10 Setbacks to the Clearing Process | “Why do I still have breakouts?”

10 Setbacks to the Clearing Process | “Why do I still have breakouts?”

Habits that sabotage your skin from clearing.

We’ve talked about picking and how detrimental it is to your skin previously. I started thinking- this is not the only thing that can delay progress. Keep reading for 10 other ways you could be triggering more acne or irritating your skin, and you may not even know it!

Sunburn / Windburn

Getting a sunburn means you’ve been over-exposed to radiation - it’s way too harsh and will damage your skin cells, leading to dark pigmentation and a possible risk of skin cancer. Getting a windburn is like getting a power scrub - again, it’s punishing to your face. Both will dehydrate and irritate your skin, is disruptive to your protective skin barrier, and makes your skin uncomfortable. It will also make your skin too sensitive for your acne products and set your progress back since you’ll need to refrain from the very ingredients that will clear your skin. Let’s skip this!

Scrubbing too hard with towels

Being too rough with your skin causes irritation and can even trigger more acne. Let the serums and treatments you are getting do the exfoliating!

Tip: After cleansing, simply pat or dab with your towel or paper towel to dry your skin. Use a clean towel every time. If you are noticing some flakiness, it’s okay to GENTLY use a soft microfiber cloth (like the MakeUp Eraser I carry in my online store and in the studio) to remove your cleanser and alleviate flaking.

Under-using product

In order for the active ingredients to work effectively, you need to be using the proper amount. Being frugal won’t get you clear skin.

Tip: Check out the “Normal Product Usage Amounts” graphic on the “Fern’s tips for clear skin” page.

Inconsistency with your homecare routine

If you aren’t using it, it’s not going to work. Even missing one day can set you back. Missing multiple days is worse- since your progress can start heading in the opposite direction. Your routine is: Cleanse, soothe (icing), exfoliate (serum), hydrate, moisturize, protect (SPF) and so much more. Reap the benefits by being consistent!

Tip: Take time to make morning and evening routines. Try sticking to it for at least 90 days- this creates a habit and a mind-shift so it doesn’t feel like a chore. If you are stumped about what to do next for your skincare routine, check your homecare handout, or reach out to me!

Over-using product and over-exfoliating

Any form of excess exfoliation - with a towel or from over-use of harsh ingredients - is too irritating to the skin, especially for acneic skin! Over-exfoliating with a scrub or exfoliating serum can lead to uncomfortable dryness, chronic redness, annoying flaking, and worse yet, a compromised barrier.

Tip: Trust the process, even when it seems slow! Use your products as instructed. Your products were chosen specifically for your skin. When used the way you were taught, your products will last the right amount of time, too- saving you money. If you are unsure about how much to use, keep track of the date you purchased your product and refer to the “normal product usage timetable” on Fern’s Tips for Clear Skin page.

Consuming inflammatory foods and drinks

When you began your clear skin journey, we went over that list of foods to avoid- remember that? These foods should be avoided, period. If those foods are still being consumed, they could be what’s triggering more breakouts. Remember to check all your labels for products like protein powders, dried fruit, and other “health-food snacks” since all can have hidden triggers, like whey (dairy,) added sugars, and soy.

Tip: Take time to review the list of inflammatory and hormone-disrupting foods, and make sure to clear them out of your kitchen. I am not the diet police- I simply want to see you succeed! Better yet, check out my complimentary E-book on Healthy Eating for Clear Skin.

Not taking your supplements

Acne is an inflammatory disorder of the skin and the supplements I recommend are effective in reducing inflammation. There are many other reasons to take them, besides the fact that they could be the difference between clearer skin, or not!

Tip: Set a reminder on your phone to help you remember to take them. I suggest taking them with dinner (especially the zinc!). There are helpful apps available. Look for “habit tracker”… this could be the start of many new healthy habits!

Starting a new medication or multivitamin

Similar to how taking a supplement can help in the clearing process, on the flip side, taking the wrong supplement or med can be detrimental. Please let me know if you start any new vitamins or medications, and check the label for kelp, iodine, and biotin before purchasing since you’ll want to avoid those triggers.

Tip: During boot camp, simply stick to the vitamins recommended. Check out the “Supplier Resources” document on Fern’s Tips for Clear Skin page. If a new medication is necessary, we will discuss how this may affect the skin on a case-by-case basis.

Forgetting to change your pillowcase (and/or mask)

Ideally, you are sleeping 6-8 hours a night. During sleep, dead skin cells, sebum (oil), hair products, dust, and bacteria are all accumulating on your pillowcase and sheets (This also happens in your mask!). While you are snoozing away, your skin is smushed against the soft cushion of fluff that is your pillow. Do your skin a favor and don’t subject it to the same buildup for another night. Change your case nightly, clean your pillow regularly, and wash your sheets weekly especially if you suffer from body acne.

Tip: Flip your pillow to reveal a cleaner side the next day! Keep 2-4 pillows on your bed so you only have to change them once or twice a week. If you’re wearing a mask all day for school/work, swap it out for a clean one every 3-4 hours. Check out the “Maskne Strategy” and “Pillowcases” document on Fern’s Tips for Clear Skin. You can also read about how bacteria affect the skin, and other skincare mistakes, here.)

Using lifestyle products with irritating or pore-clogging ingredients

If you are using products that are clogging your pores, your skin will not clear. Enough said. Stick to the program and use only the products personally curated for you. This will get you closer to your skin goals!

Tip: Check all your skincare/haircare/laundry products for irritants by using the “Pore-Clogging Ingredients Checker” …Then toss all of the old products that you now know aren’t helping your skin!

Use this list to troubleshoot what changes you still need to make in order to get closer to clear skin. Reach out to me for questions or more advice, if needed! As your skin coach for Clear Skin Boot Camp, I’m on your team! Remember that we ARE a team. Once you make these necessary changes, you’ll see healthier, clearer, happier skin.