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Debunking Acne Myths: 10 Things People Get Wrong About Acne

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Despite a lot of scientific evidence, there are still many misconceptions about acne from old tales to failed experiments. It’s estimated that more than 90% of the world’s population is affected by acne at some point, being obvious why so many myths. But today, acne and its treatments are driven by science and many years of experience. So, it’s fair to say now we can discredit the most common acne myths.

Busted acne myths

Read below the truth about the most popular acne myths so you can move on with your skincare routine.

Myth #1 Popping pimples makes them go away

Squeezing pimples has quite the contrary effect, as this action leads to additional infection, scarring, and inflammation. When you do that, you spread the bacteria and pus from the affected pore to surrounding pores, risking more pimples. Also, popping your pimples can delay the body’s natural healing process. So, don’t pop your pimples yourself; go for an in-office facial. Do you need another reason? Squeezing your acne can cause permanent scars. There you go.  

Myth #2 Sun clears up acne

Sun only camouflages breakouts, does not heal them. This myth appeared because, in the first sunbathing days, pimples dry out. But these effects are short-term. “After sun exposure, the epidermis (the skin’s top layer) is thickened, and sebum production slows down. But then the skin produces more sebum trying to replenish the moisture loss, leading to breakouts”, dermatologist Dr. Nina Roos explains.

Myth #3 Acne is contagious

Acne can not spread from person to person. Acne bacteria indeed have a role in its development but can’t be transmitted. Many people believe that and feel uncomfortable touching someone with blemishes, but the truth is that acne is not contagious.

Myth #4 French fries cause acne

It’s one of the oldest acne-related myths. While you should keep the french fry consumption to moderate amounts for other health reasons, french fries do not affect acne in any way.

Myth #5 Your diet has nothing to do with acne

For a period, it has been believed that diet doesn’t affect acne. Recently, studies proved there is indeed a connection between alimentation and acne. This study suggests that diet, particularly dietary glycemic index, saturated fat, trans fat, milk, and fish, may influence or aggravate acne development.

Myth #6 Makeup worsens acne

Even if some ingredients clog pores and cause breakouts, using the right makeup products can actually improve acne. You need products that won’t clog pores, oil-free, non-comedogenic, and non-acnegenic.

Dermatologists suggest powder-based mineral foundations with silica, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide absorb oil that would otherwise be clogging your pores. So why don’t you look for an organic foundation for oily skin? Equally important, be sure to clean your makeup brushes frequently; it can help prevent new breakouts.

Myth #7 Moisturizers cause acne

Quite the opposite — dehydrated skin produces more pore-clogging oil than a hydrated one. Apply a lightweight gel-like moisturizer every day, so your skin will produce less oil. Just one thing, ensure your cream is non-comedogenic and is specially formulated for oily or acne-prone skin.

Myth #8 Acne is not such a big deal

We are pro-accepting ourselves as we are and being confident no matter what. On the other hand, it’s essential to understand that part of growth self-care means taking it seriously.

The British Journal of Dermatology’s analysis included data from THIN, where the investigators found the risk for anxiety and depression was highest within one year of acne diagnosis — a 63% higher risk compared to people without acne. But with the right treatment, these issues can be prevented from piling on; you are not alone.

Myth #9 Toothpaste can heal a zit

Toothpaste has ingredients that, yes, dry pimples out. But that’s not a product designed for the skin as it can cause irritations. Instead, you can use a spot treatment that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.

Myth #10 Acne is curable

A cure for ance is yet to be discovered. Being a chronic issue, it can last from a few months to 25 years or more. Acne is a skin condition, meaning it’s a continuous situation that exists on the skin. Acne can come and go at different periods in your life, and it takes constant involvement.

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Women's Concepts relies on the latest scientific research to provide accurate, complete, and fact-based information in skincare, on which we're willing to stake our reputation. Our team includes skincare experts who are highly regarded in their fields and committed to upholding the best standards of research. We spend quality time vetting every single product we recommend and double-checking all the facts shared on Women's Concepts. We always stand on the side of inclusivity, and our mission is to help everyone fix their skin issues as they arise and leverage the products they buy to achieve their goals. You can view our expert review board and everything about our editorial guidelines here.
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