Dialog Box

Skin Health Institute

Acne Myths


There are many safe and effective acne treatments available to help acne sufferers. However, according to All About Acne, there is also a lot of misinformation and myths around. 

Often people want a ‘quick fix’ and are eager to respond to advertising that promises unrealistic results and unproven remedies.

We'll help you separate the facts from the fiction. 

MYTH: Poor hygiene causes acne 

Acne is not caused by poor hygiene. Acne occurs when the pores in the skin become blocked. Hormones cause the oil glands to produce more oil. If the pores are blocked, a build-up of oil results in acne.

Keeping your skin clean will help manage acne, however you should not scrub your skin as this can cause irritation and inflammation.

Blackheads are not dirt. They are pores clogged with a bit of sebum (oil) that’s open to the air and oxidisation turns it black. If the skin covers the oil and any pus, this presents as a whitehead, pimple or zit.

Picking and squeezing pimples is okay 

Picking and squeezing pimples may remove the core of the pimple, but creates more inflammation, which contributes to scarring. It can also spread the bacteria, which may contribute to further outbreaks.

Diet has no effect on acne

There is increasing evidence a low-glycemic (GI) diet can improve skin. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains help keep levels of blood sugar and insulin down.

A high-sugar/high-fat diet can boost levels of blood sugar and increase sebum production, which is known to trigger acne by making the skin's sebaceous glands produce extra oil.

Consumption of dairy products has also been shown to worsen acne.

Cheap make-up and moisturisers make acne worse

A high price tag is not necessarily a guarantee of quality. Look for mild 'soap-free' liquid face cleansers with a pH balance at 5.5 or slightly acidic to match that of the skin, but without abrasives, detergents or alcohol.

Choose water-based, oil-free, non-comedogenic make-up. If your skin is dry, use an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer.

Sunlight or sun-baking will improve acne 

There’s no link between sun exposure and acne prevention. In fact, sun exposure can cause real damage including premature wrinkles, ageing, skin cancer and melanoma. It is important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful ultra-violet (UV) rays.

Many ‘oil free’ SPF30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen products containing physical blockers are relatively heavy creams and may worsen acne. Only those broad-spectrum sunscreens that are labelled as ‘non-comedogenic’ are suitable for acne-prone skin. These are relatively easy to get at your pharmacist or local supermarket.

Want to learn more about acne? Check out our Acne Awareness Hub

02 June 2021
Category: News