Blackheads, chocolate, tanning and toothpaste, we investigate the most popular myths associated with acne and find out if there is any truth to them.
Myth: Food triggers my breakouts!
Many people accept the myth that what they’re eating is causing their skin condition. This is actually a misinterpretation – these foods don’t directly cause acne, but they may feed the breeding ground for acne by exasperating sebum production. Speak to a skin health expert to find out if your oil production is being triggered by specific food intake.
Myth: Does sex cause breakouts?
Yes and no. The truth is during puberty, the level of sexual hormones is more abundant and they may heighten your sexual desire. Sexual hormones also increase the production of sebum. If bacteria (known as P. acnes) are present together with sebum (oil), then this can trigger acne development. This is the only link that can be established between sex and acne. So the truth remains that sex is not the sole cause of acne but can possibly contribute to its development in a round-about way.
Myth: Want to clear your skin quick? Go tanning!
Whether under the sun or under the tanning bed, baking in the sun to clear breakouts can worsen breakouts and is never an option. All this may do is intensify your chances of long-term scarring and hyperpigmentation (dark spots). While you may experience temporary drying up of breakouts after a day in the sun, you’re actually triggering future incidences of breakouts: there’s an increase in skin cells when skin is exposed to UV light, and this further clogs follicle openings, which leads to the development of breakout bacteria. Don’t forget tanning also puts you at an increased risk of skin cancer. If you think your sun exposure is minimum, or just seasonal, SPF should be as much a part of your routine as cleansing. Leaving SPF out of your skin care routine now means premature skin issues in the future, including wrinkles and dark spots.
Myth: SPF can make you break out.
While some sunscreen ingredients can make skin feel greasier and can be comedogenic (clog pores), there are new, more sophisticated formulations available that provide sun protection with skin care benefits.
Myth: Blackheads are dirt inside my pores.
Blackheads are merely whiteheads that have undergone the process of oxidation. (So no, blackheads aren’t dirt!) Oxidation is merely a chemical reaction happening in your skin. Think of what happens to an apple when you cut it open and it darkens: this is oxidation.When the follicle (pore) opens up, oxygen enters, causing the oil and dead skin cells within the follicle to undergo oxidation. This leads to the dark color you see. Whiteheads are follicles that are filled with the same material, but have only a microscopic opening to the skin surface. Since the air cannot reach the follicle, the material is not oxidised, and remains white.
Myth: Toothpaste dries up breakouts!
Quite the contrary: new information actually reveals that toothpaste can stimulate breakouts on your chin and around the mouth. Dermatologists say that heavily flavoured toothpaste, or toothpaste with high levels of fluoride, can cause breakouts to arise. Toothpaste is for teeth – Hit the Spot is for breakouts! This concentrated spot treatment helps banish breakouts while controlling future breakout activity. And the clear formula absorbs without a trace – quite the opposite of chalky toothpaste that’s been dotted on skin!