#1 Your skincare or makeup
Silicones and mineral oils are two common ingredients in skincare and makeup that can clog your pores. Mineral oil can be an incredibly moisturising ingredient, and silicone can help give your skin a more silky smooth and flawless finish. Silicone-based primers, for example, are commonly available, and while some people may love them, others try to avoid them for the simple reason that it can break you out.
If you’re not sure about checking ingredients, stick to products that have the words “non-comedogenic” on them, which essentially means they won’t clog your pores.
#2 Your phone
Whether it’s the phone on your desk at work or your smartphone, chances are the surface of your phone comes into direct contact with your face on a daily basis. Unless you habitually wipe down your phone with something antibacterial, it is very likely that these devices are depositing a whole host of bacteria onto your face.
Try to wipe down the things on your desk at work on a more regular basis (I try to at least once a week) and also avoid pressing your handphone or the mouthpiece of your desk phone to your cheek.
#3 Excessive acne treatments
Many blemish treatments out there contain ingredients that dry out your pimples. Using too much of treatments like topical salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide might cause your skin to produce even more oil in order to counter the dryness. The harsh treatments might also irritate your skin, causing acne spots to look more red and inflamed.
If your skin has gotten too dry and irritated, a moisturiser at night instead of an acne treatment can help your skin repair itself. Try one with anti-blemish properties like Vichy Normaderm Beautifying Anti-Blemish Care 24H Hydration ($39), available at Guardian.
#4 Your hair products
Sulfates, silicone and other moisturisers from your shampoos and conditioners can clog your pores on areas of your skin like your face, neck and back (if you have back acne or “bacne”, this could be why).
Try washing your hair with your head tilted away from your body to minimise the amount of hair product that gets on the rest of your skin. If you can’t help but get some on your face or neck and back, make sure you cleanse those areas after washing your hair.
#5 Your bedsheets
Take note of how often you put your bedsheets in the wash. Sleeping on the same pillowcase for too many nights is bad for your skin. The bacteria that accumulates on your pillow over time is inevitably going to spread to your skin while you sleep.
If you sleep on your side a lot and find that breakouts are occurring mostly around your cheeks, start washing your pillowcases more often. Once a week is often enough for most people, but it also depends on other factors that affect the amount of bacteria present like whether you drool often or perspire throughout the night.