Whether it’s a few lone spots or a full spread of oh-so-tempting-to-pop pimples, a zit can feel like THE worst thing in the world. Sure, acne is bound to make an appearance at some point or another in everyone’s teen years but it’s like they have a sixth sense and just LOVE to pop up at the wrong time. Take that big birthday bash you’ve been waiting for or the moment when your crush finally starts talking to you *gulp*?! And, it doesn’t make it any better when grown-ups try to reassure you by saying that they disappear when you get older, especially when we need them to go any time like, er, right now.
It can be ultra-confusing though when everyone offers conflicting tips. Do you need to wash your face more often than two times a day? Does make-up make it worse? And *gasp* is Dairy Milk really to blame for your boils? Agh! It’s almost enough to cause another breakout just thinking about it all. Keep calm guys, we’re about to break down the facts from the fiction for you.
What is acne?
Acne is a super common skin condition which causes spots, lumps and oily skin. Most people develop acne on their face, but you might find that they notice acne on their chest or back – a condition we like to call bacne. Acne can be made up of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, cysts or a pick ‘n’ mix of all four. Need more deets? Find out more about what acne actually is.
Myth: You’re the only person in the world to have acne
Nope. Although it can feel like you’re the only one, celebrities aren’t exempt either – Rihanna? She’s had it. Miley Cyrus? Yup. Chris Hemsworth? Michelle Obama? Yep, even the First Lady had acne. Knowing that the rest of the world has, or at least had, acne can be reassuring.
And it’s great nowadays that there are so many people out there who own their acne with pride – take Rocio Cervantes, a make-up artist and vlogger who decided not to cover her acne and instead embrace it by turning her spots into stars. OK, so this may give you a few looks down the high street but it does prove you can – and shouldn’t – force yourself to stay indoors just because of a few zits.
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Myth: Eating too many chocolates or sweets is to blame
It can be easy to pin that zit that has taken over your whole face on the pack of digestives you just scoffed. But, if we had a pound for every time someone said that, we’d probably have enough £££ to buy the entire of Cadbury’s, TBH. Although scientists have researched it for years, there isn’t any proven link between chocolate and pimples (ha! told you mum). Even so, that doesn’t mean you can scoff all the chocolate in the world *sob*. The pesky sugar from the chocolate could be to blame so if you’re worried, keep an eye on how much sugar you’re scoffing.
Myth: Acne is just for teenagers
Nope. OK, so acne is super common among teenagers, which is partly to do with hormones, but did you know that it also affects people in their twenties (and sometimes even 30s, 40s and 50s) as well? A study by the NHS found that if both of your parents had adult acne, you’re more likely to get adult acne, too. But don’t sweat it – the good news is that for most people, acne goes away towards the end of their teen years.
Myth: You’re not washing your face enough
Having acne doesn’t mean you’re dirty or your hygiene routine needs work. If you can, try and wash your face once or twice a day and follow an easy three-step skincare routine. You might worry that you need to wash your face constantly but avoid doing this as it could irritate your skin and make symptoms worse.
Myth: You can catch it from someone else
Acne isn’t the flu, y’know. But it’s probably not wise to share your towels or pillows because that’s just good sleep hygiene, y’all.
Ultimately though, there’s nothing wrong with having a breakout or being embarrassed by it. Just remember, acne doesn’t ever define you and it’s not going to be a forever thing (most of the time). Spots or no spots, beauty is way more than what’s on your face.
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