Is your skin behaving badly, and you can’t figure out what is going on? You’ve read my blog, switched up your facial products, increased your water consumption, changed your pillow cases, even swapped out your detergents for fragrance-free ones… but your skin is determined to keep breaking out!
Well, it turns out that sometimes life throws you a curveball. It’s not just about how well you take care of your skin, sometimes there are outside elements that prevent you from having the skin you work hard for!
Here are seven wild-cards that could be behind your skin woes:
1. Your Calendar – You know, that big date you have circled is coming up. Maybe it’s a wedding, vacation, business trip, or a big presentation at work or school. You’re excited and also nervous and can’t stop thinking about it. It turns out, your body can misinterpret that excitement for stress when it last for days at a time. So, the very same excitement you have over the big day ends up causing the same physical response as stress! It dehydrates your skin, causes inflammation, puts stress on your immune system ,and can cause a break-out over night.
What to do: Take a 200mg dose of ibuprofen, another 4-6 hours later, and then one more the next day will help calm the inflammation and give your skin a break. Just three doses total though. If you’re a chronic stresser-outer this isn’t a lifetime fix. A few grams of fish oil supplements can also do the trick (4000mg per dose!).
2. Your Hair – Well, technically your hair products. People often miss the connection because it can take up to 4-6 weeks for a blemish to fully form. By the time the breakout shows up, you don’t think of a change that happened over a month ago. Hair products often cause breakouts along the hairline, so your sexy new chin-brushing bob could break-out the jaw line, or those bangs like Zooey could be wreaking havoc on your forehead. Don’t worry, its not your new haircut itself, just your hair product coming into contact with your skin.
What to do: If you started trying a new product, see if cutting it out of your routine solves the problem. If a new haircut is causing your hair to touch your face the best way to solve it is keep it tied back. If that’s not an option, try keeping your hair products to a minimum and slowly introduce products back to your routine to see which one might be causing the issue. Hey, I didn’t say it was an ideal fix, sometimes a girl’s got to pick her poison!
3. Your Man – Scruff can be adorable, and lots of great fellas participate in “No Shave November”, or Movember, but that scratchy beard is no good for your sensitive facial skin. His facial hair is like an exfoliating pad on your skin every time you kiss him, and this leads to red, irritated, and possibly broken-out skin around the mouth. If his beard is a little longer, he may also be using hair products on it that don’t mix well with your skin. Of course if he keeps his face smooth as Fabio’s bare chest, he may be using an aftershave or fragrance that you don’t react well to.
What to do: Stop kissing him. Just kidding, but do hand him a razor….or just wait for it to grow out enough to be soft as a puppy.
4. Brushing Your Teeth – A lot of people wash their face and then brush their teeth, and don’t understand why they keep getting unexplained breakouts around their mouth. Residue from the toothpaste can get left behind and irritate the skin and cause a breakout.
What to do: Just switch it up! Brush your teeth first and you’ll get any bits of toothpaste residue off when you cleanse your skin.
5. Your Water – Hard water doesn’t get products off the skin as well as soft water, and that buildup on the skin can lead to clogged, dull-looking skin.
What to do: If you suspect hard water, you can get a showerhead filter for around $30—you don’t have to spend several thousand dollars on a whole home filter for clearer skin! Something like this works great and is super easy to install:
6. Your Tan – Yeah, I know. Every time you get a tan your skin looks clearer, but you’re making a deal with the devil. A tan is nothing but a sign that your skin has taken damage and it’s trying to protect itself. When you take UV-ray damage, your skin increases cell production to thicken your epidermis, and this thicker skin can lead to more clogged pores and breakouts that will haunt you weeks later.—not to mention the wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin, and cancer side-effects that tanning brings you.
What to do: Wear an oil-free SPF protectant on your face every day and leave the idea of a tan being desirable behind. Sorry. Tanning is just flat out bad for you, no matter how cute it makes you. Plus, it’ll age you much, much faster.
7. Hormones….that aren’t yours – We’ve all heard that birth control can help clear skin, and that is certainly true, but you have to find the right one for you. A dose that doesn’t work well with your body can cause breakouts, hyperpigmentation, and a general overall feeling of not being yourself. Eating animal products that have been treated with hormones can also wreak havoc on your skin, and unfortunately, hormones are making their way into our water supply, as well.
What to do: Talk to your doctor if you suspect your hormonal medications may be causing your skin distress and avoid animal food products that have been treated with hormones. It might also be worth buying a water filter to get rid of any pharmaceuticals that make it into your water supply, too!
Of course, there are other wild cards that the world throws at you, but these are the ones I see most often in clients who come to me exasperated from having tried everything they can think of. If you have another one, make sure you send me a message and I can do some research for you!
See you next week!