Acne, pimples, and zits. The bane of teenagers everywhere and the worst thing to wake up to in the morning. But how much of what we know about the dreaded Mount Blemish is really true?
Common zit myths, BUSTED!
Myth #1 : Your diet has nothing to do with getting pimples.
Truth: While diet is not solely responsible for any zits you get, studies have found that people who don’t eat as much fish and who eat more sweet foods, dairy products and unhealthy fats do have higher rates of acne. So ditch the cheese burger and bring on the fish fillet!!!
Myth #2 : Chocolate = Zits
Truth: The cocoa in chocolate doesn’t cause pimples; it’s the sugar and dairy that’s added that causes you to break out. So try dark chocolate with 70% cocoa, for a chocolate hit with less sugar.
Myth #3 : Pimples are a teenager’s problem
Truth: Unfortunately there’s no guarantee you will ever grow out acne, as it’s hormones that cause the increase of oil production and therefore, pimples. That why it’s common for women to get acne as teenagers and again later in life.
Myth #4 : Bake your skin in the sunshine, that’ll get rid of any pimples
Truth: Sunlight sort of helps pimples, as it can reduce the inflammation of acne but in the long run it doesn’t do much and actually causes premature aging, which can create wrinkles and blackheads. So hang on to your sunhats and keep the sunscreen flowing!
Myth #5 : Pop your pimples!
Truth: Hands off! Popping pimples causes trauma to the skin which can lead to infection and scarring, but if you leave them alone, zits will, on average, heal in about 3 days. So leave it and use an overnight spot treatment instead.
Common blemish terms and what they actually mean:
• Blackheads: are NOT dirt in the skins pores. Blackheads are just whiteheads that have undergone the process of oxidation (a chemical reaction happening in your skin – think of what happens to an apple when you cut it open and it darkens). Blackheads occur when the follicale (pore) opens up, oxygen enters, causes the oil and dead skin cells within the follicle to undergo the oxidation process.
• Whiteheads: are filled with the same material as blackheads (dead skin cells and sebum) but only have a tiny opening to the skin surface, which keeps the material inside safe from oxygen and from developing the black colour.
• Acne Rosacea: Rosacea is sometimes referred to as Acne Rosacea due to looking similar to acne, however it’s a DIFFERENT condition to common acne. Rosacea symptoms include one or more of the following: frequent flushing, redness on parts of the face (can look like sunburn), small lumpy red spots, tiny visible blood vessels, and a thickening of the skin.
• Acne Vulgaris: is the medical term for the bacteria that causes pimples. This bacteria is found in pores that are blocked with sebum and dead skins, and is what causes the inflammatory response that forms the pus-filled pimple. Fun Fact: Vulgaris means ‘common’ in Latin.
How to prevent pimples
1. Wash your face twice a day.
This is to prevent impurities and excess oil from clogging the skin. Make sure your are gentle as harsh scrubbing can irritate your skin
2. Change your pillow case once a week.
Bacteria can linger on your pillow and cause acne to reoccur.
Just because you have acne and oily skin doesn’t mean your skin doesn’t dry out, so look for a moisturiser that is “noncomedogenic,” which means it won’t cause acne or blackheads.
4. Ease up on the make-up.
Avoid using oil-based foundations, powders and blushers, as they can clog the pores. Always wash off at night.
5. Hands off the face.
Keep from touching your face as your hands carry bacteria and dirt that could irritate and further inflame your skin.
Check out these products that can help keep your acne under control!
Skin Routine for acne skin:
Tip #1 Cleanse gently, you don’t want to irritate your skin for the day ahead.
Tip #2 Use a toner, this is more of an optional step, but it makes you feel fresh for the day ahead.
Tip #3 Use an anti-acne serum or spot treatment.
Tip #4 Use a lightweight moisturiser.
Tip #5 If you wear make-up, apply a thin layer of primer under your make-up.
Tip #6 Instead of covering your face in several layers of concealer, try using colours to blend instead of hide, and use highlighters to draw attention to eyes and lips instead of blemishes.