The 7 Reasons You’re Breaking Out You Never Thought Of

7 reasons you're breaking out

We all know the rotation of common reasons for acne: hormones, not washing your face, stress… but sometimes those mystery breakouts happen and we’re left wondering what we did to deserve them! Just when you thought you’ve exhausted all your resources, here’s 7 reasons you’re breaking out you might not have thought of.

1. Dirty Pillows
So you wash your face before bed and lay upon your fluffy pillow… when’s the last time you washed that pillowcase? In fact, all of your bedsheets harbor oil from your hair, dead skin cells, and bacteria. No matter your nighttime skincare routine, resting your face on a dirty pillowcase can diminish your efforts. Wash them weekly with your laundry to keep them skin safe!

2. Your New Favorite Foundation
I’m totally guilty of this one… so you bought a new foundation that looks ahh-mazing. But wait, a new breakout? Guess it’s time to put the coverage to the test…
If you recently started using any new face makeup, that could be the cause of your breakouts. Sorry to break it to ya! If the situation allows, return the makeup so your wallet doesn’t take a hit— that counts for drugstore products, too!

3. Weather Changes
It’s a given that we sweat when the weather’s hot, making our skin more prone to breakouts. But acne isn’t reserved for those hotter months! If you’re breaking out and it’s chilly outside, your skin might be so dry that it’s overproducing oils to compensate! Hydrate inside and out… drink plenty of water and up your moisturizing game. Also stay away from harsh cleansers (and anything with sulfates) so not to further irritate your skin.

4. Time of Month
Many women experience breakouts before or during their time of month. I experience this as well, yet I always seem to forget. I’ll be like: Where the heck is this stubborn acne coming from? A couple days later: Ohhh.

5. Dirty Phone
What’s one thing that probably touches your face every day but you might not think to clean? Your phone screen harbors old makeup, oil, and bacteria that is re-applied to your face whenever you answer the phone. If you’ve got a touch screen, that’s a whole mess of different problems! Unless you’re constantly sanitizing your hands, germs from anything you touch will end up on your phone, and then your face. Use a wet wipe or hand sanitizer on a cotton pad daily to sanitize your phone!

6. Over Cleansing
Who knew that washing your face too much can make you break out just as badly as not washing your face at all? Washing your face too much will strip the oils from your skin, and just like in dry weather, your skin will overcompensate by putting oil production in hyperdrive. Limit washing your face to once in the morning and once at night.

7. Expired Products
Your makeup might just be past its prime, and not suitable to use on your face anymore. For liquid foundations, the average shelf life is six months to a year, or once it looks separated. Powders can last up to two years.

Also Read: Is Your Makeup Expired?


Image courtesy of SweetCrisis /


  1. I have suffered from break outs for years and I’ve been told that I over-cleansing was partly the reason. I was also using a face wash for teenage/breakout-prone skin which was stripping my skin and doing more damage. Love these tips thanks Miranda!

  2. Toothpaste and conditioner are culprits too. You should wash your face after your hair is free of conditioner. If you are breaking out near your mouth, change to a different brand of toothpaste.

    1. Now there’s a tip! That’s actually pretty interesting since some DIY acne treatments include toothpaste!!

  3. My skin has looked so much better now that I’m not washing it as often. I rinse with water 2x a day, and use makeup remover when I need to, but I don’t use cleanser 2x a day anymore.

  4. Love this post! I change my pillow covers regularly but need to be more careful about keeping my phone clean!

  5. Let’s not forget that certain shampoos/conditioners can break you out along the jawline! Also, regarding the pillows sometimes the actual pillows can be responsible… if you can’t wash ’em it’s a good idea to “double bag” (i.e. invest in pillow covers to use under the cases or at least put two cases on)

    1. That’s a good tip! I usually switch out my pillows every so often because mine are cheap-y and lose their fluff 😛

  6. LOL Dirty Pillows makes me think of Austin Powers… I have the mind of a child haha My breakouts are all hormone and stress related. AKA I’m effed because the thought of breaking out stresses me out! Lately I’ve had to be very strict about my skincare regime.

  7. Great suggestions, never thought about the dirty pillow before. I don’t really have terrible breakout problems, but I’ll wash my pillowcases more often now 🙂

    1. Stress definitely contributes to break-outs. I always know a break out is from stress if it’s around my mouth.. yuck!

  8. Great post. Speaking of… I now feel that my pillowcase is in desperate need of a washing right NOW! Lol

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