In today’s modern times, it’s common for us to run to the help of Google whenever we need answers. This is especially true when we’re looking for quick fixes related to our health. The internet can be a great resource, but it’s important to remember that there’s a lot of false information out there as well. This is especially true when it comes to skincare.

Before you Google acne hacks, remember that everyone’s skin is different. The bottom line is that not every tip or “best-kept-secret” you see online will work for you. And to help you separate the fact from the fiction, we’ve put together the following list of the top 5 acne myths that we see online.

1. The Sun Clears Up Acne – MYTH

Although it may feel like the sun is drying up your acne, it’s actually making it worse. And if you think a sunburn masquerades the redness from a breakout, just wait until the burn disappears and your breakout area is worse than it was before. Sunlight has also been known to cause cell turnover, creating an excess of dead skin cells that can clog pores and cause acne. As for the sun-tan that “camouflages acne” – it actually causes your skin to shed more dead cells, clogging pores and triggering more breakouts.

This doesn’t mean you should stay inside! In fact, we recommend you get outside and have as much fun in the sun as possible, especially once the summer hits! Just make sure you’re always wearing sunscreen – oil-free and non-comedogenic preferably to keep your skin breathable and protected.

2. Makeup Makes Acne Worse – MYTH

While it’s true that some products can clog your pores and cause breakouts, the right makeup can actually help your acne. Renowned dermatologist Dr. Gohara suggests powder-based mineral foundations with ingredients like silica, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide. “Powder foundations absorb oils that would otherwise be clogging your pores,” she says. Finally, as a general rule, you should make sure the products your purchasing are, again, oil-free and comedogenic.

3. Pores Can Open and Close – MYTH

Contrary to popular belief, steam doesn’t “open” your pores, and cold water doesn’t “close” them. Your pores don’t even have muscles, and therefore cannot move at all. They simply act as passageways for sweat and sebum, both of which are created to help you stay cool and condition your face, respectively. You can, however, make your pores appear smaller through cleansing which removes built-up sebum, and exfoliating to eliminate dead skin cells and leftover makeup.

4. Acne is Curable – MYTH

Acne is chronic, meaning it persists for a long time and is constantly recurring. And although it tends to slow down for most people as they age, you’re never 100% “cured”, as it can spark up when you’re stressed or eating poorly. However, you can control your acne breakouts by following a skincare routine and keeping track of what causes your breakouts. As we mentioned above, everyone’s skin is different so find what works for you and stick to it!

5. Pimples Happen Overnight – MYTH

Acne is a complicated thing. Although it may seem like that pimple came out of nowhere overnight, it was actually weeks in the making. Instead of just blaming it on one thing that you did “wrong”, there are usually 4 distinct events that lead to a breakout:

  • Leftover dead skin cells clog a pore
  • There’s an overproduction of oil beneath the clogged pore
  • Overgrowth of bacteria in the pore
  • Inflammation as a result of bacteria

It all starts with a clogged pore, making exfoliation and daily facial cleansing a must. Sticking to a routine that includes exfoliating (no more than 3 times a week) and the use of salicylic acid to remove built up dead skin cells is the best, most effective way to combat acne.