What’s Making My Skin Freak Out?

November 23, 2020

The skin is the largest organ in the body — and for many of us, it’s one of the most irritating (both literally and figuratively!). While 67,000 searches are performed on Google every second, there’s a good chance that a significant portion of them have to do with skin health and clarity. And if you’ve been otherwise blessed with a glowing complexion, you might be inclined to search the internet for answers about your recent skin woes. It’s always best to check with your dermatologist, but here are a few reasons your skin might be freaking out — and what steps you may want to take to calm it down again.


It could very well be that the clothes you’re wearing or the textiles you’re using could be irritating your skin. Some people are extra sensitive to certain fibers like wool, and since alpaca fibers are even stronger (measuring at 50 N/ktex) and also come from an animal, it’s possible a garment you recently purchased could be irritating your skin. In the winter, accessories like scarves could be causing your breakouts, especially if they aren’t washed frequently. A dirty pillowcase or towel could also be the culprit. Whether due to debris, allergies, or rough fibers, you may want to take a closer look at the fabrics you use regularly to see whether your apparel or bed linens might be to blame.

Product Ingredients

Another likely cause of skin irritation can be found in topical products. Although the concept of removing the skin’s upper layers for rejuvenation dates back to 1500 B.C., that doesn’t mean every exfoliating or cleansing product should be part of your regimen. You may have a sensitivity to an ingredient found in a wide variety of products or certain products may be clogging your pores. It’s also possible that your laundry detergent could be making your skin itchy (especially in the era of face masks!). If you’re unable to figure out the cause, you might want to go back to basics with your skincare and makeup while you switch to a fragrance-free laundry detergent. Should the problem persist, talk to your dermatologist or allergist about exploring the matter further.


Some people used to blame bad skin on eating candy or pizza. Your junk food habit might not be entirely to blame, but it’s worth noting that some food sensitivities can translate to skin problems. If you have a sensitivity to dairy, sugar, gluten, or other ingredients, you might be more likely to suffer from breakouts. Tomatoes and peppers can also prove problematic for some, as they can mess with your skin’s pH. This might not be the entire reason you’re dealing with skin issues, but you might consider cutting down your consumption of certain foods as an experiment. Keeping a food journal and tracking what’s going on with your skin can give you a better idea of whether you might need to overhaul what you’re eating.


It should come as no surprise that hormones can be the driving force of acne and other skin irritation. But keep in mind that it’s not only teenagers who experience hormonal skin issues. If you’re stressed out at work, your body is going to produce more cortisol and that can have an impact on your complexion. What’s more, you might not be sleeping properly as a result — and that can make matters worse. Stress can also worsen other skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. Although it might sound impossible, you should make every attempt to relieve your stress. If you find that your skin issues tend to worsen depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, you may want to talk to your gynecologist to see if there’s a way to bring some hormonal consistency into your life.

Ultimately, skin can be extremely temperamental and can change quite a bit throughout the years. This isn’t a definitive guide to what’s causing your skin issues, but it can give you a good place to start before you speak to a professional. By evaluating the controllable aspects off your daily routine, you might find some natural improvements.

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