Not washing your face is the obvious one, but apart from that, what else should you do if you want to achieve that enviable clear skin?
Regular exfoliation is great for clearing away dead skin cells and ensuring that they do not clog your pores, however, OVERdoing it can cause irritation, redness and an unwanted spread of bacteria across the entire face! Jessica Weiser from the New York Dermatology Group cautions that exfoliating a pimple can pull away healthy skin cells and create an open wound, thereby creating a higher risk of scarring.
What is recommended: Exfoliation of 2-3 times a week maximum
2) Not applying a face moisturiser
If you think that skipping moisturiser helps to dry out that annoying pimple, think again! Dr Weiser says that dehydrated skin tends to compensate by overproducing oil - which tends to worsen acne by clogging pores. "Hydrating the skin surface can rebalance oil glands and help control acne and improve healing", she says.
What is recommended: Lightweight, oil based product, preferably with anti-inflammatory ingredients (like our InstaGlow!)
3) Using your mobile phone
Relax, we don't mean you have to stop surfing instagram. We just want to highlight this little tidbit: Your cell phone has more germs than a toilet seat. In a small sample of 51 phones, University of Oregon researchers found 7,000 different kinds of bacteria. So avoid pressing it against your cheeks. You wouldn't press your face against the toilet bowl right?
What is recommended: Use headphones!
4) Not changing your pillowcases often
Image credit: Getty Images
Ok, to thoroughly gross you out now... According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), humans shed between 30,000 and 40,000 skin cells every day, and in a very short amount of time, your pillowcase and sheets can get covered with dead skin cells, sebum from the skin and even saliva and sweat. All this is FOOD FOR DUST CRITTERS. So if you do not wash your pillowcases and sheets often, you are providing the ultimate buffet for dust mites to thrive on.
What is recommended: Washing your pillowcases and sheets at least once a week, and pick natural fibres (synthetic ones are processed with tons of chemicals, which can cause problems of another kind. We love the organic cotton sheets from local start-up Sojao!)
5) Taking sugary or dairy food
Any food that causes a spike in insulin can lead to increased inflammation and an acne flare-up, says Dr Kally Papantoniou. Foods high in sugar include white bread, candy, fried foods, ice cream, sodas, and anything else with a main ingredient of sugar. Dairy can also contain hormones that will disrupt the balance in your body and worsen your skin condition. Read more about the effects of dairy in our blog post here.
What is recommended: Leafy green vegetables and brightly coloured fruits that are rich in antioxidants.
6) Taking antibiotics to clear acne
Guys, this really isn't a long term solution. We have said this time and again - it's a short term solution with no real long term benefits. If you have an infection, antibiotics can save your life. But antibiotics can also be harmful if you take them when you don’t need them. The more antibiotics you use, the less likely they are to work when you need them.
What is recommended: Be patient with your skin. Speak to us if you want to know how to use natural remedies to heal your skin. If you suspect that you have an infection, visit your dermatologist to have a discussion!
So what should you do?
Wash your face daily, drink lots of water (or floral teas!), and maintaining a healthy diet. There are so many good habits to adopt to prevent breakouts and we can discuss this in our future posts!