Your Skin Could Be Breaking Out From These Hidden Causes

As you coasted through your angsty teen years with minimal blemishes, you thought that you dodged a bullet (or several bullets in the form of oil-clogged face craters), didn’t you? Oh, how wrong you were. Even in your adult years — no matter how diligent you are with washing your face each night — an unwanted pimple or two randomly takes refuge right on your cheek. Gross . Sure, you can invest in potent anti-acne products, but what about learning why this bout of acne is running rampant on your face? Sometimes, that skin malfunction is totally preventable. Here, we provide 10 lesser-known answers to the age old question: “Why is my skin breaking out?”

1. Because Mother Nature is out of whack

It shouldn’t come as a total surprise that moody weather can cause poor skin. According to, both dry and humid climates can lead to blemishes. When the weather leans toward the drier side — think those freezing nights when the temperature is in the single digits — your skin will try to make up for the lack of moisture by producing more sebum (or oil).

All that moisture, plus those pesky dead skin cells that accumulate over time, are bound to clog up your pores. On the flip side, a warmer forecast means more perspiration, which can also clog up those skin flakes. And when the weather constantly switches between arctic chill and cool spring afternoon? Your skin will be just as confused as your wardrobe. Eliminate the amount of dead skin cells on your face by washing your face (regardless of the climate) and sweeping some toner afterwards.

2. Because you’re eating too much dairy

You are what you eat is a tale as old as time. But you may notice that you’re plagued with zits even when you’re adhering to a strict “no candy” diet. Listen up, dear reader: Sugary bites aren’t the only snacks that can cause acne. According to One Green Planet, dairy is frequently the culprit. Take a moment to let that sink in — we’re just as upset as you. Deny it all you want, but the logic behind this sneaky reason makes sense: “Remember, dairy only comes from pregnant cows, so you’re taking in the hormones from both the male and the female involved in the reproduction experience and the milk that is the result,” the website writes. “Doctor Mark Hyman shares that there are over 60 hormones in one glass of added hormone-free raw milk and who knows how many in other dairy products.”

We’re not saying to eliminate dairy products from your diet — we too feel the urge to get our night cheese on every now and then. But reducing your dairy intake will work wonders for your skin. And, as we can imagine, your waistline will also be thankful that you selected a healthy fruit salad instead of that bowl of cookie dough ice cream.

3. Because your smartphone is a paradise for germs

All the greats have a sidekick. Batman has Robin, Sherlock Holmes has Dr. Watson, and you have your smartphone. Laugh all you want, but you know it’s true: Your cell is by your side at all times, helps you get out of a sticky situation, and you feel totally lost without it (or when the battery is drained). But the one thing you may not know about your phone? It’s a hotbed for germs. For starters, think about everywhere you’re using your phone — the subway, bathroom, and even that dirty corner bodega.

Sure, sometimes you wash your hands before swiping  and tapping away; however, most of the time you touch that questionable subway railing and then text your bros without a second thought. Later — again, without any concern — you press that bacteria-clad screen against your cheek for your nightly call with your parents or significant other. And let’s not sugarcoat it: That bacteria is then again transferred onto your skin. Um, ew. We know that being a type-A germophobe isn’t exactly cool, but wiping off your touchscreen with a tech-friendly wet wipe daily is bound to help your skin.

4.  Because you’re stressed

Have you ever noticed that a set of pimples tend to magically appear when you’re swamped with work or just got into a serious fight with your significant other? Before you write off those nasty blemishes as just another thing that’s going wrong in your life, let’s get one thing straight: Stress causes acne. You don’t need a top scientist to tell you that being stressed causes your hormones to fluctuate.

5. Because your laundry detergent is too harsh

When looking for a suitable laundry detergent at the grocery store, you’re most likely asking yourself two questions: If that jumbo bottle is the best deal and whether or not you like that “shower fresh” scent. Valid questions? Yes. But if you find yourself breaking out all over your body, it may be time to reconsider your laundry detergent. According to Cosmopolitan, your trusty detergent may feature chemicals that are too harsh for your skin, and the potion’s residue may be causing acne on your back, chest, and butt. It may not be the first thing onlookers see, but nobody wants a case of back-ne. Our advice? Try your luck with a lighter mix. Usually, the brands that mark their products as “dye-free” or “gentle” tend to be better for those with sensitive skin.

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