Surprising reasons you’re breaking out


Raise your hand if you feel personally victimised by your skin.

I DO. I stick to a strict skincare regimen using great products, I drink water constantly, wear my SPF, take my collagen, and am currently undergoing the ENORMOUS sacrifice of cutting out dairy, in the name of acne-free skin. Yet, the pimples persist, the fine lines are out in force, my complexion is sub-par at best, and I miss cheese.

In fighting the good skincare fight, we must first understand our enemies. Lately, I’ve been wondering if my skin is affected by more than just the obvious. Are there more enemies out there that I’ve never considered?  

After some research I can confirm that indeed, there are many surprising things affecting my skin, which could be affecting yours, too.


My phone

I mean, it makes sense. My phone goes everywhere I go, and while I shower off my daily dirt and grime, my phone gets no such care and attention. Dirt and grime and makeup transfers from your phone to your cheeks during calls, which leads to acne and excess oil on your face. An easy way to avoid this is to wipe down your phone with an antibacterial wipe, DAILY. This is definitely a new priority for me, because the last thing I want if I’m drunk dialing my ex is an extra dose of pimples or oily skin to remember the whole ordeal.

Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who actually managed to leave pimples behind in puberty, but don’t think your phone is letting you off the hook either. Blue light – yes, the reason we are able to scroll away for hours in bed in the dark – can cause pigmentation and accelerate aging. Ugh. I’m not going to tell you to put the phone down, because I know I won’t, but I do know I’ll be trying to scroll a little further away from my face and investing in a better anti-aging product.


My pillowcase

We spend about a third of our lives with our heads on our pillows (in weekends for me it’s about two-thirds), so the condition of your pillowcase is a huge factor in the condition of your skin. The fabric becomes a little storage unit for dirt, oil, hair product, germs (and possibly drool) for your face to mop up every night. Plus, that very pillowcase might also be absorbing the products involved in your elaborate night-time skincare routine. As if all that wasn’t enough, if you sleep on your side or stomach, the forces applied to your face on the pillow can tug your skin and accelerate the forming of wrinkles. So much for beauty sleep… 

To rectify this, wash your pillowcase AT LEAST once a week. Don’t give those bacteria a place to live and grow! Apply your face creams at least 30 minutes before bed to give them time to absorb. Also, buy a silk pillowcase, because silk doesn’t collect product or catch your delicate skin the way cotton does, and it makes you feel like the luxe princess you are.


White Wine 

SAY IT ISN’T SO. Last I heard, wine contains heaps of antioxidants? As it turns out, my alcoholic bubble has officially been burst, because white wine catalyses rosacea, an often-dormant condition which inflames your skin and causes breakouts and overall not-cuteness. I was aware the sugar content of white wine wasn’t ideal, but clearly both my waistline and my skin would appreciate me steering clear *cries into my oversized wine glass*. Guess I’m switching to red!

Along with that, alcohol affects your liver, and if your liver is stressed, your skin is dull. So, it’s best to drink moderately so your liver can metabolise alcohol at the right pace, and your skin can stay radiant. Brb, I now have to Google what ‘moderate drinking’ looks like.


Air Pollution

This is the world we live in; even AIR is out to get us. If you’re an urban dweller, the ‘fresh’ air you breathe is actually full of nanoparticles – tiny remnants of soot and smoke and rubbish – which are 20 times smaller than your pores so can easily invade your skin to cause inflammation and breakouts. Aside from literally never leaving the house, to protect your city skin you need to up your cleansing game. DO NOT end your day without getting that face clean. Also, try to select skincare with antioxidant properties to help fight free radicals.


Water bottles

Plastic is so not on trend anyway, but if you needed a reason other than the environment to ditch your single-use plastic water bottle, this is it. Staying hydrated is of course great for your skin, but most plastic water bottles contain BPA, a steroid analogue that messes with your hormones, leading to hormonal breakouts. Enough said - glass water bottles for the win.