Debunking Acne Myths

There is tons of information out there about acne. Most people want to know how to treat it. However, when looking through all the information it's important to know the difference between the facts and the myths. Believing acne myths can cause us to unintentionally wreak havoc on our skin. Unfortunately, there are tons of myths when it comes to how to treat acne and what exactly causes it. Here are some common acne myths that have been debunked.


Greasy foods cause breakouts

It's pretty common for people to believe this one because when you think greasy you think oil. However, there's no real evidence that shows greasy foods increase oil production in the skin. However, the American Academy of Dermatology does state that there is evidence that there is a link between high-glycemic foods and acne. High-glycemic foods are foods that contain a lot of sugar. Sugar is known to cause inflammation which in turn can cause a breakout.


Rubbing alcohol kills the bacteria in your skin

Rubbing alcohol is great for cuts and wounds, but not so much for acne. According to an article on, rubbing alcohol kills skin cells in the lining of pores. Therefore, all the dead cells get into the pores and clog them which then causes a breakout. That is why it's important to also stay away from any skin products that contain any type of alcohol.


Sun exposure can reduce breakouts

Many people believe that getting a tan will make their skin look clearer and help prevent breakouts. However, the truth is sun exposure not only dehydrates our skin, but it also breaks down collagen and increases signs of aging. Existing acne can get worse and it can harder for your acne scars to fade.


Sunscreen clogs pores

People believe a lot of things when it comes to sun exposure and acne. Although SPF is promoted constantly, some SPF products have a greasy, thick feel to them which turns people off. However, SPF is essential and there are tons of non-comedogenic sunscreens on the market. It's also really important to use sunscreen when you're on acne medication because our skin can become very sensitive when using medication.


Toothpaste dries out your pimples

There are plenty of household items that people use to naturally treat their acne. Unfortunately, toothpaste isn't the best option. The pH of toothpaste isn't a good match to the pH of our skin. Toothpaste also has a lot of ingredients that cause irritation and inflammation to the skin which can just cause even more breakouts.


Sweating causes acne

Many people connect their workouts to their breakouts. On the contrary, sweating can actually help flush out clogged pores. While sweat may not directly cause acne, staying in sweaty clothes for too long and not showering post-workout can cause a breakout. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it's best to shower immediately after a workout and in a situation where that isn't possible, it's recommended to at least change out of your sweaty clothes and wipe down your acne-prone areas with salicylic acid pads. It's also important to pat your skin with a clean, dry towel during your workout instead of rubbing. Rubbing your skin can further irritate breakouts. Making sure you wipe down shared equipment is also important in preventing bacteria from spreading.


People with oily/acne-prone skin should skip a moisturizer

Many people fear oil because it's obviously known to clogs pores. However, not all moisturizers contain oil and not all oils are created equal. There are plenty of oil-free moisturizers on the market. There are also oils that are ideal for acne-prone skin due to their antibacterial properties such as tea tree, lavender, and coconut oils. If you skip a moisturizer altogether, your skin will naturally just produce more oil to combat the lack of hydration.


Makeup causes breakouts

Makeup is perfectly fine to wear but it's important to look for makeup products that are oil-free, non-comedogenic, and non-acnegenic. It's also important to wash your makeup brushes every week. If you wait too long to wash your brushes, all the dead skin cells on the brushes are just getting pushed back onto your skin and clog your pores. Removing your makeup entirely is also very important.


Having acne means your skin is dirty

Because acne is caused by bacteria, it's natural to believe that dirty skin causes breakouts. The truth is acne has more to do with genetics and hormones than anything else. While it is important to wash your face, it's also important not to overwash your face. Overwashing your face can lead to inflammation, irritation, and dryness. You can have a solid skin routine and still get a pimple, due to the simple fact that your hormones may be out of whack.


Acne is contagious

It is not possible to catch your acne-prone friend's breakout via skin to skin contact. Acne is caused by the overproduction of oil, dead skin cells, and acne-causing bacteria. None of those things can be transferred from person to person unless you are sharing makeup products. If you use someone's makeup and they have a breakout, the acne-causing bacteria and dead skin cells in it can be transferred to your skin.

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