5 Reasons You Might Still Be Breaking Out
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5 Reasons You Might Still Be Breaking Out (and how to stop it from happening!)

5 Reasons You Might Still Be Breaking Out

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I honestly never thought I’d have so much to say about breakouts and adult acne as I do. As a teen I got lucky and pimples were a rarity, as an over 30 adult? Not so lucky. The days of slapping on some Clean & Clear and waking up to clear skin are gone, and instead I’ve really had to evaluate what parts of my routine needed revamping in order to kick breakouts to the curb!

5 Reasons You Might Be Breaking Out Still

5 Reasons You Might Still Be Breaking Out

1. You’re still stripping your skin to combat oily skin or breakouts.

I know it seems like the first choice: choose products that specify that they fight acne. Problem is that many of these products are incredibly drying and stripping, and that actually can disrupt the pH level in our skin which in turn causes more oil production. Believe it or not, but my skin actually gets clearer, stays more even in tone and heals faster when I add a drop or two of a quality facial oil into my routine (and NO, coconut oil is NOT a facial oil!)

Some of my favourite facial oils: Emma Hardie Brilliance Facial Oil*, Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activator Oil, NUDE ProGenius Omega Treatment Rescue Oil*.


2. You never exfoliate (or don’t do it regularly)

Whether it’s using a physical scrub that you use 1-2 times a week, or a liquid exfoliant that has Lactic, Glycolic or Salicylic Acid that you use 3-4 days a week, exfoliating is essential to getting the best skin possible. Our skin cells are constantly turning over, and then shedding themselves – without ridding them our pores can not only get clogged (hello blackheads!) but our pricey skincare routine is not as effective. Simple cleansing generally is not enough to rid dead skin, grime and pollution that builds up on our face (and body for that matter!). I love using a liquid to swipe over cleansed skin every night (I have dry skin so this really helps with flaky patches), but reach for a scrub exfoliant once every 10 days or so to get down and deep.

Some of my favourite exfoliators: Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner (my Holy Grail!), First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads*, Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub*.


3. You rarely wash your brushes.

Think of it this way: If you were an artist, would you grab a brush caked in a week’s worth of Ultramarine to apply Burnt Sienna to your canvas? No, you wouldn’t because it is dirty and will contaminate your picture with the wrong shade. Your brushes are no different, except instead of oil paints, you’ve got bacteria that you’re spreading around your face and just hoping it won’t cause it’s own colony of zits. A simple spritz with a brush cleaning liquid to disinfect can get you through until a proper cleaning (because we’re all human and just don’t have the time to do that every day).

My favourite brush cleansers for quick 30-second cleaning: MAC Brush Cleanser (I decant into a spray bottle!), Sephora Daily Brush Cleanser.


4. You’re just removing makeup, but not actually cleansing your skin.

This concept took me a long time to wrap my head around, because growing up I assumed that my face cleanser would not only remove my makeup but actually clean my skin. This is not the case – you really need one product to remove makeup and sunscreen, and then a cleanser that actually cleanses your skin from impurities. I rely on an oil or balm to remove my makeup because it can break down hard to move sunscreen and heavy foundations/eye makeup, and then a gentle cream cleanser for my skin to keep the pH balanced and my skin happy (I use the same one to cleanse in the morning – something you also shouldn’t be forgetting!) Since doing this, I’ve eliminated 80% of my skin issues (ie redness, blackheads, clogged pores, severe dehydration)

My favourite makeup removing cleanser: The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Balm, Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil*, Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil*.

My favourite skin cleansers: Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser*, Clinique Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser, Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel*.


5. You don’t wash your pillow cases enough.

Totally not accusing you of never washing your sheets, but our pillows get an incredible amount of direct contact, for long periods of time, with our faces. If you’re getting your 8 hours of sleep each night, that is 56 hours a week that your face spends up close and personal with a piece of fabric. This piece of fabric is a catch-all for dead skin cells, your hair product, your drool (eew!) and whatever you may not have gotten off your skin in the first place if you didn’t double cleanse! If you’re noticing breakouts regardless of how diligent your skincare routine is, try switching out your pillowcase every night or second night.


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  1. Until recently I didn’t realise how important cleansing after removing my makeup was. It makes such a difference to one’s skin to do both.

    1. Right? It’s something I never knew and never learned as a teen. I used one facial wash for everything. I was just lucky that I had good skin. As an adult I’ve realized how important it is to actual cleanse the skin.

  2. I think you’ve described most problem every other girl/woman is doing (and they are not avare of it)! Cleansing,exfoliating & brush washing are sooooo important & pillowcase is another great point for those who struggle with breakouts (I always put fresh muslin cloth on my pillowcase )

    1. So glad you liked the post! Some of these might seem like no-brainers to many, but my mother never wore much makeup and I never learned a damn thing about skincare in my youth. I could have been taking such better care of my skin (especially in terms of sun damage!)

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