The Truth About Acne...For You and Your Teen


   With all the hustle and bustle a family goes through during back to school time it can be easy to overlook the changes your teenager’s skin has gone through over the summer. Now is the best time to start addressing the blemishes and eruptions that have made their appearance. Breaking down the myths of acne will best prepare you to help your teenage combat breakouts. And if your skin is having trouble, the same advice applies.

Myth #1: Acne is caused by poor hygiene. 

   In reality washing the skin hard and frequently can actually irritate the skin and make acne worse. Acne is not caused by dirt or surface skin oils. The best approach to hygiene and acne is to gently wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser, pat dry and follow with a light moisturizer.

Myth #2: Acne is caused by diet.

   Extensive scientific studies have not found a connection between diet and acne. In other words, food does not cause acne. But eating a balanced diet always makes sense, and vitamin deficiency (which you can get from lack of a balanced diet) can definitely contribute to acne problems.

Myth #3: Acne is caused by stress.

   The ordinary stress of day-to-day living doesn’t cause acne; it can just amplify what’s already there. Stress can elevate hormone levels, and hormones have a direct connection to acne. Severe stress that needs medical attention is sometimes treated with drugs that can cause acne as a side effect. If you think you may have acne related to a drug prescribed for stress or depression, consult your physician.

Myth #4: Acne is just a cosmetic disease.

   Yes, acne does affect the way people look and is normally not otherwise a serious threat to a person’s physical health. However, acne can result in permanent physical scars. Furthermore, acne as well as its scars can influence the way people feel about themselves to the point of affecting their lives.

Myth #5: You just have to let acne run its course.

   The truth is that acne can be cleared up. If the acne products you have tried haven’t gotten you the results you desire, keep trying. Remember to relax with life’s stresses and eat a balanced diet, while drinking plenty of water for hydration. This will all help to maintain a corrected pH balance and hormone levels.

Myth #6: Popping and squeezing acne makes it clear up more quickly. 

   In fact, every time you pop or squeeze a pimple, zit, whitehead, blackhead, or cyst, you cause matters to get worse. Envision squeezing a balloon in between your hands right in the middle. Some of the air causes pressure and expansion at the top of the balloon, but notice that some of the air moves to the back of the balloon. The same is true when you pop a zit; some of the pus and bacteria release from the top and are forced deeper into the skin. 

Myth #7:  Pimples and acne are the same thing.

   They are related, in that pimples can occur during acne, but acne can be a very painful disorder of the skin caused by inflammation of the skin glands and hair follicles. Pimples are generally found on the face and are small, solid, usually conical elevations of the skin.

Myth #8: Drying out the skin will make it less oily, therefore helping with acne. 

   Actually, products that dry the skin cause the skin to produce more sebum. Your skin sends a message to your brain to inform it of the dry conditions it is encountering, and your brain sends a message back to produce more oil. 

Myth #9:  Using scrubs will reduce the appearance of acne. 

   Your skin can becomes irritated from most scrubs, which causes inflammation of the skin, which leaves the skin in the perfect condition for disease to set in. 

Myth #10:  You will outgrow acne. 

   In fact 25 percent of adult men and 50 percent of adult women suffer from acne at some time in their adult life. So even if your offspring are far from their teenage years, don’t discard this information too quickly.

Aromatherapy Tip 

   The most effective essential oils to address blemishes are two of my all time favorites. Tea tree essential oil is antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, and in addition has the ability to liquefy puss. Lavender essential oil reduces inflammation and is antibacterial. 

KAYLA FIORAVANTI, RA is the chief formulator and co-founder of Essential Wholesale and Essential Labs,