Seven Surprising Acne Triggers
Muscle & Fitness Hers|Spring 2018

Still fighting breakouts as an adult? Clear up your skin by eliminating these common but unexpected culprits.

Karyn Repinski

THOUGHT YOU left breakouts behind you with your teenage years? News flash: You can still experience acne even as an adult. And your hormones aren’t the only thing to blame for blemishes. Consider these surprising reasons you may be developing pimples—and how to keep your skin clear and healthy.

CULPRIT:

YOUR CELLPHONE

CONNECTION:

“Bacteria, makeup, oil, and sweat can build up on your phone and then be transferred back onto skin, triggering acne around your cheeks, chin, and mouth,” says Sejal Shah, M.D., founder of SmarterSkin Dermatology in New York. The pressure of the phone can also trap oil, bacteria, and other debris against your skin (what derms call “acne mechanica”), leading to blocked pores and blemishes.

CLEAR-SKIN SOLUTION:

To dial down breakouts, clean your phone daily (a soft, damp cloth should do the job) and consider a headset or using your phone on speaker.

CULPRIT:

A LACK OF NATURAL OILS

CONNECTION:

In addition to keeping cells from piling up and clogging pores, phytosphingosine (PS), a type of fat that occurs naturally in the skin, kills acne-causing bacteria and reduces inflammation. People who are acne-prone are often genetically predisposed to have too little of this essential fatty acid, plus levels also decrease as we age, explains Audrey Kunin, M.D., a board certified dermatologist and founder of DermaDoctor.

CLEAR-SKIN SOLUTION:

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