So you’ve tried every acne treatment under the sun and yet nothing seems to work? Perhaps the problem lies outside of your routine. More often than not, it’s your subconscious daily habits that stress out your skin. Don’t worry, we’re all guilty of at least one. So before you go blaming that zit on another Holy Fail, make sure you’re not committing these 5 anti-acne sins!


It’s hard not to fiddle with your skin during active breakouts, but touching your face only irritates pimples further. Why? Your fingers pick up tons of unseen bacteria throughout the day. This inevitably transfers germs and pushes grime inside your pores. Yikes!

THE FIX: For safety, carry a hand sanitizer at all times. Always use it before making any physical contact with your skin to prevent the transfer of bacteria. That said, the golden rule still stands: unless you’re applying skincare, avoid touching your face as much as possible.

TRY: Made by David Organics Green Tea Sanitizer, P100, Zenutrients Lavender Sanitizer, P140, Figs & Blossoms Sanitizer, P80


Cosmetic tools (particularly moist sponges) are breeding grounds for bacteria. They pick up germs from leftover makeup, absorb dirt from the air, and even retain excess oil from your skin. Since brushes are used repetitively, they can actually be the cause of recurring breakouts.

THE FIX: For everyday sanitizing, spritz your brushes with an instant brush cleaner before applying makeup. These handy sprays kill germs in just a few seconds. Then, wash your tools weekly for a deeper cleanse. Use a brush cleaner and cleansing pad to really get into those bristles and flush out buildup.

TRY: Laverne Sanitizer (150ml), P599, Suesh Brush Shampoo, P100, Pro Studio i-Heart Brush Cleaning Pad, now on sale at P299 (limited time only)


When fighting a flareup, you might be tempted to grab every solution on your shelf. News flash: using too many might just cause more inflammation. Since anti-acne treatments contain acids and astringents, excessive amounts can aggravate the skin. In the end, this only reverses the healing process and leaves you red and raw.

THE FIX: During active flareups, cut your routine down to the basics. Use only one or two spot treatments at a time. The rest of your steps should be focused on moisture. Think essences, moisturizers, sheet masks, and sleeping packs. By layering hydration, you create a protective barrier over wounded skin. A fully moisturized face = faster healing.

TRY: COSRX BHA Skin Returning A-Sol, now on sale at P774 (limited time only), Dear Klairs Supple Prep Facial Toner, P880, Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask, P130


For many of us, nothing is more satisfying than popping a pimple. But when you do this before that pimple is “ripe”, this can actually create a dark, deep-seated scar. Also, using physical force only irritates the skin surrounding your zit and expands the blemish it leaves behind.

THE FIX: A pimple that’s ready to be popped will be tender enough to self-destruct. Most likely, it will also have a punctum (what we in the Philippines refer to as mata). If it doesn’t, you can speed up the process with a clay mask or pimple patch. These products draw bacteria to the surface and shorten the life span of active zits. With consistent use, they’ll ensure that pesky pimple is ripe for the popping in no time!

TRY: Dewytree Tea Tree Purifying Clay Mask, P869, P695, Missha Natural Color Clay Mask, P799


Fighting acne isn’t a per-situation practice—it should be an everyday habit. By postponing or neglecting treatment, you’ll only leave your skin vulnerable to breakouts. Remember: it’s easier to prevent a pimple than to heal one.

THE FIX: Use products that contain pimple-fighting ingredients. This should apply to most (if not all) of your skincare steps. Look for one of the following: snail mucin, propolis, witch hazel, or natural AHAs. By using formulas with these anti-acne properties, you establish a routine that fights breakouts on the daily. Buh-bye, blemishes!

TRY: Mizon Snail Repair EX Cream, P1,450, Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule, P1,350, V&M Naturals Witch Hazel Toner, P335

Credits: Video by Kat Echon. Illustrations by Carli Dagdag. Don’t forget to follow BeautyMNL on Facebook and Instagram!

Not For Nothing by Otis McDonald (YouTube Audio Library)

Have you already tried all the options to get rid of acne but nothing seems to work? Here are five subconscious daily habits you’re probably making that can cause acne breakouts. Read more here.

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