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Acne Myths, Facts, Truths, and Acne Myths Debunked

Updated on December 27, 2012


If you have experienced acne outbreaks during your teenage years or until now, then you may have already heard of the different myths about acne. You may have received different advice on how you can deal with it in order to eliminate it. Most people who think they know all about acne often ends up knowing nothing but myths. If you are unsure of what is real and what just acne myths are, here are some common myths you should learn about:

Acne Myth 1: Adults Don't Get Acne

Some people believe that since they are way past their teenage years they will not experience acne breakouts anymore, which is not true. According to studies, a couple of adults between the ages of 30 and 40 still experience having acne. However, the appearance of acne during the age of 30s may seem a bit different from how it looks like during your teenage years. Acne in adults normally appears like reddish nodules around the jaw or mouth, instead of blackheads and whiteheads around the forehead, cheeks and nose.

Acne Myth 2: Drinking Soda And Eating Chocolate Can Cause Acne Breakout

According to dermatologists, there are no existing proofs that chocolate and caffeine can cause acne breakout and that this is just one of the many acne myths people believe in. some studies showed that milk products can influence acne development and this is due to the presence of bacteria and hormones in milk. However, the data presented to support this is not that strong that is why cutting down milk consumption in women who are in their 30s is not recommended, since they need calcium from milk to keep their bones healthy and strong.

Acne Myth 3: Stress Causes Acne

This is considered as a myth but it also has some basis in reality, although experts are still having a hard time quantifying it. Based on a study, college students normally experience increased acne breakout, especially during their final exams but experts are still unsure if stress is really the causative factor. Apart from that, it was also seen that not all college students experiencing acne outbreaks are going through stressful times or situations. According to experts, stress may play a role in the development of acne but it cannot be considered as a causative factor in all occasions. However, studies have shown that stress hormones can worsen acne conditions.

Acne Myth 4: Sunscreen Can Aggravate Acne Outbreaks

According to studies, this is one of those acne myths that can be or cannot be true, depending on the sunscreen that you are using. Chemical sunscreens, such as Helioplex, can dissipate UV light due to a chemical reaction that can result to heat bumps. In case you are susceptible to having acne breakouts, it would be best to use zinc oxide instead, which is considered as a physical sunscreen.

Acne Myth 5: Not Washing The Face Enough Can Cause Acne Breakouts

If you are a slob then this could be true. In teenagers, washing the face twice daily is more effective in preventing acne rather than washing it once a day. However, washing the face more than twice daily is not advisable, as it could already dry out the natural oil of the skin. Apart from that, cleansers should stay on your skin for not more than 5 seconds as well and if you are using leave-on products, opt for retinoid creams because these are more effective in preventing acne breakouts.

Acne Myth 6: You Cannot Wear Makeup When Having An Acne Breakout

This is one of those acne myths that can also be considered as a fact. Take note that there are some makeup products that can definitely worsen the acne condition. For example, thick liquid foundations can clog the pores, as well as stage-type pancake makeup, and this can aggravate the condition. Lighter and looser foundations are safer to use instead of the former during an acne breakout, as they are less aggravating for the skin. Of course, if you are having an acne breakout, you will surely want to cover it up but make sure that you go for lighter make ups instead of the thicker ones.

Acne Myth 7: Acne Is Just a Cosmetic Problem

Yes, acne can be considered as a cosmetic problem. However, bear in mind that if you left the condition untreated, this could lead to the development of scars and leave permanent marks on your face.

Acne Myth 8: Wait For Acne To Go Away on Its Own

This should not be done and acne should be treated immediately with the help of a dermatologist. Take note that the longer acne stays on your skin, the deeper the scars it could leave and this will not look good on your facial skin.

Acne Myth 9: You Can Clean Up Acne By Scrubbing It

This is one of the worst acne myths and this should be avoided as much as possible. Take note that spending hours trying to pop the acne or picking on your skin could result to the development of ugly scars on your face. In case you have huge acne, you can seek the help of a dermatologist and ask for an injection in order to reduce its size and make it less visible.

Acne Myth 10: Adults Can Just Use a Cleanser Or Face Cream To Deal With Acne

There are some people who usually visit department stores and seek advice from people behind the counter selling various products for acne. However, you should know that this is not a very wise thing to do, as that person is not an expert and he/she might give out an advice that is not suitable for you. Remember that for your acne problems, only a trusted dermatologist can help you out and give advice on how you should deal with it.


If you are frequently suffering from acne outbreaks, regardless if you are a teenager or an adult, it would be the best to consult a dermatologist to determine what exactly is causing the outbreak. A dermatologist can also give you recommendations on the right product to use for your acne problems. Remember that believing in acne myths can only worsen your acne problem, and you cannot always trust the information on the web. Instead, seek the help of an expert to achieve better results against acne outbreaks.


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