Lifestyle Choices, Hygiene Practices Aggravating Acne
The following can worsen acne, depending how your body reacts to food, your activities, and your environment:
Based on studies, eating too much bread, bagels, chips, and other carbohydrate-rich food, especially those made of white or refined flour, can intensify acne. Overindulging on chocolate and dairy products, or having a diet that’s low on healthy fat but high on greasy food can also make you prone to breakouts.
Meanwhile, some people have skin reactions to pepper and spicy ingredients that contain acidic lycopene—an ingredient known to unsettle the skin's pH level.
Stress, regardless of the cause, can aggravate acne problems. The stress hormone cortisol can push your oil glands to overdrive, and would most likely cause your pores to get clogged. It can also release inflammatory chemicals called “neuropeptides”.
Getting enough sleep allows the level of your body's primary stress hormone, cortisol, to decline, so the opposite happens when you deprive yourself of sleep. Your sebaceous glands produce more oil when your cortisol level stays elevated, making your skin's pores more prone to bacterial build-up and eventual breakouts.
Moreover, your appetite-stimulating ghrelin hormone causes you to crave sugary and processed/junk foods when you lack sleep. Unhealthy snacking might possibly worsen your acne.
Fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate can irritate the area around your mouth and cause pimples to surface.
Your skin might be sensitive to some ingredients, like fragrance, in your laundry detergent or fabric softener, so acne problems may be triggered by the clothes or the towels you use.
Several studies reveal that people residing in areas with high air pollution also have high sebum levels, which usually lead to acne and skin flare-ups. This indicates that prolonged and repetitive exposure to substances, including particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide, has inflammatory effects when it's able to penetrate deeper into your skin.
Carcinogen from cigarettes and tobacco may cause your body to boost its oil production, as your skin dries out. And because chemicals from smoke can damage elastin and collagen fibers that make your skin supple and strong, your skin's pores might also become enlarged.
- Workout equipment and routine
Dirty gym equipment or yoga mats contain dirt and bacteria that can affect your skin.
Moreover, working out with your makeup on, not using clean workout clothes, not using a clean towel to wipe off your sweat, using tight clothing on the acne-prone area of your body, and not washing your face or taking a shower after exercising can induce acne. Not putting on sunscreen before your outdoor exercise may also trigger breakouts.
Household dust and dirt that have accumulated on your pillowcase can get transferred to your skin when you sleep. They could also get mixed with the residue from your scalp and hair, and clog the pores on your face.
- Bacteria on your smartphone screens or keyboard
One research says that the amount of dirt on your phone is 10 times higher than what you find on a toilet seat. Your face may come in contact with the germs and microorganisms on your phone when you make calls. Dirt from your phone may also from your fingers to your face. "Acne mechanica", or acne on your U-zone, can also develop due to the frequent times your cheek and chin press against your phone.
- Pimple picking and touching your face too much
Germs from your hands can be transferred to the porous parts of your face and contribute to breakouts. Acne will worsen when you try to squeeze your pimples.