When acne pops up, it's easy to overreact with excessive cleansing, poking, prodding and even hiding. Instead of being reactive, it's best to understand what's really happening with your skin and to act preventively.
Here are some of the biggest acne myths, finally cleared up:
Oily skin is a problem, and cleansing more is the solution.
Fact: Oil is actually an essential element of maintaining healthy skin. Harsh cleansers not only strip the skin of natural oils, but they also trigger the skin to produce more oil. Opt for a gentle cleanser with naturally exfoliating ingredients.
I don't need to treat my whole face; a spot treatment is good enough.
Fact: Spot treatments can and do work, but acne begins long before you see it. When one blemish clears, another is forming below the surface, so it’s better to treat your entire face with a preventative regimen.
Cleansing and/or exfoliating more will keep bacteria out of my pores and prevent acne.
Fact: Over-washing can strip your skin of essential nutrients, and cause irritation and inflammation that actually makes the acne worse.
Avoid exfoliants with abrasive materials like beads and scrubs. Rather, exfoliate once a month for three consecutive days with a gentle dermatologist-style peel.
Tanning helps my acne.
Fact: Blue light (one of the wavelengths in natural light) oxidizes the p. acnes in the pores, helping to clear the face. That's why blue light treatments are used in the dermatologist's office.
The problem with the sun is that it contains all sorts of unhealthy wavelengths of light that can trigger inflammation, oxidize helpful antioxidants in the skin (essentially fatiguing it) and result in long-term photo damage.
Greasy foods cause acne.
Fact: There's no evidence that eating pizza or fried foods will make acne worse. But, there is research that shows high amount of dairy products and high glycemic foods can trigger or irritate the skin to produce acne.
Acne is just a problem for teens.
Fact: Some people don't experience acne until adulthood, and there is an increasing frequency in adult acne. We believe the changes in hormones are more responsible for acne than absolute levels of hormones.
If I use really hot water, it will open my pores, kill the bacteria and erase my acne.
Fact: Hot water is actually very drying as it zaps the oils on the surface. The result is overall irritation, discomfort, dryness and lingering acne.
For fresh and hydrated skin, treat with purpose, balance and consistency. You can have clearer skin! And that is most certainly NOT a myth.