Cosmopolitan (UK)

prevent future breakouts Ditch your make-up wipes Stick to sulphatefr­ee face cleansers Wash your face and body last in the shower Cut out anything with fragrance Keep your hands off your face


Sorry, but they can’t effectivel­y break down pore-clogging dirt, oil or make-up – at least not as well as a cleansing oil can [try The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil, £12]. Any gunk left on the skin overnight is a recipe for spots. Plus, all the rubbing and tugging that comes with wipes can aggravate already acne-prone skin.

So wipes don’t do enough, but harsh surfactant­s like sulphates (AKA sulfates, and often labelled as “sodium lauryl sulfate” or “sodium laureth sulfate” on a product’s ingredient list) do too much. Along with erasing dirt and grime, they can strip away your skin’s natural oils and deplete its protective barrier, making it more susceptibl­e to excess oil production and acne. A solid sulphate-free choice:

Dr Sam’s Flawless Cleanser, £16.

Hair conditione­rs are usually loaded with heavy oils and butters that can trigger breakouts when they linger on your skin. So condition your hair, rinse it thoroughly, throw it in a clip, then wash your face and body as normal (remember, ideally with something sulphate-free) to get rid of pore-clogging residue.

Scent – synthetic or natural – is an irritant that can exacerbate acne. Opt for fragrance-free skincare products where possible, and switch to fragrance-free laundry detergent too. Perfumed particles in the scented kind can get stuck in the fabric of clothes, towels and masks, and irritate sensitised skin.

Not just in COVID times – when bacteria from your fingers mixes with oil on your skin, it’s a one-way ticket to breakouts.

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