There is a lot of misinformation and misconceptions around the skin condition, acne. Lucky for you, we love skin and sharing our knowledge with you! We’ve heard some doozies in our time, but the following are the ones we seem to hear time and time again.
Myth: You have to kill all of the bacteria on your face to get rid of acne
Busted: This is a common misconception, whereby it is thought that all bacteria is bad. Similar to our gut, we have good and bad bacteria all over our face. The majority of the bacteria that makes up our skin microbiome is actually good bacteria and our skin needs it to function optimally. In amongst this bacteria includes 77 strains of p. acne bacteria – while this sounds bad, only a handful of these actually cause acne. Stripping the skin of its good bacteria throws its flora balance out of equilibrium and can aggravate (and cause) acne and its symptoms. If you think you’ve been guilty of over-cleansing or using a harsh cleanser, chat to a Corneotherapist, who will prioritise your skin’s microbiome and skin barrier to work on achieving healthy, balanced skin.
Myth: You need to scrub to decongest and eliminate acne
Busted: Acneic or congested skins often present with lowered enzyme activity, which means the skin struggles to perform its natural desquamation (or exfoliation) process. Over-exfoliating with harsh scrubs is not actually the answer to this particular acne symptom, as it causes your stratum corneum to degrade and the more of it you take away by unnecessary exfoliation, the less it can perform it’s own natural exfoliation process, which causes further congested within the skin. While some exfoliation is good, overdoing it will cause so much more harm than good – you’re basically taking away your skin’s chance to heal itself and deal with the congestion naturally. Regular Enzyme Treatments are a great way to exfoliate without overdoing it. Your skin treatment therapist can also consider products that help your skin to activate its skin’s natural desquamation process, such as our new PlutioDerm Fluid or Süüsmoon Lotion P.
Myth: Only oily skins suffer from acne
Busted: Only 3% of the population has a true oily skin. Skin barrier impairment caused by constant stripping of the acid mantle, results in trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) which in turn encourages the over-production of sebum. The skin over-produces sebum in an attempt to repair the acid mantle. Skin barrier impairment is often caused by using incorrect topical cosmeceuticals or skincare products. It is vital to address your skin barrier if you want to effectively manage acne or congestion. To avoid using the wrong skincare products, a skin analysis should be your first step with any new skin regime or treatment plan.
Myth: Toothpaste is a good zit zapper
Busted: Please don’t put toothpaste on your skin! Toothpaste has a basic pH, meaning it sits at a pH of 7, whereas your skin’s pH is around 5.5, thus making your skin more alkaline (which we don’t want). Toothpastes contain ingredients such as baking soda, whitening components and menthols; your skin cannot metabolise these. Using it on your skin will cause dryness, possible skin irritations and can actually result in a chemical burn on the skin! Toothpaste wasn’t designed to be put on the skin and the ingredients in it aren’t meant to control acne-causing bacteria. A bespoke zit zapping serum blend and our greenstick, Cover & Conceal, are handy to have in your arsenal for when a pimple pops up. Repeat after me: ‘toothpaste is for teeth only’!
Do you have any questions about this skin condition? Ask us below in the comments!
Thank you to my colleagues & brain trust of Jess, Emma and Beth for explaining these myths to us and sharing your wonderful knowledge!