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Sneaky things that could be causing your acne

Pesky acne can appear in many forms: large, under the skin bumps, whiteheads, blackheads, red, itchy bumps and everything in between. Nearly everybody deals with the unwanted pimple from time to time, or even that unexpected breakout that pops up out of nowhere. We feel you girlit's so frustrating to wake up feeling less than flawless. 

So how do you deal with annoying, persistent breakouts? First, you've got to get to the cause. Everyone has different skin types and irritants, but these are a few sneaky things you may not realize are causing your acne. Plus, we will debunk some common myths about acne-causers so you can relax and clear up your skin.

The offenders:

1. Makeup brushes and sponges
We get it, you love makeup. But with the same brushes and sponges touching your face every single day, a lot of dirt and bacteria builds up which you're then applying to your face. Top tip? Wash your brushes at least once a week with a simple brush cleaner, or even a gentle face cleanser. If you use a sponge like the Beauty Blender, try to clean that once a week, too. (Did you know you can clean your beauty sponge in the microwave?)

2. Your cell phone
Your phone is another one of those objects that touches your face every day. But think of all the other places you put your phone: the kitchen counter, the bus seat beside you, your desk at school. Pretty gross to think those places touching your face, right? If you're getting acne on the side of your face where you hold up your phone to talk, your iPhone might just be causing some of your skin-related probls so wipe your phone down to clean it off every few days. (They even make specialized wipes just for your phone screen.)

3. Waiting to wash off after a workout
Everybody says working out is a great way to clear skin. But sweat can also cause inflammation and breakouts. So frustrating. Breakouts from sweat are not a reason to skip the gym, though. Just don't forget to wipe down your face with some gentle, soothing cloths like these. Throw them in your backpack or gym bag, and you can soothe your face and other problem areas like your chest and shoulders after a sweat sesh.  

4. Your pillow case
Not to gross you out, but your pillowcase is home to a lot of dead skin cells, sweat, bacteria and other irritants (and it's even worse if you sleep with makeup on!). To bust this breakout-causer, throw your pillow covers in the wash on high heat at least once a week to keep germs and sweat at bay. On top of that, you can invest in some silk pillow cases, which can help reduce friction on skin.

5.  Touching your face
When you have a zit it can be so tempting to mess with it in hopes it'll disappear faster. But in reality, touching your face can just transfer more bacteria and dirt onto your face that you may not be aware of. As a rule of thumb, try to avoid touching your face until after you've washed your hands and if you really want to speed up healing, try an overnight cream that helps clear up blemishes without all that poking and prodding.

6.  Switching up your skincare routine too often
When we have bad breakouts or acne flare-ups, we want them to go away. Like right now. Unfortunately, a lot of acne treatment requires you to be patient. You have to stick with your new facewash/toner/moisturizer/cream for about a month before you may even start seeing any differences, and it may take up to three for you to be really happy with the results you're getting. Keep in mind, too that the start of any skincare routine can also make your skin worse before it gets better as it reacts to new ingredients.

7. Your face wash
While you shouldn't be switching up products every few days to see what works, if you've stuck with a product without results for a while, it may be time for a switch. So what face wash should you be using? The truth is, there's no one-size-fits-all for acne solutions. You could have oily skin, or dry skin or some combination of the two. Even if your favorite beauty blogger or celeb raves about a product, that doesn't mean it's going to work for you.

If you want a professional opinion, a visit to the dermatologist could help you learn what skin type you have and which ingredients to look for and which do avoid. Plus, when you do find a facewash that works for you, wash your face gently and with care. Scrubbing even the right wash on too hard can lead to more breakouts. 

What do you think: Could any of these sneaky acne causes be affecting you? What helps you clear up your skin? Let us know in the comments! 

We want to hear from you! Send us your weirdest body questions here (seriously, we'll answer anything!) and it just might get featured.

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by Linda Horn | 9/27/2017
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