10 Acne Myths DEBUNKED

From why we break out in certain areas and how to treat the different types of pesky bumps to the foods that can cause pimples and products to help heal post-picking scars, when it comes to acne, there are many factors to consider. We all know clear skin doesn’t appear overnight, and breakouts are something most people deal with in waves during their life. To debunk common acne myths, we tapped board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Shereene Idriss, to set the blemished record straight.

The skin expert explains the first four myths, and the BeautyLeeBar team added more knowledge on the topic with the rest of the list.

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Myth 1: Blackheads are due to your pores being clogged with dirt.
Truth: Blackheads are caused by pores being filled with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. They appear black if they are exposed to air and oxidize in the process.

Myth 2: Tanning clears acne.
Truth: Although tanning helps hide the appearance of acne, it can make your condition worse in the long run. The UV rays are damaging to your skin and can make scarring appear worse due to lingering hyperpigmentation. They can also increase your risk of skin cancer.

Myth 3: Acne only affects teenagers.
Truth: Acne can occur in adulthood, affecting up to 15% of women.

Myth 4: Acne just affects the skin.
Truth: Although primarily a skin disorder, acne can take a big toll on one’s mental health. Studies have linked acne to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

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Myth 5: Acne clears faster with a facial scrub.
Truth: Scrubbing acne can actually move the bacteria around and cause more breakouts, worsen inflammation, and potentially lead to scarring.

Myth 6: Makeup always worsens acne.
Truth: Yes, some makeup can clog your pores, but not all. Certain makeup can help clear your skin, like powder-based mineral foundations with ingredients like zinc oxide and silica, which can absorb the oils clogging your pores. Lee likes this foundation, which works double time by concealing and healing blemishes.

Myth 7: The most expensive products work the best.
Truth: Many individuals tend to think that the most expensive products are the most effective at treating acne. Although more expensive products often contain more natural and higher-quality ingredients, these components are not necessarily the best treatment for each person’s skin. Here are our picks for skincare products under $20.

Myth 8: Acne on all areas of the face is caused by the same factors.
Truth: Acne can appear and feel differently depending on what area of your face it is occurring. Acne often arises on your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin, and treatments differ depending on where the outbreak is. Recognizing where the infection is occurring is an essential step to determine how to treat it. Our acne mapping guide can help you get to the root of what’s causing your acne.

Myth 9: Washing your face as much as possible is the best way to get rid of acne.
Truth: It’s common for people who begin to feel a breakout coming to try to vigorously wash their face in order to halt its growth. However, increasing the amount you wash your face doesn’t necessarily cure acne and can make it even worse (see myth 5). Excessive washing can strip your skin’s natural oils and lead to dryness or increased sensitivity. Depending on skin type and products used, people should usually wash their face twice a day to get rid of bacteria accumulated throughout the day as well as prevent pimples. Here is our guide on HOW TO PROPERLY INTRODUCE NEW SKINCARE INGREDIENTS.

Myth 10: Creams, washes, patches, and spot treatments are the only way to prevent and heal acne.
Truth: Light therapy is a great way to get your breakouts under control. If you haven’t tried the DMH Aesthetics LED Light Shield Mask yet, let today be the day you add it to your skincare routine. It has three light settings, but the blue light is best for acne-prone skin and existing, active breakouts because it targets the sebaceous oil glands and destroys acne-causing bacteria. It can also help decrease scarring from breakouts you’ve picked.

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The Acne-Prevention Strategies Glasses Wearers Need to Know

How four eyes become five

After months of procrastinating to get a new prescription, I finally decided to splurge on a pair of glasses… can’t wait! But with them came a surprise: acne.

It seemed like there was a new pimple on the bridge of my nose basically every other day. Because I hadn’t purchased my new glasses yet and because those pimples always appeared in that specific spot, my beautiful now old glasses were unfortunately the primary suspect.

