Acne is a chronic, inflammatory, and common skin condition affecting millions of people in the world.
Acne happens when our sebaceous glands produce an oily liquid called sebum and this substance is what keeps our skin lubricated and prevents moisture from evaporating through the pores.
Sebum also carries dead skin cells through the follicles and to the surface of the skin where they are naturally being shed or mechanically removed through the exfoliation process.
Pimples start to grow when the follicles get clogged from a build-up of sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria under the skin. This mixture can clump together into a plug that cannot be pushed to the surface of the skin because it is blocking the very passage that carries it there.
Whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts, and nodules are all types of acne and not all of these are caused by the same factor.
There are many different triggers for acne breakouts, with some of the most common ones being:
- hormonal changes
- emotional stress
But there is one more factor that many people don’t want to believe (or accept) and that is… personal hygiene.
I don’t know why is it so difficult to start believing that poor hygiene can aggravate any type of acne regardless of the initial triggering factor.
Today, I am sharing with you a few hygiene tips which even I’ve neglected in the past, that is until I started studying beauty therapy and my mentor brought all these to my attention.
I have suffered from moderate to severe acne and paying closer attention to the following simple hygiene hacks have really lead to an improvement of the condition my skin was in.
5 Simple Hygiene Habits You Can Adopt To Prevent Acne:
1. Wash your face properly
And by “properly” I don’t mean wash your face three times a day because it feels greasy and dirty.
To help treat and prevent acne breakouts, it is important to remove excess oil, dirt, bacteria, pollution, and sweat daily.
Over-washing your face up to three times a day can leave your skin excessively dry and inevitably irritate it furthermore.
I completely understand that you just want to grab the harshest and highest in alcohol content cleanser and just rub your face until everything disappears, but as someone who has suffered a great deal with this obnoxious condition, I feel more than confident to tell you that:
Washing your face twice should be sufficient.
Your face may not feel fresh and clean and the oiliness is going to come back throughout the day, but for the sake of actually helping this condition subside – washing your face twice a day is sufficient.
It is also important what you are washing your face with and the answer to this is probably simpler than you might be imagining.
Salicylic acid assists the breakdown of blackheads and whiteheads, and it helps reduce inflammation and swelling.
Apply the cleanser onto your wet face and work it out using slow circular motions rather than fast, vigorous movements. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
sincerely care to no ends about everyone’s skin and I would like to consider sensitive skins on this tip as some of you may find a BHA cleanser to be too strong for your sensitive skin.
If this is the case then try using this solution only in the evenings and use something mild like foam or a gel cleanser in the morning instead.
And it wouldn’t be me if I don’t point out that you should always follow with sun protection. This is just stronger than me, so there you have it.
2. Ditch the towel
You’ve read it right.
It’s second nature to grab our towel and pat our face dry, but every possible skincare expert will warn you that this practice is not advisable.
This is because a hanging/used towel or a washcloth up for later use is a bad idea.
First of all, bacteria thrive in moist environments such as wet towels. Moist can accumulate so much bacteria that can absolutely be spread on your skin next time you decide to rub a wet towel on your face.
This will lead to an infection or an outbreak, and if you are currently passing through a breakout, ditching your soft and fluffy towel may be one of the best things to do.
Furthermore, the following topical products will be better absorbed by the skin when the skin is damp – not wet, and not completely dry.
Proper application of topical products helps to ensure that your products are working optimally to deliver the active ingredients into your skin.
The skin is significantly more permeable when it’s moist and this allows for better absorption of toners, serums, and moisturizers as it enables them to penetrate deeper, faster, and with a higher concentration of active ingredients.
So, there are not one but two major reasons why you should seriously consider ditching the towel and opting for paper tissues to lightly pat your face dry or even cotton discs to gently remove excess water.
3. Don’t touch your face (too much)
Obviously, I don’t mean to stop you from scratching your nose if that is even necessary to be said.
But your hands encounter dirt and bacteria constantly throughout the day. And some of these impurities will be spread to your skin each time you touch your face.
Washing your hands regularly and building awareness to stop yourself every time your hands are about to touch your face will have a significant impact on the recovery of your condition.
Excessive touching of your face, including resting your chin in your hands can on the other hand significantly increase the chances of the infamous P.acnes bacteria that normally sits on the surface of the skin to find its way inside the pores and begin its dirty work.
I would also like to point out how bad it is to squeeze or pick your skin while acne is present.
Besides being awfully uncomfortable and even painful, picking your blemishes with fingernails can force bacteria deeper into the skin, further aggravating your condition.
The pus from an inflamed pustule is an actual mixture of oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, and once it’s popped, this filth will be spread on the surrounding skin, risking to contaminate even an acne-free area on your face and leave a noticeable scar.
This last point was said to me by my mentor and it was something that I only needed to hear once and know I will remember it for the rest of my life.
And if this ridiculously gross information didn’t make you stop picking at your pimples – I give up.
4. Clean your phone screen
Bacteria, germs, and other rather gross things are all around us, every second of the day.
It is as easy as anything to come across various germs, fungi, and bacteria that can make you sick. Well, don’t be too surprised when I tell you that your phone is just one place where tons of those can be found.
You and everything you come into contact with is covered with bacteria—so there is absolutely no escaping from microorganisms.
The good news is that the vast majority of them are either benign or beneficial.
But, the invisible bacteria on your phone screen can be quite the enemy to your vulnerable skin.
A phone screen is a common breeding ground for germs, which can lead to or aggravate already present conditions like acne due to it being pressed against the face, freely spreading the germs all across the surface of your skin.
I think so too.
Most of these bacteria probably wouldn’t harm you if your skin was not prone to infection. But while suffering through an acne breakout consider your skin being vulnerable and in desperate need of proper care and attention.
Cleaning your phone at least once a day with alcohol or alcoholic wipes is usually effective enough to remove marks, dirt, fingerprints and other substances that have accumulated on your device’s screen.
5. Change your pillowcase regularly
There are many dangers lurking in a dirty pillowcase and plenty of opportunities for bacteria to creep up under your skin (quite literally) from there.
Thanks to our hair, we deposit dirt, oils, and obviously bacteria on our pillowcases during our sleep.
Our hair holds more dirt and bacteria in it than quite frankly anywhere else in our bodies.
So we have a pillowcase where we place our dirty hairs, sweat and sebum deposits, dead skin cells, and bacteria.
And we allow ourselves to place our inflamed, acneic skin on all that.
Cool. *mildly panics*
A dirty pillowcase can be one of the leading causes for those pesky little blackheads as well as a more intense concern like acne.
Whenever we forget to change our pillowcases, we end up rubbing our faces against all of the grime I mentioned above.
In fact, I think I’m going to have another mild panic attack.
Another hazard that we should take notice of when it comes to pillowcases is using too much fabric softener can leave a waxy residue on our pillowcases, and this can clog the pores.
So, of course, there are pillowcases that are made of silk and this and that and are obviously quite a bit pricey for what you’d normally spend on a pillowcase.
However, I have personally noticed a significant improvement in my damn condition after I religiously started changing my pillowcase daily with just a regular (and very cheap) pillowcase.
These were five simple hygiene hacks you can do to treat (and prevent) acne breakouts.
While I understand that controlling and battling acne is a big problem that most of the time isn’t related to poor hygiene, I wanted to share this post as these are a few simple steps that have somehow made my journey of clearing acne a tad bit easier.
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
The Acne Solution: Your Ultimate Guide To Flawless Complexion
An extensive, no-nonsense course showing you how to never have acne again, from a licensed Esthetician specializing in oily/acne-prone skin.