5 Acne Myths Not to Fall For

August 26, 2019
Jessica Khorsandi
By: Jessica Khorsandi | skincare.com by L'Oréal
5 Acne Myths Not to Fall For

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-care condition that often causes a lot of confusion and gives rise to half-baked myths. We tapped AcneFree Consulting Dermatologist Hadley King, M.D., to debunk the most common pimple-related misconceptions.  

Acne Myth #1: Only Teenagers Are Affected by Acne

We often associate acne with teenagers and assume that they are the only age group that may have it — but Dr. King is adamant to tell us that this notion is completely wrong. “When and how severely a person will get acne is very much genetically determined,” she says. There are many people who experience acne during their teenage years, but there are also many people who only experience adult acne. “Approximately 54% of adult women experience acne, often due to ongoing hormonal fluctuations, while only about 10% of adult men experience it,” she adds. 

Acne Myth #2: Acne Is Caused by Poor Hygiene

Another common misconception when it comes to acne is that it is caused by poor hygiene. Contrary to this belief, acne is almost entirely not a person’s fault, according to Dr. King. “Acne is primarily caused by genetics and hormones, however, stress and diet also play a part.” Some foods with high glycemic index may cause acne in some, while dairy products have proven to cause acne in others. You also might want to take a look at some of the skin-care products you are using, as comedogenic formulas might be clogging your pores. “The bottom line is that acne is largely out of our control because we cannot change our genetics,” says Dr. King. “However, with good skin care, proven medications and a healthy diet — we can help get our acne under control.” 

Acne Myth #3: Acne Products Are Not Good for Sensitive Skin

According to Dr. King, there is certainly a notion that acne products are not safe to use on sensitive skin. “While acne products can be irritating to the skin, so proceed with caution, you can use moisturizers as needed and decrease the frequency of application if you’re not tolerating daily use well,” she says. If you have dry or sensitive skin, gentler products like the AcneFree Sensitive Skin 24 Hour Clearing System is a great option for you. “It still contains salicylic acid to help fight acne but the formulation is relatively gentle and will be better tolerated. The toner is alcohol-free, and the repair lotion also contains hydrating ingredients like glycerin.”

Acne Myth #4: Body Acne and Face Acne Are the Same

While acne can live on your face and your body, Dr. King reveals that these two types should not be treated equally. “Treatment for body acne is similar to treatment for facial acne, but the skin on the body tends to be tougher than on the face, so it can often tolerate stronger treatments,” she says. Body acne is also more likely to require systemic medications to get better, making it a little more advanced than facial acne, in some instances.

Acne Myth #5: Popping Pimples Makes Acne Go Away

As much as some find ASMR pimple-popping satisfying, popping a pimple on your face will not make acne go away. “I think some people are compelled to try to get rid of whatever they conceptualize as being in their skin,” says Dr. King, “but the reality is that picking or squeezing your pimples increases the risk for inflammation and infection, and it prolongs the time to heal.” Additionally, pimple-popping actually increases your chances for scarring and discoloration, and that’s certainly not a fair trade to make based on a total acne myth.

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