MYTH: IF YOU DIDN’T GET ACNE AS A TEEN, YOU WON’T AS AN ADULT.
TRUTH: Sorry, but there are no guarantees. Acne can be continuous or it can come and go.
Some adults who never had acne as a teen start breaking out later on. Some never have acne again after their teen years. And others never get it at all.
But whatever happens, It’s not your fault. Hormones (androgen specifically) are to blame. Rampant in teens, but also occurring in adults, androgen triggers the production of sebum (oil) in the skin, leading to breakouts. Women tend to have more adult acne than men – hormones again—but acne can occur all the way into your fifties, even sixties. Sigh.
MYTH: POPPING PIMPLES WON’T DAMAGE YOUR SKIN
TRUTH: Nuh-uh. Zits explode inward as well as outward (yuck) allowing bacteria to lodge deeper. You could popping your way to a permanent pit, raised scar tissue that won’t flatten ever, Or an acne mark—a hyperpigmented zit souvenir that can last up to a year.
Let it be. Find your inner zen and just wait until your zit resolves and goes away. You can apply ice or a cold pack wrapped in cloth for a minute at a time, to help with soreness and inflammation. Give your skin a 5-minute break in between each 1-minute application.
Left alone, zits heal in 3 to 7 days. Pop them and you could be living with that choice forever.
MYTH: THE SUN WIPES OUT ACNE
TRUTH: UV rays from the sun may help clear up acne temporarily, but also damages the skin and can cause skin cancer. Pimples may feel dried up, and look less red with a tan or a sunburn, but people are more prone to picking at sun-dried skin, which can leave a scar.
Acne marks (dark spots left behind after acne heals) are a natural healing response to acne and can be more severe for people of medium to dark skin tones. These fade on their own over time (3—6 months or longer) but too much sun can make them less likely to fade at all.
Plus, if you’re using Benzoyl Peroxide and/or Retinol, your skin will be more sensitive to the sun.
Whatever you do, always wear a sunscreen outdoors, year-round. Minimum SPF 30 and non-comedogenic.
MYTH: BREAKOUTS START WHILE YOU SLEEP
That zit you wake up with has been planning its appearance for weeks. Acne forms deep in the pores, over many days, and in its final stages you may feel that tenderness that tells you what’s coming.
Keeping pores protected and open with acne-killing benzoyl peroxide, and a nightly topical retinoid is your best defense. Give your skin time to adjust to treatment, and you’ll be rewarded with clearer skin.
MYTH: ACNE CAN BE CURED
We wish. But there’s no cure yet, so all we can all do is control it.
Genetics, hormones, and the environment are a few of the acne cards we’re dealt. The good news is that whether mild, moderate or severe, all acne can be controlled (the more severe, the more you may need a dermatologist to help).
MYTH: PORES CAN BE TIGHTENED TO BECOME SMALLER
Pores don’t have little itty bitty muscles They can’t open or close themselves, even in cold water. Cold water doesn't shrink pores. Any tightening effect you feel is from constricted blood flow.
Excessive oil and dead skin cells trapped inside pores can stretch them open though, making them look larger than they normally are. Keep them clean and open and they can return to their smaller size, which is what the Acne Wipeout system is designed to do.
(Don’t squeeze stuff out of them too aggressively though. That can stretch pores out permanently.)
MYTH: NOT WASHING CAUSES BREAKOUTS
Poor hygiene doesn’t cause acne Still, washing will help reduce acne causing bacteria, remove excess surface oil, and help exfoliate dead skin cells.
Don’t over-wash or scrub too hard. Wash AM and PM with a cleanser designed for acne-prone skin. Don’t use rubbing alcohol, which can over-dry and irritate skin.
And don’t go for a squeaky clean feeling—that sensation tells your skin it’s been stripped of all its natural oils. Then your skin thinks it has to produce more oil to compensate for its loss.
Instead, try blotting your skin with oil-absorbing sheets, or use a cleanser with shine control like Acne Wipeout Clear Pore Oil Free Cleanser.
MYTH: FRIED FOODS CAUSE ACNE
Greasy, fried foods don’t cause acne. Some foods do trigger acne factors, though. Foods with a high glycemic value cause blood glucose (sugar) levels to soar rapidly, and that can cause excess insulin in your body, which stimulates androgen production and skin sebum, which contribute to acne formation.
Examples to avoid:
• White bread and white rice
• Bagels, doughnuts and croissants
• Most breakfast cereals and cereal bars
• Cookies, cakes and sweets
• Potatoes and French fries
• Chips and rice crackers
• Raisins and dried cranberries
• Food and drinks with added sugars
MYTH: RETINOL IS BEST FOR AGE 50 AND UP
Retinol is often called the ‘gold standard of skincare’. It’s part of the retinoid family, derived from Vitamin A or synthetically made. Using a retinol can increase collagen production and skin cell turnover, help treat acne, unclog pores, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, and even out skin tone. Starting retinol in your mid-to-late 20s can help prevent future damage, lines, and wrinkles. Using retinol as a teen helps keep pores unclogged, which can minimize acne breakouts.
MYTH: SUNSCREEN IS NOT NEEDED YEAR-ROUND
Really? You still think that might be true? Come on now. The ultraviolet (UV) rays that cause sunburn are weaker during winter, but they are there all year. The UV rays that cause fine lines, wrinkles, and skin hyperpigmentation are present year-round, too. They go right through clouds. Wear a sunscreen if you plan on stepping outdoors at all. Every. Single. Day.