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14 Common Acne Myths Debunked!

Acne is an issue many of us deal with, some more severely than the others. It is a problem faced by both the teenagers and adults, irrespective of the gender. It can make you very conscious of yourself. And so we start asking and searching for the ways to get rid of it.

You get many advices and information or misinformation, to put it accurately, to deal with the issue and we follow them. But most often than not these are not true or effective. Sometimes following these blindly can actually harm your skin rather than treating it. There are so many myths floating around related to acne. Today, in this article, we're going to debunk those myths for you.

So, if you're interested in finding out what these myths are, keep on reading.

Myth 1 - You Can't Use Make-Up If You Have Acne

This can prove to be a nightmare for all the make-up lovers out there. But, don't fear. It's not entirely true. Make-up doesn't lead to acne, but not taking it off does. Products that aren't good for your skin, that are expired and most importantly not taking off your make-up on time can lead to acne. There are certain products in the market that will clog your pores and harm your skin. Beware of such products. Using powder foundation that controls the oil can be helpful. So know your skin and the products that you use.

Myth 2 - Washing Your Face Often Will Help With The Acne Battle

All of us must have heard it at some point. Washing your face, keeping it clean will help you get rid of the acne. Not true! In fact, it can actually make the issue much worse. Our skin does produce some natural oil. [1] When you wash your face frequently, you're getting rid of this oil. And what does your skin do? It produces more oil and that too much more than before, and this can worsen the situation. So, keep your face clean, but not so much that it harms you.

Myth 3 - Your Diet And Acne Are Mutually Exclusive

This means that what you eat doesn't affect your acne situation. Wrong, again. Always remember, what you feed your body does reflect on your skin. According to some studies, food and acne aren't mutually exclusive. Eating the wrong foods can cause acne or worsen it. Sugary foods, junk foods, dairy products, [2] unhealthy fats etc., can cause acne. [3] So mind what you eat and eat well.

Myth 4 - Chocolates Can Cause Pimples

Yet another myth related to your diet. But not entirely true. It is not the cocoa that worsens the acne, but the sugar and dairy in the chocolate. A high glycemic index diet can worsen the acne. [4] So what can you do? Simple. Switch to dark chocolates. You can have dark chocolate as they have a higher cocoa percentage and lower glycemic index and hence it won't cause acne or worsen it.

Myth 5 - Only Teenagers Suffer from Acne

It is true that many teenagers suffer from acne. But what is not true is that ONLY teenagers suffer from acne. Teenagers suffer from acne because they undergo certain hormonal changes. At the same time, adult women also face hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, menopause and pregnancy. These changes can also lead to acne. Studies have found that almost the women between the age of 20-29 years face acne. [5]

Myth 6 - Sunscreen Can Worsen The Pimples

This is a fairly common misconception. Let's clear it out. You'll find two types of sunscreens. One that absorbs the UV light and contains oxybenzone and avobenzone and another that reflects the UV light and contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. While the former is not ideal for acne, the latter might help you. The zinc oxide present in it can help you kill the acne-causing bacteria. [6] So be aware of what kind of sunscreen you are using and it won't harm you.

Myth 7 - Products Meant For Acne-Prone Skin Can Always Help

Acne is mainly caused due to clogged pores and bacteria. Most of the products available in the market contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Both of these ingredients can help kill the bacteria and unclog the pores. So just because some products are labelled safe for acne-prone skin, you don't have to buy a product full of chemicals and that cost you a bunch. They might do more harm than good. [7] The commonly available products will do just fine.

Myth 8 - Using Moisturisers Can Cause Acne

Once again, not true. Like we mentioned before, our skin produces oil. And if deprived of moisture, it'll produce more oil and hence cause acne. So you need to keep the skin hydrated. Use a lightweight moisturiser and you are good to go.

Myth 9 - Sun Exposure Can Cure Acne

You all might have heard this at least once. But let us tell you something, excess of anything is bad. It is true that exposing the skin to the sun can help with inflammation. But overexposure to the sun will lead to the breaking of collagen. [8] Collagen is a protein present in the skin that helps retain its elasticity. And hence any damage to collagen will damage your skin.

