Did you know that about 85% of all people will have an acne breakout at some point in their lives? Like many ailments, there is a lot of information and misinformation out there on what causes it and the best ways to treat it. We’re here to set the record straight with some hard facts and the real story behind many of the common stories and myths you might have heard around acne and breakouts. 

Myth #1: Eating chocolate and greasy foods causes acne
False. While you should probably keep the junk food consumption to moderate amounts for other health reasons, there is no scientific evidence that chocolate and greasy foods directly cause acne.  

Myth #2: Acne is caused by poor hygiene
False. Acne and breakouts aren’t caused by dirt or uncleanliness. Washing your face with a gentle gel cleanser twice a day and applying a gentle exfoliating tonic once a day is sufficient to remove bacteria and surface oil. Be aware that washing too often can make your acne worse. Scrubbing too hard can irritate the skin opening the follicles to more infection and inflammation. 

Myth #3: Stress causes acne
A grey area. While stress alone doesn’t cause breakouts – age, hormones, acne-producing bacteria and other factors are at play – it can trigger breakouts and make existing acne issues worse.

Myth #4: Only teenagers get spots
False. It’s very common for teens to get acne and breakouts; however, up to 64% of adults in their 20s (and 43% in their 30s) have dealt with adult acne. Women tend to have more adult acne than men, since they experience more hormonal fluctuations throughout their lives. 

Myth #5: Popping pimples helps them go away faster
False. In fact, it’s the opposite! Tempting as it may be, popping a pimple is never a great idea. It might make it appear less noticeable temporarily but it actually causes it to stay around longer. When you squeeze a spot, you push bacteria, dead skin cells and oil further into the skin, causing more swelling and redness, or worse, it can spread to other pores and cause more breakouts. Most importantly, popping pimples can lead to dark marks or scars which can last for a long time. Instead, let the pimple run its course, while treating it using effective products for acne and breakouts.

Myth #6: Toothpaste can help clear a pimple
False. While we do love a good hack, household items like toothpaste are not safe on your skin and the fluoride in it can aggravate your spots even more. Instead, opt for a pimple treatment like the SKIN functional Inflamed Red Blemishes Treatment that contains 5% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. Your skin will thank you for it!

Myth #7: Only oily skin gets breakouts
False. People with all skin types can develop whiteheads, blackheads and pimples. 

Myth #8: Applying makeup makes pimples worse
False. As long as you choose foundations and cosmetics that are noncomedogenic, they should not cause breakouts. In fact, some makeup products with ingredients like zinc oxide and silica can soak up your extra sebum, which can even reduce your risk of dealing with acne breakouts and avoid clogged pores that can lead to breakouts. If you have moderate to severe acne, chat to your doctor or dermatologist about which products are safe to use.