4 Acne Myths You Should Stop Believing

4 Acne Myths You Should Stop Believing

Welcome to my first series of debunking myths.  This series will be broken into multiple posts and I'm sharing some of the most common myths floating around regarding skin.

First up, acne.

Acne is a common skin condition, that affects not only adolescence but adults as well. This topic often sparks various misconceptions from origination down to how to treat it. So, let's unravel the truths behind acne and dispel five prevalent myths that may be hindering your journey to clearer skin.

Myth # 1: Stripping the Skin to Eliminate Acne

Many believe that scrubbing their face vigorously or frequently will banish acne. However, excessive cleansing does quite the opposite.  This method can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to increased oil production because the skin is trying to compensate for what you have taken away.  All the hard work you are putting in to get rid of your acne or excess oil is now being replaced with an even bigger problem.

Solution: If acne or oily skin is driving you insane.  Focus on a simple and gentle approach.  Emphasis on gentle.  The goal is to resolve your skin concerns while maintaining a healthy skin barrier.

That means no harsh products, avoiding using non-irritating products such as exfoliants without proper guidance from a professional, and not seeking a tingling feeling because you believe that indicates it's working.

I would also add a that a simple routine is always best.  When you implement a simple routine you are more prone to be consistent and feel more empowered to never skip a step or even a day of skincare.  A simple routine involves a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and SPF.

If you want to learn more about your individual skin needs, schedule a virtual skin consultation with me, I'll help you address your specific concerns, and the best part is you don't have to step foot in my treatment room.

Myth # 2: Oils Are Bad for Acne-Prone and Oily Skin

As an oily skin girl, this was a myth I once believed in.  As a teenager (80's baby here) we were taught to dry out the skin and moisturizers were not for us. 

Contrary to popular belief, oils can benefit acne-prone and oily skin.  I now know better and in fact, oils and moisturizers are a major staple in my routine.  Oils high linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that plays a major role in maintaining the skin's natural moisture intact, are ideal for oily/acne-prone skin.  Think hemp seed oil or rosehip that nourishes and soothes inflammation.

Solution: It's essential to differentiate between harmful and beneficial oils for your skin state.  So focus on your individual skincare needs instead of avoiding such a beneficial method to decrease trans-epidermal water loss, and improve moisture and anti-inflammatory activity.

Myth # 3: Acne-Prone and Oily Skin Doesn't Need Hydration

One of the integral parts of a skincare routine and to preserve optimal skin health is hydration.  It's the one thing that your skin can benefit the most, despite your skin type or concern.  This includes acne-prone and oily skin.

Your skin has a protective barrier, often referred to as a skin barrier.  Your skin barrier is the outermost visible layer of skin and has the major role of keeping you alive and well.  Think of it as a brick wall that keeps water in and toxins and bacteria out.  If you haven't noticed yet, your skin barrier is essential for not just your skin but your overall health.  With that, it needs to be cared for to help your skin and body function properly.

When your skin barrier is not functioning properly, it can lead to water loss.  Resulting in you becoming prone to developing dry, scaly skin, sensitive or inflamed areas, and yes even acne.  For example, dehydrated skin (skin that lacks water) is a sign of a compromised skin barrier.   Something isn't working the way it should.  As a result, this dehydration can trigger excess oil production, exacerbating acne issues - we don't want that!

Solution: Moisturize!  I am always surprised at the number of people who come to me that skip this step altogether.  Use a lightweight, moisturizer to help maintain skin hydration that doesn't clog pores.  You can also incorporate other products that are specifically designed to hydrate such as a toner or serum.  During cooler months, my tends to be a little more on the drier side so I include a hydrating serum during my AM routine and a facial oil to lock in moisture at the tail end of my PM routine.

Myth # 4: People with Oily Skin Only Get Acne

I had to save the best one for last because this couldn't be further from the truth. 

The truth...acne doesn't discriminate based on skin type. While oily skin is more prone to acne due to increased sebum production, individuals with dry or combination skin can also experience breakouts. 

Something I harp about often is that your skin is ever-changing.  Today you may be considered an oily skin type and six months later you could be on the drier side.  Simply because there are so many factors that can influence the state of your skin.  So it's important not to categorize our skin with types and focus on the root cause of your skin concern.  For example, your acne breakouts could stem from hormonal imbalances due to the onset of your menstrual cycle yet you could have dry skin overall.

Solution: Addressing acne requires a personalized approach considering individual skin characteristics and factors.  Acne is multifactorial and shouldn't be attributed to having oily skin.  There are too many factors that could be the cause - with that I always start with accessing each individual.  Honing in on your diet, stress levels, sleep quality, lifestyle factors, and skincare product choices. 


I know how frustrating acne can be, especially when you've tried everything under the sun and nothing seems to work.  I want to reassure you that you're not doing anything wrong.  I've experienced a major bout of acne during my teenage years and later in my early 30s during my second pregnancy.  It's not fun and deflates your confidence level. 

Sometimes a little guidance is what's needed to point you in the right direction. Something I didn't have, I spent months, even years battling it on my own.  Figuring things out and hitting plenty of brick walls along the way.

I hope that by dispelling these common myths, you can embrace a well-rounded approach to managing acne (as it can't be cured, but managed). Remember, skincare is not one-size-fits-all, and a personalized routine addressing individual needs is the key to achieving and maintaining clear, healthy skin.

xo, Frankie

Frankie Croker | Beyond Skin Esthetics

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