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Does anyone else get strange blemishes every now and then and immediately panic?
I can't tell you how many times a new zit has shown up in a new place on my face and how many times I've immediately gone through multiple possibilities of its existence in my head.
Normally I'll start with, "maybe I'm getting my period," then immediately realize I'm much too far out from my period.
Then it goes, "maybe my skin has finally adjusted to my skin routine and now I'll have to change it," to "or maybe my skin has changed and now I'll have to go to a dermatologist."
This will go on for approximately 10 more scenarios including the mental inventory on what I'd eaten lately and gauging of my general stress level and the possibility of a serious medical condition.
Am I dramatic? Maybe. But that's really not the point of this article.
Fact is we all experience unexplainable blemishes that drive us bananas for many reasons. The second fact is there are likely more reasons than our monthly reminder of womanhood and the possibility of near-impending death.
I recently sat down with my team and scoured the interwebs for material on other explanations for our mystery blemishes, and was ironically pointed to a recent Glamour article on the topic.
From this piece, we've provided the most interesting, likely, and surprising reasons your skin might hit you with a sneaky pimple here and there, as well as offer our own insights on the matter.
Ready for this? PREPARE YOURSELF, WebMD!!!!
1. Your Makeup Brushes
You may already know this (we can see our makeup fanatics quaking now), but if you're not someone who considers themselves adequately entangled in all things makeup, you might be making a genuine mistake when it comes to your makeup brushes.
On a personal level, I literally never clean my brushes. Call me gross, but if I'm being honest the moment I finish my look I'm out the door and on my way to the event that required makeup in the first place.
Once my supplies go back in the bag, they're back to bed until the next time I have to socialize.
Now, I'm not a heathen, so once in a blue moon, I carry out the tedious task of cleaning my brushes.
Now that I know not cleaning my brushes on a consistent basis could be a contributor to my random blemishes, I might actually commit to a per-use cleaning schedule (probably not).
It's obvious that when your brushes are covered in makeup the reason is you're going to apply that makeup to your skin. While makeup is already a contributor to breakouts and blemishes, a dirty brush certainly isn't helping.
The bristles of your brush, according to Glamour, are a magnet for the minute particles that cause skin breakouts, so keeping them clean is imperative.
For those of our #kweens who might be more daring, a recommendation might be to lightly clean your brushes after and before using them on your skin.
You might even consider keeping the bristles covered to some degree to keep out loose dirt and particles. And if you don't? We absolutely will not judge (mostly because we won't actually do this either, nope).
More power to ya, girl!
2. Your Hair Products
This one we found interesting for sure. When you're buying hair products, you never think about the repercussions they might have on your skin. Or maybe you do, and in that case, you're just one step in front of all of us (LOL).
The not-so-surprising thing about this one is those hair products are greasy at times and tend to be more serum-like than anything else.
Of course, it depends on the product, but if you think about your hair routine you can bet there are moments throughout it that you're touching your face.
I myself use a CHI Iron Guard serum that is equal parts awesome and grease and when actually think about the process of doing my hair, I must touch my face at least six or seven times within two or three chunks of hair.
As you're getting the hair out of your face, itching where your loose strands have just gently grazed your cheek, or even just wiping your eyes because being a woman is literally exhausting, you touch your face with your greasy hair-product-hands. Ew, man.
As if being female wasn't hard enough, now we're subject to sabotage even when we're trying to get ourselves beautified!!
Even if your hair products aren't necessarily greasy or oily, there's a likelihood that your skin sensitivity to these products will still be high given the products just aren't meant for your skin.
A pro-tip? Simply wear a headband or wrap a bandana around your head as one to keep loose hairs away from your face and do everything you can to keep the oils and spoils away from your skin.
The journey will not be easy, but it will be great.
3. Your Pillow Case
Similar to our first surprising fun-fact about blemishes, I only once in a blue moon change my pillowcase.
Once again, I'm not a heathen. So I do wash my sheets and pillowcases when the time comes.
Most of the time, though? I use the same old same old cases and bed set. While to me this seems completely normal, my skin might disagree.
I know what you might be thinking because I thought it too,
"But I wash my face every night before bed, so what now?"
As I said, I thought this one through as well, but I also have pets who find my pillows as comfortable as I do, I keep the window open (that's directly adjacent to my pillow), and am not immune to sweat in the night. Not to mention I'm always in a different position when I wake up, so who knows what that could mean?
The point is, your pillow is gross, sis! Or at least has a tendency to become such. The best thing you can do is regularly wash it and swap it out for an additional set.
I have a tendency to overspend on all things snuggly and cozy that normally find themselves in the snuggly and cozy sections of Target, so this is one area that benefits from that (suck it, bank account).
4. Bike Helmets & Beanies
This one is for our commuters and winter-dwellers.
RW is based in NYC, Brooklyn to be specific. Which means either, or both of these things, are far from foreign to anyone who lives in the same area of the United States (or anywhere cold).
Your bike helmet builds the obvious line of sweat on the top of your forehead when you use it, and if you're commuting in and out of subway cars, onto trains, and back onto the street, your pores are guaranteed to get a workout themselves.
The same goes for beanie and hat-wearers alike. Wearing a beanie, ball cap, or any hat will warrant the same result.
No one wants to wash their hats. I personally find my beanies and dad-caps sacred, so I don't even fathom putting them in the wash.
A better, more relaxing solution for my ebbing anxiety is to carry face wipes for my commute and beyond to keep from breaking out.
All in all, ladies, your skin is as everchanging as you are. With that said, be gentle with it and yourself. The worst thing you can do when you see an unexpected blemish is allowing yourself to stress out.
More stress = more blemish. You do the math!