7 Habits That Are Actually Making Your Acne Worse

habits making acne worse

Nothing could be more frustrating than dealing with acne—and seeing that all your efforts are futile! There are those days where, no matter how diligently you cleanse, mask, or use your go-to acne treatment, nothing seems to be doing the trick. In the worst cases, you may even find your acne worsening each passing day. 

Truth be told, pimples and spots can be quite tricky to deal with. On top of that, these skin conditions can be influenced by various factors, such as hormones, genetics, and the environment. 

The good news is that all hope is not lost. There are things you can do to manage your breakout and make those unsightly zits disappear—like carefully examining your skincare habits. You may not know it, but you may be practising habits that are actually flaring up your acne even more. 

To help you overcome your skincare predicament, we’ve listed down seven harmful habits you may be making when it comes to getting rid of acne. See if you’re committing any of these!

1. Popping Your Pimples 

This is probably the most notorious harmful habit in this list—simply because popping zits can be seriously tempting!

However, you must do whatever it takes to resist the temptation of reaching your pimples and picking at your skin. This is because this seemingly innocuous gesture exposes your skin to scarring and bacterial infection. 

Rather than use your bare hands, there are clean extraction tools you can use to safely pierce whiteheads and remove blackheads. However, for deep acne, it is still best to consult licensed practices for a safer procedure. 

2. Using Only Spot Treatment All the Time 

One thing you have to remember when it comes to managing pimples is that the surface of your skin is connected to your oil glands through thousands of pipes. This means that there are thousands of pipes that can become clogged and produce a zit! 

After seeing the early signs of a breakout, your natural response may be to use spot treatment. It is indeed effective in diminishing the acne already present in your skin. However, it pays to remember that it’s not enough to prevent new pimples from popping up. 

3. Treating Pimples Only as They Appear 

This unhealthy practice is a variation of the previous one. 

While you may think that using acne products only when you have a breakout makes sense, the smarter approach is to use a mild product every day. Adding a gentle acne treatment containing salicylic acid to your daily routine is a great way to keep the zits at bay. 

On top of that, it’s worth mentioning that salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties. Regularly using skincare products with this ingredient can effectively help you reduce or avoid irritation.   

4. Scouring the Surface of Your Skin 

Some people believe—and hope—that scrubbing off the top layer of their skin will make the zits go away. If you admittedly have this habit, it’s time to change your ways. 

Regularly exposing your skin to such force and friction is never healthy. This is because acne is essentially an inflammatory disease. Using abrasive scrubs will only lead to more inflammation and worse swelling and redness. 

Rather than abrasive, physical scrubs, switch to an exfoliator instead. The right exfoliator, when used properly, can effectively remove the layer of dead skin cells that are clogging your skin. Ultimately, it allows the moisturising products you use to reach deeper into your skin and leave your complexion looking fresh and healthy. 

5. Using Concentrated Benzoyl Peroxide 

Benzoyl peroxide is a chemical compound that is commonly used to treat acne as well as whiteheads. This antibacterial ingredient works mainly by reducing the number of germs and bacteria on your skin’s surface. It is for this reason that it is often used in acne products such as gel or facial wash. You can also buy it under the brand name Acnecide at pharmacies. 

With that said, it pays to remember that more doesn’t always mean better. A serious breakout doesn’t necessarily require a higher concentration of benzoyl peroxide. In reality, it can already kill acne-causing bacteria even at low levels. Higher amounts of the antibacterial ingredient are not more effective than their lower-concentrated counterparts—on the contrary, it can be more irritating!

For the best results, use only a 2.5 per cent benzoyl peroxide for your skin; doing so will help you remove unsightly blemishes without drying out your face. 

6. Following Every Skin Care Hack You See Online

Over recent years, different skincare routines and regimens have taken centre stage. More people are showing interest in taking care of their skin through different methods and ‘smart hacks’. With more people using skincare products or following various techniques, dialogues about these products and techniques have also increased.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing tricks and hacks that worked for you, be wary of skincare tips and hacks shared by others online. For example, contrary to popular belief, toothpaste is not that effective against zits. In reality, menthol or cinnamon-flavoured varieties can even irritate your skin—to the point that it can cause a mild chemical burn! 

Reading about the many wonders of the skincare hacks online may entice you to try them as well. However, to stay safe always take everything with a grain of salt.  

7. Skipping the Moisturiser

Another commonly held misconception is that drying out the skin can make the acne disappear. 

In reality, you should know that oil and water content in your face are two separate matters. Turning your face into a living desert will not make it any less prone to zits and pimples. On the contrary, it may even irritate your skin further. It is for this reason that you must not skip your moisturiser. 

If you have oily skin, you can use oil-free moisturisers instead. It’s a smart idea to use it before your acne treatment as it can hydrate and prime your skin.  


If you find yourself in an exasperating and seemingly never-ending acne predicament, don’t lose hope! There’s a way for you to overcome this problem and regain clearer, acne-free skin. On top of that, you don’t have to look further when finding solutions—the best place to start is with your existing habits and regimen. Examine your practices carefully and be ready to ditch those that are working against you. Once you’ve come up with a skincare regimen that’s safe and effective, don’t forget that you can also visit aesthetic practices to get the best results! 

For effective acne spots treatment in Kuala Lumpur, look no further than Cleo Clinic! We’re the city’s latest premium aesthetics practise using only the best, medically-proven products to bring out the best in our clients. If you would like to arrange a consultation, get in touch with us at 010-2521883.