Many factors contribute to having acne—but some people are exemptions. They do things normally, never bother with what they eat or when they sleep and yet they have perfect skin.

If you have occasional breakouts and you need to avoid a lot of things just to prevent acne, then you are probably one of those who wonders about how unfortunate you are to have such a skin.

But wait… Is it really about being lucky? What if there are ways that you could do so that, even if you do not have particular skin, so you don’t get breakouts easily?

Causes of acne

The skin on the face normally produces oil to prevent moisture loss and to protect the skin from irritants such as dust, smoke, and wind. During puberty, however, oil production seems to be increased many folds. Sometimes, because of blockage in the pores, sebum is trapped inside and starts oxidizing starting the process of acne. When the pores get infected, you get a breakout.

Hormones and stress levels determine oil production—both are genetically predisposed. It may look like there is nothing we can do about acne but in this article, we managed to compile seven habits of everyday life to avoid acne. It may be difficult at first since habit takes time to develop, but eventually, it will come to you naturally.

#1 Minimize sources of skin irritation

Avoid touching your face and stop popping that zit. It won’t do you any good. The more irritated the skin is, the more agitated it gets. Thus more oil is produced. You’re making things worse that way.

Mind also what touches your face. Keep that scrub off it. Wash your face with the mildest soap that you can get (preferably non-comedogenic) and do not use a scrub in the process. Just your hands and apply as little pressure as possible. Imagine keeping the least distance between the surface of the palm of your hands and the skin on your face so that you can still apply the soap and lather it but not feel as much.

Avoid facing down when you sleep. The fabric of the pillow and mattress can irritate your skin. Remember, you sleep for approximately 8 hours a night. You can’t monitor your skin. This is the perfect time for the excess sebum to oxidize.

#2 Avoid caffeine

Remember that coffee makes you active. It keeps your mind sharp, and it boosts your energy. However, it also increases the level of your cortisol—the stress hormone. With elevated levels of cortisol, your skin will produce as much as twice as many sebum as usual.

Foods to avoid include coffee, soft drinks (yes Coke has caffeine), tea, chocolate, and energy drinks. If you can’t avoid them, at least minimize consumption. As much as possible, take your coffee very early in the morning so that it’s effect will lessen as you progress in the day.

#3 Drink sufficient amounts of water

By water, we don’t mean juices (even fresh and natural ones) but just water. Other water-containing beverages do not count.

Healthy skin needs sufficient hydration. Without sufficient water, your skin will dry up and get irritated easily but things like a minor change in temperate or a breeze of dry air. When the skin gets irritated, it produces more sebum. More oil means more chances of having blackheads and whiteheads that could get irritated and progress into a more serious form of acne.

#4 Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep does some bad things to the skin. It makes it oily and dry, among others. It also contributes to breakouts. On top of that, lack of sleep increases stress hormones and reduces tolerance for stress. Not only do you have elevated levels of stress hormones coursing through your veins, but you also have a greater chance of increasing those hormone levels at a minor exposure to stressors.

The ideal sleep time to prevent acne is 7 to 8 hours. Yes, it’s difficult to get that much sleep these times because of all the social media, videos, and games accessible through your phone, tablet, and PC. The trick here is you can still enjoy those but ditch all of them an hour or two before bedtime. If you want to extend your use of those gadgets, install an app or hardware that would remove or reduce the levels of blue light.

#5 Exercise

Remove the toxins in your body by forcing them out through regular exercise like running. Exercise also promotes the production of a feel-good hormone that increases once tolerance against stress and enables one to recover from stress faster and more easily. Remember, less stress equals less acne.

#6 Keep your face clean

Keeping your face clean doesn’t just mean that you need to wash it frequently. In fact, you only need to wash it once or twice a day with a very mild soap. Washing it frequently strips your skin of essential nutrients that makes it glow and protects it from moisture loss. It also kills off good bacteria that are supposed to keep the population of acne-causing bacteria in check.

Keeping your face clean also means not applying anything on it as much as possible. This includes some moisturizers (oil-based ones), powder, makeup, and face lotion. If you are prone to breakouts, that means you probably have a sensitive skin—one that gets irritated easily by a lot of things. Usually, the ingredients in cosmetics are already particularly irritating. Using them could cause acne.

#7 Take some vitamins

If you can, take the vitamins off your food. Keep a healthy diet. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables over processed foods. Fruits and vegetables contain fiber and nutrients, such as vitamins A, E, and C that could help you fight off acne. Also, they contribute to you having great skin.

If you can’t get those from food, assuming that there are factors that prevent you from having it, then you can opt for food supplements. Vitamins and minerals from food supplements must be taken from natural sources or chelated—this makes the nutrients easy to absorb and use by the body.


Although there are things that you could do to minimize or prevent a breakout, acne is almost always inevitable (unless you have unique skin that some do). The tips listed above are simple things that you could turn into a habit to help you prevent a breakout.

The rule of thumb here is to minimize stress as much as possible and lessen any form of contact to your skin. If you can do those, then you increase your chancing of not having breakouts.


Author: Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at and co-founder of When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.