If you’ve experienced acne, you’re probably familiar with the usual routines people go through to have good skin and keep it that way. But you know what’s more annoying? When you stick to these popular skin care regimes but your acne still doesn’t want to go away. Aside from the annoyance of having the acne itself, you tend to get more frustrated because it seems that all your effort is going to waste. Sometimes, acne is caused by the habits you have that naturally contribute to breakouts. We’ve listed 6 of them here. See which habits you may be guilty of so you can start avoiding them!

1. Touching your face.

The most basic rule our parents taught us as teenagers when we first experienced acne is not to touch our face. Our hands hold all kinds of things throughout the day and most of them have dirt and germs which are transferred to your face every time you touch it. Along with the dead skin cells lingering on your face, these dirt particles mix with the naturally occurring oils on your skin and block your pores leading to the development of acne. Of course, this is much easier said than done especially when you are the type of person who is unaware of how often you touch your face. We normally do it when we think, when we are at a desk, and when we cover our mouth to laugh, cough or gasp in shock. They are reflexes more than they are intended actions which make it difficult to control. Be more mindful of these moments and it can help reduce the occurrence of acne.

2. Picking and popping your pimples.

The second rule that is equally as important as the last is to not pop your pimples. Touching your pimples can cause them to be further irritated and red. On more serious occurrences it can even make them more painful. The worst thing you can do is pop them. Yes, we all want that quick fix, but for most problems the quickest solutions are not always the best and this is especially true when dealing with acne. Aside from being quite painful, popping your pimples can make the infection spread to other areas of your skin causing more acne, more irritation and more blemishes. In some cases, it can even lead to scarring and further damage.

When you get a blemish, treat them with products immediately and stick to your skin care regimen. It won’t always go away quickly but you can get rid of it more permanently by using this approach. In case of an emergency such as a big date or an important interview, don’t be tempted to go for the easy fix. If you really need to hide it, try applying a concealer or using color correcting products underneath your foundation.

3. Being on your mobile phone.

You may not be touching your face directly but other dirty things come into contact with your face every day. Your cell phone is actively pressed up against your face on a regular basis and you probably don’t think much about it. Your phone is placed on tabletops, counters and in your purse. All of the germs and dirt on these surfaces come into contact with the phone and then transfer to your skin when you answer a call.

Then, going back to your dirty hands, think about how often you hold your phone and text or check your social media. Everything you’ve touched that day gets on your phone and then transfers to your face. To avoid having to press all the dirt against your face and ruining all the effort you’ve put in, try a hands-free headset when calling or regularly wipe the screen of your phone with a disinfecting cloth.

4. Letting your hair touch your face.

Your hair can also be saturated with lots of dirt and oils, and when it comes into contact with your face it can make it prone to getting dirty as well. If you find that your hair naturally falls on your face, you may want to consider a hairstyle where your hair stays clear of your face during your next visit to your stylist. If a different hair cut isn’t an option for you, just be more creative when styling it! There are so many cute braids you can do to pin your hair back and decorative hair clips and headbands that are trendy.

Something else you might want to consider is checking your hair products. Make sure they don’t contain any harmful or harsh chemicals which may cause irritation when it comes into contact with your skin.

And lastly, stop touching your hair! Not only will this help you go longer in between washes, but every time you touch it you are adding more dirt and oil, which could be transferred to your face. We know, we know, this can be difficult because we often run our fingers through our hair without thinking about it like when we go to tuck it behind our ear... But just think of how beautiful and clean both your hair and face will be when you stop touching them! :)

5. Your man’s shaving habits.

Some women like their men with beards - whether it’s long and rugged or just a 5 o'clock shadow. Either way, if your man has it, try to help him take care of it in such a way that it doesn’t cause your skin to breakout. Some men like having a beard but do not want to go through the effort of maintaining it. They hate when they feel nagged about taking better care of their beards.

A good way to bring up this topic without sounding like a nagging wife or girlfriend is to tell him directly that it can cause you acne when its dirty and comes into contact with your face. You’re not asking him to shave it off, nor will you be asking him to choose between you and the beard... you just want him to clean it up a little bit. He might be more than happy to help you by keeping it well maintained. Just be prepared to give him suggestions on how to keep it clean if he asks.

6. Your laundry schedule.

Sometimes, work and our own personal lives can be so busy that we choose to procrastinate the usual boring tasks we have such as doing the laundry. Delaying this menial task also has an effect on the occurrence of acne. This is specifically in relation to two main linens in your home which need to be washed regularly… your towel and your pillow sheets. You use your towels to dry your whole body after every shower so if you have not replaced it in a week or so, imagine how much dirt and germs are there. Then imagine using that same towel on your face. Yuck!

Your pillow case may not seem as dirty as your towel but when it lays there day in and day out, dust and airborne dirt particles will accumulate. And just think, you plant your face there for 8 hours a day! All the germs it accumulates can then transfer to your face and ruin your flawless skin fantasy. Try your best to replace and wash these both at least once a week. If this is too much, try to at least replace your towels once a week and your pillow case once every 2 weeks.