I have suffered from acne for a significant length of time, putting me in the unique position of having heard a lot of nonsense about what causes acne, why I suffer from it and how to get rid of it. When I had acne, suddenly everyone I met was a qualified dermatologist, who knew exactly what was causing my acne and of course they had a cure for me. The cure usually ranged from stupid to utterly ridiculous.
As a result of these ridiculous myths, I wasted a lot of time and did do some permanent damage to my skin. During my time trying to cure my acne, I have carefully documented my diet, skin care and my daily activity. What I figured out from this was that none of these myths were remotely true. In addition to not being true, they just make people who suffer from acne feel bad about themselves.
So let’s get started with some of these myths
1. Acne is caused by dust and pollution
I have cured my acne while living in a very polluted city in India. My acne was actually at its worst when I lived in the very clean countryside in the UK. Acne has nothing to do with dust and pollution, if that were true everyone living in cities would have acne. I’m not saying that pollution is good for skin but it is not the cause of your acne. I used to make the mistake of washing my face with a face wash each time I went out, as a result of which my skin got red, dry and itchy.
If you live in a polluted or dusty city, or both, try and wash your face with plain water when you get back at the end of the day, but do not stress about it causing your acne.
2. Acne is caused by oily foods
Oily foods do not cause acne. Acne is caused by excess oil in your pores, but that does not mean that the oil you ingest travels directly to your skin. Acne is an inflammation in the body. If you eat things that increase this inflammation your acne will get worse, as simple as that. The common culprits for increasing inflammation are sugar and dairy.
Fried foods in general, are not great for skin and overall health. However, eating non-sugary fried foods once in a while does not cause acne.
3. Chocolate causes Acne
“Don’t eat so many chocolates”, is one phrase I have heard a lot from strangers regarding my acne. The phrasing suggests that I am actually stuffing my face with chocolates in front of them. The very funny part here is that I am one of those weird people who hates chocolates. I always have and always will.Again, it is not the chocolate but rather the sugar and dairy added to the chocolate which causes acne. If you like chocolate stick to eating dark chocolate.
Here is an article that goes into much more detail on the connection between acne and chocolate.
4. You’ll grow out of it
Never happened to me and if you’re in your twenties or older and reading this you probably understand it best. Adult acne is not something that you will certainly grow out of. And if you waste time waiting around to grow out of it, it will get worse and you may damage your skin.
There is no good time or age to grow out of acne. Acne at any age needs to be dealt with in a proper manner but not in a way that will affect your general health.
5. Makeup causes Acne
Since acne starts out with a clogged pore in your skin, it is generally assumed that anything you apply on your face will clog your pores. The skin of people who have acne does not shed as well as a person with clear skin. This leads to the dead cells hanging around and clogging your pores.
However, note that applying heavy makeup when you have active, cystic acne is probably not a good idea. When you are removing the makeup, you’ll have to clean your face a lot more, which will cause it some irritation. Stick to light makeup until the time your acne is healed or healing. For more information read this guide to makeup on my site.