When it comes to clearing skin - and keeping it that way - it can often feel like a long, stressful slog. One day your skin looks amazing, but the next day - where did that breakout come from?
Even if you’re diligently exfoliating, spot treating, and moisturising, there could be some things that you’re doing that you don’t even realise could be linked to breakouts. Here are our 5 simple habits for clearer skin!
1) Clean Your Makeup Brushes & Beauty Tools
You’d think that this would be an obvious one for most people, but a lot of folks underestimate how much this impacts their skin. Makeup tools, especially sponges, are vulnerable to becoming host to annoying bacteria that can cause breakouts when transferred back to your skin every time you put on makeup.
Our rule of thumb for cleaning makeup brushes is once a week - especially for brushes used with wet products, like cream brushes, liquid foundation, and concealer. Brushes for powder makeup like setting powder and eyeshadow can go a bit longer, but not by much - makeup artist and brand founder Bobbi Brown suggests that eye makeup brushes can be cleaned twice a month, but sanitising them in between is always a good idea!
This also applies to any beauty tools you might be using - gua sha tools, jade rollers, dermal rollers, eye massagers, and cleansing brushes should all be thoroughly cleaned after each use to ensure that there are no lingering germs that could irritate and cause breakouts the next time you use them.
SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion | $121
This gently exfoliating essence from SK-II can help to minimise breakouts with a blend of Salicylic Acid and AHAs.
2) Change Your Pillowcase
When was the last time you changed your pillowcase? When it comes to sneaky causes of breakouts, pillowcases are probably the sneakiest of them all. I know what you’re thinking - why do I need to change my pillowcase frequently?
Well, let’s think about it - pillowcases can pretty quickly accumulate any excess sebum from your hair and skin. The number one source of external, potentially breakout-causing particles comes from your hair - think of it rubbing on the pillow, then you flip around and rub your face just where your hair was.
All the pollution particles, pollen particles, hair oils, and any hair styling products are now on your skin, potentially causing breakouts - something we want to avoid!
Eve Lom Rescue Mask | $114
A clay mask like this one from Eve Lom is indispensable when it comes to calming down and reducing acne.
3) Don’t Touch Your Face!
This is a super hard one as most of us do it multiple times per day without realising, but touching your face could transfer breakout-causing germs from external surfaces to our skin. The pressure that you use to touch your face matters too - excess rubbing and squeezing can cause inflammation, making existing acne worse and speeding up breakout formation.
Or, if you’re touching your face right after using an ultra-moisturising hand cream, it’s possible that there could be an ingredient in it that just doesn’t agree with your face. This usually happens when very rich hand creams and body butters are accidentally introduced to your face - they’re formulated with much heavier ingredients than our faces can tolerate, leading to accidental breakouts.
This high-tech spot treatment from Foreo zaps breakouts with the power of blue light therapy - no traditional spot treatments required.
4) Clean Your Phone
This is a shocking one for most people, but have you ever sanitised your phone? Most people have no idea how germy their phones are - but if they realised, they’d probably never use their phones again.
Okay, well maybe that’s a slight exaggeration - but think about it. If you touch something a little germy like a door handle, then your phone, clean your hands, then touch your phone again - those germs are still hanging around on your phone!
And if you consider how often we pick up our phones every hour of the day (and then touch our faces!) we’re potentially exposing our skin to a huge range of breakout-causing bacteria.
Signs that you might need to clean your phone are if you have breakouts just on one side of your face - especially if they’re on the same side you tend to hold your phone on!
Sisley Grapefruit Toning Lotion | $130
This toner helps to clarify and clear skin with the natural powers of grapefruit extract.
5) Is Your Yoga Mat Spotless?
Another pesky breakout-causing surface could be your very own yoga or exercise mat. Yoga mats tend to accumulate our sweat and oils and are also exposed to any germs that are lingering on the floor - so sanitising them after use is 100% necessary, even if you’re not trying to get rid of breakouts!
One sign your yoga mat could be the cause of your breakouts is if you have spots that show up on your forehead. The pose that might be the culprit? Balasana, aka child’s pose. Our tip? Make sure you’re spraying your yoga mat down after every workout session to ensure that your skin stays breakout free.
L’Occitane Radiance Scrub | $55
This two-in-one mask and scrub gently clears skin with the power of physical exfoliation.
Permanently clearing breakouts isn’t just about topical skincare products - some of the little things we do in everyday life can make a difference. We’re sure that these 5 habits will help you on your journey to clearer, naturally glowing skin - Get Your Beauty Affairs in Order with Beauty Affairs!
If you need any extra help with the right skincare routine for you, try our skincare quiz.