When it comes to acne, everyone seems to have their own theories. If you are prone to pimples, you’ve likely heard plenty of ‘acne advice’ like popping pimples helps them go away faster or lying out in the sun helps clear up acne. Don’t fall for these bogus tips!
There are so many common myths about acne, and they are all so believable…but they actually end up making matters worse for our skin. The worst part is, sometimes we don’t even know that we are un-intentionally doing more harm than good for our skin by trying these ‘well-meaning’ tips and tricks!
So, let’s bust some of those annoying acne myths that are far from the truth!
Myth #1: If you have acne, you need to wash your face more often
Excessively washing your face isn’t going to make your acne go away. Keep skin clean, but don’t overdo it. In fact, cleansing too often (more than twice a day) can actually lead to irritation, especially if you use overly abrasive face scrubs (such as those that contain aluminum oxide crystals, walnut shells or fruit pits) or rough bristled cleansing brushes.
Over cleansing or scrubbing just dries out your skin and that makes acne worse by increasing oil production in the pores. Also, stay away from bar soaps – they can leave a film or residue on your skin, which in turn can clog pores.
Myth #2: Exposing skin to the sun will dry out pimples
This is a common one that way too many people believe! The sun is not a breakout cure-all. If anything, sun exposure can cause inflammation of the skin and dry the surface, causing oil glands to increase sebum production to compensate. This will result in oily rebound, clogged pores, and pimples.
While a tan may temporarily disguise redness from acne, it will not eliminate it and clear up your skin. Not to mention, sun’s UV rays cause premature aging and skin cancer.
Myth #3: If it tingles, it must be working
Just the opposite! Ingredients that make your skin tingle, such as menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, camphor, cinnamon and denatured alcohol show up in many acne skincare products but they can actually make acne and oily skin worse.
Even though you might enjoy the cooling sensation caused by some of these ingredients, it’s essentially irritation and that’s bad news for your skin.
Myth #4: Breakouts and Makeup are a bad combo
While heavy makeup might make your acne situation worse off, you don’t have to avoid wearing it completely. That said, make sure to use only non-comedogenic makeup products that won’t clog your pores. If you’re acne-prone, you should also ditch products that contain heavy oils, like cocoa butter.
Another important thing to remember is keeping your makeup brushes clean. Dirty brushes are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and dead skin cells! Clean your makeup brushes at least once a week to keep them germ free and your skin acne-free.
Myth #5: Sunscreen clogs pores and cause breakouts
Acne isn’t an excuse to skip sunscreen and get tanned! Look for an oil-free sunscreen that provides the necessary UV protection without the unwanted pore-clogging irritants or chemicals. Also stay away from ingredients like para-amino benzoic acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone (preservatives) which can cause irritation and even allergic reactions.
Wear sunscreen every single day, no exception! If you use any acne treatment products, they tend to make skin more sensitive to the sun, so SPF becomes even more important!
As someone with acne-prone skin myself, I prefer mineral sunscreens that contain zinc oxide (that is also known for its acne-fighting properties) or titanium dioxide, as these ingredients provide protection by reflecting UV rays instead of being absorbed into your skin.
Myth #6: If you have oily and acne-prone skin, you shouldn’t moisturize daily
It may seem counterintuitive but oily skin needs moisture too! People with oily, acne-prone skin often skip moisturizer and sunscreen during breakouts to keep the oiliness away, thinking that anything that isn’t drying up their skin is making the problem worse.
But this can actually backfire as your skin tries to balance the dryness by producing more oil, continuing the vicious cycle. When shopping for an acne-friendly daily moisturizer, look for the term “non-comedogenic” on the label, which means it won’t clog your pores. Try this oil-free, ultra-lightweight moisturizer with a matte finish that won’t make your face feel like a greasy mess!
Myth #7: Toothpaste is a good spot treatment
If only it were that easy to get rid of acne! While, yes, it is possible it may randomly work for you, it’s not something you should do. Most toothpaste formulas contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which will clog pores and aggravate acne. It’s not worth the risk! Just use one of these affordable acne spot treatments with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or sulfur to beat those breakouts.
Myth #8: Eating chocolate or greasy food causes acne
Who said pizza = pimples? Generally this is not true! Greasy, fried foods don’t seem to be acne triggers for most people. However, studies have shown that foods high in refined sugar cause a spike in the hormone insulin which can make existing acne worse.
Dairy products and high glycemic index foods like white bread, pasta, and cookies can also cause spikes in insulin levels that’s the culprit behind breakouts. So, if you are struggling with acne-flareups, it may be best to curb your sugar intake for a few weeks to prevent your breakouts from getting worse.
Myth #9: Popping pimples isn’t so bad
Popping pesky pimples may seem like a quick fix to make them go away, but it causes more trouble in the long run! It just pushes the bacteria further into the skin and increases inflammation—which will make the situation worse and more likely to leave acne scars. A pimple may last a few days, but acne scars last for a long time and are much harder to get rid of!
Are you guilty of believing any of these myths?