5 Unexpected Causes of Breakouts and Skin Dryness

woman with dry skin

While there are a whole host of things that can wreak havoc on your skin (certain ingredients in beauty products, bad skincare habits etc.) there are a few that we don’t always expect.  When the temperature drops, the importance of moisturizing the skin increases: intense cold and strong winds are two of the most important drying factors.

They’re the little things that we come into contact with everyday, but because of how commonplace they are, we don’t stop to think about how the effect they have on our skin. Even if you have a perfect skincare routine, you still need to be aware of how your environment is affecting your skin.

Here are a few factors to consider:

Your pillowcase

When we think about the acne or pimples we get on our face, we often think it’s because we ate poorly, because we’re in the wrong time of the month or because we’re not reacting well to a new skincare routine. But the appearance of these pimples could simply come from our pillowcase.

Unless you sleep perfectly on your back all night long, chances are your face is coming in contact with your pillowcase quite a bit during the night. Those hours can really add up, and add on the oils from your hair and your sweat (we all sweat at least a little in our sleep), and you’ve really got a disaster going on for your face. Sleeping on a clean pillowcase is essential to avoid acne breakouts, blemishes and skin problems, especially if you sleep on belly.

Luckily this one is pretty easy to avoid: change or wash your pillowcase frequently.  Also avoid cotton pillowcases and choose a silk pillowcase that will help in reducing acne, blackheads and eczema.

Read also: How To Have Healthy Skin From A to Z!

Your towel

In the same vein as your pillowcase is your towel. The best thing you can do in this area is designating a specific towel for just your face (aka not a hand or body towel and not for anyone else’s face) and wash it often. Having only your face touch the towel will drastically reduce the amount of germs that build up on it, but you’ll still need to wash it often to keep it fresh. Trust me, I’ve read the articles about what happens to your towel after about a week…you’ll want to wash it!

Your phone

We’re on our phones all day, and it’s not like we wash our hands before we touch it every time. Think about it: shake someone’s hand, two minutes later you’re answering a text; pet your dog and then check Facebook; use the self-checkout at the store and then check your bank balance. All the germs from those activities are effectively transferring to your face when you make calls later.

You could get into the habit of cleaning your phone regularly with Clorox wipes or you could invest in a pair of earbuds with a microphone. It’s honestly so much more convenient than having to hold a phone up to your face and they’re less than $15 at Target (although there may be cheaper ones online.) And the best part is you don’t have to get phone germs on your face (and your foundation won’t get on your phone…am I the only one that happens to?)

Read also: Best Eleven Essential Oils for Anti-Aging Effects On Your Skin

Makeup brushes and tools

I talked all about cleaning your makeup brushes the other day, but it’s important to keep your other tools clean too! This includes tweezers, facial cleansing brushes, makeup sponges and pretty much anything else you use near your face on a regular basis. Sterilize metal tools, replace brush heads and sponges and do whatever else you need to do to keep your tools germ-free.

Air conditioning and heating

Just like living in an hot or cold climate can affect your skin, so can your indoor climate. Both central air and heating can be pretty drying, which is something nobody needs! Obviously you shouldn’t forego heating or air conditioning when you need it (and you won’t be escaping an environment that hurts your skin…you’ll just be changing the conditions), but there are a couple things you can do to avoid letting it get the best of your skin. As always, make sure you moisturize well and drink plenty of water.

You should avoid overdoing it with either AC or heating (aka don’t put the thermostat on 75 in the winter) and it also helps to keep your distance from the source. This is easy enough to do inside – just don’t sit directly by a vent – but it can be tricky in the car -try to avoid blowing a ton of air on your face (even though it can feel really good sometimes) and don’t turn the fan up too high. Finally, if your environment is really dry, you might want to consider investing in a humidifier (some run as low as $30, so don’t freak out at the word “investment.”)

I really hope you learned something from this post (if you didn’t, you’re probably a beauty expert already!) As always, share anything you’ve learned that you found helpful in the comments section!


I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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