Sure, being able to see is cool and all, but wouldn’t it be great if it didn’t also cause breakouts? Yes! It would!!! In fact, I talked to an expert about how to deal with this exact situation. Here’s what I learned.

How to know if it’s actually acne

The biggest clue that your glasses are causing acne is where the acne is showing up: The bridge of your nose, your cheeks where the rims sit, and the ears where they might rub are all common places.

The other major sign is if you can say, ‘I didn’t have it,’ and then all of a sudden you develop it, which is exactly what happened to me. Maybe this is your first pair of frames, maybe you took a break from your glasses or alternate with wearing contacts. Whatever the reasoning is, the point is you have and you’re getting pimples in places you’ve never seen before. And, now you’re wearing glasses, that’s another clue that your glasses are to blame.

But other conditions can mimic acne, even in those areas. One to look out for is called acanthoma fissurataum, which is a patch of thickened skin that experts think develops after repeated trauma to an area—and it specifically occurs in people who wear glasses. So if your frames are constantly rubbing on the top of your ears or the bridge of your nose, they might cause this.

How do glasses cause acne?

It’s really from too much pressure. This form of acne—acne mechanica—develops when something is pushing down on the skin, which prevents the normal shedding of skin cells. Instead, those skin cells clog up your pores and lead to acne. Having oily skin and wearing thicker makeup just add to the issue.

Acne mechanica is also common among those who play sports or wear restrictive athletic clothing because those clothes can trap sweat and heat, making it even more likely that the pressure from clothing or equipment will cause acne in areas that those garments touch.

Here’s how to deal.

Luckily, once you’re sure it’s acne, there are specific ways to treat the bumps in those sensitive areas on your face as well as to prevent them from coming back.

  • Get your glasses adjusted. If you find that you’re having to push your glasses up your nose frequently or they’re so thick or heavy that they’re causing acne in the cheek area where the lenses touch your face, you should go to your eye doctor or wherever you got your glasses to have them adjusted. Sometimes the answer is getting new bridges put on the nose so you spread the pressure.
  • Wipe your glasses down frequently. Make sure you’re cleaning your glasses. We suggest getting a basic alcohol wipe and swabbing it over every part that touches your face every night.
  • Use an over-the-counter acne wash. Using an over-the-counter acne wash with salicylic acid in it at night is an easy way to manage mild acne all over the face, especially if you notice it on your cheeks and not just on the bridge of your nose.
  • Use an over-the-counter spot treatment. If your acne bumps are primarily confined to one area of your face, such as the bridge of your nose, a spot treatment containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide is the way to go. Other options include acne patches you can wear overnight and prescription topical antibiotics.
  • Take breaks from wearing your glasses if possible. Your glasses obviously serve a very important purpose. But if it’s possible for you to take breaks from them during the day, taking advantage of that cuts down on the likelihood that they’ll cause acne.
  • Use a makeup remover before cleansing. Make sure that you’re really getting your makeup off. The buildup of makeup under your glasses can definitely contribute to acne, so it’s important to make sure it’s all off—with the help of a makeup remover or micellar water—even before you wash your face. And when it comes to washing, opt for a cleanser that isn’t oil-based.
  • Use concealers with salicylic acid. While your acne is healing, we suggest going with concealers that contain salicylic acid to keep treating them while covering up any bumps.

When to check with a derm

If you’re not sure if you have acne or something else is going on, it’s always a good idea to talk to a professional. And if what you think is acne isn’t going away with those measures, or if you have a lot of acne on other parts of your face, too, it’s important to check with your derm about the best way to manage it. They may be able to prescribe you an antibiotic medication that can take better care of all the acne.

And if your bumps aren’t going away or don’t seem to be healing, they may be a sign of another condition—including, possibly, skin cancer—that you’ll want to get checked out sooner rather than later.

But for most of us with glasses, acne is a common yet manageable annoyance.

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BEAUTYLEEBAR does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.