or don’t wash your hands well and then put your hands on your face….you just transferred 500 types of germs to your acne-prone face! It’s habitual and everyone does it so don’t beat yourself up too much but do be more mindful of the stuff you put on your face, including…well…YOU!