SPOTS. Zits. Pimples. Whatever you call acne, almost everyone gets it at some point in their life.
Yet there’s a lot of confusion around understanding and treating such a common skin condition, meaning it’s easy to make mistakes – potentially exacerbating the problem.
Consultant dermatologist Dr Catherine Borysiewicz from the Cadogan Clinic, who is working with acne treatment brand Acnecide, reveals the truth behind five common acne myths…
Myth 1: Acne only affects teenagers
Acne is extremely common, with about 95 per cent of 11 to 30 year olds affected by spots to some extent, according to the NHS.
“However, there is evidence to suggest the spectrum of onset of acne is changing, with cases emerging both earlier and later than what has been noted in the past,” says Borysiewicz.
“Acne can affect adults, and may also develop for the first time after the age of 25 years old. Late-onset of acne can be much more challenging to treat.”
Myth 2: You shouldn’t put sunscreen on acne
Do you find spots clear up when you’re on holiday somewhere warm and sunny?
“Many people will report their acne improves in the sunshine,” says Borysiewicz.
“This is because the skin reduces its immune response following UV radiation exposure.”
You might think it’s better not to put heavy sunscreen on acne-affected areas, but it’s actually even more important to ensure your skin is protected.
“Certain acne treatments, which include ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxy acid, retinol or vitamin C, can make skin more photosensitive, so it is advised to apply a daily SPF sunscreen (minimum SPF30) to protect yourself,” Borysiewicz explains.
Plus, these products can lead to hyperpigmentation after sun exposure – when melanin deposits cause dark spots. Borysiewicz adds: “The hyperpigmentation can remain long after the acne lesions have settled. Products used to treat acne can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun, which will…