Submit your skincare questions to Dr. Agnes, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine expert
How much do you really know about dealing with breakouts? While most of us like to think that we're experts on the subject of skincare, there are some common misconceptions that can confuse even the savviest of people. That's why we've created this quiz asking questions about the right (and wrong) ways to deal with acne. No one likes homework, but this is one quiz that can keep your skin healthy and acne-free!
1) How many times per day should you wash your face with soap and water?
Answer: C, Never
Soap and water may seem like an inexpensive and easy way to keep your skin clean, but for most people it will do more harm than good. While you might think that water can do nothing but hydrate your skin, when it comes to water applied topically the exact opposite is true. Water and soap strip away at the essential oils of your skin (known as sebum), which can leave it feeling dry and irritated, and to compensate for this dryness, your sebaceous glands will produce excess sebum to counteract it. This extra oil can easily cause your pores to clog, and this sets the stage for acne-causing bacteria to start a breakout.
The best way to clean your face is once in the morning and once at night with gentle, yet effective, non-comedogenic cleansers.
2) Acne is a __________ problem.
C) Both a topical and internal
Answer: C, Both a topical and internal problem
While the effects of acne are shown prominently on your skin, this condition actually begins internally. Many people's problems with acne begin with their hormones-when there is too many free androgens present in the bloodstream, this can send signals to your pores to produce excess amounts of sebum. As you already know, this pore-clogging sebum sets the stage for a breakout. Therefore, the best course of action for treating acne involves addressing the problem from both the outside and the inside. We call it combination therapy. It's fine to make sure that your diet and skincare helps your skin and to use topical products to deal with the outward and embarrassing signs of acne, but it's just as important to use products that deal with its internal causes as well if you really want to treat it.
3) Is your diet __________?
A) A primary cause of acne
B) A secondary cause of acne
C) Diet has no role in acne
Answer: B, secondary cause
While the things you eat cannot directly cause your acne, they can most definitely make your skin more vulnerable to breakouts. Processed, high-sugar foods can cause inflammation that makes your skin sensitive and more prone to acne, and in extreme cases can cause glycation-a process that breaks down collagen, one of your skin's essential building blocks. When glycation occurs, your skin's overall health suffers and it loses its elasticity and youthful appearance. However, before you go eliminating everything tasty from your diet, do a little experimenting. Take a few weeks and cut out one or two sugary offenders. During that time, if your breakouts improve, you know you're on the right track eliminating high-sugar foods; however, if you don't see any improvement, don't be afraid to reintroduce the foods into your diet - they're probably not what is causing your acne.
4) When is it safe to pop your pimples?
A) When they become too big to ignore
B) You should never pop your pimples
C) As soon as they start to form
Answer: B, You should never pop your pimples
Even though popping pimples may seem like a quick and effective way to get rid of your breakouts, in the long run you're actually doing more damage than good to your skin. When you pop a pimple, the bacteria and debris contained within it is released - meaning that this junk can spread to your other pores and cause even more pimples! Additionally, after you've popped, the area where the pimple was becomes sensitive and inflamed, and both of these things leave you more susceptible to breakouts in the future. If you're worried you can't resist popping, take some tangible steps to resist the urge to pop. Your face will thank you.
With a promise of clear skin,