There are some myths about acne that continue to persist, despite probably hearing many times that certain “facts” are just not true. Learn how to finally change your beliefs by going over the biggest acne myths below.
There a lot of opinions when it comes to acne and acne treatments, and because of this, sometimes pesky myths like the ones we’ve compiled here can get lost in the mix. it’s time to finally clear the air. Here are the seven acne myths you need to stop believing.
Myth: You can “outgrow” acne
We see and hear this one all the time. Many movies and TV shows that dub acne as a “teenager problem,” but in reality it can affect people of all ages. “Acne is so common in teenage years that it is almost pathologic in that age group, but 1 in 3 people will have acne in their 30s and 1 in 4 will have it in their 40s,” says dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla.
Also, people tend to push around the myth that adult acne is abnormal. It’s not. Acne can happen to anyone, so just because you’re experiencing adult acne, this doesn’t mean it’s anything out of the ordinary. Hormones can play a factor at any age.
Despite what you may have heard, you can’t just simply grow out of acne, so it’s important to create a routine that will keep it at bay at any age.
Myth: Acne is caused by having dirty/unclean skin
This is more of a “yes and no” situation. If you don’t cleanse properly, of course, this can lead to acne, but acne itself is not caused by having dirty or unclean skin. “Skin that is cleansed twice a day will definitely do better than skin that gets clogged by dead skin cells and dirt,” says Mariwalla. “Not washing off makeup or rinsing after the gym can definitely lead to more acne.”
Excess oil, the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, build up of dead skin cells, and hormones are some of the factors that can actually cause acne. Harmful myths like these leads people to over-cleanse and essentially dry out their skin, which can lead to the overproduction of oil and the creation of more acne, the exact opposite of your intentions.
Myth: The sun makes acne go away
Ever notice that your skin looks better after a long day in the sun? “UV exposure does improve acne but it is temporary,” says Mariwalla. “This is due to the blue light wavelength present in visible light.” So, while the summer sun may make your acne appear less visible, Mariwalla strongly advises that “people not tan to get rid of acne because in the long run the sun will cause damage that results in enlarged pores and wrinkles.”
So unless you want to speed up the aging process, it’s best you stick with an effective skin care routine and proactively work to clear your skin without damaging it with the sun. Remember, always wear SPF! One of our favorites for acne-prone skin is the Acwell Aqua Capsule Sun Control Gel. It comes in a refreshing gel formulation that won’t leave behind any white cast or greasy residue. Plus, it helps to calm skin thanks to the peony and mint extract, which is perfect for those suffering from red, inflamed spots.
Myth: You can use toothpaste as a spot treatment
This is one myth that never seems to go away. “In theory, toothpaste will work, however it is not something one should rely on, and furthermore, it often leaves a dry skin ring around the area,” says Mariwalla. While it may work to dry out your pimple, it’ll cause more irritation in the long run.
Instead, reach for properly formulated spot treatments like the Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch. These are essentially Band-Aids for your pimples that will help to absorb excess gunk and debris overnight, getting rid of spots faster and more efficiently.
Myth: Blackheads are dirt in your pores
Just because your pores have a black or gray-ish appearance doesn’t mean that it’s dirt that’s trapped in there. Rather, it’s excess oil and dead skin cells that turn black when exposed to oxygen. Cleansing more (with gentle cleansers!) can help to keep the oil and debris at bay, but ultimately, exfoliating will help you to get rid of those pesky blackheads.
An easy-to-use exfoliator is the Dr. Oracle A-Thera Tea Tree Peeling Stick. This oversized cotton swab comes soaked with AHAs, BHAs, and tea tree oil, which will effectively kill acne-causing bacteria while at the same time gently exfoliating away excess oil and dead skin cells.
Myth: Chocolate causes acne
For all of your chocolate lovers out there, you can be rest assured that the chocolate part of chocolate doesn’t actually cause acne. If you experience spots after indulging in your favorite desserts it’s more likely to be caused by the high sugar content or dairy. When you have a diet high in sugar and processed carbohydrates, it can actually exacerbate acne, leading to more oil production and more spots. Mariwalla says that chocolate can also trigger rosacea flareups for those who suffer from it.
Try switching to dark chocolate that has a lower sugar content. Diet alone won’t be able to solve all of your skin care issues but it can help to avoid unnecessary pimples.
Myth: Pores can open and close
Ever hear someone say steaming your face will “open” your pores? Well, I hate to break it to you, but that’s not actually true. Pores don’t actually open or close due to hot or cold temperatures. What steam actually does is loosen up all the oil and debris hiding within the pores, making it easier to extract it.
If you’re worried about pore size, exfoliating on a regular basis will help to clear out any gunk hiding in them as well as make them appear smaller. The Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine is an excellent physical and chemical exfoliating combo that gently buffs away dead skin cells while natural AHA’s dive deep into pores and clear them out.
There are plenty of myths out there about acne and how to treat it but we’re not here to waste your time. Forget these beliefs and start treating your acne smarter.