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Skincare experts debunk acne myths

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Feb 04, 2023 09:52 AM IST

Does makeup causes acne or wearing makeup aggravates acne? Do only teenagers get acne and acne clears eventually when teenage years are over? Skincare experts debunk 9 myths related to acne

Everyone's body and skin are unique and everyone reacts to food in various ways so, if you discover that a particular meal or dietary item causes acne, you should avoid it but before experimenting with your diet, it's always a good idea to consult with a dermatologist to determine what works best for you and your skin. This is because apart from bacteria, hormones, excess sebum production and hyperproliferation of follicular cells, certain foods can cause acne.

Skincare experts debunk acne myths (Image by Kjerstin Michaela Noomi Sakura Gihle Martinsen Haraldsen from Pixabay )

Consumption of some foods can also aggravate acne problem if you already have acne-prone oily skin, causing additional breakouts so it's always a good idea to keep a close eye on your eating habits and pay attention to how they affect your skin. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Manasi Shirolikar, Consultant Dermatologist and Founder of Online Consulting Brand drmanasiskin.com, debunked some famous acne-related myths -

1. Myth: Only teenagers get acne

Fact: Adults get acne too! Fluctuating hormones, increased stress levels, smoking, drinking, binge eating (basically any unhealthy lifestyle patterns), side effects from medicines (and sometimes even undiagnosed medical issues), family history, genetics, skincare products, haircare products and even environmental factors contribute to adult acne! So, if you think only teenagers get acne, or that once you are in your 20s, you no longer will get acne - think again! Acne can come at any age or any phase!

2. Myth: Makeup causes acne

Fact: Makeup does not cause acne, but using the wrong make up products, one that are not made for your skin, and after that, not properly cleansing the makeup off your face, i.e. not double cleansing, can surely clog your pores and lead to breakouts. Noncomedogenic makeup products and mineral-based (think lighter formulations) are the best bet to make sure that acne does not get triggered, and there are no flare-ups or breakouts on your face.

3. Myth: People with acne should not use moisturisers

Fact: If you have acne-prone skin, please do not skip on the moisturiser (or bonus, use stripping products to “clean” your face and make it less oily). A drier skin would mean that your sebaceous glands would go in overdrive mode. That would thus lead to them creating more sebum (aka oil), just to coat your face and moisturise and/or hydrate it. This would, in turn, lead to the clogging of your pores, which would thus lead to breakouts. Furthermore, if you have acne, and are using acne-fighting actives, your skin would already be on the drier side. So, in such cases too, the sebaceous glands would have to work on producing more oil to moisturise your skin, thus delaying your acne treatment!

Bringing her expertise to the same, Dr Neha Dubey, Consultant Medical and Cosmetic Dermatologist and Medical Director at Meraki Skin Clinic in Gurugram, busted the following myths -

1. Acne clears faster if you scrub your skin clean: Acne cannot be scrubbed away, on the contrary, it makes it worse. Use a gentle yet effective cleanser and massage gently for about 30 sec on the skin before washing it off.

2. Acne treatments don’t work: All types of acne can be cleared with the right type of medication. As a dermatologist, I see a lot of compliance issues with acne patients as most of the time they are unaware of the fact that acne takes about two to three weeks to properly start responding to medications. Patients used topical preparations like retinol or adapalene in an overzealous manner in the hope to get a quick response and ultimately end up with excessively dry and sensitive skin. This makes them lose their faith in the treatment.

3. Wearing makeup aggravates acne: If you use makeup products that are noncomedogenic and are oil-free, there is nothing to worry. The only thing to keep in mind is that using dirty makeup brushes and sponges can cause acne breakouts, so clean them regularly.

4. Acne clears eventually when teenage years are over: There is no guarantee of that as acne is also seen in people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. Although teenage group is commonly affected by it. Delaying the treatment would only worsen it and result in scarring.

5. Blackheads appear when pores are clogged with dirt: Blackheads are seen when pores are clogged with excess sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria. The black color appears because air mixes with what’s clogging your pores. Retinol can help in unclogging the pores and clearing away the blackhead.

6. Popping the pimples will help in quickly clearing them: Not at all, doing this would make them more obvious and result in acne scars. So don’t do that.

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