5 Unsuspecting Reasons You're Breaking Out

At a certain point we all become in tune with our skin, what it needs and what it doesn’t, when to expect breakouts or why they might be happening - your period, lack of sleep, a new product you’re testing, not enough exfoliation. But sometimes you breakout, and it’s in a weird place you never get pimples, or you can’t figure out why or what’s even causing it. Sometimes the reason isn’t as obvious as not having washed your face at night, so I wanted to round up some unsuspecting reasons for breakouts that could be the culprit! There are obviously way more than 5, but these, once pinpointed as the issue, are pretty easy to fix!


Your phone: consider the places you take your phone, the random spots you put it down, the greasy food you touch that unintentionally end up as greasy fingerprints - and all of that, everything you touch during the day right before touching your phone - you place right on your face when you answer a call. Not to mention your own face oil and makeup that get on your phone once you answer it, that will then meet your face again later in the day. This might seem a little paranoid, but if perhaps you’ve noticed a breakout only on the side of your face that you answer your phone calls, consider giving your screen a wipe down every once in a while. Also, if you’ve ever taken off a phone case after it’s been on for a long time and you see the amount of grime underneath, you know that phones are traps for grossness as it bops around on the bottom of your bag or in your pants pocket.

Your sheets: specifically, your pillowcases. When you go to sleep, the products you have in your hair, and whatever you slathered on your skin at night - some of that will eventually end up in your pillowcase. Now, if you’re someone who sleeps on their back at all times with their face straight up in the air, clearly this won’t be a problem, and maybe you’re a vampire. But, if you’re like me and your face is always buried in your pillow, it might serve you well to keep up with washing your pillowcases more often than you might think, so you can get rid of any product buildup, and natural face and hair oils that could come back and cause congestion or irritation.

Your makeup brushes: washing my makeup brushes is probably my least favorite chore (I’d rather do laundry), but I’m easily susceptible to getting breakouts through unwashed makeup brushes and sponges. Your makeup builds up on your tools, but also dirt, bacteria, oils, and the dust in the air if your brushes are out on your vanity. It’d be like washing your face, and then using a dirty towel right after to dry off. If it’s touching your gorgeous skin, make sure it’s clean!

Your hair products: this is one that I run into all the time - because while I know what skincare ingredients might cause issues for me, I’m a little blind when I end up in the haircare category in terms of how it affects my face. For example, the night before I had a hot yoga class the next day, I had applied some hair treatment drops to my scalp, and all was well. Then, after my hot yoga class where I had obviously sweat my face off, I had breakouts pop up all over my forehead (I typically only breakout right between my eyes on my forehead, so this was unusual). I realized that the hair treatment had sweat from my hair to my face which caused the flare up, and once I omitted that from my pre-workout ritual, I was in the clear. I’ve also had a hair mousse that I’ve used cause breakouts anywhere my hair touched my face during the day. Or conditioners that cause the skin on my back to get congested. If you can’t figure out what’s causing your skin issues, try switching up some of your haircare and see if that’s the culprit.

Your laundry detergent: I’ve seen this mostly affect the skin on bodies rather than on the face, but breakouts are breakouts, and when you slide your shirt over your head and past your face, whatever you washed it in comes with it. Some laundry detergents, depending on their ingredients or their fragrances, or their special “add-ons” like Oxy-clean, these can cause irritation, rashes or breakouts depending on your sensitivities. My husband has had issues before, so we played around with different detergents before finding one that didn’t cause any skin problems.

What other unsuspecting breakout causes have you dealt with? I know certain foods is a big one! Let me know in the comments!