Is there a bigger mood-buster than the sight of a red, inflamed zit greeting you early Monday morning? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Acne is Nature’s way of knocking you down a peg. It’s the Universe’s sucker punch to your self-esteem and any sexy selfie dreams that you may have harbored. Really, the bards of the old should have composed odes to the anguish pimples can inspire in a young woman’s heart – definitely more painful than unrequited love. And the worst part? That sacred, I-just-got-dumped remedy – the revered, oh-so-holy chocolate ice cream does not make your acne woes fade. In fact, if Science is to be believed, it actually makes things worse.
That’s right folks, if you were under the belief sugar had no connection to breakouts, well, you were wrong. And as it turns out, there’s quite a lot about acne that has been blindly repeated (and preached!) as universal truths, when they’re actually horrid, horrid little myths. Thankfully, we took it upon ourselves to debunk the worst of them once and for all! Read on to discover the four tragic acne misconceptions that we’ve all been foolishly clinging on to:
1. Food And Acne Have No Connection
We did let you in on this little tidbit earlier but let’s discuss this particular myth in a little more detail now. So, remember how you swore you wouldn’t touch another bar of sweet, sweet chocolate because a part of you realized you tended to break out more after the consumption of sugar? Well, what did your oh-so-wise friends say? They quipped a dubious Facebook post regarding how food had no relation to acne then proceeded to deliver you into a sugar coma.
Turns out they were wrong. Dietary habits, apparently, do have an impact upon our skin and science has proved it several times. Your bittersweet nemesis, sugar, triggers insulin production, which if present in overabundance could kick start a series of biochemical pathways in your body that end with – you guessed it – acne (1).
Additionally, acne could also flare up due to the hormones present in milk. These hormones happen to increase the production of sebum in our skin, which in high concentrations could lead to clogged pores and (surprise, surprise) acne (2).
If you feel as betrayed as we do (Sugar! Dairy! My comfort foods, how could you?), well, there are some silver linings. Here’s a list of foods that actually help clear out acne and save the day:
- Food that have a low glycemic index, such as cashew nuts, cauliflower, cucumbers and whole wheat bread.
- Foods rich in zinc, such as meat, mushrooms, seafood, and eggs can all help restore your skin.
- Vitamin A-rich foods also help promote acne healing. Hence, stock up on cabbage, spinach, and carrots in your kitchen.
2. Smoking Promotes The Spread Of Acne
Technically speaking? Not true. You see, smoking doesn’t cause acne per se, however, it will worsen the body’s natural process of skin regeneration, which inevitably leads to acne healing much more slowly – something, it’s safe to say, none of us want (3).
Hence, if you didn’t already have enough reasons to quit smoking already (lung cancer, anybody?) you now have acne as an additional deterrent.
3. Most Cosmetics Lead To Acne
The keyword here my friends is ‘most’. While it’s true certain cosmetic products will only serve to exacerbate any existing acne, however, it doesn’t mean you have to ditch makeup all together and live an ascetic life. As long as you avoid beauty products that contain oils and alcohol, you should be fine. Alcohols severely dehydrate the skin, which leads to skin irritation, inflammation, and – no rocket science here – acne. Oils, on the other hand, do what oils do best – grease up and clog those pores, thereby trapping dirt and bacteria. And by now we all know that no skin fairytale involving bacteria has ever had a happy ever after.
Hence, if you are prone to breakouts, try substituting your existing beauty products with those that contain retinols, aloe, and peptide 10. All these compounds help accelerate the healing of acne for they stimulate the production of collagen.
4. Toothpaste Can Help Banish Acne
This one was quite the rage for a time, till people discovered it was a total dud. If you haven’t yet stumbled upon this particular fictitious remedy supplied by the oh-so-creative Internet, well, here’s a word of advice – don’t try it. Not only will it not live up to its claims of magically banishing acne, it will actually do you harm. Toothpaste happens to contain essential oils, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, triclosan, and menthol, which may certainly help dry out acne, however, they will also lead to skin irritation and ugly rashes.
If you do want an effective zit eliminating remedy use benzoyl peroxide-based topical creams, face washes, and ointments instead (4).
There you have it, folks, four appalling acne myths that we’re better off abandoning. Truth may be painful but acne is worse. Stay safe!