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Zit Busters - Do's and Don'ts for Acne Prone Skin

There are so many myths about acne and a lot of confusion about the best way to treat it.  Our dermatology nurse, Susan, helps separate fact from fiction so you can make informed choices about the best treatment option for you.

 Acne is just a normal part of being a teenager

Acne is an inflammatory skin disease.  It is not a normal part of being a teenager, although it is very common in teenagers.  Severe acne can seriously affect the way we feel about ourselves at a time when we’re already feeling unsure of the changes puberty brings.  If you are concerned about your acne, consult a qualified health professional to discuss your treatment options.

 Acne is caused by poor hygiene

No, it’s not. Acne occurs when the oil glands and pores in the skin become blocked.  When the pore is blocked, it’s an ideal environment for a bacteria called p.acnes to invade and cause redness and inflammation.  Acne is not caused by poor hygiene, but it is important to keep your skin clean.

 A good exfoliant will clean out my pores and wash away my blackheads

You can’t scrub acne away.  In fact, exfoliating can irritate the skin even more, triggering inflammation, redness and swelling and more breakouts.  Our advice is to avoid all exfoliation if you have acne.

 Picking and squeezing pimples is OK. It’s good to get the gunk out of my pimples

Nooooooo!  Don’t do it!  Picking and squeezing pimples quickly and visibly worsens acne because it causes severe inflammation.  It also causes acne scars that are very challenging to correct. 

 Eating chocolate causes acne

No!  Chocolate doesn’t cause acne.  A healthy diet is important for everyone, but will not cure acne.  So while going dairy free, sugar free and eating a plant-based diet is generally good for us, it will not have any significant impact on acne.

 Acne is caused by allergies

There is no evidence that acne is related to any allergic condition you may have.

 I can treat my acne with over-the-counter acne skin care

Wrong!  Very mild acne may improve with sensible skin care, but acne skin care ranges containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid actually worsen acne.  At first, you’ll notice the acne clearing up and the skin becoming drier, but as you continue to use these products, the active ingredients cause significant irritation and even more acne.  There is no need to use a specific skin care range for acne.

 I can’t wear sunscreen because I have acne

Wrong! You should be even more careful with sunscreen if you have acne because UV radiation is more harmful to inflamed skin.  Sun exposure can cause inflamed spots to turn dark brown. It will also cause premature wrinkles, other signs of aged skin, skin growths and skin cancers. Although some people with acne notice a small improvement in their acne during summer, the benefits of extra exposure to sunlight are at best small, while the risks are large. 

Oasis Sun SPF30 can be used as a daily facial sunscreen even in the most serious acne conditions.  It dries matte, is never greasy and doesn’t block pores. In my experience as a dermatology nurse, I’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to Oasis Sun SPF30 from my patients with acne.  It serves as a moisturiser and sunscreen and feels light and soothing on the skin without causing any irritation.

Keep it simple.  All you need is a good non-greasy cleanser, daily sun protection and a very gentle moisturiser. So here's what we suggest for acne prone skin:

Wash face morning and night with Light Milk Cleanser.  Rinse well and pat dry.

Protect every day with Oasis Sun SPF30+ or Knock Out moisturiser. 

Use Rhino Repair at night to soothe irritation and redness.

Read more on our Oasis Blog. Find out about pores and why we so often think our pores are too large

Got a skin issue you'd like to discuss? Book your free online consultation with our dermatology nurse, Susan.  


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