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  5. 11 Habits That Make Acne Worse

Blame it on the hormones or genetics, sometimes acne can be entirely out of your control. And, of course, no one likes to have these tiny disruptions on the skin.

You might be investing in a ton of skincare products to keep these tiny zests at bay, but do you know that certain lifestyle habits can make your acne worse? Here are ten bad habits that can worsen your acne problem.

What Our Experts Say

“Touching your face constantly, especially when suffering from acne, is a big no.”

- Prajkta Sapre, PG, Cosmetic Technology, Product Development Executive, SkinKraft

Highlighting the importance of why one should avoid touching the face, Prajkta Sapre, Product Development Executive, SkinKraft, says, “Touching your face constantly, especially when suffering from acne is a big no. Our fingertips are a source of vast microbial flora which may be harmful.”

She adds that touching acne repeatedly contributes in spreading the P. acnes bacteria, which is responsible for the acne and its inflammation. Squeezing and popping pimples, acne, and blackheads makes it worse.

Prajkta recommends that three basic habits need to be followed to reduce acne. These are,

1. Maintaining good body hydration and a healthy diet.

2. Cleansing your face according to your skin type.

3. Exfoliating your face with chemical exfoliators carefully according to the skin type.

11 Habits That Make Acne Worse

1. Constantly Popping The Breakouts

Most people tend to pop the breakouts, but remember, whenever you pop acne, you push some of the content of the acne inside. This could be pus, bacteria, or dead skin cells. This can flare up the infection, leading to more acne, along with scars and pain.

Instead, no matter how strong the urge to pop or squeeze acne is, stop yourself from touching it. You can apply acne medication or consult a dermatologist if it is too troublesome.

Girl applying acne medication on her face

2. Rubbing Sweat During Workouts

While working out, you might be using a towel to constantly rub your face and wipe out the drips of sweat. But do you know that constant rubbing of the face can irritate the skin, leading to breakouts?

Instead, avoid rubbing your face and pat the sweat dry. Always use a clean and soft towel.

3. Constantly Scrubbing Your Skin

If you think that constant scrubbing can stop acne, then know that regular scrubbing can irritate the skin. This can flare up and cause further infection. [1]

Instead, use a mild non-comedogenic cleanser to clean your face. Use your fingertips to gently clean the face in a circular motion, rinse with warm water, and pat dry with a soft clean towel.

Happy woman in towel making facial massage with organic face scrub

4. Wash Your Face Throughout The Day

It is a common misconception that washing your face throughout the day will keep the acne away. While it is essential to keep the skin clean, frequent washing can irritate your skin. This can lead to more frequent breakouts.

Instead, wash your face twice a day, once when you wake up in the morning and once when you’re about to go to bed. However, if you have done a workout, applied makeup, or are sweating in general, wash your face to keep it clean.

Did You Know?

Acne is the eighth most prevalent disease in the world. An estimated 9.4% global population is affected by acne. [2]

5. Using Makeup That Clogs Pores

If you're using makeup or any skin/hair care products that can clog the skin pores, stop using them immediately. If you continue to use them, they may clog the pores and cause further breakouts.

Instead, switch to better makeup and skincare products. Remember to read the labels. Any products that have the word non-comedogenic are safe to use.

6. Changing Your Acne Cream Frequently

Many are often desperate to get rid of acne, and tend to try various new acne creams available in the market. But, know that switching creams too frequently can irritate your already sensitive skin. Plus, a product takes time to work.

Instead of frequently changing your acne cream, use a product for at least 3-4 months to see whether it's working or not. If not, switch to another product. However, always consult a dermatologist before applying any acne cream or switching products.

7. Sharing Makeup & Makeup Applicators

While acne is not contagious, when you use other people’s applicators or makeup, the acne bacteria, oil, and dead cells from the other person’s skin can land up on your skin. This can clog your skin pores, causing acne and blemishes.

Instead of using other people’s products, always use only your makeup and makeup applicator.

8. Not Cleansing Your Makeup

Any makeup can clog the pores if you wear it for a long time.

Instead, make it a point to wash your face and cleanse makeup with a good cleanser before going to bed.

9. Applying Acne Creams Only On Blemishes

Most people make the mistake of applying creams only on the blemishes they can see. But that doesn't stop new breakouts from popping up.

Instead, remember to apply your acne medication evenly over your skin, especially in breakout areas like the jawline, forehead, and nose.

10. Not Cleaning Your Phone Screen

Not cleaning your phone screen can worsen your acne condition. The unclean screen has a lot of bacteria, and pressing it against the skin can lead to breakouts.

Instead, remember to clean your phone screen regularly or try using headphones.

11. Sleeping On Dirty Pillows

Dirty pillows can cause eyelash mites[3]. Apart from that, dirty pillow cases may also increase the risk of developing acne in people prone to breakouts. If you don't change your pillowcase frequently, dead cells, bacteria, and oil can pile up quickly, leading to acne breakouts.

Instead, remember to change your pillowcase every 7-10 days.

Young woman had a stinging nose from a dusty pillow

SkinKraft Tip:

Spot application of tea tree oil can keep your acne breakout at bay. A research study revealed that a 5% tea tree oil gel was more effective at reducing acne than a placebo.

How To Develop Good Skin Habits?

1. Avoid eating refined carbohydrates like pasta, bread, crackers, and say yes to whole grains. A research study found that people who consumed added sugar more frequently had a 30% greater risk of developing acne and those who ate pastries regularly had a 20% greater risk.

2. Let your skin heal naturally, just keep it clean by using gentle soap and lukewarm water.

3. When you’re already going through a bout of breakout, your skin remains sensitive. So, avoid going out into the sun as the harmful sun rays can cause further damage to your skin.

Wrapping Up

Your lifestyle habits can impact your acne condition to a great extent. While certain habits can worsen the condition, following a healthy lifestyle and skincare habits can help you control your acne breakouts and reduce your visits to your dermatologist. However, if your acne problems persist, do not hesitate to ask your dermatologist for advice.


If you’re still unable to control your acne breakouts even after following these tips, do see a dermatologist.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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