Considering approximately 80% of people experience acne at some point in their lives, acne seems to draw the most discussion, and with discussion comes facts, and the inevitable myths. There is disinformation about what is acne, how to treat acne, and when and how it happens. Here, we help differentiate between fact and fiction, and shed some light on the truth about some popular acne myths.
Myth #1: It’s only for teens.
Most all of us experience teen acne, so of course the misconception arises that acne is only for teens.
The Facts: 40 to 55% of adults will experience persistent oily skin and low grade acne. Women are more prone to adult acne than men with the percentages of women in their 40s afflicted with acne double that of men.
The Fix: Don't treat your acne with teen skin care! Women ages 25 and beyond need to maintain their skin's natural moisturizing factor to keep skin young. Grown up acne need a grown up acne treatment that incorporates anti-oxidant ingredients such as seaweed, green tea and soothing, hydrating skin oils (yes, oils. See Myth #4)
Myth #2: Acne clears up in the summer.
Some people think that sunlight can help “dry out” acne and a tan will hide pimples. Incredibly, before the dangers of UV light became well known, some dermatologists even prescribed UV light exposure to cystic acne patients!
The Facts: The sun does have a drying effect on the skin, which can initially help to decrease some of the excess oils on the surface of your skin. But sun exposure can actually lead to thickening of the stratum corneum, the outer most layer of your skin, consisting of dead skin cells. When this layer becomes increasingly thick pores can become clogged and pimples can form. This combined with using pore-clogging sunscreen creams and oils can lead to more break outs. And while a tan can help disguise the discoloration associated with acne, unfortunately this effect will not last forever.
The Fix: When going out into the sun, be sure to use a strong environmental protection cream that contains zinc oxide – an ingredient that helps bounce those UV rays off your skin and absorb oils. Use a cleanser or toner with salicylic acid, that can help to break down sebum or oil congestion in the skin. And of course, when you come in from the sun and you’re all oily and sweaty, take a shower immediately!
Myth #3 Acne gets worse before it gets better.
There is a feeling out there that acne has to get worse before it gets better. This doesn’t have to be the case!
The Facts: Today, acne can be treated without the harshness and discomfort of traditional treatments that leave skin red and irritated.
The Fix: Seeing an esthetician who can administer a professional treatment for acne that includes soothing, masks and treatments. And remember, don’t resort to pimple popping, let an esthetician do extractions! This temporary relief from the scab will lead to a permanent acne scars!
Myth #4: All oils will make you breakout.
Skin afflicted by acne is oily, so putting more oil on your skin is bad, right? Wrong!
The Facts: There are oils that are actually helpful for acne. Some have properties that may help to bring down swelling in the face and may help to get rid of unwanted bacteria on the skin.
The Fix: Look for acne skin care that contains mild surfactants and oils such as ylang-ylang oil, basil oil, lavender oil, and chamomile oil.
So next time someone tells you to not worry about acne because you’ll grow out of it, that it will get better in the sun or it’s only going to get worse tell them the facts!