Acne remedies: truths or old wives' tales?

Living with acne isn’t easy: in an attempt to get rid of your problem skin, you may be tempted to try out miracle cures or DIY remedies. But, more often than not, they do not work. Find out what not to do to treat acne.

Your skincare routine

Your daily skincare routine is a real wellbeing moment. But very often “miracle” cures for acne just don’t work. Here are a couple of old wives’ tales to debunk:

  • “Washing your face often will get rid of your acne!” It’s not true: repeatedly washing your face won’t get rid of spots or scars, if anything it could make your skin worse. Wash your face twice a day with a mild, fragrance-free cleanser: your acne won’t magically disappear but you will remove sweat and sebum and this will help restore balance to your skin.
  • “Wearing make-up makes your acne worse!” This isn’t (always) true. If you use cosmetic products suitable for acne-prone skin, your acne won’t get worse. Always read the label when buying make-up: it should say the product doesn’t clog the pores, is oil-free or non-comedogenic.

Anti-acne treatments don't work miracles

Don’t be taken in by claims like: “This product will make your acne disappear overnight”.

Acne remedies take time to work: it takes at least 6 weeks before you start to see results. Don’t give up: the important thing is not to suspend treatment and not to chop and change products. If you follow the advice of a specialist, start treatment straightaway with the right product and see it through to the end, you will prevent scarring and permanent marks.

Do our daily habits affect our acne?

Only acne treatments can help clear up your skin but changing a couple of daily habits can bring you relief and support the action of your acne drug regimen.

  • Change your sheets at least once a week: dead skin cells and bacteria can accumulate on pillowcases and bed linen, clogging up your pores.
  • Don’t share make-up brushes or applicators: the build-up of other people’s dirt, sebum and bacteria can clog your pores even more and lead to irritation.
  • Use an electric razor: it is kinder to skin than a wet shave.

Other sayings you shouldn’t listen to.

  • “Tanning clears up the skin”: no! Tanning may mask the appearance of acne but it won’t make the problem go away. If anything, acne-prone skin is more susceptible to hyperpigmentation, so always make sure you use a suitable sunscreen when going out in the sun.
  • “Don’t do anything: you’ll grow out of it”. Acne isn’t just an issue for adolescents: it can continue into adulthood or even appear for the first time after you’ve turned 25. This condition is called adult acne and it’s important to choose the right remedy.

Dealing with acne isn’t easy but don't be tempted by false remedies: always follow the advice of your dermatologist or pharmacist.