When it comes to having acne, there are a host of skincare products and medications that we tend to flock towards to fix the issues. While these aren’t inherently bad things (talk to your dermatologist to see what the best route is), they tend to be the “quick-fix” solutions that can add up in price and cause other side-effects. Everyone’s skin is different and will need careful attention to see what works, but sometimes the issues can stem from simple day-to-day things we can easily take care of. Before you add another product to your shopping cart, try out these options first to help prevent your acne from showing up, to begin with.
1. Invest in silk sheets/pillowcases
While they may seem a little pricey, a little goes a long way. Silk pillowcases (and sheets for those who deal with acne on their chest and back) ensure your pores aren’t clogged, unlike other materials. Plus, their smooth texture means less friction which means less redness and irritation for skin that might already be experiencing some acne.
2. Speaking of which, change your sheets!
Whether you do go ahead and invest in silk bedding or not, changing your sheets is an often forgotten thing that can help with your skin. While no one likes the idea of sleeping in dirty sheets, it’s something we can easily put off until the next day…and the next. Changing your sheets once a week (and your pillowcases twice or more) may not solve all your acne issues, but can help new ones from popping up when they don’t need to.
3. Drink. Water.
I know. We hear this a lot, but one of the best things you can do for your skin is to hydrate it and do it properly. One glass a day isn’t going to cause a dramatic shift in your skin, and it may seem impossible to get that full 8 glasses in. However, 90% of the products you’re spending money on are simply hydrating your skin which is a great additional step if your skin is on the dry side, but shouldn’t be the only thing you rely on.
4. Exfoliate once or twice a week (instead of daily)
Exfoliation has been talked about constantly in regards to skincare—as it should because it’s important! Exfoliating helps get the junk and dirt off your skin that your makeup remover may have missed, or that just naturally forms on your body in the first place. However, exfoliating every single day can actually have an adverse effect. If you exfoliate too much, it can dry out your skin and cause irritation and redness, which can cause more acne unintentionally. Everyone’s skin is different, so start with exfoliating once or twice a week (especially after a full face of makeup) and go from there.
5. Be aware of what you’re eating
While there are no definitive studies that prove certain foods cause acne, there are plenty of correlations that are worth noting. The bottom line is, we know that if we are constantly putting processed foods in our bodies, it can cause us to not feel our best in the first place. Studies also point to a possible connection between consuming dairy and acne breakouts, so try removing certain aspects of your diet and see if there is a change. You might be surprised.
6. Find ways to relax
In addition to what you’re eating and drinking, your mental health can have an effect on your body as well. Having high amounts of stress is often linked to acne breakouts, yet we often don’t consider the two connected. Take some time out of your day to relax, especially in the mornings and at night, before you take on the rest of whatever you have going on.
7. Keep your hair out of your face as much as possible
There can be dozens of small things we never take into account when it comes to our skin, and our hair is often one of them! Especially if you have long hair that falls in your face, the natural oils that your hair creates can transfer to your skin which may be healthy for your hair but could cause acne issues if you’re already prone to oily skin. The likelihood doubles if you also have oily hair in the first place. If you’re someone who prefers to wear your hair down during the day, go for it, but consider putting it up at night. A soft scrunchie can still allow you to have a comfortable night’s sleep without the risk of all your hair staying in your face.
8. Take off your makeup
Again, something that seems common sense, but is beyond important. Your makeup already has the capability to clog your pores and keep your skin from breathing, but won’t cause much of an issue unless you keep it on for much longer than needed. Make sure that you’re not just swiping a makeup wipe over it and calling it a night, or worse, crawling into bed without taking any of it off. Besides being terrible for your skin, it can get on your pillowcases, meaning that the next night you could have those germs smearing all over your face again, even if you did wash your face fully.
9. Clean your phone screen
You may not have too many things touching your face on a daily basis, but you’re likely putting your face against your phone screen more often than you realize. In addition to the makeup and sweat that could stick itself to your screen, your phone is often left out on a table, in your pocket, and a variety of other places. Taking the time to wipe down your phone screen even once a day could help more than you know—the smaller things can add up quickly.
10. Keep your hands away from your face
This applies to trying to pop your already exposed acne, as well as in general. Just like your hair, the skin on your fingers often has its own oils that it creates, not to mention any sweat or dirt that has ended up on them when you didn’t realize it. Touching your hands to your face is a habit you may not actively know you have, but try to limit how often you’re touching your face if you can help it. Any small gesture that can help prevent acne from appearing in the first place means not having to fight it off later.