Charcoal? Tea tree? A peeling mask? With websites like Buzzfeed constantly telling you what products to use on your skin in a graphic filled, easy-to-read style article, it’s hard not to get sucked in to buying expensive, and often times harmful products. The most common skin condition in the world is acne. Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you need this cleanser with that moisturizer to have “perfect” skin. I’ll leave that to the “professionals” at Buzzfeed.com. The vast majority of people are able to tell you they have oily or dry skin, but they don’t have a clue about what’s actually going on inside their pores. Here I am, your personal skin care expert to the rescue! And here are my top three common misconceptions associated with acne I’ve encountered:
- Acne is caused by dirt
Acne has many causes, but dirt isn’t one of them. Pimples form when excess dead skin cells mix with excess amounts of your body’s natural oils, in turn clogging your pores. This cycle has nothing to do with dirt—in fact, too much washing or use of harsh scrubs can strip your skin of essential oils, causing dry skin. And what happens when your skin is overly dry? You guessed it, your oil glands overcompensate and produce more oil than your pores can handle, restarting the frustrating cycle all over again.
With so many products claiming to clear your skin, it’s hard to choose which one works best for you
- Certain foods can trigger acne
Wrong! There’s actually no scientific evidence that any foods are directly linked to acne. (Yes, you can eat chocolate without risk of a breakout.) However, your body as a whole, and perhaps your skin, (it is an organ, by the way), will be better off with a healthy, balanced diet.
- Stress causes acne
This is actually true! The question is, why? Emotional stress can have a variety of physical effects on the body. The reason why you notice more breakouts before an exam or big date, is because when the body encounters stress, it releases a “survival” hormone called cortisol. Cortisol triggers sebaceous glands which in turn produce more oil, leading to more clogged pores.
Chances are, you will have acne at least once in your life. And, chances are, you’ve probably heard a thousand different myths and remedies to treat a blemish (thanks, Buzzfeed.) Now, go back to building a sandwich to find out a deep truth about yourself.