Acne’s Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I’ve tried a million over-the-counter products for acne and they work for a while and then they stop. I’ve tried oil-free cleansers, gels, cover-ups, and makeup – all of which claim they help acne-prone skin. But they’re not; what am I doing wrong?
A: You’re not doing anything wrong except wasting your money. The products you’re buying don’t work. Even though they are labeled oil-free, they really aren’t oil-free. All products with the exception of water, are oil-based.
Just like in the foods you eat, there are good oils and bad oils. The products that you have been using are full of bad oils and are producing new acne, not helping it.
Over-the-counter eye shadows and lipsticks are fine, but when it comes to make-up and cleansers, the stuff you’ve been buying just isn’t helping.
Q: What about all the acne soaps and astringents I use? I wash and scrub my face constantly, but I still break out. Why?
A: You can scrub all you want but it won’t make a difference. Acne forms inside your hair follicles which are below the surface. The same thing goes for drying-out your skin with alcohol or astringents.
All this does is clean the top layer of your skin, but it doesn’t go inside the clogged hair follicles to clean them out. It’s important to realize that your pimples are forming beneath the top layers of your skin and that over-the-counter products can’t help you there.
Q: I’m very skeptical about new products, especially since everything I’ve used up till now hasn’t worked.
A: Everyone’s skin is different, that’s why offers a variety of products, all formulated for specific skin types and problems. Many factors determine your treatment which is customized for you.
Q: Are chocolate and greasy foods really bad for my skin?
A: No! How could anyone live without chocolate or French fries?
Q: Is there a connection between what I eat and my acne?
A: Yes, it helps to eat a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals with plenty of water. This is paramount to having a healthy body and a good complexion. Splurging on bad food once in a while is no big thing, as long as you eat well most of the time. However, some people have that backward.
The stress you put on your body if you mistreat it by not eating right, smoking, doing drugs, over-doing the alcohol or caffeine is enough to aggravate even the mildest acne case.
Q: Why don’t antibiotics work for acne?
A: Antibiotics work for getting rid of an infection, like strep throat. When it comes to treating acne, all topical and oral drugs are doing is temporarily killing the bacteria, which eventually become resistant to the antibiotic.
A common practice is to prescribe topical ointment, in conjunction with antibiotics. Unfortunately, many people experience redness and irritation which actually cause more pimples and blackheads to form.
Q: What should I expect to see after using products for a couple of months?
A: You will definitely look better. Your pimples will be smaller, go away faster, and you should have fewer of them. They get to the root of the problem and work. That’s all do – is treat your type of skin.
Q: If the sun is so damaging to my skin, then why does it seem to clear up my acne?
A: It’s not helping clear up your acne at all. The “tan” look is just a temporary coloring that appears to hide your pimples. But when the tan goes away, they stay. Worse yet, the sun tans your scars darker and sets you up for a whole new crop of pimples! Sun damages your skin and that’s all there is to it.
True, you might look better and feel better with a tan, but what you’re doing is creating new pimples for three or four months down the road – that’s how long it takes for a pimple to form. It’s not a fluke that your skin looks worse in October when your summertime tan catches up with you. That’s why it is important to wear specially formulated sunscreens to help prevent future breakouts.
Q: I try to remember and wear sunscreen, but every time I wear it my skin breaks out worse. What’s the story?
A: Most of the over-the-counter sunscreens you’ve probably been using are loaded with oils that clog your skin, this produces acne.
Remember that sunscreen is JUST that: screen. You need to apply your sunscreen at least a half-hour before sun exposure and re-apply it at least every two hours to receive maximum protection. Also, it never hurts to wear a wide-brimmed hat or sit under a tree. Acne or not, the sun harms your skin.
Q: I work out and sweat a lot. I always have pimples on my back but rarely on my face. How can I avoid them altogether?
A: Sweat aggravates acne, however, there are a few things you can do to minimize your breakouts. First of all, avoid sports drinks at all costs! Most sports drinks contain high amounts of iodine which has been shown to flare up pimples when excreted through the skin in the form of sweat. Drinking lots of water during exercise helps minimize this problem. Wear clean, loose-fitting clothing during your workout because believe it or not, friction makes pimples bigger. Last, but not least, you must try to shower at least 1/2 hour after exercise using cleansers for acne-prone areas.
Q: After working out and showering, it feels like the soap didn’t cut the oil and sweat on my skin – especially on my back. Any suggestions?
A: The Acne cleansers are perfect for the job. They are adequate for both the face and body and thoroughly clean your skin without leaving behind any slimy residue.
Q: My skin seems to break out only where I shave.
Why, and what can I do to stop this?
