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When Acne Breakouts Become Your BFF’s: 8 Surprising Reasons Why They Keep Happening

Most of us figure that by the time we pass out mid-twenties, acne breakouts should be a thing of the past, but according to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than half of women over 25 still regularly suffer from acne breakouts. In fact, a lot of women who never suffered from acne as teenagers start battling with it in their late twenties, which is almost worse than teenage pimples.

While it seems logical to think that acne is caused by hormones and incorrect skincare, there are some surprising reasons why you might be suffering from acne breakouts as an adult. Thought you knew everything about acne and its causes? Think again.

Here are 8 surprising reasons for acne breakouts.

dirty towels

1. Re-Using Towels

Towels are some of the biggest culprits of acne breakouts because they can be a major bacteria bank. You see, when towels are re-used, they deposit germs and bacteria onto cleanly washed skin, which is then worsened by the effect you get from rubbing your face with a mildly abrasive material. While it’s fine to pat your face dry with a clean towel after washing up, it’s not okay to re-use towels over and over again.

2. Bad Diet

It’s not only teens that suffer from acne breakouts whenever they indulge in chocolate cake and greasy foods, adults have to deal with the wrath of a bad diet as well. According to some studies, a diet high in carbohydrates may be a major cause of acne breakouts. Sure, you can treat yourself from time to time, but a diet rich in soda, sugary snacks and junk food might increase the development and severity of acne breakouts. In a bid to try and save your skin, it’s always best to follow a clean, controlled diet.

3. Lack of Hydration

You probably already knew that oily skin is prone to acne breakouts, but the other extreme (having very dry skin), can also be a major cause of breakouts. You see, dry skin sometimes has microscopic cracks, which are ideal breeding grounds for acne-causing bacteria. To combat this problem, you should try gently exfoliating dry skin on a weekly basis and also keep it hydrated with a non-comedogenic moisturizer which won’t clog the pores.

4. Stress

Stress alone probably isn’t enough to spark acne breakouts, but it can exacerbate them. Because stress leads to the release of inflammatory chemicals (neuropeptides), it causes hormonal changes which can worsen the whole acne problem. To try and combat this problem, it’s best to use acne products which contain ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid combined with some stress-busting habits such as yoga or deep breathing.

5. Hair Styling Products

Acne caused by hair styling products is referred to as pomade acne. When our hair styling products seep oil onto our foreheads, acne-causing bacteria can get trapped in our pores, which naturally leads to breakouts. Often times, what we wear on out hair winds up on our faces, even more so if we’re using spray applicators. Try to minimize the amount of hair styling products you use on a daily basis and check the oil content of your products to try and combat this kind of acne.


6. Makeup Remover

Acne Cosmetica - sounds silly right? But it’s actually a term used in the beauty industry to describe acne that’s caused by pore-clogging cosmetic products. You see, the problem doesn’t actually lie in the type of makeup you use, but more in the way you remove your makeup. To ensure you’re cleaning up your act (and skin) properly each night, make sure you’re using a non-comedogenic makeup remover product and cleaning your face. Every. Single. Night.


7. Your Cell Phone

We all want to stay connected to our friends and family, but constantly chatting away on your phone might be more damaging for your complexion than you thought. Why? Well, because our cell phones get exposed to an abundance of germs and bacteria every day, and whenever we use our phones, we’re putting those germs in very close proximity of our faces. Combine the germs on your phone with the natural warmth and humidity of your face and voila! You’ve got the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and the ideal platform for acne breakouts. To try and minimize the risk of acne breakouts caused by your phone, make sure you put some distance between your face and the phone’s screen, and try cleaning your phone with an alcohol wipe on a daily basis.


8. Smoking

Smoking is arguably one of the worst habits out there, and it poses a wide variety of health risks, plus it’s terrible for your complexion. Every time you light up, you’re decreasing the amount of oxygen your face gets exposed to. This causes a breakdown of collagen, which can increase the size of your pores and worsen the appearance of wrinkles. The carcinogens in the smoke furthermore irritate your skin and dry it out, which leads to increased oil production and even more acne breakouts over time.  The solution here is simple. Don’t smoke. You’ll live a longer, healthier life and end up with clearer skin!

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