Acne 101


By Jaishree Drepaul

Feeling heartbroken over breakouts? Read on as Vervegirl helps you separate acne fact from fiction

What’s all the hype about hygiene?

Contrary to popular belief, dirt isn’t the culprit behind your boils. Excessive washing can dry out your skin and cause irritation — causing your oil glands to kick into overdrive, leading to…oops! More pimples. Limit yourself to gently washing twice a day, and opt out of rubbing or scrubbing your skin with something like a facial mitt or even a washcloth. A washcloth may look innocent enough, but using the tips of your fingers to clean is truly best for complexions that need extra care and protection from aggravation.

If your skin is super-sensitive, you might want to try a non-soap product like:

 Chocolate Controversy

Sorry, but the jury seems to still be out on this one. Some experts, such as Dr. Yohini Appa, Senior Director of Scientific Affairs at Johnson & Johnson, insist that there is no link between what you eat and how clear your complexion is. She says that the primary cause of breakouts is a hike in your body’s hormone levels. This, in turn, triggers increased sebum (oil) production. Although Appa says that having a poor diet does not contribute to the formation of acne, other experts insist that certain foods, such as chocolate, potato chips, french fries, or pizza, can be blamed for blemishes. So what to do about an issue that doesn’t appear completely black or white? You know your body best. If you feel a certain food makes you breakout, you have nothing to lose by eliminating it from your diet, if only for a little while.

 When acne suddenly attacks arm yourself with:

Should you Savour the Sun?

Without a doubt, sun therapy can be rather tempting. Logically it stands to reason that the sun will dry up your pimples, but this free method of acne treatment can turn out to be quite costly. The heat from the sun can indeed dry out your pimples and a nice tan may even out your complexion and disguise some scarring. But, is it worth the increased chances of premature aging, wrinkles and skin cancer? Sun exposure can actually cause your skin to thicken and slow down the rate of dead cell turnover. And all those excess cells sit on top, clogging your pores and can lead to breakouts in the following weeks.

Keep your skin looking radiant and protected from harmful UV radiation by using:

The Adrenals-Acne Connection

Sometimes it can seem like your pimples are determined to raise their ugly little heads at the most inopportune times, like just before that all-important first date, or the morning of your oral presentation. Researchers have determined that a pimple doesn’t, in fact, just pop up overnight. And while stress doesn’t cause acne, it certainly can worsen it. In a nutshell, when your body experiences stress, your adrenals kick in and produce certain hormones that are known to increase sebum production, making your skin oilier than usual. Additionally, according to online experts for Clean & Clear acne products, “stress can also trigger you to eat worse and sleep less. Both of which can contribute to making your acne worse.”

Remember that a pimple doesn’t just happen overnight. It starts on a microscopic level about 6 to 8 weeks before showcasing itself on your face. You can treat the zits you have and prevent future breakouts by using something like: