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17 Daily Habits of People Who Never Get Acne

We’ve got the secrets to a flawless complexion.

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How to Prevent AcnePhoto Credit: Shutterstock

They never skip a face wash

Wondering how to prevent acne? You might start by considering your choice of skin cleanser and how often you use it, says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research and assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai in New York City. “While having acne does not mean that you are dirty, washing your face has been shown in studies to improve the appearance of acne,” he says. Using a gentle skin cleanser that effectively removes dirt, oil, and makeup from the skin can help maintain a healthy skin barrier. ” The key is to actually wash your face. Every. Single. Night. Skipping your daily face wash regimen, he adds, may lead to breakouts as dirt, oil, and makeup can block your pores. Here’s the truth about adult acne.

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They clean their smartphones


Don’t freak out, but your phone screen is way dirtier than you think. “Studies have shown that your cell phone is dirtier than a public toilet,” Dr. Zeichner says. “If you are not cleaning it regularly with an alcohol swab and it rubs against your face, you may be transferring that dirt to the skin, which combined with friction, may promote breakouts,” he says. Texas-based dermatologist Ted Lain, MD, adds. “Plastering a phone to your cheek for minutes on end could lead to not only occlusion of the pores, but also infection and then acne,” he says. Learn how to get clear skin with these natural remedies using things you have at home.

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They never touch their face


Frequent face-touching can cause breakouts, Dr. Zeichner says. “Leaning on your palm during the day can create friction against the skin, create inflammation and actually transfer dirt and oil that may get trapped in your pores,” he says. The solution? Don’t do it. Here are some more reasons why you’re having an acne breakout.

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They change their pillowcases frequently


Even if you are steadfast in your nighttime face washing ritual, not changing your pillowcase on a regular basis can result in breakouts. When you don’t refresh your pillowcase about every three days, dirt and oil build up, and when you put your face into the pillow at night, these blemish-causing substances can clog your pores, explains Betty Rajan, MD, a dermatologist in Fort Worth, Texas. The type of pillowcase doesn’t matter much when it comes to the transfer of dirt and oil, but one of the ways that dermatologists wake up with younger-looking skin is by sleeping on soft, less abrasive pillowcases. Love watching pimple popping videos? Here’s the real reason why you do.

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They eat like Greeks


Add better skin to the list of benefits associated with a traditional Mediterranean diet, says Dr. Lain. (Find out the perfect diet for your personality.) This healthy way of eating is rich in vegetables, olive oil, whole grains, plus small amounts of lean animal protein and of course, some red wine. “It is clear that the typical American diet, which is high in refined flours and saturated fats, bodes poorly for a good complexion.” This may be one of the reasons that resveratrol, the beneficial compound in red wine, is popping up in skin-care products.

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They never pick, pop, or squeeze


Picking or scratching at your acne leads to open wounds, prolonged healing, and sometimes scarring, Dr. Lain says.  “In addition, we all have bacteria on our hands, therefore you transfer bacteria to your face and lead to more infection.” Here’s a solution for adult acne that really works.

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They watch their weight


Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for a host of illnesses including heart disease and some forms of cancer, and there is a link between acne severity and obesity too. “To minimize acne risk, keep your Body Mass Index in the ideal range by exercising, eating correctly, and minimizing sugar intake,” Dr. Lain says. Check out the best probiotics for weight loss.

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They mind their microbiome

The microbiome is the collection of normal bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live on the skin and in our gut, and there are many surprising things it can reveal about our health. A growing body of research suggests that a balanced microbiome is super important for skin health. “There is no one skin-care product or supplement that will absolutely protect or repair the microbiome,” Dr. Lain says, but some studies have shown that people with acne tend to have an imbalance of good to bad gut bacteria, and that certain probiotics (such as Lactobacillus paracasei) can improve barrier function and make skin less reactive. Here are 10 ways to a better microbiome.

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How to Prevent AcnePhoto Credit: Shutterstock

They wash their hair regularly


All of the natural oils produced by our scalps to protect the hair can also clog pores on the face and lead to acne, Dr. Lain says. “Washing hair helps remove the excess oil on the scalp and hair, which minimizes the oil at the hair line and forehead.” But avoid heavy, oily hair-care products during styling, Dr. Zeichner warns. “Touching the skin on the forehead may block pores and lead to pimples.” Make sure you know how to pick the right shampoo for you.

