10 Common Acne Myths, Debunked


Like any medical condition, there’s a lot of misinformation that surrounds acne. Some rumors claim that chocolate is a potential culprit, while others say that diet could be to blame. With all these myths, how can you tell fact from fiction? Is there any truth to these skin care beliefs? Below, we debunk some of the most common misconceptions so you can stop navigating the confusing interwebs for answers.

Myth 1: Dirt causes pimples

At one point or another, we’ve been told not to touch our faces with dirty hands or else we’ll get acne. But while there’s some truth to this warning, it’s not actually dirt that causes pimples. Pimples happen when pores become clogged with oil, and mix with dead skin cells and bacteria. All the same, you should keep your skin away from dirty surfaces — even those that might look clean to the naked eye. That means changing your sheets and pillowcases weekly before they become breeding grounds for bacteria.

Myth 2: Washing your face more can prevent acne

If acne is caused by bacteria, doesn’t washing your face more frequently seem like the logical answer? Not exactly. Twice a day is the sweet spot, because over-washing can strip your skin of its essential oils and trigger a breakout. And if you’re the type to scrub with a vengeance, you’re only making your skin produce more sebum, which leads to — yup, you guessed it — more breakouts. So be gentle, and know that squeaky clean isn’t the goal.

Myth 3: Acne can go away on its own

Some typical surface acne will go away on its own, but more severe kinds, like cysts, will struggle to heal themselves over time. If this is a recurring problem, it’s best to consult your dermatologist. They will be able to help you explore various treatment options just for you, whether it’s medication, a cortisone shot, or something else.

Myth 4: You only need to treat acne if it’s severe

Some things get worse before they become better. Sadly, acne isn’t one of them. Don’t wait for acne to reach severe levels before getting treatment. The earlier you nip it in the bud, the more you can keep it from progressing to deep, painful cysts. Treating it early can also prevent permanent acne scarring.

Myth 5: Acne stops after teenage years

Think you’ve escaped the wrath of acne now that you’re past your teenage years? Think again. Though acne is certainly more common among teenagers, it can continue well into your twenties and beyond. Adult acne is commonly caused by stress, personal care products, and medications. What’s more is that adult acne tends to affect more women than men, thanks to the effect of their menstrual cycle on hormone levels. But if this sounds like you, don’t freak out. You’re definitely not alone.

Myth 6: For some people, acne treatments don’t work

No matter how many products you’ve chucked in the trash or regimens you’ve sampled, nobody is a hopeless case. You just haven’t found the right treatment for you yet. Today, practically all acne can be cleared. But if you’re not seeing results after countless recommendations from friends or DIY routines you made online, then it’s time to take matters into the hands of the professionals and see a dermatologist.

Myth 7: Popping zits is okay as long as you do it safely

We know how tempting it can be to touch a pimple that looks ripe for the popping. But if skin care has one golden rule, it’s to never pick at your skin. No matter how clean you think you can do it, the trauma that popping a pimple causes can only attract more bacteria and increase inflammation. Even worse, popping acne is a permanent scar waiting to happen. It’s best to leave it to the professionals, lest you do more harm than good.

Myth 8: Wearing make-up can cause acne

Wearing make-up is fine as long as you use cosmetics that won’t clog your pores. How do you know if a product is safe to use? Watch out for labels like “oil-free,” “non-comedogenic,” and “non-acnegenic.” But of course, less is more when it comes to make-up. At the end of the day, your goal is to improve your skin enough so you no longer have to cover it up.

Myth 9: Once your treatment ends, acne can never come back

Even if your treatment has already done its job of clearing your skin, the work doesn’t end there. Maintenance is key. After all, you never know what else is brewing beneath the surface of your skin! Your dermatologist can advise you when to stop treatment, or to help you figure out what treatments you need to prevent future breakouts. Together, you can work on a sustainable plan to keep you acne-free.

Myth 10: Acne isn’t a big deal

We’re all for body positivity and accepting yourself as you are. But it’s important to realize that part of self-care means owning your acne and taking it seriously. Studies have consistently shown that acne can negatively impact a person’s quality of life, self-esteem, and mood. In a study by the British Journal of Dermatology, it was found that it can even increase the risk for anxiety and depression. That said, acne definitely cuts deeper than the surface. But with early acne treatment, these problems can be prevented from piling on. Book a session with us now and see the Remedy difference.