Surprising Sources of Acne

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They treat it, try to prevent it and know all the ins and outs of what causes a less-than-perfect complexion, but even these experts have been thrown for a loop by the following acne-causing factors.

“Pillows. You can’t just wash pillowcases; you also have to wash the entire pillow. They are a feeding ground for dead skin cells and dirt.” —Celebrity aesthetician Susan Ciminelli

Hand cream applied before bedtime. The hydrating ones usually contain a ton of oils that can clog pores. Most of the time, you don’t even know your hand is resting against your face for a long period of time as you sleep. Hand products are great, but I strongly suggest only applying them during the day when you can make a conscience effort not to rest your hands against your face.” — Celebrity aesthetician Renée Rouleau

Hard water. I see a huge difference in clients who use some type of filter on their showerhead (I use one myself). The elements that make up hard water can aggravate acne-prone, sensitive skin.” — Celebrity aesthetician Nerida Joy

Using a whole bunch of different skin-care products all at once. I test many products on myself, but I only use one at a time for at least three weeks. Using a bunch of new products all at once—even if they are all from the same brand—is a recipe for disaster.” — New York aesthetician Mandy Epley

“Acne can be a side effect of a number of medications. Medication-induced acne occurs as a sudden eruption of acne with all of the blemishes looking alike. Common culprits include anabolic steroids, bromides (found in sedatives, analgesics and cold remedies), iodines (found in contrast dyes, cold/asthma remedies, kelp and combined vitamin–mineral supplements) and rarely vitamins B6 and B12.” — Washington D.C., dermatologist Terrence Keaney, MD

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