10 Reasons You Did Not Know Can Cause Acne

Breakouts are the worst. And they can affect anyone. Usually, when you are in your teenage years, bad diet and hormone imbalance is the culprit for acne. But as you grow older, you change your diet habits to a more healthy lifestyle, and your hormones are now at bay.

So, why do you still have acne breakouts? Well, there are many more causes of acne, and we are sure you probably didn’t think about these 10 reasons.

Do not worry. You are not alone. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, between 40 and 50 million Americans have acne issues at one point in their life.

So, what is causing your pimples, zits, and acne? Whether you are a teenager or an adult, these causes can lead to breakouts.

Generally speaking, pimples develop when dead skin cells mix with excess oil on the body. This mixture can clog the pores, cause swelling, and when bacteria grow, an infection may lead to pus. With that in mind, here are some surprising causes of acne.

Touching your face

You might now know it, but your workplace might be a huge problem for your acne. If you are spending most of the day in front of a computer, you are probably touching your face every now and then.

Our hands are the most unclean parts of our bodies. We touch different things on a daily basis, and we can transfer germs and bacteria when we touch our face.

To prevent it, make sure to wash your hands regularly with an antibacterial soap. It will help you kill bacteria, germs, and clean impurities that may clog your pores and cause acne.

Spending too much time outside

Sun exposure is great. Sunlight helps our body produce vitamin D, a vitamin otherwise we have troubles sourcing. But too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. And that applies to sun exposure as well. We need sun exposure for vitamin D, but the question is how much is enough?

Over-exposure to the sunlight can cause pimples, as it weakens your skin, and make your pimples worse. Heat and UV rays can dry out the skin, which results in excessive oil production, and clogging of the pores. Try to stay outside for a maximum of one to two hours, and limit that during the weak sunlight. Do not go out at peak hours.

Wearing sweaty clothes

Rule No.1 for preventing pimples, take a shower after a workout. One of the big mistakes we do is leaving our dirty and sweaty clothes on for an hour or two after a workout. Sweat is one of the biggest enemies to your clean face. Sweat can cause bacteria buildup, and clog your pores.

Try to wear breathable fabrics that allow sweat to leave the skin. And more importantly, change your skin and shower as often as possible.

Not changing your pillowcase

Do you sleep in the same bedsheets and pillowcase for a long time? How often do you change them? Once a month? Once per week? Your pillowcase and bed sheets need constant changing.

All of the bacteria from your face transfer to the pillowcase when you sleep. That is why you have to wash your face in the morning.

But you should also change the bed sheets and pillowcase on a regular basis to make sure they are clean and bacteria-free.

Wearing hats

Now, hats are cool. And they are cute and adorable. Queen Elizabeth and British royalty wear hats all the time. But hats can be silent enemies for your acne breakouts. Hats trap sweat and bacteria against your skin. That can clog your pores, and result in zits, pimples, and more.

Try to avoid wearing hats, headband, and similar headgear when you are working out or sweating indoors. Yes, athletes wear headbands to wipe off sweat. But you should try to avoid that practice.


We cannot avoid stress nowadays. It seems like stress and stressful situations are all around us. And that is just sad and depressing. Having pimples can be stressful too. But stress can worsen your pimples even more.

When your body is under stress, it releases a hormone called cortisol, which stimulates the oil glands to produce more testosterone and oil. By now, you should know that excessive oil production clogs the pores and causes pimples.

Traveling by plane

Air travel is the fastest and the safest way to travel. But it is also one of the worst when it comes to pimples. Sitting in an airplane for long periods dehydrates the skin, forcing it to produce more oil. And dehydrated skin is more prone to bacterial and dirt buildup, as it lacks the moisture barrier.

To prevent dehydrating during air travel, make sure to slap on moisturizer before, and clean your face afterward.


As you can see, many of the surprising causes of acne are actually our fault. We have some bad lifestyle habits.

One of those is over-scrubbing our face. This causes skin irritation, which leads to dryness, and you know the rest. Another culprit is using dirty towels. They might contain a lot of bacteria already, and you are giving them access to your precious facial skin. Use clean towels!

Using hair products frequently

There are many clogging ingredients in the hair products we use on a daily basis. These ingredients, called sulfates, are heavy moisturizing agents. But they can seep into the pores, clog them, and cause acne. In addition to sulfates, try to avoid hair products that contain silicones.

Too much phone time

According to statistics, people in America check their phone 47 times per day. And that doesn’t take into account how much time we spend talking on the phone. Just think about all of the surfaces your phone has been in the last few days.

How clean were they? Right? Well, now think of all the germs and bacteria you transfer when you put your phone on your face.

How to prevent the growth of acne?

The best way to cure acne is to prevent them in the first place. As mentioned previously, there are a couple of things you can do. But most importantly, you have to change your lifestyle habits to a healthier lifestyle.

That includes washing your face on a regular basis, avoid smoking, avoid drinking alcohol, and use anti-bacterial body washes.

Written by Steven

Steven is a young student from San Francisco who is obsessed with computers.

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