5 Surprising Truths About Acne

5 Surprising Truths About Acne

June is Acne Awareness Month, and we asked our Chief Dermatologist, Dr. Robin Schaffran about the most common things she notices her clients don’t know about acne, so we could cut through the noise to deliver some proven facts about your skin.

Here are 5 surprising truths you may not know about acne:



1. Acne does not occur because someone doesn’t clean their skin enough.

In other words, acne is not a result of someone being “dirty”. Many people think that if they just cleanse their skin regularly, they shouldn’t have acne. The unfortunate truth is that acne is hormonal — you can wash until you are blue in the face and it won’t make a difference in your breakouts. Obviously cleansing your skin can be helpful when you have acne, but you can’t wash or clean acne away.


2. Acne doesn’t come from eating chocolate or greasy foods.

Many people think they are breaking out because they aren’t eating well or are eating too much junk food. Granted, eating healthy can make everything in your body work better (including your skin) and overall diet may play a small role in what happens with your skin. However, as noted above, acne is largely hormonal and genetic, and changing your diet usually doesn’t have much effect in improving acne for most people. Check out our blog post covering chocolate and breakouts here!


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3. Acne is largely inherited.

There is a strong genetic component with respect to who gets acne. If one of your parents or a sibling has acne you have a much greater chance of developing it.


4. Acne scars are not always from picking acne.

It’s true that if you pick at your acne it’s more likely that it will result in a scar (we also have a blog post on skin picking!). But many people also get scarring from acne even if they don’t pick, which can be extremely frustrating. The reasons for this scarring are not well understood.


5. Moisturizers will not aggravate acne.

Some people believe that you should avoid moisturizing if you have acne. In reality, this could not be farther from the truth. If you have acne-prone skin, especially if you are using acne products on your skin, it’s really important to moisturize your skin. As long as your moisturizer is oil-free, this will not contribute to worsening acne. In addition, if you don’t moisturize your skin and you get too dry, then it will send a signal to your oil glands that you are too dry and you will reflexively produce more oil to compensate which could potentially aggravate acne.