So you’ve got a proud collection of the best skincare products that you diligently apply every morning and night like clockwork. You take care not to excessively touch your face, you wear your sunscreen like a second layer of skin, and you treat yourself to sheet mask every other night.  And yet, you woke up today with a bright new pimple (or two). What is going on?!

These irritating bumps sadly can’t be eliminated for good – not with the mere use of expensive skin products, that is. While those guys definitely help, clear skin takes so much more than and other factors need to be put into consideration, too.

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How do pimples come to be, exactly?

Your skin is made up of oil glands that are stimulated by the male hormones in both men and women. While oil can cause the most acne-ridden of us to shudder, these natural oils (also called ‘sebum’) are actually great for your skin – they protect and lubricate the surface, keeping it plump and healthy.

However, when dirt or cells block the openings of these glands, the oil beneath them starts to build up, causing bacteria to fester. This, in turn, inflames the tissues surrounding the gland, causing the redness associated with pimples and acne. Once the clogged starts protruding through the surface, you get the common ‘whitehead’ pimple. If this oil gets in contact with oxygen, it changes from white to black, causing a‘blackhead’.

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Below are some of the Derma recommended solutions your persistent breakouts, despite being a devoted, religious skin care advocate:

Add a Humidifier Into your skincare Mix 

Along with your regular skincare regimen, dermatologists suggest investing in a humidifier, to boost hydration at home. “Humidifiers add moisture to the air, and your skin constantly interfaces with the air,” Dr. Tzu says. “The more moisture in the air, the more moisture it’ll share with your skin.”

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Vitamin C Needs To be in Your Regimen

“Vitamin C works double duty in the colder months and helps combat SPF rays that aren’t fully blocked by your sunscreen,” says Anne Chapas, MD, a board certified dermatologist and the founder and medical director of Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. “It also evens skin pigmentation, which helps to boost collagen production resulting in a brighter complexion.”

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Moisturize Twice a Day

Your skin loses hydration throughout the day, hydration that keeps your skin plump and youthful. Apply moisturizer twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. “This routine makes sure you’re cleaning your skin, aiding in moving along your skin cells’ life cycle for healthier skin, hydrating, and, most importantly, protecting it,” Dr. Serron (Professional Dermatologist) says.

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Exfoliate Occasionally, Not Every Day

After a while, leftover gunk and grime can build up on your skin. Exfoliating frees your skin from dead skin buildup that can cause irritation, dullness, and acne. While you shouldn’t exfoliate every single day, make it a part of your skin care routine a few times a week.

Skincare Routine

“Once you’re comfortable enough with your basic skin routine, I would recommend exfoliating a few times a week with a chemical exfoliant as it speeds up the removal of superficial dead skin cells, allowing the active ingredients in your skincare products to penetrate better, ultimately leading to healthier, smoother looking skin,” says Dr. Idriss.

Don’t Overthink It

Skincare is supposed to be fun, so don’t let yourself get stressed out by all the beauty noise. The basics of good skincare remain the same. Plus, once you feel comfortable in your current routine, you can always add something new.

Skincare Routine

One great way to get started?

 “Focus on finding a face wash you like, and use it every night,” Dr. Rogers says. “This simple step is the most important because it helps you to build an evening ritual of self-care that will allow you to do more for your skin when you’re ready.”

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