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They switch to almond milk

People who don’t drink cow’s milk are less likely to get acne, says Joel Schlessinger MD, FAAD, FAACS, a dermatologist in Omaha, Nebraska. The reason: Hormones. “Milk contains hormones both from cows and from added hormones for greater milk production,” he says, “and even if milk is ‘hormone free,’ there are still natural hormones from the cows and these make acne go out of control.” (The same may be said of protein powder made from whey, a dairy product.)

And studies suggest skim milk may be an even worse complexion offender. The exact reason for this is not 100 percent clear, but it’s possible that skim milk is devoid of the good-for-your-skin fatty acids found in whole milk. Instead, try almond milk. “Almond milk contains all of the great vitamins and calcium we need, but without any of the hormones,” Dr. Schlesinger says. For an on-the-go breakfast that’s time-saving, try this Almond, Date and Espresso Shake.

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They pass on the pasta


There’s no white bread, white pasta, white rice, potato chips, or other high glycemic index (GI)-scoring carbs on the menu for the blemish-free. Instead, they tend to eat foods that rank low on this index, such as multi-grain bread, peanuts, vegetables, and beans. Emerging data suggest that high glycemic index diets may be associated with acne, according to the latest guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology. Exactly how a diet that is high on the GI index can cause acne is not fully understood, but low GI foods keep blood sugar levels stable while high GI foods cause a blood sugar spike that can lead to inflammation, which plays a role in acne.

Eating lots of high GI foods can also increase hormones which in turn dial up the activity of oil glands in the skin, causing acne. Find out which foods can actually help clear up acne.

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They wash their hands after working out


Sure, working out on a regular basis helps us stay fit and healthy, but if we don’t exercise caution with hand hygiene, we may break out—or worse, because gym equipment can be full of bacteria. “Working out in a gym is potentially very dirty and can cause something that looks just like acne, but is actually a staph infection,” Dr. Schlessinger says. “The best thing to do is to avoid touching your face while playing sports or working out. If you must, bring a towel or use the back of your hand or sleeve.” Read on to learn the best workout for your age.

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They don’t share makeup


No matter how jealous you are of your BFF’s new bronzer or a co-worker’s mascara, don’t borrow it. “Sharing makeup is sharing bacteria with a friend,” says Dr. Schlessinger. Whatever you do, don’t try on makeup in a store unless you test it on your arm or the back of your hand. Here are 10 gross things that can happen when you don’t wash your makeup brushes.

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They don’t smoke


In case you needed one more reason to kick the habit, smoking may also cause acne, according to research out of the San Gallicano Dermatological Institute in Rome, Italy. Smokers may be more likely to develop non-inflammatory acne.” These 6 bad beauty habits are getting in the way of a healthy glow.

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They don’t stop fighting the fight


It can be oh-so tempting to skip the skin-clearing products in our skin-care regimen, but this is a mistake, says Mark H. Schwartz, MD, FACS, Clinical Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. “It is natural to want to stop using acne-fighting products when your skin is clear, but acne is chronic and requires long-term care to keep it under control—even when you are traveling. ” Make sure you take your acne medications as directed for as long as directed. Or try this celebrity’s acne-busting ingredient.

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They stay out of the sun


Just how bad is tanning? Do you really need to ask? Skin cancer risk aside, it may also worsen acne. Despite a popular misconception, tanning doesn’t make acne better. UV rays actually dry out and damage skin. Certain acne medications also increase sun sensitivity, making a burn more likely. Always wear broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher and reapply it frequently. These are the best mineral sunscreens you can buy in Canada.

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They protect their skin from pollution


Some research suggests that smog, chemicals, and toxins in the air can clog your pores and cause acne. If you are a city dweller, there’s not much you can do to avoid pollution, but sunscreen will create a barrier between your skin and the toxins, and antioxidant serums can help fight damaging free radicals in air pollution. When free radicals and pollution take their toll on your complexion, these detoxifying ingredients are like a juice cleanse for your face. Next, find out how pollution is secretly aging your skin.

Originally Published on Reader's Digest