by Kimberly Lovato, Licensed Skin Care Specialist, Acne Specialist, Product Formulator, Owner/Founder
When struggling with acne, it is difficult to wade through the enormous amount of advice being offered both online and by well-meaning medical professionals. This can be frustrating since many acne sufferers do not know where to turn for the truth – but now you have found yourself in the right place. So, sit up, pay attention, and let’s knock out a few of those acne myths that never seem to fade away.
Myth #1 “It Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better”: This is often spoken by health professionals as they are handing you a prescription for Tretinoin or Retin A Cream. What they do not realize is both of these products contain Isopropyl Myristate – a very pore-clogging ingredient. What happens next? Your skin becomes dry, red, irritated, and acne can get worse. Does it ever get better? How can it?
Myth #2 Accutane (Isotretinoin) Will Clear Your Acne For Life: At the ABQ Acne Clinic, scores of our clients have taken Accutane to combat acne. In fact, many of them have taken it several times, leaving numerous individuals to deal with the long-term side effects of taking this drug. Why did acne come back? Simple. If you haven’t removed the root cause of acne from your life, then it is reignited over and over again.
Myth #3 Low Estrogen Birth Control Will Help Clear Your Skin: This is important to know; low estrogen birth control can exacerbate acne quickly into a full-on cystic meltdown. Why? Because low estrogen INCREASES oil production in the pores. This includes the IUD Paragard. True, it doesn’t have hormones, but it does have a copper tip that depletes zinc levels in the body. Zinc helps to fight acne by reducing the inflammatory response to bacteria and decreases oil in the pores. An acne safe option would be a name brand pill form such as Ortho Tri Cyclen that contains 35mg of estrogen, to help DECREASE oil in the pores.
Myth #4 Diet Has Nothing To Do With Acne: Actually, diet has EVERYTHING to do with acne. For individuals who are genetically prone to acne, specific foods can increase oil production in the pores, and inflammation in the body. Which foods are the biggest triggers? To start with, dairy will increase oil production in the pores, and inflammation in the body, and it doesn’t matter if it is organic, raw, or hormone-free. It is an acne trigger. Iodine is another culprit in the realm of acne. Too much can aggravate pores leading to a breakout. For proper thyroid function, we only need 150 mcg of salt daily, and in our American diets, we surpass this level tenfold. Even healthy foods like broccoli, spinach, asparagus, and kale can spark acne, if you do not know your personal limits. Why? These are also very high in iodine. Additionally, high glycemic foods like bread, chips, crackers, and cookies can increase oil production in the pores. And this may surprise you, but even consuming too many high sugar fruits can feed and support acne. Just because it is natural, doesn’t mean it will help eliminate acne.