The Top 5 Surprising Reasons Your Skin is Breaking Out

Sometimes you just give it everything you have, and it still doesn't feel like it's enough. I know that was the case for me and my breakouts. No matter what I tried, diet, exercise, skincare products, my breakouts just kept coming back.

Of course, skincare products, diet, and exercise can help you to an extent, but there are some surprising reasons why your skin could be breaking out.

Once I started doing some research and became a little more mindful with what I was doing, my breakouts lessened and I was able to keep them under control.

If you keep breaking out no matter what you do, it may be time to see if you're doing any of these five things to your skin:

1. You're Scrubbing Too Hard

I love exfoliating my skin as much as the next person. It feels so good to slough off all those dry, dead skin cells, especially after a long winter. However, there can always be too much of a good thing, and scrubbing is definitely one of them.

I tend to break out more on my arms and back, and used to think that if I used a scrub (which I had confused with an exfoliant) with crushed apricot pits or microbeads would be good for my skin. It just felt so good, and my skin was so soft afterwards. Well now microbeads have been banned in many countries, as they're harmful for the environment, and I've found out that as good as those apricot pits felt, they might have been doing more harm than good.

Why it's bad?

When you scrub your skin with a mechanical peel, such as the apricot pits, you may think that you can scrub your blemishes away. However, you're actually scrubbing the active blemishes, which can spread the bacteria that causes breakouts into your other pores. This will only spread the bacteria, making your breakout worse.

Also, when you scrub your skin too hard, you can cause microcuts and microtears in the skin, which you may not be able to see or feel, but can get infected, too. This will also cause your breakouts to spread, and can be harmful for your skin in the long run.

What to do differently?

Stop using mechanical peels and scrubs (like really stop doing that!), and switch to something a bit less abrasive.

Acid exfoliants might sound scary, but they are real glowing-skin heroes! If you try them out, you’ll never go back.

Also, make sure to have a simple, effective skincare routine, and that should be more than enough to keep your skin looking fresh. My favorite routine is to cleanse, exfoliate, use a spot treatment, and moisturize.

System Akvile Five reasons you are still breaking out

2. Your Hair Products are Wreaking Havoc

We all know how great your favorite hair product is. It gives your hair the perfect amount of shine, bounce, and helps to hold your style all day. However, the ingredients in your shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, and hair tonics could be causing your poor skin to break out more than normal.

Why it's bad? 

Many hair products contain sulfates, heavy moisturizers, some silicones, oils, and fragrances which can get into your pores when you wash your hair out in the shower. This can cause breakouts on your back, arms, along your hairline, or even on your chest. A build-up of hair product residue can be particularly detrimental to your skin, so try to look for milder products that are fragrance-free if you break out a lot along your hairline, on your neck, or on your shoulders.

What to do differently?

Luckily, this one is an easy fix. When you wash your hair in the shower, rinse the shampoo and conditioner out by tilting your head to the side. This will help to minimize the amount of product that gets on your skin, and thus, hopefully your breakouts. Also, see if you can find milder hair products to use, and wash your hair before you go to bed, so that you’re not sleeping in hair product residue all night which can get trapped on your skin and cause breakouts.

Pro tip: If you bring your cleanser in the shower with you, use it on your skin after washing out your shampoo and conditioner. This way you can make sure that if you did get any product on your skin, you cleanse it all away.

3. You're Touching Your Face

I'm very guilty of this one. When I concentrate on work or to what someone is saying, I rest my head in my hands or touch my face.

It's one thing that my mom always told me I shouldn't do, and I have noticed that the more I touch the skin on my face, the worse my breakout seems to be.

Reasons for breakouts

Why it's bad?

Just stop for a minute and think about how dirty and oily your hands can be. If you touch your face, you're transferring all the sweat, dirt, bacteria, and oil you've encountered throughout the day onto the pores on your face. This can cause a perfect storm for acne-prone skin, and increase the amount of breakouts you have.

What to do differently?

This one is easy(ish). Just stop touching your face. However, I know that this is easier said than done.

4. You Love the Sun

I get it. It's awesome when the sun comes out after a long, hard winter, and it's hard to stay out of it's wonderful, warm, rays. However, getting too much sun can cause breakouts, as well.

While spending time in the sun is an old folk remedy to help get rid of breakouts, the reality is that spending too much time in the sun can be detrimental to your skin.

Why it's bad?

While some sun is great especially to soak up that vitamin D, too much sun can cause skin cancer and premature wrinkles. As if that wasn't bad enough, spending time in the sun can irritate your breakouts, as after getting sunburned your skin then dries out. This can cause an overproduction of oil to compensate for the dried-out skin, which then can clog your pores and cause more breakouts. Really, spending too much time in the sun can cause a vicious circle of breakouts.

What to do differently?

While we won't tell you to stop spending time in the sun completely, we will tell you to be smart about it. Stop going to tanning beds, as they just make it all worse, and when you are out in the sun, use sunscreen.

5. You're Detergent is Too Strong

Slipping into clean sheets after a long day feels like a little slice of heaven. But if your detergent is too strong, those lovely sheets, and even your clothing, could be contributing to your breakouts.

Why it's bad?

Some of the chemicals and fragrances in laundry detergent can be too harsh for your skin, especially if your skin is more sensitive (like mine is). When your bare skin rubs against your clothing, sheets, or towels that have been washed with this detergent, you are then transferring those pore-clogging residues and skin-irritating fragrances onto your skin. These can trigger breakouts all over your body, including your face, back, chest, butt, and legs.

What to do differently?

If you have acne-prone skin, it's probably best to stick to products made for sensitive skin. Your skin is a bit sensitive, after all! Choosing to use detergents that are dye-free and fragrance-free as well can help to reduce the number of breakouts. You want to keep the irritating agents and fragrances on your sweet skin to a minimum.

At the end of the day...'s best to be conscious of what you put near, and on, your skin. Don't scrub your skin too hard, try to keep hair products off of your skin, try to refrain from touching your face, stay out of the sun, and use laundry detergent that is fragrance- and dye-free and that is formulated for sensitive skin. Sometimes if you break out more than you think is normal, it can be corrected by changing your habits and by changing the products you use.

If you find that you're always breaking out, but have felt you've tried everything and nothing works, try these five tips and see if they work for you. And don't forget to let us know if they did!