Acne is one of the most common skin conditions out there. The causes range from hormonal imbalance, oil production, dead skin cells, clogged pores bacteria, and an unhealthy diet consisting of dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods — such as bread, bagels, and chips as well as chocolate. As with every issue, skin issues included, there is a right and a wrong way of dealing with them, and we are here to shed some light on the most common misconceptions when it comes to caring for acne-prone skin, so let us waste no time, and start shattering some skincare myths.
Lack of perseverance
In the words of Barbara R. Reed, MD, skin reacts slowly to treatment. Even if the acne came on fast, it still requires time to heal, and the healing process could take from 6 to 12 weeks. Many people have this misguided notion that they can get rid of acne overnight, and if their chosen treatment fails to deliver results within a few days, they simply give up on it and move on to the next thing. This is one of the biggest mistakes when battling acne. Even worse than that is piling product on top of the product. This practice can be highly counterproductive, as mixing a number of different products can actually worsen the situation and result in more inflammation and irritation than the acne itself. Be patient, acne treatment takes time, so persevere and choose your products wisely.
Picking up a generic product
Acne-prone skin is a delicate and sensitive matter, and it should be treated with care. Do not just choose any product off the shelf. Do your research and find out what your skin needs. For instance, as acne is most often a visitor of oily skin, the recommended products are the ones containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or glycolic acid. For sensitive skin, look for cleansers with lactic acid or hydrating ingredients like glycerin, which aren’t as drying as those made for oilier types. While on the subject of learning about the mandatory ingredients of products for acne-prone skin, this might be a great time to learn a thing or two about the AHAs, aka Alpha Hydroxy Acids. These gentle yet potent acids can, not only help with your acne issues but give you a glowing and youthful complexion. The key to successful treatment of problematic skin is care and tenderness.
Fighting fire with fire
You might think that overzealous scrubbing and daily exfoliation is doing your skin favors, but the truth could not be farther from that. Yes, dead cells are known as one of the causes of acne, but daily scrubbing is actually quite harmful. First off, acne-prone skin requires gentle care, which means, no grainy and aggressive exfoliating products. Secondly, when you scrub your skin daily, you are actually contributing to inflammation and irritation. As Dr. Weiser points out, exfoliating a pimple can pull away healthy skin cells and create an open wound and higher risk for scarring. Exfoliation should be done with caution, and not more than 2-3 times a week maximum, and that way you will actually have dead skin cells to remove instead of scrubbing off healthy ones.
Only resorting to help when the problem occurs
If you know you have acne-prone skin, you have to commit to using the product for your skin issue regularly, not only when acne rears their ugly heads. Instead of treating pimples as they appear, it’s more effective to use a gentle product that contains salicylic acid every day, explains NYC dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D. This helps prevent breakouts on a regular basis.
Rinsing your troubles away
Acne-prone skincare routine requires time, so, if your salicylic acid-spiked cleanser does not seem to be giving instant results, it does not mean it is not working. Cleansers need contact time on the skin to work. If it’s only on your face for a few seconds, the ingredients don’t have time to do their job. Take your time and massage the cleanser into your skin, sing the alphabet, and then rinse it off.
Skipping on moisturizer
You might have this idea that, since your skin is already oily, moisturizer will only make matters worse. Wrong! Even though your skin is oily, it is still in dire need of hydration and skipping moisturizer only causes your skin to overcompensate with more oil. Try an oil-free formulation that will feel lighter and will not clog pores. And if you can, pick one with SPF. Since many acne treatments contain ingredients that make the skin sensitive to the sun, it is important to always wear sunscreen while on an acne-fighting regimen.
It is hard to resist, but you simply must refrain from picking and popping your zits. It can result in scarring, and then you will have to resort to anti-scarring products that more often than not do not work. Popping damages the skin tissue and for some people, it becomes chronic, not unlike a lifelong addiction. As Kimberly Yang says, there is a common belief that popping pimples shortens the lifespan of a breakout; this could not be further from the truth. Once you have inflicted this sort of damage to your skin, you have opened yourself up to a number of issues. The first is that you might rupture the follicle (pore) wall, thereby spreading infected matter and causing more breakouts. It is a vicious circle that you definitely do not want to be caught up in, so step away from the mirror and place your hands away from your face.