From why we break out in certain areas and how to treat the different types of pesky bumps to the foods that can cause pimples and products to help heal post-picking scars, when it comes to acne, there are many factors to consider. We all know clear skin doesn’t appear overnight, and breakouts are something most people deal with in waves during their life. To debunk common acne myths, we tapped board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Shereene Idriss, to set the blemished record straight.
The skin expert explains the first four myths, and the Poosh team added more knowledge on the topic with the rest of the list.
Myth 1: Blackheads are due to your pores being clogged with dirt.
Truth: Blackheads are caused by pores being filled with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. They appear black if they are exposed to air and oxidize in the process.
Myth 2: Tanning clears acne.
Truth: Although tanning helps hide the appearance of acne, it can make your condition worse in the long run. The UV rays are damaging to your skin and can make scarring appear worse due to lingering hyperpigmentation. They can also increase your risk of skin cancer.
Myth 3: Acne only affects teenagers.
Truth: Acne can occur in adulthood, affecting up to 15% of women.
Myth 4: Acne just affects the skin.
Truth: Although primarily a skin disorder, acne can take a big toll on one’s mental health. Studies have linked acne to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
Myth 5: Acne clears faster with a facial scrub.
Truth: Scrubbing acne can actually move the bacteria around and cause more breakouts, worsen inflammation, and potentially lead to scarring.
Myth 6: Makeup always worsens acne.
Truth: Yes, some makeup can clog your pores, but not all. Certain makeup can help clear your skin, like powder-based mineral foundations with ingredients like zinc oxide and silica, which can absorb the oils clogging your pores. Kourt likes this foundation, which works double time by concealing and healing blemishes.
Myth 7: The most expensive products work the best.
Truth: Many individuals tend to think that the most expensive products are the most effective at treating acne. Although more expensive products often contain more natural and higher-quality ingredients, these components are not necessarily the best treatment for each person’s skin. Here are our picks for skincare products under $20.
Myth 8: Acne on all areas of the face is caused by the same factors.
Truth: Acne can appear and feel differently depending on what area of your face it is occurring. Acne often arises on your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin, and treatments differ depending on where the outbreak is. Recognizing where the infection is occurring is an essential step to determine how to treat it. Our acne mapping guide can help you get to the root of what’s causing your acne.
Myth 9: Washing your face as much as possible is the best way to get rid of acne.
Truth: It’s common for people who begin to feel a breakout coming to try to vigorously wash their face in order to halt its growth. However, increasing the amount you wash your face doesn’t necessarily cure acne and can make it even worse (see myth 5). Excessive washing can strip your skin’s natural oils and lead to dryness or increased sensitivity. Depending on skin type and products used, people should usually wash their face twice a day to get rid of bacteria accumulated throughout the day as well as prevent pimples.
Myth 10: Creams, washes, patches, and spot treatments are the only way to prevent and heal acne.
Truth: Light therapy is a great way to get your breakouts under control. If you haven’t tried the DMH Aesthetics LED Light Shield Mask yet, let today be the day you add it to your skincare routine. It has three light settings, but the blue light is best for acne-prone skin and existing, active breakouts because it targets the sebaceous oil glands and destroys acne-causing bacteria. It can also help decrease scarring from breakouts you’ve picked.