Five Unexpected Breakout Culprits

Acne can be a riddle: everyone knows solving it is difficult, but so too is trying to trace back and determine what caused it to begin with. Sometimes, shifting hormones are to blame, but, just as often, the origin of a breakout may not be so clear. And, even, pretty unexpected. Here, a few seemingly innocuous things that may actually be contributing to your acne.

YOUR PHONE
Too much screen time has been shown to affect your emotional well-being, and it can also affect your skin’s well-being. That’s because your beloved phone is also a trap for bacteria: your constant companion happens to come into constant contact with your hands and face (and the oils and makeup on them) and the myriad surfaces you perch it on. Then the pressure of holding the phone to acne-prone areas of the face can cause breakouts. When you consider how infrequently you sanitize your phone, the ick factor only increases. Your best defense: weekly tech cleaning sessions with an alcohol or antibacterial wipe and going hands-free when you’re talking on the phone.

YOUR BED
You can be meticulous about your bedtime skincare routine, but all that effort will be for naught if you then snuggle up in bed linens that haven’t been washed in weeks. Your sheets and pillowcases come into frequent contact with skin, and, ergo, oil and sweat, becoming a breeding ground for breakouts. And your hair routine can also pose a problem: if you don’t wash your hair every night (and really, who does?) that styling cream or shine serum you put on in the morning is coming to bed with you and coating the pillowcase you lay your face on. Yes, laundry is a drag, but, to curb the chance of breakouts you should be washing sheets weekly, or, at the very least, regularly changing pillowcases.

YOUR WORKOUT
Your body benefits from an intense—read, sweaty—workout like Bikram yoga, but skin (on your face, but also your back and chest too) can suffer. Sweat can mix with dead skin cells, residue from your products, and the skin's oil (all of which tend to get trapped in those tight workout clothes!) to clog pores and cause breakouts. Opt for breathable fabrics whenever possible, always shower and wash your face right after working out, and remember to wipe that yoga mat, especially if it’s shared with others; it can be a catch-all for bacteria and oil.

YOUR STRESS
Here’s yet another reason to chill the F out: stress can, among all the many other things it causes, also be the reason for your breakout woes. We don’t know for sure how stress causes breakouts, we think it may be by making a beeline for your oil glands. Cue pore-clogging and then acne. Whether you manage stress with an assisted stretching class, a mini-meditation session, or a bath and a good night’s sleep, just do it: your mind, body, and skin will thank you.

YOUR HAIR PRODUCTS
This sneaky breakout causer is one we’re all too familiar with at SEEN: traditional hair product’s ability to clog pores and cause breakouts was the motivation for starting our brand! Hair care products can cause breakouts anywhere they touch your skin, including your forehead, cheeks, neck, hairline, scalp, back, and shoulders. If you have bangs or face-framing layers, don’t coat them in styling products which will just rub up against the skin all day. And while you might think a thorough rinse of your hair and body is enough, hair product residue can stay behind and clog pores, so, if breakouts are an issue, consider swapping your current regimen with SEEN hair products, which are all formulated to be kind to your skin.

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