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Acne Breakouts : The Daily Habits Which Are Behind Your Blemishes

Acne breakouts have a number of contributing factors, some which are easier than others to avoid. There are many everyday habits which you may not even realise are helping to spread bacteria and irritate the skin triggering those unwanted blemishes. We take a closer look at the most common, and sometimes surprising habits which can lead to acne breakouts.

acne breakouts, blemish, lifestyle, habits

Eat Clean

The old saying “you are what you eat” has some truth to it. If your diet is high in fried, sugary and processed foods it is going to show up on your skin! There are many superfoods which can be included in your diet to combat breakouts and improve skin health.

Check out our skin superfoods guide.

No Touching!

This one is something most of us do without even a second thought! Just take a moment to think how many surfaces or objects your hands have touched before they’ve reached your face! All of this dirt and debris is being transferred straight into your pores. If you really do need to touch your face, always make sure you’ve washed your hands first just to play it safe.

Dirty Brushes

One of the most common causes of acne breakouts is make up brushes or applicators which aren’t cleaned regularly. If you’re guilty of this, all you’re doing is transferring dirt, bacteria and old makeup onto your clean face every day. So as tedious a task as it can sometimes feel, make sure you keep those brushes clean, your skin will thank you for it!

Mobile Addict

If you are someone who constantly has their mobile phone glued to their ear, you might want to hear this. Think about the surfaces you put your phone on as you go through the day, or if your hands have been clean every time you’ve touched your mobile. Not a pleasant thought is it?! Make sure you wipe your phone screen at least once a week! Ideally make this a daily task if you can.

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Incorrect Skincare

Sometimes it’s easy to buy into a friend’s recommendation of their own great skincare regime, but don’t! The needs of each individuals skin vary widely. Be sure to visit a specialist to find what will the best options for you and the unique needs of your skin are.

Find your nearest expert

Don’t Sweat About It

One of the most important things you can do post-workout is clean your face! Even if you don’t have time to shower immediately, make sure you remove the sweat and bacteria from your face before it gets a chance to creep into your pores and cause an acne breakout!

If you haven’t managed to avoid Post-Workout acne, here’s some treatment advice

For more information on skincare products click the links below:

ZO Skin Health

ZO Medical (for professionals only)

Can the Sun Cure Acne? Debunking The Myth

Can the Sun Cure Acne? Debunking The Myth

We have always been told that the sun clears up spots and can help cure acne, but is this actually true?  Unfortunately, the answer is no. This is a complete myth and a very dangerous one, at that.

Can the Sun Cure Acne?

Acne Is A Genetic Skin Condition

The idea that natural sunlight can help fix all your skin woes while simultaneously giving you a gorgeous glow may sound attractive. However, the reality is that acne is just a genetic skin disorder. Sun exposure cannot miraculously clear up the skin and cure acne. The main factors that cause acne are; the overactive sebaceous glands and sebum, too many cells being formed, blocked follicles, bacteria, and inflammation.

A Pseudo-Acne Cure

Sun damage suppresses your immune system and consequently the immune cells in acne, from which redness is formed. When acne diminishes rapidly after sun exposure, this is actually your immune system shutting down. Thus, it appears as though inflammation has been reduced. In the short-term, this may be appealing, but in the long-term, it could be hazardous to your health. If your immune system can no longer function properly this leaves your body unable to fight off other health risks such as cancer cells. This is arguably not all that surprising as UV rays are known to be a primary cause of skin cancer.

In addition, the sun triggers the skin to produce melanin, making it look darker, which can diminish the appearance of acne. The skin redness induced by acne is disguised, leading some to believe that their acne has been cured.

Moreover, the sun dehydrates the skin. While your skin may temporarily feel less oily, this does not mean your acne has been cured. Your body will quickly kick into defense-mode and create excess oil to combat the dry skin, leaving your skin worse off than before.

Don’t Skip The Sunscreen

Many opt for skipping SPF because they believe that sunscreen is greasy and pore-clogging while the sun itself is much better for acne-prone skin. However, this is far from the truth. With new skincare technology, there are many sunscreens which are compatible with acne skin and do not worsen the condition.

Discover the differences in physical and chemical sunscreen and which one is best for you.

As a general rule, dermatologists do not recommend sunbathing as a legitimate way to cure acne. The sun and UV rays are very damaging to the skin and the risks are too great to even consider it a benefit to your appearance and health.

Find all ZO Skin Health Acne products HERE.

The 6 Types of Acne Skin

Acne skin is caused when hair follicles become blocked. Hair follicles are tiny holes in the skin from which an individual hair grows out of. Attached to these hair follicles are sebaceous glands which can be found near the surface of your skin. Sebaceous glands prevent your hair and skin from drying out by producing an oily substance called sebum. However, these glands can sometimes produce too much sebum which then mixes with dead skin cells which consequently blocks your follicles and thus causes acne.

acne skin

6 Different Types of Acne Skin

The plugged follicle can react in different ways, which is why your spots can appear different. There are six main different types of acne breakouts:

  • blackheads – appear if the plugged follicle is open to the skin, creating small black or yellowish bumps that develop on the skin; they are not filled with dirt but are black because the inner lining of the hair follicle produces pigmentation
  • whiteheads – are caused if the plugged follicle is close to the surface of the skin, which then bulges outwards. They have a similar appearance to blackheads, but they can be firmer and will not empty when squeezed.

Furthermore, normally harmless bacteria that lives on the skin can then contaminate and infect these plugged follicles forming:

  • papules – which are small red bumps that may feel tender or sore
  • pustules – which are similar to papules, but have a white tip in the centre that is caused by a build-up of pus
  • nodules – are large hard lumps that build up beneath the surface of the skin and can be painful
  • cysts – are the most severe type of spot caused by acne; they are large pus-filled lumps that look similar to boils and carry the greatest risk of causing permanent scarring

Proven triggers

  • Testosterone – Teenage acne is thought to be triggered by increased levels of a hormone called testosterone, which occurs during puberty. The sebaceous glands are particularly sensitive to hormones. It is thought that increased levels of testosterone cause the glands to produce much more sebum than the skin needs.
  • Hereditary – Acne skin can run in families. If your parents had acne, it’s likely that you will also develop it. One study has found that if both your parents had acne, you are more likely to get more severe acne at an early age. It also found that if one or both of your parents had adult acne, you are more likely to get adult acne too.
  • Periods & Pregnancy – More than 80% of cases of adult acne occur in women. It is thought that many cases are caused by the changes in hormone levels that many women have at certain times from their periods or during pregnancy.
  • Medication – certain medications, such as steroid medications, lithium (which is often used to treat depression and bipolar disorder) and some anti-epileptic drugs (used to treat epilepsy) can cause a flare-up of acne.
  • Smoking – is often a cause of acne found in older people.
  • Accessories – regularly wearing items such as a headband or backpack, which places pressure on a targeted area can sometimes be the cause of an acne flare-up.
Source: nhs.uk