Myths on How To Get Rid of Pimples & Acne, Facts & Information
Acne is the most widespread skin condition in the world - yet there
are still a lot of misconceptions about what causes it and the best
ways to get rid of pimples. These myths about acne are often passed on from
friends or family members and reinforced by advertising so they can
often become taken as ‘fact’.
For people who suffer from acne, these myths can actually lead them
to ‘do the wrong thing’ by their skin by using inappropriate solutions
that can make it harder to get rid of acne.
How many of these common myths did you think were ‘true’?
Pimples are caused by dirt
Pimples are caused by a number of factors - but dirt isn't one of them. Pimples form when dead skin cells mix with your body's natural oil, forming a plug in your pores. Dirt plays no part in the process, so frequent washing of your face or body (more than twice a day) won’t improve or help prevent acne. In fact, over washing or stripping your skin with alcohol-based products can actually make blemishes worse.
Tip - Use a mild, soap-free cleanser just twice a day to gently remove oil, dirt, impurities and dead skin cells.
Scrubbing and toning the skin stops blemishes
Alcohol-based toners can strip the skin of essential oils, leaving it dry and irritated — and causing your skin to over-compensate by producing excess oil which can lead to more breakouts.
Abrasive over-the-counter exfoliants containing apricot pits or walnut shells can irritate or even tear the skin, which makes infection and further acne breakouts more likely.
Pimples are for teenagers
Unfortunately, pimples can strike at any age. Over 85% of all people between 12-24 have pimples. Pimples can also start as late as the 20s or 30s, especially in women, whose hormones are constantly fluctuating.
It's estimated that one in four adults between the ages of 25 and 44 get pimples, and nearly half of all adult women experience mild to moderate acne.
Tip - Genetics and hormones are the breakout triggers in everyone. In adults, stress can have a profound effect on hormones, which in turn, can cause breakouts to flare up. Relaxing can help!
Leave your zits alone - you’ll grow out of it
This myth is damaging in more ways than one. It can encourage teenagers to “ride out” their period of blemished skin instead of seeking a solution. It can also can cause further alienation in adults who suffer from constant spots as they may feel too embarrassed to seek help.
The truth is, pimples can strike at any age and while there are solutions, the options differ greatly for each person. Uncontrolled blemishes can leave permanent physical and emotional scars. No matter how old you are, it's important to establish a good skin care routine early - the best way to control pimples is to prevent them from appearing in the first place.
Tip - No matter how old you are, it's important to establish a good skin care routine early - the best way to control pimples is to prevent them from appearing in the first place.
Certain foods cause breakouts
No, those french fries you had yesterday didn't cause today’s new breakout. In fact, scientists have been unable to find ANY real connection between diet and pimples. All the foods you've been too scared to eat - pizza, french fries, chocolate - are not going to trigger breakouts so don't be afraid to indulge every now and then as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Sun exposure helps blemishes
Wrong! While small amounts of sun can initially improve spots, ongoing sun exposure can increase plugging of the pores - producing comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and small pimples.
What’s more, the unsightly after effects of blemishes; post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and macules, will actually get darker if you spend time in the sun. Over time, sun exposure damages the skin and increases the likelihood that your blemishes will leave permanent scars too.
Of course sun exposure also dramatically increases your chances of developing some form of skin cancer, so ultimately, the risks of sun exposure greatly outweigh the few benefits.
Tip - Some sunscreens may make breakouts worse, because they can clog pores. Look out for oil free sunscreens labelled non-comedogenic - which means it's proven to not block pores.
Acne has a cure
Not yet...but don't lose hope. Breakouts can be controlled with continued daily use of effective products, like Proactiv, which contain the blemish control ingredient Benzoyl Peroxide. It’s also important to remember, even if your pimples go away, it doesn’t mean you are cured. It's important to be consistent with your skin care regime, even after your skin is clear, to help prevent new outbreaks from appearing