5 myths about acne we're fed up of hearing.
Unfortunately, the old wives’ tales and rumours continue to persist about acne and skincare even if some of them truly sound unbelievable. Type “toothpaste” into Google and the second choice that pops up is “toothpaste for spots”. Seriously?
Before we go on: toothpaste is for teeth, not for skin.
Little white lies like these are to blame for why the grapple with acne seems impossible to defeat. It’s complicated enough without adding misinformation into the mix. There are many potential causes for acne, but many of them, to be frank, just aren’t true.
We’ve decided it’s time to clear things up and debunk the common misconceptions around acne to make your life easier and your journey to clear skin a little less overwhelming.
Here are the five myths about acne that need to stop right now:
Myth #1: You have acne because of your bad habits.
Yes, lack of skincare, poor hygiene, and a bad diet certainly aren’t any good for you and may aggravate existing acne, but they’re not the sole culprit.
Acne can happen to anyone regardless of how often you wash your face or how healthy you are. Of course, if you’re not taking care of your overall health and skin, pimples tend to show up as a result. But, this doesn’t give people the right to share their opinion of how you should live your life. We’re sure you’ve heard it all by now and are trying your best to do everything you can to clear your skin.
It’s important to remember the next time someone tells you to put down those chips because they’ll give you greasy skin that while, these factors won’t necessarily help banish acne, they’re not the reason you have it in the first place.
Which leads us to our next point: go ahead, eat that block of chocolate.
There’s a common link between people hating on chocolate and breakouts. And they’re right… well, sort of. Sugar and dairy can worsen acne, so don’t touch that block of chocolate if it’s milk, white or another sweetened variety. Cue the lifesaver of dark chocolate. Go for one with a high percentage of cocoa. Remember, everything in moderation.
Myth #2: Breaking a sweat gives you acne.
Sorry, we had to say it before you use this as an excuse to skip the gym: sweat doesn’t directly cause acne. However, exercising and sweating can aggravate breakouts if you don’t take a shower or cleanse your skin post-workout.
The truth is, regular exercise does wonders for your skin. Benefits include lower levels of stress and an overall improved mood. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, “exercise increases blood flow to the surface of your skin and brings oxygen and nutrients to your whole body – skin included.”
The next time you head out for a run or the gym, just remember this:
- Avoid touching your face and use a clean towel to blot away sweat from your face and neck.
- Wear workout clothes designed to absorb sweat from the skin.
- Shower straight after and follow with your skincare routine.
Myth #3: You only get acne during puberty.
There is no rule stating that acne and breakouts only happen during your adolescent years. It can occur at any age. Though teenagers are more likely to experience problematic skin because of the hormonal changes accompanied by puberty, this doesn’t mean acne won’t affect you as an adult.
There are two subtypes of acne when you’re an adult. Persistent acne is when acne fails to clear when you were younger, and it continues beyond your teen years. Late-onset acne is when you don’t experience breakouts as a teen but during your mid-twenties and later years.
The most common causes of adult acne are due to hormonal fluctuations that happen during hormone changes, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, and juggling the stresses of life.
Myth #4: You can scrub away all your acne woes.
First of all, put down the sugar scrub and any products containing grit from nuts, shells, wax beads, salt, pumice… the list is endless.
All these tiny particles combined with overzealous scrubbing end up scratching your skin, resulting in more infection and inflammation.
The truth is, many facial scrubs are just too aggressive for acne-prone skin. Your skin is already inflamed. Scrubbing will only irritate the skin further, increasing dryness, redness and aggravating breakouts.
Take a gentle approach.
When your skin is oily and breaking out, it’s natural to feel the urge to scrub your face. However, when you have acne, especially the inflammatory kind – when your breakouts are sore to the touch, oozing or crusting – it’s best to remove facial scrubs from your skincare routine altogether.
Plus, there are natural skincare products that offer the same results (we call these the good kind of exfoliators) and leave your skin feeling smoother and brighter without damaging your delicate skin.
Simply washing your face twice daily with a gentle foaming cleanser in a circular motion is all you need to remove surface dirt, reduce bacteria and exfoliate dead skin cells. Follow with a treatment gel and moisturiser when necessary.
BONUS TIP: excessive washing is just as harmful as scrubbing your skin and can worsen your acne.
Myth #5: There’s nothing you can do about it.
Boom. There it is, the biggest lie of them all.
We’ve said this many times before and we’ll repeat it: acne is not something you have to just accept as a part of life.
And you don’t have to just hope it’ll go away on its own. There are many things you can do to calm the acne beast.
Simple steps like cleansing, treating and hydrating your skin twice daily and sticking to a consistent routine helps your skin clear as quickly as possible. It’s not going to happen overnight, but the sooner you start, the quicker you will see a real difference.
And here’s another big one: you may get told that the only solution to clearing your acne is to go down the prescription route.
Drugs like Accutane are known to clear up acne with its superpowers but are the side effects really worth it?
Of course, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional dermatologist but don't be easily swayed by prescription and topical chemical products. There are natural solutions out there containing powerful ingredients and antibacterial properties that are just as effective in combating acne.
What are some of the biggest acne myths you’ve heard that have made you think, ‘you can’t be for real’? Share them in the comments below, and we’ll help you tell fact from fiction.
If you’re also in need of some advice on skincare, get in touch, we’d be happy to chat about how our natural skincare range can help make a difference in your life.