Acne breakouts as a teenager were embarrassing enough, but the level of embarrassment hits Ludicrous Speed when you experience them as an adult. And unless it’s Halloween, there’s no way to hide them at work or on a date without looking like a weirdo who’s trying to hide an enormous zit on his face. That’s why when acne pops up (no pun intended) most of us will believe just about anything to get rid of it. Turns out, the majority of what we’re told or learn from the Interwebs is fabricated. Specifically these six whoppers …
Myth #1: Stress Causes Acne
It doesn’t. But stress can make you seek out meds that calm you down, and those can potentially mess with your hormones, which can lead to more breakouts. Point being, relax.
Myth #2: Chocolate and Greasy Foods Cause Acne
Eating too much of that stuff will make you fat, but no studies have ever shown that it produces zits.
Myth #3: Your Face Is Filthy And Therefore Zitty
Acne isn’t caused by dirt, so if you’re washing your face 17 times day, stop — that’ll only irritate your skin more. Instead, in the morning and at night, use a mild facial cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide to reduce excess oil, and salicylic acid to help breakdown pimples once they form. Also, ditch the washcloth, Martha Stewart. They can harbor bacteria, so just use your hands instead.
Myth #4: Putting Toothpaste On Pimples Gets Rid of Them
Applying Colgate to zits may dry the pimple out, but it also may dry out your skin. (To be fair, your skin will also be free of plaque and gingivitis). Many toothpastes use triclosan, an antibacterial ingredient that’s found in soap, deodorant, and body wash. The problem is that many toothpastes also have a bunch of other stuff that’ll irritate and possibly inflame your skin. In short, don’t try to MacGyver your face.
Myth #5: The Sun Gets Rid of Acne
Too much sun can lead to premature aging and, much worse, skin cancer — so under no circumstances should you fry yourself. But if you don’t care because zits, know that the sun’s ultraviolet light can actually make acne worse.
Myth #6: There Are Cures For Acne
No matter what people say on TV infomercials, there aren’t. You can treat and control acne with prescribed medicine and OTC products, but anyone claiming to have a cure is a clear-skinned liar.