How many myths and misconceptions about acne-prone skin are you aware of? Read on to make sure you’re not taking the wrong approach to treating your skin!
1. Makeup causes acne
Most makeup doesn’t cause clogged pores. What causes acne is failing to remove your makeup, which then traps dirt and bacteria.
So make sure you double-cleanse when you remove your makeup, and go over with a toner afterwards just to catch all the pesky remnants!
2. You get acne when you don’t wash your face enough
Over-washing your face is a huge no-no.
Repeated washing dries out your skin and triggers your skin to produce more sebum to combat the dryness. Stick to cleansing only twice a day, morning and night.
3. If you have oily skin, you shouldn’t use face oils
Facial oils for acne-prone skin actually help your skin produce less pore-clogging sebum and reduce inflammation.
Putting on oil to reduce the amount of oil produced? Sounds absurd, but it’s true! Facial oils mimic your natural sebum and provide balance to acne skin with non-greasy hydration. This ‘tricks’ your skin into thinking there is already enough oil, so it reduces the production of sebum.
4. Popping pimples lets it heal faster
When you go for a facial, the therapists are professionally trained to hygienically extract the pimples to avoid infection and inflammation. Without these sterile conditions and experience, you may try to squeeze or pick at zits that are not ready or suitable for extraction.
Picking or popping your pimples slows down the healing process and also spreads all that nasty bacteria around your face, which you don’t want! Acne patches are a much more effective and hygienic method to keep your zits controlled.
5. If you have acne, it means you are eating too much oily food
6. Acne will “go away” when we get older
Unfortunately, this is not true. Adult acne is (sadly) more common than we think. Approximately 25% of adult men and 50% of adult women suffer from some form of acne!
Leaving acne untreated and waiting for it to go away on its own may leave us with years of futile waiting and besides result in scarring, dark spots, and permanent damage to skin.
Take an active approach to fighting acne— you only get one face for your whole life, so treat it right.
7. You should use astringents to dry out the oil on your skin
Stripping oils from your skin through over-washing or astringents will only result in the skin producing more sebum to compensate– and that excess oil will just result in more acne.
Long-gone are the days where astringent toners were recommended for acne-prone skin— hydration & moisturisation is where it’s at!
Acne-prone skin often has an impaired barrier function and does not retain water very well, leading to skin that is dehydrated yet oily. It is important that your skin stays hydrated in order to fight acne!
8. Tanning or sweating can improve acne
If you bask in the sun unprotected for hours in attempt to clear up your skin, the only things you will be giving yourself are dark spots and increasing your risk of skin cancer.
This myth likely stemmed from the short-term effects of the sun’s ray’s drying out skin (and zits), but the effects are temporary and may not work for everyone. Dry skin is more prone to sebum production (and thus more breakouts), impaired barrier function, and hastens skin ageing.
TL;DR: Use a good SPF after your skincare. Tanning does not clear up your complexion.
9. Exfoliating will make acne go away
Acne is not simply caused by dirt, so scrubbing away at your skin will not make it go away.
Gentle exfoliation can help with acne by reducing the amount of dead skin and likelihood of clogged pores, but rough or frequent exfoliation will damage your delicate skin, increasing breakouts and inflammation. Exfoliation should be done in conjunction with other skincare products and no more than 3 times a week.
10. Using more concentrated treatments for longer will make acne go away faster
More may not always be better.
Benzoyl peroxide is usually used at 5-10% but everyone’s skin sensitivity is different– higher concentrations may irritate your skin and undo all the good the product will bring to your skin. Same goes for chemical exfoliants and retinol– spot-test every product you put on skin if you have sensitive skin, and follow the instructions strictly. Leaving on the products for longer will not make them more ‘effective’.