Knowing as we do that acne is caused by too many skin cells, too much sebum, bacteria and inflammation, let's take a look at what doesn't cause it. These acne myths have been circulating throughout high schools for decades:
- Diet. While it may give us stomach aches, plump us up and make the idea of wearing fashionable jeans a comical notion, our skin isn't really affected by greasy pizza, fried chicken skin or chocolate-covered anything. (Just wash your hands after you put down that deep-fried Twinkie.) While a few studies have shown possible links between diet and acne, there's not enough research to support the conclusion.
- Our parents. There may be a connection between your genes and sebum overproduction, but, overall, your acne is uniquely yours, so you can't throw all the blame on mom and dad for this one.
- Dirt. Although it seems to fly in the face of logic, having a dirty mug won't cause acne. No, the problem comes from the inside out. In fact, if you try too hard to clean your face, you may actually irritate your skin and make matters worse.
- Most makeup products. It's unlikely your makeup products are resulting in blemishes, especially if they're labeled "oil-free" or "noncomedogenic." However, some people have skin that gets more irritated than that of others, so if you think your makeup is contributing to your outbreaks, stop wearing it or change products. Also, in general, be sure to thoroughly but gently remove all makeup from your face at the end of each day.
So if avoiding pizza doesn't prevent it, what does? On the next page, we'll take a look at some acne prevention strategies. Here's a hint -- take a yoga class, or at least a deep breath.