The Most Surprising Skin Sins Causing Your Acne

Having clear skin is always an uphill battle, especially in high school.

We chatted with some of the country's best dermatologists, and they revealed some of the surprising reasons that you may be breaking out.

Read on for unexpected skin sins that could be causing your acne!

Resting Your Face in Your Hands

Dr. Donna Hart of Westlake Dermatology in Texas delivered a nugget of information we didn't even know could affect our skin.

"Hands off!" she says. "Do not rest your face on your hands at school. The dirt on your hands can promote the formation of acne."

Who knew? Next time, make sure your hands are clean before you touch your face and watch out for mindlessly resting your cheeks in the palm of your hand.


Your Phone Screen

Being glued to our phones is a given, but knowing that your screen may be causing your acne is not.

"Keep your iPhone screen clean," Dr. Hart says. "Just like your hands, your phone can get oil and dirt build-up over time and you do not want to transfer that back to your face and clog your pores."

Pro tip: Use your speaker function or carry headphones with you.



Dr. Janet Prystowsky, a top dermatologist in New York City thinks there are two main acne causes in teenagers. The first is over-scrubbing.

"Our skin is naturally oily and a little acidic," she says. "When people have acne and blemishes, they tend to overuse soap and scrub their skin harshly, thinking they have 'dirty' skin. In reality, it's our natural oily/acidic skin barrier that protects us from skin infections."

For this reason, when people end up overcompensating with a deep scrub, they cause their skin more harm than good. Scrubbing can also rupture follicles in your skin. Dr. Prystowsky's advice is sticking to a very gentle cleanser. Additionally, being aggressive with your towel can also cause more breakouts. Pat dry after washing and always treat your skin with TLC.


Eating Whey Products

Dr. Prystowsky also believes that popular sports supplement whey protein can cause acne flare-ups.

"It's derived from milk and is used in protein bars and protein powders," she says. "For many teenagers, these products can cause an explosive worsening of acne, including cysts and scarring."

Whey can stimulate the body's production of insulin and androgens, in turn increasing sebum (aka oil) production in your skin. This uptick can result in acne. If you consume whey protein in your shakes or smoothies, switch to a non-milk protein for clearer skin.


Not Treating Blackheads and Whiteheads

Ron Robinson of calls blackheads and whiteheads ticking time bombs.

"These lesions can cause long-term scarring and will cause pimples and cysts when they get infected by bacteria," he says. "Trying to take these out at home is equally bad and leads to lasting scarring."

If you're one of the unlucky ones who has been plagued by whiteheads and blackheads, opt for a visit to a facialist or your dermatologist. Tackling the problem from the get-go will help avoid big breakouts in the future.


Now that you know secret acne culprits, read THIS to find the most popular acne-fighting products on the market right now.