Let’s face it, breakouts seriously suck!

If you live in Australia, chances are you’re amongst the 85% of people who will develop acne at some point in their life (that is, if you’ve not already been through it).

So, what exactly causes acne?

Dr. Ernst Eiselen says “skin breakouts known as acne are caused by the imbalance of male hormones which can affect both men and women from puberty onwards. In most men, it settles down completely more often than not, but in women, it can be a life-long problem needing long-term care. Blocked pores lead to blackheads, inflammation, and pimples.”

It has been said time and time again that acne is caused by genetics, while there is no actual evidence that a specific gene causes acne, there is research, which proves that genetics do play a large role. In a recent study conducted on twins in America, it showed that genes explained around 80% of the difference in acne prevalence, while another study found that you have a four-times higher risk of getting acne if a first-degree relative has it.

However, there are lifestyle factors and habits that can contribute to or exacerbate an already annoying issue. Here are some of the most obvious AND not so obvious triggers.

Heavy moisturising agents such as Mineral Oils, which can be found in lotions and makeup are known to clog up your pores.


Make sure your using active skincare products that don’t contain heavy moisturising agents, and always use a quality foundation when applying makeup. We love Environ’s Even More Foundation range, which offers light, even coverage, plus it’s packed with antioxidants and Vitamin E, so it’s a foundation that actually nourishes your skin.

This is one of the more ‘obvious’ ones.

Of course, you notice a difference in your skin when you slack on your healthy eating habits and binge on junk food and take outs. But did you know that sugar and spice can also exacerbate breakouts?

Foods that are high on the glycaemic index (foods that convert quickly into glucose) cause your body’s insulin levels to rise, leading to a burst of inflammation. Steep insulin spikes increase the production of skin oils which contribute to the clogging of follicles, which irritates the skin. Spicy foods work in a similar way; they cause our temperature to rise, which is a sort of inflammatory reaction in the body. The sweat which is produced from this spike in body temperature increases the likelihood of a breakout.


Avoiding eating foods that you notice make you breakout.

Sulphates (cleansing agents), heavy moisturisers and silicone that your hair products contain, can seep into your pores, clogging them up.


When you’re washing your hair in the shower, tilt your head to the side when rinsing off the shampoo and conditioner, that way the products won’t make contact with your face. Also, when you’re spraying products onto your hair, cover your face with your hand or a face cloth.

Scrubbing your face with harsh exfoliants, loofahs or brushes only aggravates your skin more. It literally drags the bacteria across your skin, worsening the existing condition and causing it to spread.


Use Environ Skincare’s Focus Care Clarity+ Sebu Masque which is low in pH and contains a combination of gentle exfoliators.

This one is another one of those more obvious ones. We know that smoking is detrimental to our health, so it’s no wonder that it also aggravates the skin. Every time you light up a cigarette you reduce the amount of oxygen that your skin receives. It also breaks down collagen and elastin which causes wrinkles and enlarged pores. The carcinogens in the smoke also dry out the skin, triggering excess oil production which of course causes breakouts.


Quit smoking!!!

Trust me, I know it’s satisfying in the moment but it’s not worth the red bumps and scarring. Speaking from experience, pimple popping also causes the bacteria to spread and you end up with pimples.


Stop the pimple popping!

Have you noticed that you always get the worst breakout right before some big event? You’ve been stressing for months over every single detail and then BAM! Your face is zit-city. Remember though, acne causes more stress because you’re then stressing about the acne! It’s a terrible, vicious cycle.


Release your stress by exercising, meditating and taking time out of your busy life to practice self-care.

It’s super common to sit with your hand on your cheek or tucked under your chin, especially when you’re sitting at a desk all day. Just remember that every time something touches your face, you’re transferring bacteria from a surface to your face. This is why it’s also super important to keep your phone clean.


Back when I used to have a terrible habit of resting my face in my hands, my parents always used to say “your head won’t fall if you don’t hold it.” It’s simple as that, stop touching your face!

Contrary to popular belief, the sun doesn’t actually help ‘cure’ your acne, it actually makes it worse! Sure, the sun might make your face a little redder than usual, meaning your spots blend in with the rest of your skin, but it’s actually drying your skin out. Drying out your skin causes excess oil production and therefore MORE zits!


Make sure you’re slipping, slopping, slapping and wrapping. You should ALWAYS be wearing sunblock, especially when treating your skin for acne as it becomes particularly sensitive to the sun.