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How to Prevent Breakouts: 7 Acne Mistakes

Even if you faithfully use the right skin care for your skin type, breakouts and irritation can still crop up. In fact, up to 85% of people experience minor acne at some point in their lives.* Unfortunately, these breakouts can have surprising causes.

Most people don't realize they commit daily mistakes that actually cause acne. Want to learn how to prevent breakouts? See our list of the 7 most common acne mistakes below:

1) You use dirty makeup brushes

This is one of the most common and most overlooked causes of acne and irritation. Your makeup brushes may seem clean to the naked eye, but they contain breakout-causing dirt, debris, bacteria, oils, and dead skin cells. Not only do dirty brushes cause acne, they can even cause fungal infections. Yuck!

Clean your brushes at least once a month with this easy trick. Trust us, your skin will thank you.

2) You skip your post-workout cleanse

Some people like to jump in the shower right after sweating it out at the gym, but others prefer to let the sweat dry, and continue on with their day. If you're part of the latter group, we've got bad news: if you don't cleanse immediately after your workout, you leave your skin prone to breakouts.

Sweat is actually one way your body detoxifies itself naturally. When you sweat, your body pushes out impurities, so your time at the gym can be great for your skin. However, if you don't cleanse soon after, your skin will reabsorb the impurities you worked hard to get rid of. The bottom line: always cleanse post-workout.

3) You touch your face often

This is a tough habit to break, but most estheticians agree that touching your face can lead to breakouts. Even if you think your hands are clean, they often have plenty of acne-causing bacteria and impurities on them (especially if you use a smartphone).

Minimize the amount of times you touch your face throughout the day and wash your hands often for a clearer complexion.

4) You use makeup wipes

We could go on and on about why makeup wipes are bad for your skin. For starters, they don't remove 100% of your makeup or the dirt and oil that's accumulated throughout the day. This alone can clog pores and cause breakouts.

Not to mention, every time you use a makeup wipe instead of a high quality cleanser you leave residue from the wipe itself on your skin. This can spell major problems for your complexion, like breakouts and irritation.

We know schedules can be hectic, but take the extra couple minutes to cleanse your face if you want to keep skin clear and comfortable.

5) You scrub too hard

Exfoliation is vital to great skin, but less is more when it comes to your pressure. When you scrub too hard, you can actually spread bacteria, cause a spike in oil production, and cause breakouts. If you use the correct exfoliator, there is no need to scrub hard. The product will do the work for you with a light touch.

6) You pop your pimples

We understand the temptation, but popping your pimples almost always leads to further breakouts. Just listen to the pros on this one:

"When you pop a pimple, you may rupture the stretched and weakened follicle in your skin. This then spills the bacteria, oil and cellular debris underneath your skin, which leads to more breakouts." –Teresa Stenzel, Bioelements Director of Education

If you absolutely cannot help yourself, learn how to pop a pimple with minimal damage here.

7) You liberally apply hair products

Do you notice breakouts along your hairline? Your hair products could be to blame. Certain hair products (like gels and hairsprays) tend to clog pores and induce inflammation, while most oil based products trap bacteria and create a breeding ground for acne.

Instead of spraying your products liberally, spray them onto your hands or a comb and work them through your hair. If this doesn't help you achieve the look you want, try to cover your face as you spray so no excess product lands directly on your skin.

When you workout, sweat tends to carry these products down your face. So, another trick to prevent breakouts (without sacrificing your desired hairstyle) is to workout in headbands that keep the hair separated from your face. Do the same when you sleep to prevent exposure to the pore-clogging impurities found in hair products.