Common Myths About Acne

At New Image our patients tell us many things they have heard over the years about avoiding and treating acne. We are here to spread the truth! Some common myths about acne are:

1. The more I wash my face, the faster my breakout will clear.

You should only be washing your face in the morning at night before you go to bed. If you work out, try to incorporate it into your morning or evening routine. If you can’t, pat your face dry with a towel and use a toner to remove excess oils. Washing your face too aggressively or too often can irritate your skin and cause breakouts. It is best to cleanse your skin with warm, not hot, water and avoid scrubbing too harshly with a washcloth. If you do use a washcloth to wash your face, be sure to use a new one daily to avoid putting bacteria back on your skin.

2. Moisturizers make my acne worse.

It depends on the moisturizer that you are using. Some patients actually have breakouts because their skin is too dry and their bodies are working over-time to produce oil…leading to breakouts. Selecting the proper moisturizer is important because some moisturizers contain fillers and fragrances that clog pores and irritate your skin. Physician grade skincare is always the best option when selecting products to care for your skin because they contain more active ingredients and no fragrances or fillers. Always moisturize your skin after you cleanse!

3. Wearing makeup makes my acne worse.

This could be true. What kind of makeup are you using? Unfortunately, if your makeup was purchased at a drug store it won’t be the best thing for your skin…no matter what they tell you. Many clients have success with Mary Kay, bareMinerals, or Jane Iredale but if your breakouts persist try using a physician grade makeup line, like Colorescience. These lines contain less fragrances and fillers that can irritate your skin and clog your pores. Colorescience is true mineral makeup, meaning that it sits on top of your skin instead of sinking into your pores. Many physician grade makeup lines, Colorescience included, make products especially for acne prone individuals.

4. Tanning makes my acne go away.

Tanning may diminish your acne for a short time but because excessive ultraviolet rays from the sun and tanning beds dry out your skin, it will get worse over time (and speed up the aging process).

5. Popping my pimples will make them go away faster.

You should avoid popping your pimples and touching your face as best you can. Squeezing will often spread bacteria, which will increase your breakouts, and can lead to scarring and hyper-pigmentation (dark spots). Hyperpigmentation occurs when a wound (a popped pimple) is exposed to air and light. The skin’s reaction is to protect itself by pigmenting.

If you must pop a pimple, do it with the right tools. Use gauze or tissues to cover your fingers. Don’t dig! Immediately cleanse your skin to prevent the spread of bacteria and apply a spot treatment.

6. Changing my diet will clear my skin.

As we tell all our clients, there is no “one size fits all” treatment for acne. What works for your friend may not work for you. Some individuals have success in clearing their skin when they eliminate refined sugars from their diets but the bottom line is that scientific research has yet to be shown on the true effectiveness of this type of treatment.