perhaps you heard rumors about what causes acne, or you’ve been told not to do something for fear of a breakout. you may have even learned aggresive tactics to battle blemishes. well, we decided to look to an expert to see what’s really true about the myths philosophy girls shared with us.
1. washing my face more frequently will help clear acne.
if you have a clog in the drain of the sink, you do not scrub the surface. you must go deeper! excessive washing only strips the lipid barrier, which increases inflammation and may make you more sensitive to your acne medications.
2. scrubbing my skin will help clear acne.
again, scrubbing only strips the lipid barrier, increases inflammation and leaves your skin more sensitive to acne medications. in addition, scrubbing increases the chances that an acne lesion will get excoriated (scratched) and leave a red spot, or even a permanent scar. acne is not a surface problem. it is from a problem deep in the pore where the skin cells are not being turned over at the correct speed. oil build-up and the bacteria in the pore break down the oil into free fatty acids, which are highly inflammatory to the skin. scrubbing only stimulates pore clogging oils.
3. once my blemishes clear up, i can stop using acne products.
no! the best way to treat acne is to prevent it. and most acne is stress or heredity. so, we control acne but rarely obtain permanent cures. in addition, many acne ingredients help make the skin appear younger.
4. the sun helps dry and reduce my acne.
a tan may actually cause a flare up of acne in 2-4 weeks from desquamating cells (the result of sun damage to the cells) further clogging the pores.
5. i get breakouts because i eat greasy food.
actually the foods most clearly linked with acne are ones with high glycemic indexes. so, it may be better to limit sugar, white bread, white rice and regular pasta.
6. my pimple will diminish faster if i squeeze it.
no, you will only rupture the pore and cause scarring.
7. i have acne due to poor hygiene.
not at all. acne is a disease of the skin, mainly of the pilosebaceous unit where the pore opening to the skin has an oil gland. acne may occur if the tract gets clogged from abnormal cell turnover and/or if there is excess oil production, allowing bacteria to feed off the oil and cause inflammation.
8. my acne is triggered because i eat chocolate.
there is data to suggest that high glycemic diets add to body inflammation and can cause acne. so, it is likely not the cocoa but the sugar in that chocolate. try a small square of dark chocolate (with more antioxidants) to reduce your sugar intake.
9. moisturizers are bad for acne
occlusive (or non-breathable) moisturizers are, but oil-free hydrators may be helpful to allow you to tolerate acne medications that could be drying. look for dimethicone, glycerin and hyaluronic acid as ingredients. these products will hydrate the skin and make it less likely to become inflamed, peel and be overly sensitive.
10. nothing exists that can help with my acne.
this could not be more false. we have the best medications we have ever had.