We all have to deal with spots at some time or another – even super famous celebs like Harry Styles have had to cope with bad skin – and the web is awash with helpful hints to get rid of those zits. But what’s real and what’s fake? I’m here to give you the low down on the tips that are not helpful in busting that zit!
But first off – what even is a zit (apart from a huge pain in the you-know-what)? Well, all over the face are tiny glands that produce sebum – an oily substance that keeps skin soft. Annoyingly, these glands become way too enthusiastic during puberty, and can block pores, which then trap bacteria. The bacteria totally love it there – so much so that they decide to get it on and produce millions more bacteria, which basically fart out chemicals, which turns our skin red. Gross, right?
1. Scrub away those zits!
Nope! Some people think that scrubbing at your face can get rid of spots. Rough scrubs can even tear the skin, leading to irritation and even more spots. Alcohol-based cleansers can strip the skin of its essential oils, leaving it dry. But acne isn’t caused by dirt – so you can’t clean it away.
Instead, try washing your face gently twice a day with a mild soap or cleanser and use an ’emollient’ moisturiser.
2. Picking pimples works
Not true! Popping, picking and pressing all lead the pimple to leak gunk into other tissue, leading to more spots and sometimes even scarring.
Instead, try, try, try not to touch them and let them heal naturally.
3. Toothpaste gets rid of acne
Nope! Many people think that using a small dab of toothpaste can dry out a spot like a miracle, but this is not the case. It can irritate the already sensitive skin around a spot and dry it out – making your zit look worse, not better. Not to mention, it hurts and can leave skin sore for days afterwards. Trust me – I try this stuff so that you don’t have to!
Instead, speak to your pharmacist about an over the counter product.
What else? There is some other stuff that also helps, like avoiding pore-clogging make-up and keeping your hair clean and off your face. If you’re acne is really bad and you’re worried about scarring, make an appointment with a GP as there are treatments that can help.