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Be gentle to your skin to prevent adult acne

Other lifestyle factors behind your skin woes include dairy and hair products

While hormones definitely play a big role in causing breakouts and adult acne or just the odd spot now and then, the following unexpected lifestyle factors could also be behind your frequent skin woes.


You have been religiously cleansing, toning, moisturising and using sunscreen daily, but ingredients such as mineral oil, silicone, sodium lauryl sulphate and fragrance are all known to trigger acne.

Solution: Look for lightweight gel-textured products designed not to clog pores - they are usually labelled "non-comedogenic". Picking fragrance-free products will also help minimise the chances of acne.


If you have been breaking out around your mouth, it might be time to swop your toothpaste. Ingredients such as fluoride and sodium lauryl sulphate are known to irritate the skin.

Solution: Cleanse your face after brushing your teeth.


When you have oily, acne-prone skin, it is easy to feel the need to scrub and exfoliate to control the oil and shine. But this harsh approach will only make things worse, because the more you strip the skin of its natural oils, the more oil it will produce. And more oil just leads to more breakouts.

Solution: Adopt a gentle approach to your skincare. Use a gentle cleanser and exfoliator that will not strip the skin. And incorporate a light gel moisturiser to ensure your skin does not get dehydrated.


We have all slapped on a spot treatment or pimple patch at the first sign of a zit, but using them too often could make things worse. Ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in spot treatments dry out the skin, and this could lead it to producing more oil, and in turn more breakouts and acne.

Solution: Scaling back on the frequency will help. Using spot treatments two to three times a week on the spot will help it heal without causing an overproduction of oil.


These products can come with harsh chemicals and strong fragrances and the residue left on your clothes, towels and pillow cases can cause breakouts.

Solution: Switch to a milder one that is suitable for sensitive skin and also fragrance-free.


Unless you are drinking your coffee black, the dairy in that is a common cause of inflammation.

Solution: Try swopping cow's milk for almond or soya bean milk and observe if those spots stop appearing so frequently.


Conditioner, hair gel and hairspray could also be contributing factors. Residue from your conditioner can clog pores, leading to breakouts around the hairline and the back. Your hairspray or gel mixed with sweat and sebum does the same.

Solution: Ensure you rinse off your conditioner and styling products thoroughly and there is no residue left behind to clog your pores.


If you do not wash it regularly, the moist conditions from the liquid foundation and the humidity of our climate can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Solution: Your cushion puff needs to be given an oil cleanse first, then double cleanse with face wash or brush cleaner. Rinse it under hot water and dry it with a kitchen towel.

This article was first published in Cleo Singapore (