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Acne myths, busted!

Does junk food really cause breakouts? We separate fact from fiction. 


1 Going to bed without washing your face leads to breakouts

We can’t blame everything on dirt. While it’s true that it worsens acne, dysfunctional cells – those that slough away readily or that produce too much sebum – are the root of acne.

2 Cheeseburgers cause zits

This is kind of true, but the burger isn’t the problem. It’s the cheese and the bun. Studies show that diets rich in dairy and high-glycaemic foods (white carbs such as flour, rice, and potatoes) correspond with acne occurrence. Loading up on foods with low-glycaemic ratings (legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables) has been shown to clear breakouts.

3 Prescription products are better than over-the-counter ones

They’re similar, only stronger (which isn’t always better). If over-the-counter cleansers, retinoids, and spot treatments don’t help alleviate breakouts after eight weeks, see a dermatologist, who can offer non-irritating solutions.

4 Toothpaste can double as spot cream

This myth persists no matter how many times we debunk it. The baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, menthol and ticlosan found in toothpaste do dry up excess oil, but the harsh combination of ingredients causes peeling and irritation. If you’re looking for a guerrilla solution, crush a tablet of aspirin, add a drop of water and apply it to the pimple overnight. It’s a powerful but gentle anti-inflammatory.


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