Acne myths debunked
When a common condition like acne is surrounded by so much hype and misleading information, it can be hard to know what to believe and get down to the cause of acne.
As experts in acne, let us help you cut through the confusion and tackle 8 of the most common acne myths head-on.
Myth # 1: Moisturising causes acne
Moisturisers formulated for oily skin and that are non-comedogenic (that is, they don’t block pores) can actually help regulate the excess oil that the bacteria feeds off.
Another win for moisturisers? Dehydrated skin makes the skin produce more pore-blocking oil than healthy, hydrated skin. This means you should stay firmly in the moisturised camp – just ensure the moisturiser you use is the correct one for your skin type.
Myth # 2: Toothpaste zaps zits
Sure, toothpaste can dry pimples out. But – and this is a big “but” – toothpaste is not made for the skin, so using it could also cause dryness and irritation. While this could (potentially) mean bye-bye zit – you may end up saying hello red rash.
Myth # 3: You need to double cleanse to remove excess oil
Argh! Your poor skin! You do not need to cleanse it until it is a dry husk to get rid of excess oil. Your body produces the oil naturally, so it will come back. What you might end up with is very irritated skin if you go too hard with your cleanser and scrubs. Benzac’s simple three-step solution is a great bet against acne for oily and mild acne-prone skin.
Myth # 4: Acne isn’t a family thing
It is. Studies have proven that the chances of acne are higher in folk whose parents or siblings have had it so, it mostly comes down to genetics.
Myth # 5: Popping pimples gets them gone
No. And so many times, no. Popping pimples can result in the acne-causing bacteria to go further into the pore. Popping can also increase the chances of scarring. Do not pick your pimples. As much as you believe it’s your calling. As much pleasure as it brings you. Don’t do it. Arm yourself with a treatment that includes benzoyl peroxide and trust in its power.
Myth # 6: Dirty skin causes acne
Stop overcleaning (see Myth 3). The bacteria that causes acne (Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes) is already on your skin. This bacteria feeds on excess oil. Sticking to a twice-daily cleansing routine, with a cleanser that targets oily and acne-prone skin, will help keep excess oil and dead skin cells at bay. It’s when P. acnes gets trapped in the pore that the pimples start, so it’s only then that you need to start hitting back with benzoyl peroxide.
Myth # 7: Bad foods cause acne
Moderation here is key. If you are constantly eating bad foods, this will likely impact your weight – and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the severity of acne. So basically, chocolate, fries and burgers (all of those yummy bad foods) are okay, but only if they’re an occasional treat. On the other hand, studies do suggest that a low GI index diet – this includes fruit, vegetables, protein-rich foods and wholegrain bread, as opposed to processed and refined foods – may help acne suffers.
Myth # 8: You should avoid make-up if you have acne
This one is almost as cruel as the myth above about acne being linked to eating chocolate and fries! You can wear make-up to cover up your acne, you just need to choose the right products for oily, blemish-prone skin. Choose water-based make up and apply it gently (and not too much!) after moisturising.
More Acne Advice
Purifying Foam Cleanser
Foaming cleanser for acne-prone skin, with soothing aloe vera and calendula extract, controlling
Benzac AC Mild Strength 2.5% Acne Gel
Milder, targeted spot treatment that kills up to 94% of the bacteria that causes acne2,
Benzac Daily Facial Moisturiser
Oil and fragrance free, non-greasy formula for all skin types – especially dry, acne prone skin.
Blackhead Control Facial Scrub
Deep cleaning, exfoliating facial scrub that effectively unblocks pores, leaving your face feelin