The Breakout Breakdown


Just when I thought I’d left all major breakouts behind me, bam – my skin explodes. With blemishes, that is. How could it be?! I thought I finally had this skincare thing down. My skin is by no means flawless, but I can deal with the odd blemish here or there. What happened two weeks ago brought me back to being 13 years old, with spots all over my forehead. I haven’t had a breakout like this in years, so I knew there must have been something that triggered it.

I came up with a list of potential suspects, and have monitored my skin in accordance with them over the past 10 days. While I haven’t yet pinpointed the culprit, I thought I’d share with you the factors I came up with. If your skin is breaking out, maybe have a look at these points and see if any of them could be connected to it. One by one, we can eliminate them to find the cause, and hopefully never have to deal with the reaction again!

1. High-sugar foods – We all know that refined sugar is hardly a superfood for the skin. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. I recently started adding granola to my porridge in the mornings, which just so happened to be around the time my skin broke out. I was also indulging in way too many cookies and sugar-ridden foods, which I know for a fact can trigger my skin, although it’s never been this bad. If you’ve eaten one too many Jaffa Cakes recently, that could be the reason behind your breakout. Stock up on fruits, veggies and natural foods. What you put into your body is what shows on your skin!

2. New skincare products – I don’t want to admit it, but there’s a chance one of my new skincare products could be breaking my skin out. They’re all high-end products, so I didn’t think there would be a problem, but since I incorporated them into routine my skin hasn’t been the same. Rather than introducing loads of new products at once, try to introduce them one at a time so it’s easier to pinpoint if one is making your skin react.

3. Makeup brushes – It’s no secret that dirty makeup brushes can cause spots and blemishes, so try to wash your brushes once a week if you wear makeup everyday. Make an extra effort to wash them if your skin has been breaking out, as you could just be making the breakout worse.

4. Stress – Worrier? Me? Never *cough cough*. Worry and stress can cause havoc on our skin, and worrying about it just makes it worse. It’s easier said than done, but next time you find yourself stressing out, try to take deep breaths and relax. A cup of tea usually helps me to calm down, especially green tea as it has plenty of benefits for the skin and body.

5. Your pillowcase – Just like your makeup brushes, pillow cases have to be washed and changed regularly. When you think about it, we spend 7-10 hours with our face on a pillowcase per day. Imagine the results that can have if your case is covered in left-over makeup, tan and grime. Having a pillow case and makeup brush-washing day is a great routine to get into, your skin will thank you for it!

6. Dairy – I didn’t know the effects that dairy could have on the skin until I started watching Melanie Murphy’s Youtube videos. Simple things like milk and cheese can cause the skin to break out, so keep an eye on how your skin reacts when you eat these products. I’ve substituted regular milk for almond milk, and when I swapped back to regular milk for a few days (dammit Lidl for not selling almond milk!) I could see the effects on my skin straight away. Be conscious of what you consume and you could notice a pattern in your breakouts.

I’m no skincare expert but these few points have really helped me to deal with and monitor my breakout. I’m still trying to clear it completely, but it’s much better than it was two weeks ago. I hope these might help you if your skin has been acting the maggot recently, and please let me know in the comments any tips or suggestions you might have!

*Major cheese* – Remember, your skin doesn’t define how beautiful you are, who you are on the inside is what counts!


  1. 24/02/2015 / 11:46 am

    Great post…I went mad last week and bought 4 different Clean and Clear products and began using away at them willy-nilly, but my skin just isn’t the way it should be. Never even thought that too many products that I’m not familiar with could be the problem. Great tips, thank you! x

    • whatshedoesnow
      25/02/2015 / 4:45 pm

      Isn’t it the worst when a shopping haul backlashes and breaks us out?! haha it’s so unfair! glad you liked them, thank you for commenting! x