Breakouts don’t discriminate; they can happen to all skin types and at all ages and life stages. Which is why it’s important to understand what causes congestion and skin blemishes and how you can minimise, if not avoid them.
What Causes Breakouts?
A breakout or congested skin is basically a blocked pore. When dead skin cells or bacteria build up on the skin they clog your pores and before you know it, you’re looking at a pimple, blackhead, or acne pustule. The more infected the pore, the more inflamed and angry the breakout. In some cases, they can even be painful — hello cystic acne!
While there’s not one singular cause of breakouts and every skin is different, there are known culprits that can either cause congestion, blemishes and even acne or make them worse such as:
Whether caused by puberty, your monthly menstruation cycle, pregnancy and even peri-menopause, hormonal fluctuations can stimulate the skin to produce more oil than it needs and when that oil mingles with dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells, it clogs pores and starts building a breakout.
And by that we mean everything from not removing your makeup properly (or worse, going to bed in a full face of foundation), not cleansing diligently or regularly, and not washing your hands before touching your face. We’ll also add picking or squeezing your pimples to the list as this will also cause bacteria to spread across the skin and agitate inflammation.
While stress doesn’t directly cause a breakout, when we experience stress our body produces a hormone that can cause inflammation and accelerate oil production; the combination of which can cause skin to breakout.
There’s not a lot of conclusive research proves that certain foods directly cause acne but it’s believed that processed, high glycaemic foods can make acne worse. Think: white foods, sugary drinks and fast food. When blood sugar spikes, the body produces insulin which increases oil production which can overwhelm pores and cause an infection.
How to Get Rid of Breakouts
While severe or consistent acne and breakouts may need professional treatment and even medication, DIY diligence can make a real difference to the clarity of your skin and put breakouts on pause.
A couple of Dr Roebuck’s Dos and Don’ts:
- Become super diligent about cleansing your skin and doing it thoroughly, for at least one or two minutes morning and night and after sweat sessions. Commit to Kibosh Weightless Foaming Cleanser.
- Exfoliate your skin. In our 20s, our skin’s cellular renewal process starts to slow down and when expired skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin, they can quickly clog pores and lead to breakouts. Try our Byron 2-in-1 Mask + Scrub.
- Treat your skin to a weekly detoxifying mask, especially if you exercise regularly and/or wear a lot of makeup and sunscreen. Try Uluru Purifying Mask.
- Eat as clean as you can. Avoid fast food and eating out too often and ease off heavily processed foods.
- Overdo it with a complicated, double-digit skincare routine which can irritate and inflame your skin. We believe in a simple, 4-step Roe Routine to keep skin clean and clear and functioning at its healthiest. Learn more about our Roe Routine
- Get dehydrated. Drinking 1-2 litres of water daily not only helps the body to stay hydrated but regulates the oil in your skin. When the body becomes dehydrated it naturally increases oil production
- Squeeze your blackheads, whiteheads or pick at your pimples. Not only is this an easy way to spread the bacteria to fresh new skin cells but it can also lead to scarring and hyperpigmentation which can hang around longer and be much tougher to remove than a breakout itself.