LIFESTYLE CHOICES THAT AFFECT ACNE

  • Laundry – Fabric Softener

    Do not use this in the washer and/or the dryer (no dryer sheets). The waxy residue gets on your pillowcases, towels, wash cloths, and sheets that have direct contact with the skin. The residue will clog pores of acne- prone individuals. If you want something to stop static cling in your dryer, you can get anti-static balls at Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, or online.

    Fragrance Free Detergents Detergents with fragrance can cause skin irritation. Best to use fragrance-free such as Cheer Free, All Free & Clear, Tide Free, and Arm & Hammer Free.

  • No Water Softeners
    There is some evidence that water softeners can lead to acne, especially those containing high amounts of potassium chloride.

  • For Swimmers
    Swimming pool disinfectants contain iodides and chlorine which can remain in the water, causing skin problems for frequent swimmers. We advise applying a thin layer of Vaseline before you get in the pool.

  • Sun Exposure and Acne
    Although sun exposure causes desirable scaling and drying, it also damages the follicle, exacerbates dark spots, and causes skin cancer as well as premature aging. Always wear your sunscreen, even if it’s overcast and/or raining.

  • Beware of Hand Lotions
    If you are using a comedogenic hand lotion and then leaning your face on your hands (many do this in front of the computer) or sleeping on your hands, this could contribute to your acne.

  • Breakouts Around Your Mouth Area?
    Many lip balms, toothpastes, and even facial tissues have comedogenic ingredients in them. So, if you see breakouts around your mouth area, this is possibly why. I recommend Vaseline, Skin Script SPF 15 Lip Balm, or Aquaphor for a lip balm and toothpaste without SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate). Many well-known tissue brands are infused with things like coconut oil, isopropyl myristate, and SLS, all of which will clog the pores.

  • No Picking or Squeezing!
    Instead, rub ice on pustules and pimples for a couple of minutes, twice a day. IMPORTANT: if you pick, squeeze, and break the skin, that scab will leave a red or dark mark that will be there for months, making your skin look WAY worse than if you left it alone.

  • Birth Control and Hormone Replacement
    Avoid low estrogen birth control pills. “Lo” dose pills are higher in androgen hormones that can make acne- prone skin worse (see the page on birth control pills). Norplant, Provera, Depo-Provera shots, most IUDs like Mirena, Skyla and Liletta can be a problem. Also, the Nuva Ring can cause breakouts. Progesterone hormone replacement Premarin can be problematic. If you have polycystic ovaries, they will cause hormonal changes and breakouts.

  • Recreational and Prescription Drugs
    Recreational drugs – marijuana, cocaine, speed, and steroids used by bodybuilders
    Prescription drugs – topical and oral steroids, anticonvulsants, Lithium, thyroid meds, Quinine, Isoniazid, Immuran, Danazol, Gonadotrophin, Cyclosporin, Disulfuram, Phentermine, ADD/ADHD drugs. 

  • Chemicals
    Coal tars (roofers), grease (mechanics, cooks, waiters), chlorinated industrial chemicals, dioxin.