Did you know that 80% of people get acne in their lifetime? It’s super common! But it’s also something people wish wasn’t so common. The scary red bumps, the pain, the irritation… Acne is undoubtedly an unfun experience.
But what’s interesting is that, although acne is so common, it’s ridiculously misunderstood. Here are four surprising things you might not know about acne. Most acne myths aren’t even grounded in reality.
Oil Isn’t the Only Culprit
Acne occurs when the oil from your oil glands mixes with dead skin cells. This blocks the pores and hair follicles. These blocked pores and follicles provide the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and thrive, and when bacteria thrives a little too much, acne is born.
But don’t be mad at the oil and dead skin—you can also blame your genetics and environment for your bad breakouts. Your genetics, hormones, and daily habits ultimately determine how badly your skin breaks out.
There Are Six Kinds of Pimples
Another surprising thing you might not know about acne is that there are six kinds of pimples. We all know about blackheads and whiteheads, but what about their sad, forgotten cousins, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts? Papules and pustules are the big, red, painful bumps you get, while nodules and cysts are deep, stubborn pimples that you should always have treated by a certified dermatologist.
Face-Washing Makes Acne Worse
People say you should regularly wash your face to get rid of acne, but excessive face-washing can actually make your acne worse. Over-washing your face causes the skin to dry out. And when your skin is dry, your oil glands overproduce oil to rehydrate it. Extra oil means more opportunity for bacteria to grow. So if you want to kick acne to the curb, keep your daily face-washing sessions to a minimum.
Your Diet Doesn’t Have Much Impact
Yup! You can go back to feasting on chocolate, dairy, and other foodstuffs purported to cause breakouts, because evidence shows that most individual food items have no direct link to acne. A healthy and well-rounded diet can improve your skin, but occasionally indulging in pizza or sweets won’t make it worse. The reason some foods are correlated with acne is because eating too much of them can alter your hormones. Those altered hormones are what increase your likelihood of breakouts—not the food itself.