Acne Myth #1: You can get acne from sweating
Truth: No, sweating does not cause acne. Sweat glands are not the same as oil pores. While sweat alone cannot cause acne, there is a condition called acne mechanica, which is a form of acne that is caused by a combination of heat, friction and covered skin. It’s often found on athletes who sweat under their helmets. Other culprits of acne mechanica include tight clothing, snug backpack straps, and headbands worn for long periods of time.
Truth: The dermatological community has long dispelled the idea that junk foods, such as French fries and chocolate, cause acne. However, there is new research that’s links diet to acne. Foods with a high-glycemic level (white breads sugary drinks, processed foods) are thought to trigger the production of androgens, a hormone responsible for oil production. A preliminary study also showed a link between pure chocolate and acne. The ingredients caffeine and theobromine, both found in chocolate, are thought to worsen acne. More research needs to be done in the area of acne and diet, but until then it’s best to follow a low-carbohydrate, low-sugar diet if you’re looking to keep your skin acne-free.
Acne Myth #3: Washing your face more frequently prevents breakouts
Truth: Actually, over-washing your face can make acne worse. While washing your face is an important part of every good skincare regimen, there is no need to do it more than twice a day—in the morning and in the evening. Washing your face any more than that can cause drying of the skin, which can cause skin to produce more oil to overcompensate.
Acne Myth #4: Sun exposure helps clear up acne
Truth: While “drying out acne” in the sun may seem like a good idea, it’s not. The sun not only causes premature aging, but it does nothing to help clear up or heal acne. A suntan may help mask the redness of zits, but it’s only temporary. Once the tan fades, the pimples can come back in full force thanks to ultraviolet light exposure. Additionally, some acne prescription medications have negative reactions with sunlight, so it’s important to wear SPF and avoid the sun as much as possible if you want to clear your skin. There are other light treatments, such as blue light and red light therapy that do actually help with acne.
Acne Myth #5: Shaving causes or worsens acne
Truth: Shaving itself will not cause acne. But if you suffer from acne, you need to be careful while you shave. It’s important to use the proper shaving technique as well as the right tools. Make sure to use a protective shaving cream on the face before hand as well as a sharp blade.