“I don’t have acne on a regular basis, but sometimes I get flare ups and major breakouts. Is there anything I can do to prevent them?”

Acne flare ups can be caused by a number of different things and recognizing your triggers could help you to avoid future flare ups. Common triggers for acne include:

• Hormonal changes (e.g. related to the menstrual cycle or puberty)
• Dietary factors (e.g. consuming a diet high in sugar)
• Touching your face with your hands (e.g. rubbing, picking, or resting your chin on your hand which can cause irritation and bacteria transfer)
• Scrubbing your face vigorously while washing
• Skin irritation from sun exposure
• Moisturizers, make-up, and other products that are oily and not non-comedogenic

As well, a good skin care routine can help reduce future acne flare-ups. Some tips include:

• Washing the face twice daily with a mild, soapless cleanser using lukewarm water
• Maintaining skin hydration (excessive drying can cause flare-ups)
• If using a moisturizer, choosing one that is light and non-comedogenic
• Washing your hands prior to washing your face and using a clean face cloth at each washing
• Shampooing the hair at least every other day or on a daily basis
• Avoid contacting the forehead and hairline with hairstyling products