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Sneaky causes of acne

Acne is one of the most common and stubborn skin problems. While many people only experience acne breakouts in teenage hood, others continue to have unsightly zits well into adulthood. A pimply face can make one self-conscious, not to mention that regular dermatologist appointments and experimenting with different products can cost a pretty penny.

When fighting acne, the most important rule is to deal with the root problem. If you have a proper skin care regimen but you’re still inundated with acne breakouts, the root of the problem might not be so obvious.

Here are some of the sneakiest reasons you’re suffering from frequent acne breakouts:

1. Menopause

If you’re a woman aged 40 and above and have suddenly started having pimples which remind you of your adolescence years, the culprit might be menopause. During menopause, oestrogen and progesterone decrease -- which increases inflammatory factors that lead to breakouts. Using hormonal therapy might treat this kind of acne but it’s not a sure bet -- it can even make the problem worse. If your acne flare-ups don’t stop, talk to your doctor about exploring other options. Some natural DIY solutions, such as tea tree oil and green tea might help.

2. Heavy makeup

Wearing heavy makeup, with lots of foundation and contouring, has been on trend in the last couple of years. However, this kind of makeup should be reserved for special occasions such as weddings, photo-shoots or red-carpet events. Slathering on heavy makeup daily can plug your pores and irritate your skin, causing an acne breakout. Then you’ll probably wear even more makeup in an attempt to cover the inflamed bumps, making it into a vicious cycle.  If you’re used to wearing a full face of makeup, dial back a bit and let your skin breathe. Consult a dermatologist for a prescription of either topical creams, oral drugs or other procedures to treat lingering acne or scarring.

3. Your hair

Do you love soaking your hair in heavy pomades and wearing it in styles that come over your forehead? This might be the reason you always have pimples near your hairline or on your forehead. The grease travels from your scalp and hair to the sensitive skin on your face, causing acne breakouts. Switch to lighter hair products and wash your hair more often. Opt for hairstyles such as ponytails, buns and braids that keep hair out of your face.

4. Your phone

In today’s world, a phone is an undeniable necessity. We carry them with us wherever we go -- from the bedroom to the boardroom...and even the bathroom! But most of us rarely remember to sanitise our phones, making them a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Whenever you hold your dirty phone up to your cheek, you transfer germs to your skin, which can lead to acne breakouts. To get rid of such acne, you should regularly clean your phone with alcohol-infused wipes. You might also want to consider investing in  a bluetooth earpiece.

5. Your supplement

Are you a fan of protein shakes to boost your energy after a punishing gym session? This might be one of the sneaky reasons behind your stubborn acne. Protein shakes and bars add more sugars and carbs to your diet than you might realise. The sugars can cause inflammation and pimples. If a protein shake seems to be causing your acne, change brands or stick to natural energy boosters and protein sources.

6. New skincare regimen

Have you recently introduced a bunch of new products into your skin care regimen? Instead of getting the immense improvement to your skin, you might get acne breakouts. However, don’t give up on your new products...yet. It’s totally normal for your skin to go through an adjustment period, which can take up to three months.