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Top Acne Myths & Facts Explained

Acne is one of the most common skin concerns I get asked about and it affects millions of people worldwide. Despite its prevalence, there are many myths and misconceptions about what causes acne and how to treat it. Today I want to discuss some of these myths with explanations, and remember, if you need personalised advice and a new treatment plan, I offer online skincare consultations to help you achieve your best skin and help put a lid on those pesky breakouts



CLEANSING - Myth 1: Acne Is Caused by Poor Hygiene


Fact: Acne is not caused by dirty skin. While it's important to cleanse your face to remove excess oil, dead skin cells, and impurities, over-washing or using harsh cleansers can actually irritate the skin and worsen acne. Acne primarily results from a combination of factors, including excess oil production, clogged hair follicles, bacteria, and inflammation. So, yes do cleanse your skin, but avoid any harsh soaps and face washes that will strip it of all it's natural oils. The 'cleaner' your face is, doesn't mean the less acne you will have. My favourite cleanser for acne is always the Nimue Cleansing Gel or the Revision Papaya Enzyme Cleanser.



DIET - Myth 2: Eating Greasy Foods Causes Acne


Fact: There is no direct correlation between consuming greasy foods and developing acne. However, a diet high in refined sugars and dairy products may exacerbate acne for some people. The relationship between diet and acne is pretty complex and does vary from person to person. Trying to maintain a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can support overall skin health. Focus on getting in lots of healthy protein to help your skin heal and repair and lots of water and fibre to keep your gut healthy.


There are also lots of great skin supplements that can help with acne. My all time favourite one is Skinade CLEAR which helps to target acne from all angles.



SUN - Myth 3: Tanning Clears Up Acne


Fact: While a tan might temporarily mask the redness of acne, it does not clear it up. In fact, UV exposure can damage the skin, increase inflammation, and lead to premature aging. Additionally, some acne medications can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, increasing the risk of sunburn. Don't forget too, if you pick your spots and then go out in the sun, you can be at risk of post-inflammatory pigmentation. Always use a broad-spectrum SPF to protect your skin from UV damage. My favourites are always the Nimue SUN-C SPF 40 and SkinBetter Science's ToneSmart SPF 50.


AGE - Myth 4: Only Teenagers Get Acne


Fact: Acne is often associated with adolescence, but it can affect people of all ages. Adult acne is a common issue that I come across a lot and can be influenced by factors such as hormonal changes, stress, and certain medications. Treatments for adult acne may differ from those for teenage acne, so it's important to tailor your skincare routine accordingly. if you're struggling with acne or any kind, please book a consultation with me here and we can create a new skincare plan for you.



INGREDIENTS - Myth 5: Popping Pimples Helps Them Heal Faster


Fact: Popping pimples can actually make acne worse. It can push bacteria and pus deeper into the skin, leading to more inflammation and the potential for scarring. Instead, use treatments containing ingredients like salicylic acid or retinoids to reduce acne. The Nimue Y:Skin Active Blemish Control is always my go to spot treatment for those pesky breakouts and The SkinBetter Clearing Serum is an incredible retinoid combined with lactic and salicylic acid to treat acne without causing a retinoid reaction.


TIME - Myth 6: Acne Will Go Away on Its Own


Fact: While mild acne can sometimes improve without intervention, moderate to severe acne often requires treatment to prevent scarring and prolonged skin issues. Consistent use of the right skincare products and treatments, along with some lifestyle changes can help manage and reduce acne.


EXFOLIATION - Myth 7: You Should Dry Out Oily Skin to Control Acne


Fact: Stripping the skin of its natural oils can actually trigger more oil production as the skin tries to compensate for the dryness. This can lead to further breakouts. Instead, use gentle, non-comedogenic products that balance the skin's oil levels without causing irritation. Strong face washes and scrubs can really damage the skin's barrier which can lead to further breakouts and more inflammation and sensitivity. Instead, to keep those pores clean and clear, opt for some gentle and yet very effective exfoliating products such as the Nimue Exfoliating Enzyme or the SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Peel Pads. Both work really well and can be used weekly (not together mind!) to keep a build up of dead skin cells at bay.


MENTAL HEALTH - Myth 8: Acne Is Just a Cosmetic Issue


Fact: Acne can have significant psychological effects, including lowered self-esteem and increased stress. Treating acne is not just about improving appearance; it's also about enhancing overall well-being. I've definitely been there when my acne was so bad I'd cry. I think with my job as well, people always judge you if you have breakouts. It can take time to figure out the cause of it (mine was a combination of food intolerances and the contraceptive pill) and so sometimes patience is key. As cheesy as it sounds, you have to trust the process. Hormones especially take time to adjust and results can vary from person to person.



MEDICAL GRADE PRODUCTS - Myth 9: Natural Remedies Are Always Safe for Acne


Fact: While some natural remedies can be beneficial, not all are safe or effective for treating acne. Ingredients like tea tree oil and aloe vera may help, but others can cause irritation or allergic reactions. It's important to use evidence-based treatments, high quality ingredients in well formulated products and consult with a skincare professional before trying new remedies. Please for the love of God, don't get your skincare advice from TikTok when the person talking to you doesn't even touch faces. I've seen so many hideous things on social media about 'ways to treat acne' and they're just applying coconut oil and lemon juice to their face or something. Please don't do this!


CONSULTATIONS - Myth 10: All Acne Treatments Work the Same for Everyone


Fact: Acne treatments need to be tailored to individual skin types and concerns. What works for one person may not work for another. It also all depends on the cause of acne in the first place. For some it could be hormones, others it could be diet and lifestyle and then for some it might be improper product usage. How do you find out? Why not book a consultation with me here and we can create a skincare plan that could help you keep on top of those breakouts.


Remember, debunking these myths is just the first step toward better skin health. With the right knowledge and guidance, we can achieve the clear skin you've always wanted.


Thank you so much for reading,



Emmaline x

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