3 Sneaky Causes of Acne- It’s Not Just Your Dirty Cellphone

Most of us have heard that we need to keep our phones clean to prevent acne. But did you know it can be caused by your bedding, gym clothes and even your instruments. Anything you touch your face with regularly.

I researched this a while ago to try and get my acne under control. You’re supposed to wash your pillowcase once a week, did you know that?

Same thing goes with your sheets and towels if you get a lot of body acne. My acne is primarily hormonal.

Sadly, or perhaps thankfully, it’s not a hygiene problem for me in most cases. But here are 3 things that I discovered caused some of my acne.

Fair warning, I am a little piggy.

Hand Cream

I used to put hand cream on every night. I figured this was the best time to really let it soak in and get to work. I wash my hands fairly frequently during the day, before covid even hit, because I don’t like feeling like they’re dirty and I’m a bit of a germaphobe.

So I’d put on hand lotion, then 20 minutes to a half an hour later, I’d wash my hands again. I realise that’s probably enough time. But sometimes it would even take less time. I’d suddenly remember after I put lotion on that I needed to do this thing, or just suddenly get bugged by that thing, then I touched it and felt the need to wash my hands, and there goes the lotion.

Anyway, after a few weeks, I realised that I had acne all the time. Not just during PMS. I also started paying attention, and noticed that sometimes when I woke up during the night, my face was resting on my hands or I was touching my face. Sometimes I would wake up like that in the morning too.


Stopped putting hand cream on at night, voila!

Now when my hands feel really dry, I use the DIY face oil that I use on my face as hand cream.

If you notice that your creams, whether for your face, body or hands is causing your breakouts, switch to a product that doesn’t contain comodogenic (pore clogging) ingredients or ingredients that make your skin excessively oily.

My Sports Bras

I am about to admit something really embarrassing and I won’t judge you for judging me with this.

But I often work out with a sports bra 2-3 times before washing it. I don’t have one for every day of the week! Also, they stretch out quickly if you wash them too much. I only wash them after one use if I get super sweaty.

Rarely, but often enough I suppose, I would walk around after my workout because dinner was served. I did feel gross, I always feel like I’m going to infect the couch with my sweaty nastiness.

During in winter, the biggest thing that stops me from exercising is that I have to get out of my normal clothes into exercise clothes. Yes, I know I work from home, but it’s good to get dressed as you would if you were working out there. I’ll discuss that next week.

I am pretty sensitive to the cold. My mom is too. It’s just a thing. No tests that my doctor sent me for explained why. Anywho, I sometimes wear leggings to decrease the number of stockings I need to wear under my jeans. I decided, why not wear my sports bra too so that I am pretty much ready for my workout when the time comes.

One of my top tips for winter workouts and lazy days is to workout, in whatever you’re wearing, for just 10 minutes. Usually, this will get me all gung-ho about exercising and I will go change lest I infect my normal clothes with sweaty nastiness.

Already wearing the sports bra decreased the time I would have to spend exposed to the cold. Ta-da!

But nope. That was a mistake.

I eventually noticed chest-ne where my sports bras would sit. Yikes.

So I don’t do that now unless I know the bra is clean. A little cold ain’t gonna kill me.

I still get some acne on my chest, but it’s hormonal and not nearly as bad. My face and chest are pretty clear these days.

My Violin

Exhibit A- left side chin acne

This picture was taken two weeks ago. I put it up here in shame, because I should have known better.

When I had pretty bad breakouts last year, I noticed that the left side of my chin was always worse than the right.

I eventually asked my violin teacher if he thought perhaps it was my violin since this was the only explanation I could come up with.

He said yip, looks like bacterial acne from the chin rest. I should clean the chin rest with some surgical spirits and that should take care of it.

It did 😁

Let me tell you, that thing was nasty. I was so grossed out. I went through 4 cotton pads before I was satisfied.

I then cleaned it every so often to prevent a recurrence.

Another confession- I can be lazy as all heck sometimes, for days and weeks on end. I stopped cleaning it regularly. I think the last time I cleaned the chin rest was January!

My left shoulder decided to get hinky, so I have been resting it for just over a week and a half. And no new acne has formed on my chin.

I am a piggy indeed.

I have a lesson today, I have no idea how I’m going to sound. But I will make damn sure to clean the chin rest first!

Now that some of my more embarrassing confessions are out of the way, I hope you might have had a lightbulb moment about where your acne is coming from.

Have you discovered any other sneaky things that caused your acne?

Feature image: Kjerstin Michaela Noomi Sakura Gihle Martinsen Haraldsen from Pixabay

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