Sometimes it can be tough to work out the best causes or treatments for acne due to so many rumours and myths surrounding the condition. As a result, we crack down on some of the biggest myths relating to acne, so that you can get closer to cracking down on your acne and making it go away.
Myth #1 Stronger Products Work Better
Whilst it may seem that stronger products will work better, they may do more harm than good. Harsh and chemical products will strip the skin of its natural oils that are essential in skin health. Stronger products will dry out and irritate the skin, causing the sebaceous glands to overcompensate and overproduce oil, making your skin more oily and more prone to acne. Make sure you use products that are suitable for your skin type and are not harmful. Avoid acnegenic ingredients, including lanolin, artificial fragrances, and mineral oil, as they will only worsen your condition.
Myth #2 You Must Exfoliate Acne Away
Exfoliation can help acne by preventing a buildup of stubborn dead skin cells that block pores and contribute to acne. However, you can’t exfoliate away blackheads, and over-exfoliating or exfoliating too often can leave the skin dry, sensitive and damaged. Scrubbing will remove new skin cells and strip the skin of its natural oils which leads to spots. Pair one day of intense exfoliation with seven days of gentle exfoliation to more effectively stimulate cell renewal rates, helping to improve skin texture and brighten skin.
Myth #3 You Can Wash Away Blackheads and Acne
You can’t wash away blackheads and acne. Whilst keeping the face clean and free of debris will help to reduce buildup that clogs pores, acne isn’t related to dirt or hygiene. If you try to wash away acne by scrubbing and using harsh chemicals, this will worsen the skin by drying it out and causing an overproduction of sebum, leading to acne. Wash no more than twice a day using a gentle cleanser.
Myth #4 Makeup Doesn’t Contribute To Acne
This one is dependent on how you use makeup. Leaving makeup on overnight clogs pores and contributes to acne. Similarly, using comedogenic makeup products will block pores and cause acne. To reduce the impact of makeup on acne, remove all makeup thoroughly after wearing it with a gentle cleanser and makeup remover. When using makeup, choose non-comedogenic products or powders, as these will not block the pores.
Myth #5 You Need To Pop Pimples To Remove Them
Although it can sometimes be very tempting to pop pimples, this will only worsen them. Popping and squeezing spots and messing with your face causes pus to penetrate deeper into the skin, cause more inflammation and scarring, spreads bacteria across the skin which can cause another spot, and spread under your skin only to reappear as another spot. If left alone, a whitehead will disappear within three days, so resist popping to see the benefits.
Myth #6 Acne Disappears With Age
If only this were true, and many do believe that acne is only a problem that affects hormonal teenagers and we won’t have to face it later in life. Adult acne is, in fact, becoming more common and the most likely and common causes are hormones and stress. Stress stimulates sebum production which blocks the pores and leads to spots. Hormones, too, cause the overproduction of sebum due to differing hormone levels during pregnancy and menstruation. Adult acne is often more inflammatory than teenage acne so should be treated using a different product. Try the Dermalogica Medibac range, which is targeted at alleviating adult acne.
Myth #7 Sun Exposure Can Improve Acne
Although sun exposure will reduce inflammation and can be anti-bacterial, too much exposure will cause lasting damage to your skin. For treating acne in the long term, the sun’s UV rays will break down your skin’s collagen and open up your pores to blackheads. This will also make your skin harder to repair itself, increasing the chance of acne scars. What’s more, harmful UVA and UVB rays penetrate the skin, contributing to ageing skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. Stay protected from the sun by using a broad spectrum sunscreen that doesn’t clog pores, and reapply throughout the day and after coming into contact with water.
Hopefully, some of these busted myths will help you figure out the right treatment for your acne. Remember that sun exposure won’t help acne, it might not disappear with age, don’t pop your pimples, use makeup properly, don’t overwash your face, don’t over exfoliate, and stronger products do not mean better. Remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more tips on dealing with acne and other skin conditions.