10 Everyday Habits That Are Giving You Bad Skin & Breakouts

You'll never, ever touch your face again once you read our 10 reasons why you might be getting spots...

woman touching her face

Getting spots and can’t figure out the hell why? We think we’ve got it cracked…

1. Your beloved (grubby) smartphone

Soz, but think about how many times your fingers touch a myriad of surfaces each day, and then touch your phone. And then you put it up to your face to take a call… it’s a recipe for disaster! Plus, show us anyone who cleans theirs on the reg. Yep, thought not. Bacteria from your phone can cause some seriously gross breakouts, so we’re recommending you give your phone a wipe with a non-alcohol anti-bac wipe once a day to help cut down on transferrable grime. Go on, you know you want to. While you’re at it, wipe down your work phone too, huh?

2. Over-cleansing

What the what now? It sounds counter-intuitive, and yes, we all know the importance of a good on-the-daily cleansing routine, but excessive or overly abrasive cleansing can do more harm than good, irritating the skin and stripping it of its barrier function. This then forces the skin to produce extra sebum to cope, and you get spots.

3. Dirty make-up brushes

Oh go on, tell the truth: when was the last time you washed ’em? We use these to perfect our skin on a daily basis, but unless they’re taken care of correctly – i.e. washed! – they can cause major breakouts, especially from ones used for creams or liquids, as these are particular bacteria breeding grounds. To avoid, wash your brushes in warm water and a gentle shampoo weekly.

4. Stress

When you’re having a freak-out, it can have a seriously bad effect on your skin. Stress triggers the production of a hormone called cortisol, one effect of which is making oil glands produce excess oil – and then boom; you’ve got a breakout on your hands. So our advice? Keep calm and think of your skin.

5. Your fella

Are you suffering from a weird red rash on the lower part of your face that’s tender to the touch? Are you in a new relationship? YOU’VE GOT BEARD RASH, GURL. Get him to shave, dump him or put some Sudocrem on it. Those are your three options.

6. Your hands

A 2012 LiveScience study on flu transmission found that “people touched their faces an average of 3.6 times per hour, and common objects an average of 3.3 times per hour. This rate of self-touching means that people likely get germs on their hands much more frequently than they wash germs off their hands.” This is a) gick and b) it means that if you’re also an FT (face toucher, keep up), you’re much more likely to be transferring nasties direct to your skin, which could lead to blemishes. And, you know, the flu.

7. Your sheets

Are you a bit of a lazy mare and you’re er, not quiiite sure when you last changed those pillowcases? Yep, well, that might be precisely why you’re waking up with blemishes that won’t shift. Sleeping on linen that’s already full of weeks of facial creams, sweat, sebum and dead skin cells is no recipe for a healthy complexion. Sorry. Change those suckers, like, now.

8. Your yoga mat

Another no-brainer: if you’re an exercise fan, then rubbing your face against a mat you’ve been sweating on is going to cause a serious break-out. To avoid; after every sweaty yoga class give your mat a well earned clean with an anti-bac cleansing wipe – or if it can take it, bung it in a very hot wash.

9. Your headphones

Got a pair of Beats that can’t be, well beat? So, when was the last time you checked those cables for grub? Never, we’re betting. Get to that now, sister, and any little zits you’ve been spotting along your cheeks and jawline ought to clear right up.

10. Your period

Lots of us have a biological marker right there on our skin that tells us when we’re due a visit from Aunt Flo: a nice big zit on our chins. In Chinese skin mapping, the chin is the site of the ovaries, an area where hormonal issues manifest. So, if you find that at certain times of the month, your chin’s an issue, take note of the date: does your period follow shortly after? Just call it an early warning system.