Myth 10 - Popping Pimples Can Clear Them Out

We all can't resist popping the pimple when we see one. And we believe popping will help us get rid of them. That's not true. It won't help clear your skin. When you pop a pimple, it irritates the skin. It leads to inflammation and will worsen the situation. If you leave it alone though, it might help you.

Myth 11 - Pimples Happen Overnight

This is what most of us believe in. You get up one fine morning and you have a pimple that seems to have just developed overnight. But that is not at all true. It is something the takes its own sweet time. Take good care of your skin and you won't have to deal with them! Pimples are caused due to clogged pores, excess oil and bacteria. Make sure to exfoliate your skin at least once a week, keep it hydrated and keep it clean. Your daily skin care routine is a big factor that helps with the pimples.

Myth 12 - Acne Doesn't Require Medical Attention

Well, believing this myth can be harmful to you. It is true that most often us treat our acne at home. But if you suffer from severe acne, do consult an expert. Dealing with it on your own can make it so much worse. It not only damages your face, but also your confidence. So get some medical help. It will only benefit you.

Myth 13 - Toothpaste Can Help With Acne

Well, this is a tricky one. Toothpaste does contain ingredients like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, menthol, essential oils, and triclosan which ideally help dry down the pimples. But remember, it is made for your teeth and not your skin. It can harm your skin, instead of treating it.

Myth 14 - Stress Doesn't Cause Acne

Stress is bad. Nothing good ever comes out of it. It can lead to many problems and acne can be one of them. Stress can lead to an imbalance in your hormones, which can lead to pimples. People who stress a lot are more likely to have acne. [9] So keep calm and enjoy great skin!

So don't believe everything you hear and try to find out the facts. Do share these with your family and friends and make sure they are not under any misconceptions!

View Article References
  1. [1] Pappas, A., Johnsen, S., Liu, J. C., & Eisinger, M. (2009). Sebum analysis of individuals with and without acne.Dermato-endocrinology,1(3), 157-161.
  2. [2] Katta, R., & Desai, S. P. (2014). Diet and dermatology: the role of dietary intervention in skin disease.The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology,7(7), 46.
  3. [3] Burris, J., Rietkerk, W., & Woolf, K. (2014). Relationships of self-reported dietary factors and perceived acne severity in a cohort of New York young adults.Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,114(3), 384-392.
  4. [4] Kucharska, A., Szmurło, A., & Sińska, B. (2016). Significance of diet in treated and untreated acne vulgaris.Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postȩpy Dermatologii i Alergologii,33(2), 81.
  5. [5] Collier, C. N., Harper, J. C., Cantrell, W. C., Wang, W., Foster, K. W., & Elewski, B. E. (2008). The prevalence of acne in adults 20 years and older.Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology,58(1), 56-59.
  6. [6] Siddiqi, K. S., ur Rahman, A., & Husen, A. (2018). Properties of zinc oxide nanoparticles and their activity against microbes.Nanoscale research letters,13(1), 141.
  7. [7] Sagransky, M., Yentzer, B. A., & Feldman, S. R. (2009). Benzoyl peroxide: a review of its current use in the treatment of acne vulgaris.Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy,10(15), 2555-2562.
  8. [8] Darvin, M. E., Richter, H., Ahlberg, S., Haag, S. F., Meinke, M. C., Le Quintrec, D., ... & Lademann, J. (2014). Influence of sun exposure on the cutaneous collagen/elastin fibers and carotenoids: negative effects can be reduced by application of sunscreen.Journal of biophotonics,7(9), 735-743.
  9. [9] Yosipovitch, G., Tang, M., Dawn, A. G., Chen, M., Goh, C. L., Chan, Y. H., & Seng, L. F. (2007). Study of psychological stress, sebum production and acne vulgaris in adolescents.Acta dermato-venereologica,87(2), 135-139.

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