Acne Series: Myths about blemish-prone skin

If you Google, “cures for acne” you will be faced with millions of pages containing weird and wonderful cures for stubborn blemishes.

Unfortunately, as anyone who has ever covered a spot in toothpaste will know, 99% of these are complete rubbish!

There are so many urban myths about the causes and cures for acne, so in my third acne series post I’m going to bust some of the most common ones…

Myth 1: Acne is caused by dirty skin

This is one I hear time and time again and it’s just not true! Just as a blackhead is not caused by ‘dirt’ clogging a pore (more on that here), blemishes are not caused by skin not being washed often enough.

In fact, over-cleansing the skin can often cause blemishes.

Over-zealous cleansing can alter the pH balance of the skin and disrupt its natural oil production, leaving it imbalanced and prone to reaction or breakouts.

However, it is very important to keep anything coming into contact with the skin clean to limit bacteria. Think makeup brushes, pillowcases, phone screens and most of all – fingers!

Myth 2: You should dry out a spot

‘Drying out’ a spot with a harsh spot treatment or essential oil (like Tea Tree), will not only irritate sensitive skin, but will also make the spot hang around for longer and make it more obvious!

Instead, reduce the inflammation and redness in the spot by applying a dot of our Copaiba & Zinc Blemish Serum, which clears blemishes up without drying or irritating the area.

For pesky under-the-skin spots, I swear by using a drop of our Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil which either sees them off or draws them out.

Myth 3: You can scrub, peel or resurface skin to get rid of spots

Really scrubbing at sensitive, blemish-prone skin will only cause aggravation which can worsen acne, as will peeling or ‘resurfacing’ the skin with harsh products.

Not only will you run the risk of a reaction, but you may also break down the skin’s precious acid mantle – the layer of natural oils protecting the surface of your skin.

That said, gentle exfoliation with a non-abrasive exfoliator, like our Kukui & Jojoba Bead Exfoliator is brilliant for blemish-prone skin.

It helps to shift dead skin cells and impurities which can lead to congestion, without tearing or damaging the skin’s surface.

Myth 4: Chocolate gives you spots

Good news, especially as it’s National Chocolate Week – chocolate doesn’t give you spots!

But, refined sugar does and you’ll find a lot of that in your Dairy Milk bar…

Ditch the cheap milk chocolate and stick to a square or two of very dark, antioxidant-rich chocolate – I’m talking minimum 70% cocoa and above, or better still make your own! 

Myth 5: You need to fight your spots

Managing unpredictable, blemish-prone skin can feel like a constant battle.

I’m very anti the ‘fight’ approach. To really clear up your skin you need to get to the root of the problem and learn what causes your skin to flare up or breakout.

This can be different for everyone, but I found keeping a product and food diary a really useful starting point. It’s time consuming, but you’ll soon see some patterns emerging.

Remember, knowledge is power – the more in tune you are with your skin, the easier it will become to manage and balance.

My final acne series installment is coming up, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you’d like some more in-depth skincare advice our skincare experts are always on hand to help. Just email:

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