8 Things To Avoid When You Have Acne

Your skin is the largest and most sensitive organ in your body. There are many things that can either positively or negatively impact your skin. Especially if you are prone to acne and breakouts, there are things you want to avoid so that you don’t trigger acne breakouts from occurring. These are the top 7 things to avoid that I believe can have a negative impact on your skin and cause significant breakouts to occur.

Sugary Foods and Drinks

This can unfortunately be really difficult, but cutting out sugary foods and drinks can limit your acne and keep your skin clear. Foods high in refined sugar, salts, and foods high on the glycemic index can not only trigger inflammation in the skin, but also make current breakouts worse. By avoiding sugary foods and drinks, you can give your skin more time to relax and rejuvenate, and allow it to heal better.

Dirty Pillowcases

Washing your bedsheets can seem like a chore, but dirty pillowcases can be a huge trigger when it comes to acne breakouts. Think about it. You lay your face and head on pillowcases for at least 6-8 hours per day. That entire time, all of your face oils and dirt get on the pillowcase, and the next day, you lay your face back on it. It’s no wonder then that dirty pillowcases can trigger breakouts and acne. It is highly recommended to at least turn over your pillow every night, or if possible, to replace your pillowcase every day.

Washing Your Face Too Often

At first glance, this one seems counter-intuitive. Aren’t we supposed to wash our faces to keep them clean of oils and dirt to prevent acne? How can washing it too much do the exact opposite? Washing your face too much can actually dry out your face, which can lead to your sebum glands going into hyperdrive and secrete more oils to try and make up for the dry skin. This leads to breakouts. Try to wash your face 2-3 times per day, once in the morning and once in the night, and once after you have worked out(if applicable).


This is easier said than done, but avoiding stress can really make a difference when it comes to your skin. Stress can activate your adrenal glands to secrete cortisol. Your glands start to pump out more oil and your immune system becomes suppressed which ends up leading to more breakouts. Try to manage your stress levels by finding a hobby, exercising, meditating, or practicing yoga, just to name a few things.

Caking on Makeup

I’ve definitely been guilty of doing this a lot, but for my fellow ladies, caking on makeup can definitely trigger acne breakouts. Thick foundation and makeup can lead to blocked pores and breakouts. And this is especially bad if you don’t wash off your makeup at the end of the night. While you shouldn’t avoid makeup, try to find products that are gentle for your skin and tend to agree with you. And try to find products that have SPF for skin coverage, as too much skin exposure can also cause breakouts, which leads me to my next point…

Too Much Sunlight

While some sun exposure can be good for your skin, going overboard can have the opposite effect. For many people, too much sunlight can trigger acne because it dries out your skin leading to over-activation of your sebum glands. Sunlight should especially be avoided if you are taking any photosensitizing antibiotics like doxycyline or an oral retinoid like Accutane.

Dairy Products

As much as I hate to say it(I love dairy), dairy products can also have negative consequences for your skin. Dairy products can lead to inflammation and can also promote the growth of bad bacteria. While you certainly don’t have to cut out all dairy, you should definitely look into limiting your dairy intake and trying to find some alternatives.

Picking Pimples

Yes, picking and popping pimples is so tempting and satisfying. However, picking pimples can lead to scarring as well as spreading the bacteria to other areas of the skin. It usually can end up making the acne look worse than it did before. Trust me, while it is addicting and satisfying, the scars this can produce is not worth the temporary satisfaction it provides. Try to avoid picking pimples at all costs.


I hope that this list has showed you some things to definitely avoid when you have acne prone skin. While there are other things that can negatively affect your acne, I have found that these are some of the most common and biggest offenders. I hope that this list of things to avoid when you have acne will help you in your daily life to have better cleaner skin.

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