11 Habits That Might Be Clogging Your Pores

by Carina Wolff

No one enjoys breaking out, but it seems that even when we're out of our teen years, we can still easily get plagued by pimples. Apart from hormones, there may be some bad habits that are clogging your pores, and knowing what these culprits are can help clean up your skin and give you the clear complexion you desire. Our skin is sensitive, so even the most innocent of daily activities can cause some unwanted breakouts if our pores are all clogged up.

"When we leave pores clogged with sebum and dead skin cells they can develop into pimples and can also eventually become dilated and stay that way long-term, leading to enlarged pores," says dermatologist Kally Papantoniou over email.

If you experience frequent acne, and you're well out of puberty, you're not alone. According to the International Dermal Institute, 40 to 55 percent of the adult population age 20 to 40 suffer from acne and oily skin. Although pimples can be caused by a variety of factors, clogged pores play a big role in wreaking havoc on your skin.

If you've got some unwanted breakouts that you suspect might be a result of your daily activities, consider these 11 habits that could be clogging up your pores. It's time to let that skin properly breathe!

1. Not Washing Your Face Nightly

It's tempting to just get into bed when you're exhausted, but not washing your face every night is a big no-no. "This leaves a full days worth of oils, debris, bacteria, and skin cells clogging your pores," says Papantoniou.

2. Skipping Exfoliation

Dead skin cells that sit on your skin can clog up your pores. You don't have to exfoliate daily, but once or twice a week can help get rid out of that outer layer of skin that's causing those breakouts, according to How Stuff Works.

3. Not Showering After A Workout

Working out alone doesn't actually cause breakouts, but letting all that sweat mixed with dirt sit on your skin will. The perspiration left behind on your skin allows bacteria to proliferate, which can cause rashes and breakouts, women's health physician Holly L. Phillips, M.D said to Women's Health.

4. Touching Your Face

"Touching your face too often, and resting your face in your hands, can clog pores," says Papantoniou. "We see this more often in younger people and recommend to keep your hands off your face as much as possible to prevent clogged pores."

5. Talking On The Phone

If you don't clean your phone regularly, talking on the phone can transfer dirt and bacteria onto your face. "Oils from the phone resting on your skin can lead to clogged pores on the side of your face with the most contact," says Papantoniou.

6. Not Washing Your Bedsheets

It might not seem like a big deal to sleep on dirty bedsheets and pillow cases, but your skin will disagree. "The build up on fabric of oils and skin cells and bacteria can lead to clogged pores on the sides of your face," says Papantoniou.

7. Sleeping With Makeup

Makeup sitting on your face doesn't give your skin room to breathe, especially overnight. "This coats your skin and can lead to clogging of pores, so make sure to wash of make-up residue," says Papantoniou.

8. Not Washing Your Makeup Brushes

Washing your face is the first step, but keeping your makeup brushes clean is the second. Bacteria can build up on unwashed brushes, which can cause skin irritation and breakouts as the bacteria continues to grow on your skin.

9. Using Oil-Based Hair Products

"There are certain oil based hair products, such as frizz control products, that can actually lead to clogged pores," says Papantoniou. "It is better to use oil-free products for hair-styling. These clogged pores are usually found where hair comes into contact with skin such as the hair line, sides of face, and forehead if you have bangs."

10. Tanning

People tend to think that tanning their skin will make it look better, but it's actually quite the opposite. "Sun-tanning will actually lead to more clogged pores, as collagen is degraded by ultraviolet exposure, so that pores become larger and more saggy," says dermatologist Dr. Jessie Cheung over email.

11. Spending Time In Big Cities

The environmental toxins in polluted air can unfortunately clog up the pores in your skin. If you live in a city, you can't really do much other than wash your skin and apply masks to help draw out oil and dirt, suggest dermatologist Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, MD on her website Vibrant Dermatology.

When in doubt, keep your skin clean, as dirt and bacteria is what causes blocked pores.

Images: Pixabay (12)