5 Common Skincare Mistakes That Can Cause Acne Flare-Ups

If zits have wreaked havoc on your skin—and your self-esteem—read on.

01 July, 2022
5 Common Skincare Mistakes That Can Cause Acne Flare-Ups

Ample fluids? Check. Eight hours of sleep? Check. A daily CTM routine? Check. Leafy veggies and heaps of protein? Check. If you've ticked all the boxes and are yet battling unforeseen breakouts, you've got a problem at hand. Over 80 per cent of India's population suffers from acne-related skin disorders—and perhaps, 100 per cent would wish them gone; poof. 

And while your aunt, and the nosey neighbour next door, may have offered unsolicited advice about keeping zits at bay, chances are, neither of them has addressed the slew of skincare mistakes that could be causing these flare-ups in the first place. If you're as lost as we were, read on to learn about the grave slip-ups that are costing you clear skin. 




While light exfoliation is recommended for acne-prone skin types, going overboard—or incredibly harsh on the skin—may do more harm than good. "Those with acne-prone skin should stray away from physical exfoliators and scrubs as they can cause micro-tears and sensitise the skin. Chemical exfoliators, AHA and BHA-based products, are ideal and mustn't be used more than twice a week," explains Mr Vipin Sharma, Senior Product and Research Manager, Fixderma India.


Using Makeup Wipes Instead of a Cleanser


According to Mr Vidur Kapur, Director at O3+, "If you're prone to acne and hyperpigmentation, makeup wipes may worsen your condition. The friction caused due to wipes may slowly tear your skin if used daily. In addition, many makeup wipes are composed of alcohol, which can cause stinging and irritation to a sensitive epidermis. A suitable cleanser, on the other hand, may be a more effective and nourishing alternative." 


Applying an Incorrect Moisturiser or Sunscreen—or Not Applying One at All 


Besides a select few, most are unaware of the contents of the beauty products that they purchase. In such a case, a lack of knowledge—coupled with minimal or no research—is a recipe for disaster. Layering up a moisturiser and sunscreen is essential to retain hydration and nourishment in the skin. "One must apply a generous amount of sunblock to protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. That said, over-application, frequent application, or using a heavyweight formula can result in breakouts," informs Vidur. "Sun exposure can parch your skin, causing it to over-produce oil to compensate for the lack of moisture. Similarly, heavy, oil-based moisturisers can also clog pores and flare up acne. Opt for a lightweight, gel-based potion instead," adds Vipin. 


Incorrect Cleansing or Over-Cleansing


Acne, essentially, is a result of clogged, blocked pores. "Sleeping with makeup on or the inability to cleanse the face properly is a leading cause of random breakouts," Vipin puts forth. On the flipside, "Over-cleansing can lead to over-drying, which will strip your skin off of its natural oils, setting the over-compensation phenomenon in motion once again. For acne-prone skin, turn to a salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide-based cleanser and products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic," he recommends. 


Not Cleansing After a Heavy Sweat


A big part of the problem boils down to personal hygiene. If you're notorious for skipping showers—let us warn you: doing so can lead to bacterial infections that result in skin problems, acne in particular. "Plus, if you tend to work up a sweat, ensure that you cleanse adequately after. "During the hotter months, you must keep dry to avoid infections and allergies. Bacterial infections are at their peak during this season," says Vidur Kapur.