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It's so unfair. You're well past the tumultuous years of high school (ugh, thank god), but you're still dealing with skin problems. Which begs the question: Didn't your skin get the memo that it's time to move on? The quarterback married somebody else and you no longer have the time or patience to worry about acne.

Skip to see the 13 everyday habits that are causing your adult acne now.

While a bad breakout no longer "ruins your life," like it did in the past, it's still embarrassing and frustrating. So why are you still suffering from breakouts? First off, Annet King, director of The International Dermal Institute, says, "acne-prone people are born with about four to five times more skin cells than the average person, and produce more oil than the average person as well." And it's the winning combination of these factors that are at the initial root of the problem. But there are other, sneakier, under-the-radar ways that you could be irritating your skin as well — ways you aren't even aware of. So if you're at a loss as to why you're getting zits, the culprit is likely your daily routine.

To dig deep, we interviewed a slew of acne experts for a comprehensive list of healthy skin-offenders. Along with King, we talked to dermatologist Tony Nakhla, M.D., author of "The Skin Commandments: 10 Rules to Healthy, Beautiful Skin", and dermatologist Ava Shamban, M.D., author of "Heal Your Skin." They all shared the little-known ways pimples can rear their ugly heads — and of course, how to prevent and treat them as well.

Image via Imaxtree

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Habit No. 1: Using makeup with ingredients that can cause irritation
There are certain ingredients lurking in the makeup and sunscreen you're slathering on that are causing you to break out. Now this doesn't mean you have to forgo your foundation (scary, we know) or stop applying SPF (please, don't), but you do need to keep a watchful eye on product labels. King and Nakhla say to avoid these known acne offenders:

Artificial Color — Look for FD&C in the ingredients list, which means the product has artificial color. This can irritate the skin and if it's in your lipstick or blush, it can cause breakouts around your mouth or on your cheeks.
Lanolin — This is basically the fancy term for sheep sebum (sebum = oil) and while it can be good for dry skin, it's not right for acne-prone skin.
Mineral Oil — This forms a film on your skin, trapping dead skin cells and bacteria (prime causes of acne) and it can also give you milia, those tiny white bumps on your skin.
Petroleum — This is oil, and as you may have guessed, you don't really need to be putting more oil on your face.
Isopropyl Myristate — This can actually make your skin feel less greasy, but it also clogs pores and causes skin irritation.
Artificial Fragrance — This can irritate your skin and cause breakouts. Try to use as many fragrance free products as possible.

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Habit No. 2: Over-drying your face
Sucking all the oil and moisture out of your face is a sure-fire way to irritate your skin, says Nakhla. While it might seem like a good idea to dry out oily skin with harsh cleansers, soap, and alcohol-based toners — and skimp on the moisturizer — your skin is more complicated than that.

Drying out your skin will actually cause it to produce more oil, says King. She explains that the skin naturally tries to correct itself, therefore if it feels dry it will try to balance the situation by producing more oil, continuing the vicious cycle.

Nakhla's recommendation: Be gentle with your skin and keep it hydrated (but that doesn't mean greasy). Try using a cleanser made specifically for acne-prone skin like Peter Thomas Roth Beta Hydroxy Acid 2% Acne Wash, $36, but follow it up with a hydrating toner and/or a light, oil-free moisturizer so your skin doesn't freak and up the oil ante. You can also use a mattifying moisturizer on especially shiny areas during the day to soak up oil without over-drying your skin.

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Habit No. 3: Pressure (literally)
So what is pressure-induced acne exactly? Shamban says it's exactly what it sounds like — acne caused by physical pressure on your face, be it from the cell phone you are constantly on, an instrument (like the violin), or simply a hand resting on your face as you glare into the TV or computer screen. This pressure not only exposes your skin to loads of bacteria, but the actual force of this bacteria against your face can cause you to break out.

The solution: Well, the obvious one is to stop pressing bacteria-ridden objects against your skin (Nakhla suggests always going hands free with your cell). But if you really can't avoid it, at least be diligent about cleaning surfaces well and often to minimize bacteria.

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Habit No. 4: Pressure (figuratively)
So, you're already aware that stress gets your heart racing, your stomach churning, and causes wrinkles — but did you know that it also increases the hormones that can cause acne? So sad, so true. So what are we saying — magically chill out just because we told you to (yeah, wouldn't that just be dandy)? No, but you can do things to relax and minimize the drama. Click here to see if it is stress that is affecting your skin and see easy ways to reduce stress .

It's so unfair. You're well past the tumultuous years of high school (ugh, thank god), but you're still dealing with skin problems. Which begs the question: Didn't your skin get the memo that it's time to move on? The quarterback married somebody else and you no longer have the time or patience to worry about acne.

Skip to see the 13 everyday habits that are causing your adult acne now.

While a bad breakout no longer "ruins your life," like it did in the past, it's still embarrassing and frustrating. So why are you still suffering from breakouts? First off, Annet King, director of The International Dermal Institute, says, "acne-prone people are born with about four to five times more skin cells than the average person, and produce more oil than the average person as well." And it's the winning combination of these factors that are at the initial root of the problem. But there are other, sneakier, under-the-radar ways that you could be irritating your skin as well — ways you aren't even aware of. So if you're at a loss as to why you're getting zits, the culprit is likely your daily routine.

To dig deep, we interviewed a slew of acne experts for a comprehensive list of healthy skin-offenders. Along with King, we talked to dermatologist Tony Nakhla, M.D., author of "The Skin Commandments: 10 Rules to Healthy, Beautiful Skin", and dermatologist Ava Shamban, M.D., author of "Heal Your Skin." They all shared the little-known ways pimples can rear their ugly heads — and of course, how to prevent and treat them as well.

Image via Imaxtree
BY ANNA JIMENEZ | SHARES
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