From The Straits Times    |

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Nobody wants acne, pimples, zits or breakouts EVER. But still, these skin problems pop up out of nowhere.

Besides hormonal acne which cannot really be helped (damn our hornomal cycle!), you could be doing things that are causing those zits to form and ruin your day. Look out for these five common daily mistakes and avoid them like the plague. All in the name of better, clearer, pimple-free skin.


You don’t wash your hands before washing your face

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Many of us skip this important hand-cleanliness step. When we start at the basin to wash our faces, it’s immediately to splash water on and then lather up with facial wash. But this means that the facial wash suds are loaded with the bacteria on your hands and you’re smearing all the nasty stuff all over your face. Just like touching your face during the day, you’re introducing zit-causing bacteria onto your skin by doing this. So start by washing your hands with hand soap before you even splash water onto your face or touch that tube of facial wash.


Your hair’s constantly touching your face

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It may be trendy to have blunt bangs, or flattering to have a hairstyle with strands framing your face, but in our hot, humid climate, it spells disaster for your skin. When the weather is sweltering, our hair gets greasy and sweaty faster, and when these hair strands comes into contact with your skin, it deposits dirt, excess oil and bacteria, all leading to clogged pores and eventually zit breakouts.


You’re exfoliating too frequently

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Regular exfoliation is part of a good skincare routine as it sloughs off dead skin that can clog pores and cause flare ups. However, on the other hand, when you overdo it by scrubbing daily or using too harsh products, it just gets rid of healthy, normal skin cells too and starts chipping away at skin’s protective barrier. When skin’s defenses are down, it becomes imbalanced and more susceptible to acne and pimples.


ALSO READ: Quiz: How well are you taking care of your skin?


You don’t have a dedicated face towel

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Most of us have a bath towel in our bathrooms for all our body drying needs. This one towel usually is used from top-to-toe – drying our hair, wiping our entire body including our feet and nether regions, cleaning our hands, and also wiping our faces. This can’t be good for your face, right? Even if you wash that towel regularly. Always have a dedicated face towel on hand, only for cleaning your face, and keep this towel in your room instead of in the toilet. This ensures that the towel that is touching your face is as clean as possible, without germs from other parts of your body. And of course, wash this face towel regularly with a gentle detergent as soap particles from detergent can stick to fabric (if you properly rinsed off) and transfer onto skin causing irritation.


You are in denial about how dirty everything is

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Think about the most common skincare tip you’ve heard. “Don’t touch your face” and “Wash your makeup brushes regularly” would fall into that category. But mostly, people are in denial about how dirty their personal belongings are. From their fingers, to makeup tools, to mobile phones, towels, and pillowcases, a lot of these are just not properly cleaned or changed often enough. It wouldn’t hurt to be a bit OCD when it comes to your face. You can’t be too careful keeping your face clean and free of zit-causing germs and bacteria. Clean that mobile phone daily with an anti-bacterial wipe, change pillowcases and towels regularly, wash or change makeup brushes often, wash your hands frequently. Basically, everything your mother told you about life.


ALSO READ: Quick fix: 10 Easy skincare tips for busy women