A: If you are using a double-edged razor, then STOP! Double-edged blades cut the hair beneath the surface and cause trauma and subsequent breakouts. Try using a single-edged razor and shave in the direction of your hair growth. Also, you need to stop using your current shaving cream because it’s probably aggravating your skin. Never put cologne or aftershave on areas where you frequently break out because these products contain oils that will aggravate your acne. It is also advisable to use topical medications on a daily basis to prevent future breakouts as well.
Q: I’m 34 years old, I was always looking forward to trading in my pimples for wrinkles, but it’s starting to look like I’ll be stuck with both. Why?
A: Acne is a genetic skin problem and aging won’t get you out of this one. While it’s true that the older you get the flare-ups usually become less severe, they’re still unwanted and often embarrassing.
Most acne sufferers go between times of flare-ups and clear skin their whole lives.
Q: Why do I always break out about a week before my period? My pimples are large and hurt and seem to be located around my mouth and chin. Also, sometimes they pop up on my neck.
A: Hormones, hormones, hormones. It is very common to breakout along the lower half of your face and neck because of hormones. Regular periods and regular break-outs go hand in hand, however, if you’re having irregular periods, the imbalance of hormones could make your skin worse. Also, where acne is concerned, some birth control pills are less acne aggravating than others.
Stress and Emotions
Q: When I’m stressed or burned out, my acne gets worse.
What does one thing have to do with the other?
A: Whether it’s from relationship problems, an unbalanced diet, lack of sleep, your job, or school pressures, stress aggravates acne. You may be able to control some stress, but unfortunately, stress is a part of life. That’s why it’s important to have a skincare program that’s easy to use and helps to fight off stress-induced pimples.
So whether you’re stressed out or not, you are able to successfully control breakouts using a daily treatment plan.
Sleeping 8 hours a night, eating a well-balanced diet, regular exercise and drinking plenty of water can immediately help reduce your stress level.
Getting close is simply out of the question when you feel bad about your skin. We’re too embarrassed by our skin to want to leave the house – let alone have someone touch it. Now there is a way to control your breakouts so your breakouts don’t control you.
Additional Acne’s Top FAQ’s
Q: Can you get (catch) acne from other people?
A: While certain types of acne do contain a bacterium, it is located in the hair follicles under your skin and can not be transmitted through contact. So no, touching or kissing someone with acne will not cause you to develop acne.
Q: If both my parents had acne does that mean I will develop acne?
A: Studies show that heredity does play an important role in determining who develops acne. So children of parents who had or have acne are at a greater risk than others. It should be noted that as with any disease just because you have a family history, does not guarantee you will get it; only that you have a much great chance than someone with no family history.
Q: Does eating or drinking certain foods cause acne?
A: Over the years studies have suggested everything from chocolate, candy, fried foods, sugar, drinking water, orange juice to milk can cause you to develop acne or make existing acne worse. However, there is no scientific evidence to support any such results. There are so many factors affecting acne development that it is very difficult to isolate any one cause. So whether or not to avoid certain foods or drinks is really just an individual preference. If you find your skin reacts negatively to certain foods, then just don’t eat or drink them.
Q: Does dirt on my skin cause acne?
A: Having proper hygiene will help with healthy skin. However dirty skin will not cause acne, but anybody with acne should be extra vigilant in having a good cleansing routine. Over-washing can irritate your skin and make it more vulnerable to infection. Washing with a gentle cleanser will help reduce skin cell build-up and keep your skin looking at its best. So find a balance and try not to over wash.
Q: Does stress cause acne?
A: Stress has been shown to make acne worse, not directly cause it. So if you suffer from acne you should be aware of how you react under stress and develop ways to help manage and keep it under control. This will not only help with controlling your acne but also benefit your overall health.
Q: Can you develop acne once you are out of your teens?
A: The simple answer is yes. In fact, many people who never experienced acne as a teen can develop it in their 30, 40, and 50’s.
Q: Does makeup or sunscreen make acne worse?
A: Certain products that are overly greasy and thick can plug the follicles of the skin leading to the development of acne. Not all products affect everyone the same way, so while you may develop acne using one product someone else may not. If you are prone to acne you will need to be extra careful with what you put on your skin. Try to always use oil-free products and also test a small amount on a patch of skin for a few days before using it all over.
Q: Will exercising affect my acne?
A: While it is still unclear why this happens, vigorous exercising that causes your body to heat up and sweat does seem to cause acne to get worse for certain people. One theory is that exercise increases the production of sebum, the oil that when too much is produced can lead to acne.
Q: Can a facial help with acne?
A: There is no easy way to answer this question. The term facial is used to describe everything from an over-the-counter product you buy from a drug store and do it yourself to something done at an expensive spa for hundreds of dollars. The bottom line is anything that might irritate your skin can make your acne worse.
Q: Why does my acne stop responding to my current treatment?
A: Acne medication, like all medications, can become less effective over time as your body builds a resistance to them. It might be necessary to use acne treatment regimens on a rotational basis for optimum effectiveness.