- Although some irritants can be obvious, you might be surprised about certain things that could be causing your skin-related woes.
- Wool, stress, and oil-based products could be irritating your skin or causing you to break out.
- Hair products, jewelry containing nickel, and dirty phone screens may also impact your skin in a negative way.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more great stories.
Here are some surprising things that can impact your skin, according to board-certified dermatologists.
In some cases, your sweat could attract bacteria or clog your pores.
Exercising can benefit your body and mind, but skipping a post-workout shower isn’t always great for your skin.
“When sweat sits on the body for too long, it can attract bacteria and clog pores so if not properly rinsed off, [it] can make someone more prone to breakouts and acne,” Dr. Marisa Garshick, a dermatologist in New York City, previously told INSIDER.
So if you partake in any activity that’s causing you to sweat, you might want to carve out time to take a quick shower after.
Pressing your phone to your cheek often could be causing clogged pores.
- Kevin Winter/Getty
“We are great about washing our faces but not our phones, which often come in direct contact with our face, but also many other things including our hands, pockets, tables, and bags,” Garshick told INSIDER. “As a result, phones collect dirt and other germs which, when reapplied back on the face, can result in clogged pores and breakouts.”
Garshick said the best way to avoid this is to minimize prolonged use of your phone in the same location. For example, you can use headphones to avoid pressing your phone to your face. You should also regularly clean and disinfect your phone.
Hair conditioner could be the cause of your back acne.
“One of the hidden culprits for the dreaded ‘bacne’ – especially in women – can be traced to poorly rinsed out conditioner that is allowed to sit for too long on the upper back after showers,” Dr. Andrew Kim, a dermatologist in New Hampshire, told INSIDER.
“If you notice acne on the upper back along where the hair falls, consider putting in extra effort in washing out the conditioner and also check other hair products for possible reactions,” he added.
Heat can contribute to hyperpigmentation.
You can be impacted by the heat you encounter on a tropical vacation or even the heat you feel when cooking food in a hot kitchen.
When possible, avoid spending prolonged periods of time in the heat and if you’re outdoors, always adequately and regularly apply sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher.
Stress can be impacting your skin in a few different ways.
Feeling stressed? It could be impacting your skin in a variety of ways, Dr. Susan Bard, a New York-based dermatologist, told INSIDER.
She said stress levels can cause significant hormone fluctuations, which “can increase oil production and lead to acne breakouts.”
Although there’s not always a simple way to drastically reduce your stress levels, consulting with a mental-health professional may help.
A certain ingredient found in some types of black-ink henna may cause you to experience an allergic reaction.
“Sometimes these tattoos contain para-phenylenediamine, also known as PPD, which can cause an extreme allergic reaction,” Dr. Rachna Bhandari, a dermatologist in Texas, told INSIDER. Allergic reactions to PPD can include permanent scarring, open sores, and blisters.
Henna inks that do not contain PPD typically dry to a brown or orange shade and must sit on your skin for longer than an hour.
Bhandari said you should be careful about which sort of henna you use and check the ingredients of any ink before applying it to your skin.
Wool clothing might be warm, but it can also be irritating to your skin.
And though this wool sensitivity isn’t uncommon, other individuals may experience a wool allergy that can cause rashes, irritated eyes, and a runny nose, per Healthline.
If you find that wool irritates your skin, you may want to avoid it or try wearing a thick layer of clothing beneath the wool to keep it from rubbing against your body.
You might be experiencing allergic reactions to some of your favorite accessories that contain nickel.
Haitz said that nickel is one of the most common contact allergies and it can cause some individuals to experience contact dermatitis, a type of uncomfortable but not overly dangerous rash.
“Nickel is a common metal in jewelry and [it] can also be found in other surprising objects such as phones and smartwatches,” she said.
If you experience allergic reactions to nickel, it may be best to opt for nickel-free jewelry that is made of materials like surgical-grade stainless steel, 24-karat gold, sterling silver, and titanium.
Certain oil-based products in your beauty routine could be irritating your skin.
Oil cleansers, face oils, and body oils are popular in some people’s skin-care routine but they aren’t for everyone.
According to Dr. Caren Campbell, a dermatologist in California, although they sound great for your skin, these sorts of products can sometimes cause breakouts. “All the skin oils and oil cleansers are very comedogenic – also known as acne-forming,” she said.
To avoid this, try looking for skin-care products that are noncomedogenic, meaning they will not clog your pores.