Acne is a misery that affects all ages – not just teenagers. With so many differing opinions on the best treatment methods, it can be confusing to separate fact from fiction. We’ve put together some expert opinions from the scientists behind Thoclor Labs, to help you be better informed about this common inflammatory disease. See if you can guess the myths from the facts below.
Only certain skin types get acne
False: We are all born with the same skin composition – oil glands that supply the skin with oil to protect it from moisture loss and create the correct biome (skin environment). Acne happens when these oil glands become blocked and infected. This all comes down to the thickness of the stratum corneum – the outer barrier that protects underlying tissue from infection, dehydration, chemicals and mechanical stress. If it gets irritated, it thickens and blocks the oil glands. The blockage builds up, is infected by acne-causing bacteria and results in pimples.
Hormones cause pimples
True: Hormonal changes are often to blame for acne breakouts – both in teenagers and adults. But do you know the real reason why? Hormones cause the oil in the oil glands to become thicker and therefore the glands become blocked more easily.
You must cleanse acne-prone skin more often than usual
False: While you have to keep skin clear of dirt and dead skin cells that could block the oil glands, excessive cleansing is a bad idea. If you over-wash or scrub your skin, it can get too dry or irritated. Think of a corn on your toe. If you chafe one spot over and over again, the skin thickens over time. The same thing happens with your face. We recommend using a fragrance-free liquid cleanser with a slightly acidic pH (read more about the right types of cleanser here). Salicylic and glycolic acids will normalise the stratum corneum however these ingredients should not be overused.
You need to use medication to clear acne
False: We believe that skin can be reconditioned, and inflammation cleared, by using a pharmaceutical-grade Hypochlorous acid-based (HOCl) product like our GF2. Medication such as birth control works by putting your body into a state of artificial pregnancy, which is not healthy long-term. Neither is an isotretinoin type product, that not only dries out your skin but your entire body. You are far better off using a topical product like GF2 twice daily (more about the benefits below!) and, if your oil glands are blocked at a very deep level (think cystic acne) combine this with a series of TCA peels.
Antibiotics are a great solution for acne
False: The problem with antibiotics is that only 3-5% of the blood supply goes to the skin. That’s a very small percentage, while the rest of the antibiotics go on to kill good and bad bacteria in your body. You may have a temporary result but the damage this does to your body is not worth it in our opinion.
Skin care products and make-up can cause acne
True: Some products you apply to your skin can cause acne. Acne is caused by oil glands getting blocked. If you enjoy wearing make-up, look for products that are non-acnegenic or non-comedogenic – these won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts.
Stress increases acne breakouts
True: The stress hormone – cortisol – is not only secreted by our adrenal glands but also by the skin. Cortisol reduces the effectiveness of the skin barrier, making it more immune-suppressed, which gives the acne bacteria a chance to gain ‘hold’ and thrive.
Face masks make acne worse
True: There is even a new term for this – ‘maskne’. These breakouts happen because the mask creates a barrier across the face, trapping bacteria and humidity inside. Read more about dealing with maskne here.
Sugar is a friend to acne
True: For years, we were told that eating chocolate and fatty foods cause acne...then we are told that it makes no difference at all. What’s the truth? Well, it’s all about what feeds the bacteria that cause acne. When you consume refined sugars, this firstly leads to a spike in insulin levels which increases the production of oils in the skin. This in turn leads to your follicles clogging up with sebum and turning into pimples. Secondly, too much insulin creates an inflammatory effect and the ideal environment for C. acnes bacteria to thrive.
No one type of food is bad news – rather focus on eating a balanced diet of foods that fight acne. Things like flax seeds or fish oils can have an anti-inflammatory and protective effect on your skin.
Acne is contagious
False! Acne-forming bacteria develop inside the hair follicles of your skin, and they are not exposed to air at all. So there is absolutely no chance of you transmitting acne to another person.
Sun is bad news for acne
False: Yes, ultraviolet (UV) light is antibacterial, so a little bit of sunshine and Vitamin D (15-30 minutes a day) is good for you and your skin! But more sun exposure is not better and will not clear your acne. Also, the UV rays are harmful to your complexion in other ways. If you plan on being in the sun for longer than 30 minutes, especially in the heat of the day, then use a physical sunscreen (as opposed to a chemical sunscreen which may irritate the skin). Zinc oxide, a common active ingredient in physical sunscreens, kills acne-causing bacteria.
GF2: fighting acne from within
Our GF2 miracle mist has been scientifically formulated to reverse acne:
- Destroys germs: HOCl is the superpower that kills the C. acnes bacteria that causes acne.
- Removes dead skin cells: This reduces the chance that those oil glands get blocked by dead skin cells in the first place, minimising further break-outs.
- Reboots the skin's function: Too much oil secretion is brought back in line, helping to keep follicles and glands clear.
- Reduces inflammation: Any inflammation is instantly calmed down, preventing more pimples from turning up.
- Stops redness and pain: Any redness is soothed by our HOCl spray, as is the pain.
Tackle acne today and restore your confidence: shop GF2 here.