If you struggle with acne, you may have heard or researched many tips and information on what causes acne or things you should do to avoid breakouts.
Unfortunately, a lot of the information out there are simply old wives’ tales and may in fact aggravate your acne condition!
Have you heard of some of these common misconceptions?
In fact, over-washing your face can trigger more sebum production as your skin tries to combat the dryness from cleansing.
Hydrating and moisturising our skin will help fight acne better than drying out your skin will!
Stick to cleansing only twice a day, morning and night.
Removing the oil on the surface of your skin will not stop your pores from becoming clogged.
Sebum is essential to protect the skin and prevent it from becoming dehydrated and dry. Constantly removing the sebum, in fact, will cause your skin to produce more sebum to make up for this as your skin believes there is a lack of natural oils.
Ensuring your skin gets enough hydration and moisture will help reduce the amount of sebum produced. Using water or gel-based moisturisers are great for oily, acne-prone skin.
Makeup can clog our pores if you do not cleanse your skin properly, but how often you wear– or how heavy you wear it– does not cause acne.
Double-cleansing, with makeup remover and a cleanser, will ensure that your skin is free from dirt and makeup that may cause your pores to clog. To catch any residue, go over again with a cotton pad and toner.
We wish– unfortunately, this is not true.
Acne is quite common in adults, with approximately 25% of adult men and 50% of adult women suffering from some form of acne on a regular basis!
It is important to treat acne early instead of sitting around and waiting for it to clear up on its own. It may take years and years of possibly futile waiting, and may even result in scarring, dark scar spots, and permanent damage to your skin.
Taking an active approach to fighting acne from your teenage years will leave it more manageable as an adult, especially if there is a family history of acne.
Well… this is not true to a certain extent. Stress does not directly cause acne, but it can exacerbate existing ones.
When you are stressed, the stress hormones trigger an overproduction in oil glands, which leads to more clogged pores and acne breakouts. Your breakouts will also take longer to clear up and heal when you are stressed out!
However, stress does not directly cause acne and reducing stress will not result in perfectly clear skin.
There are other underlying factors, such as hormones from puberty, or external environmental factors that may be triggering these breakouts. These have to be treated in conjunction with reducing stress to keep breakouts at bay!
Pores do not ‘close’ or ‘open’.
Steaming your face can result in clogged pores freeing up the sebum more easily with the heat, but it is not due to the pores ‘opening’.
Likewise, ‘closing’ pores with cold water does not reduce the likelihood of clogged pores in the future, or stop acne from developing.
Acne is not caused by dirt or dust. Acne occurs when the openings of hair follicles become clogged and blocked with oil and dead skin cells. When these are blocked, they become irritated and swell, resulting in pimples.
Washing your face twice a day with cleanser (and double cleansing, if you wear makeup) is sufficient to remove the dirt and bacteria from your face.
This goes without saying, but do not use disinfectant hand wipes or wet tissues on your face. The alcohol and soap content inside will irritate your skin.
What you eat also affects your skin as well. However, eating oily food does not mean you will have oily skin.
Consumed in moderation, it should have little effect on your complexion.
Conversely, there are certain foods that may be part of a healthy diet, such as milk and cheese, but are skin-inflammatory foods that often worsen the severity of acne in individuals or trigger fresh breakouts.
Even your regular coffee and sugar are triggers for skin as well, particularly in individuals with skin conditions.
In the past, astringent toners were recommended for acne-prone skin, which gave a tight, ‘clean’ feeling. However, we now know this ‘tightness’ is not a good thing.
Stripping oils from your skin through astringents will only result in the skin producing more sebum to compensate– and that excess oil will just result in more acne.
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!
Astringents are also no substitute for proper cleansing, especially if you are wearing makeup. Properly cleansing your skin is the foundation of a good skincare routines
In some cases of severe hormonal acne, oral medication can be taken to manage acne. However, acne may not fully go away and will come back in full force after you stop taking the medication.
There are also many side effects associated with taking such medication, and they may not be effective or suitable for everyone.
A multi-pronged approach is needed to effectively treat acne: a skin-friendly diet, a comprehensive skincare routine, and good lifestyle habits.