Don't Fall For These 9 Acne Myths
What if we told you that some of what you may think to be true about acne is, in fact, not so? There’s a ton of speculation around the skin disease—yes, it’s a disease—which conjures up a lot of confusion and gives rise to half-baked myths. Good news is that we’re here to debunk them, once and for all. Below, nine common acne myths that may be keeping you from having a clear complexion.
MYTH #1: ONLY TEENAGERS ARE AFFECTED.
While we typically associate acne with teens or young adults, they’re not the only ones who can experience breakouts. Acne can occur at any age. Flare ups that occur later in life may be caused by a number of different factors, including products, stress, and hormone fluctuations. Want more info on what causes adult acne? Read this.
MYTH #2: BREAKOUTS ARE CAUSED BY POOR HYGIENE.
One of the most common misconceptions about acne is that it’s caused by dirty skin. You can wash your face twice daily and still battle breakouts. Since acne appears when a pore gets clogged, it’s helpful to keep them clear of excess oil and dead skin cells. But don’t wash and scrub your skin too hard, as it can irritate the skin further and make a breakout worse. Curious to know why you may be breaking out? We share four common reasons, here.
MYTH #3: ACNE GOES AWAY ON ITS OWN.
Acne is a condition that requires proper treatment and care. It wont simply disappear on its own without intervention and treatment. Reach for products formulated with acne-fighting ingredients—benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid—and use as directed. One of our favorite acne spot treatments in La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo. The formula—with benzoyl peroxide—can help fight all types of acne blemishes, while exfoliating the skin's surface to remove pore-clogging debris and oil. If over-the-counter products aren't helping address your acne, consult your dermatologist for help.
MYTH #4: POPPING PIMPLES WILL MAKE THEM GO AWAY.
Fess up, acne sufferers: You’re guilty of popping and picking at a pimple, at least on one occasion. (If not, keep on keepin’ on.) It’s hard to resist relieving a zit of all the gunk that’s inside. But doing so may cause your skin more harm than good. It can make your acne worse, especially if your hands are dirty. Resist the urge to pry at your zits and allow them a chance to properly heal. If you don’t, well, you’ve been warned.
MYTH #5: TOOTHPASTE IS A HARMLESS SPOT TREATMENT.
Toothpaste is often thought of as an inexpensive spot treatment for blemishes, but truth is: it’s not a product you should use on your skin. Certain ingredients in the toothpaste can irritate the skin and potentially cause over-drying. Stick to it for your teeth, only! Instead of using toothpaste to zap your pimples, try a prescription or over-the-counter treatment that includes one of these common acne-fighting ingredients.
MYTH #6: WEARING SUNSCREEN WILL CAUSE BREAKOUTS.
One of the golden rules of skin care is to always wear sunscreen, but many people avoid this rule in fear of clogging their pores. But, not all sunscreens are the same. There are actually two types of sunscreen: physical (mineral) and chemical. While some sunscreens can cause breakouts, there are ways to prevent it. “I would recommend a serum before applying any sunscreen,” board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dendy Engelman says. “I would also advise a light moisturizer prior to applying sunscreen,” she says. “The moisturizer can make a barrier on the skin while also protecting it.”
MYTH #7: BODY ACNE AND FACE ACNE ARE THE SAME.
The skin on your face is much more sensitive than the skin on your body. Acne-fighting products meant for your body, like bar soaps, can be harsher on your facial skin. So, keep the two separate and use products on your face that are formulated for that sensitive area.
MYTH #8: YOUR HAIR PRODUCTS CAN’T AFFECT YOUR SKIN.
Do you usually break out on your hairline or on your back? Your hair care products could be to blame. To avoid this problem, try using water-based hair products over oil-based ones.
MYTH #9: ACNE DOESN’T IMPACT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.
A recent study has found that there is a scientific link between acne and depression. The study noted that people who suffer from acne are more likely to have symptoms of depression within their first years of diagnosis. Another study also showed that teenagers who are stressed are more likely to suffer from acne, suggesting that stress is an acne trigger. If you’ve been stressed out and breaking out, try to find ways to de-stress, whether that be with a soothing face mask at the end of the day or a warm bath.