You’ve composed an ironclad skincare routine made up of the best products money can buy, but it still feels like you break out if you so much as breathe in the wrong direction. Acne is tricky business, and it can be triggered by practically anything. Maybe not breathing in the wrong direction, but your diet, sleep schedule, the makeup you use and even how you keep your bed may be exacerbating the condition. Below are some of the most common habits you need to break to banish acne forever:

Bad Habit #1: Touching Your Face

Think about where your hands have been. Now, think about how many hands have also been where your hands were, and where those hands have been. There are infinite answers to these questions, and though you’re good about disinfecting your hands and using sanitizer religiously, bacteria can still make its way onto your fingertips. And when you touch your face, you’re transferring bacteria to your skin. Stop touching your face, even if it’s to admire how smooth and baby-soft it is.

Bad Habit #2: Picking at Your Zits

Many people feel an unrelenting compulsion to pop their pimples. Reasons vary: it may be because it feels just like popping bubble wrap, or they might feel that squeezing the pus out of an especially ripe one will cause the skin beneath to just close back into itself.

Popping your zits can be harmless, but most of the time it’ll lead to nothing but inflamed skin and an infected wound. If you’re the kind of person who can’t stop yourself from poking and prodding at a pimple just because the raised bump feels kind of funny, you can at least protect the zit from becoming infected by using a pimple patch. You can do this by using the Acne Pimple Master Patch from CosRX. These are hydrocolloid stickers you can cover your popped pimple with. The patch sucks out whatever pus and debris you haven’t managed to squeeze out from the wound and protects it from the environment and the bacteria from your fingertips.

Bad Habit #3: You’re Sleeping on Dirty Sheets

All sorts of nasty things can collect on your pillowcase: dirt, dust, even the oil your hair naturally produces. For all you know, your pillows and sheets have become a breeding ground for bacteria, which causes breakouts. Change your sheets regularly, or consider switching to satin for your pillow, which doesn’t absorb moisture in the way that cotton does.

Bad Habit #4: You’re Not Eating Right

Certain foods can trigger breakouts in people: not just sugary sweets, starches, and fatty, oily foods, but also dairy products like milk and cheese. Overindulging in liquor can also cause your acne to go into overdrive. Eating healthier will not only have a positive impact on your overall quality of life, it may also help clear up your skin. Drink plenty of water and eat a good amount of leafy greens and fresh fruits, and consider incorporating healthier meat options like chicken or fish in your diet instead of red meat. You may also wish to add a supplement into your diet, such as CBD oil, which can help support your overall wellbeing for both your physical and mental health. When it comes to skin specifically, CBD can help keep your skin moisturized and fight any inflammation and redness to improve the appearance of skin.

Bad Habit #5: You’re Making Your Skin Thirsty

So you may have been led to believe that acne is caused by an excess production of oil, so therefore the best way to bust the zits is to strip your face of them entirely. Bad move. When your face feels tight it doesn’t mean that it’s clean — it means that you’ve managed to deprive it of moisture, either by way of a very strong cleanser or a harsh astringent. This weakens your skin’s protective barrier, which leaves it open for… you guessed it, even worse acne. This is because your oil glands are able to sense the lack of moisture and thus pump out even more oil to compensate the difference. There’s no need to wash your face more than necessary, and certainly no reason at all to invest in products that will strip your skin of moisture, leaving it feeling dry and parched. Use products appropriate for your skin type and wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and then again at night. That should do the trick.

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