Could your lifestyle be one of the reasons you’re still struggling with acne?  No one wants to spend a small fortune treating acne only to ruin those efforts with bad habits.  Find out if these 7 habits are setting you back on your path to clear skin.

1.  Smoking.

A recent study conducted reported that acne was more common in smokers than in nonsmokers.  While smoking increases oxidative stress, it also reduces the antioxidant vitamin E.  Squalene, a lipid produced by human skin cells that keeps your skin moisturized, was also found to be lower in smokers.

By how much?  Smokers have only half the amount of squalene in comparison to nonsmokers.   As squalene is being reduced, its peroxides increase.  Why is that important?

Its peroxides help keratinocytes rapidly grow.  As keratinocytes increase, they mix in with sebum.  This combination forms the microcomedone, which is the beginning stage of acne.

2.  Excessive Alcohol Consumption.

Who doesn’t enjoy a good glass of wine?  It enhances the flavor of a good meal and makes the heart rejoice.  The problem of course happens when we consume too much alcohol.

Not only does alcohol dehydrate the entire body, but mixed drinks and white wine have sugar in them.  Sugar spikes insulin levels which creates inflammation in the body and leads to acne.  Giving up smoking or drinking too much can be very hard.

3.  Poor Diet.

Why is eating fried food, junk food or sweets on a regular basis bad news for your skin?

  • Not only do those foods add to your waistline and deplete your energy, but they also aggravate acne.
  • The added chemicals, preservatives and food colors are also toxic to the body.
  • Free radicals thrive in a toxic environment.

Toxicity helps promote inflammation, which is at the root of diseases ranging from heart disease to cancer and yes, even acne.  Ready to pass on those French fries yet?

4.  Not Getting Enough Sleep.

Depriving your body of sleep leads to an increase in cortisol, the damaging stress hormone.  Elevated levels of cortisol can trigger breakouts.  When you dodge sleep, your body isn’t able to repair the hits it takes during the day.


5.  Lazy Bones.

It’s tempting to sleep in late and hit that snooze button instead of getting up to exercise.  We all work hard.  The last thing on your mind may be working out.

What are some of the benefits of getting physical?

  • A good workout can get you nice and sweaty, which helps flush toxins and clean the body.
  • More oxygen and nutrients are carried to the skin through increased circulation.
  • Not to be overlooked is the amazing benefit of reducing stress and inflammation, which are known acne aggravators.

6.  Stress Overload.

Find me one person who isn’t stressed today and I’ll show you someone who’s still in diapers.  We’re all stretched to the limit every day.

How can you not feel the pressure of job demands, family responsibilities and personal issues caving in on you? Since stress cannot be escaped, we must manage it well.  Otherwise, stress will throw your hormones out of whack.

Cortisol levels will sky rocket with sustained or chronic stress.  Inflammation plus out of control hormones equals trouble on two legs.  Acne breakouts are just around the corner.

“Stress, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, eating horrible food and not working out or getting enough sleep wreak havoc on our skin.”


Yet, how we touch our skin is just as important as what we eat, drink and how we live.

7.  Man Handling Your Skin.

Harsh cleansing is one of the worst ways to deal with acne.  Scrubbing too hard can actually break open your pimples.  When this happens, bacteria spreads which only makes your situation worse.



If you happen to wear makeup, always make sure to remove it before going to bed.   A great way to do so is to use olive oil or grape seed oil to remove it.  Grape seed is lighter than olive oil.

Apply a quarter size amount of oil to any area where you have applied makeup.  Gently use a facial wipe to take everything off.

Burt’s Bees makes a great wipe for sensitive skin.  It has cotton extract which helps soften skin and aloe which helps soothe it.  Skin also gets a nice dose of moisture from rice extract.

Join the Conversation

My favorite part of doing these posts is engaging in the conversation they start. Each week, I ask one question. This week, it is this:

What skincare mistake is holding you back from reaching your clear skin potential?


Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is provided as an information resource only.  It is not to be used or relied upon for any treatment or diagnostic purposes.  This information is not intended to be patient education.  It should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.  The statements on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.   This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Please consult your healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition, such as if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a mental condition.  Please read all product packaging carefully and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise, supplementation or medication program. Cosmetic products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 225: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Bruno Capitanio, Jo Linda Sinagra, M Ottaviani, V Bordignon, A Amantea, and M Picardo “Acne and smoking,” Dermatoendocrinol. 2009 May-Jun; 1(3): 129–135.,

Here’s How Alcohol Wrecks Your Skin… And How To Choose The Least Damaging Drink, 10/24/2013 11:08 am ET | Updated Oct 24, 2013.

Harold Lancer, M.D., “Younger – The Breakthrough Anti-Aging Method for Radiant Skin,” 2014, pgs. 14-15.

Kate Somerville, “Complexion Perfection! Your Ultimate Guide to Beautiful Skin by Hollywood’s Leading Skin Health Expert,” 2010, pg. 148.

Supriya Ramanathan, MD; Adelaide A. Hebert, MD, “Management of Acne Vulgaris,” J Pediatr Health Care. 2011; 25(5): 332-337,