There are many suggestions out there for dealing with acne. Some contained in detailed scientific reports, some simply rumours spread between girls at junior high. But which will work, and which are just nonsense?
Does Proactive really work? Well, here we explore some of the things you should probably avoid, and find out why this is the case. In addition, you will hopefully get some clues about whether or not using an expensive skincare product, such as Proactiv®, is worthwhile.
So what are the acne anti-treatments?
1. Burst the pimple.
This will almost certainly result in scabbing, and often cause scarring. However, many acne sufferers just can’t help themselves. If you really need to squeeze, at least warm the skin first by applying a hot cloth. This thins it, so the pimple breaks more easily. Remember to make sure you clean the area thoroughly.
2. Apply a little toothpaste to the blemish.
This does dry out the area, and the anti bacterial quality of the toothpaste helps too. However, toothpaste is designed for hard tooth enamel, and not sensitive skin. Therefore, unless you are careful, you can expect dry, damaged skin around the pimple, and in the surrounding area. The philosophy of Proactiv® is a regular process of preventative action, treating the root cause. The toothpaste method simply treats the symptom.
3. Stay clear of facial scrub.
The theory here is that using a scrub will spread the germs from the existing pimples, resulting in further breakouts. This is controversial. Most acne is not a result of infection, but simply blocked pores, so unless you will be blocking more pores by using facial scrubs, they should help reduce acne. The main purpose of the scrub in the 3-step process is to remove oil and dirt before it has a chance to block pores and cause a breakout.
4. Avoid all sugary food.
It is widely accepted that sugar is likely to increase breakouts. But consuming sugar after a meal does slow metabolism, and therefore digestion of sugar. This is not usually a good thing, but in the case of acne, digesting the sugar a little more slowly should help. So don’t feel too guilty if you can’t resist that dessert at the end of the meal.
5. Wash as frequently as possible.
When we say this is an anti-treatment, we are really referring to OVER-washing. Obviously keeping your face clean and dirt free is important, but you can irritate your skin by washing too much. The Proactiv® dermatologists would of course say that following their 3-step system to the letter is just the right amount of washing!
6. Catch some sun.
Many acne sufferers report a lessening of their condition when exposed to the sun. Skin is dried out in the heat, which often reduces breakouts, while a tan will disguise many blemishes. However, dermatologists report that this is only temporary. Sunlight contains UV rays, which are actually very harmful in the long run. Once your face is back to its usual regimen, acne will probably return in a worse way than before. Proactiv® actually produced a range of moisturizers containing SPF, for this very reason.
The expert opinion will differ on the details of whether certain treatments will help your acne. But in general, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. So despite the expense and long term dedication required, a regular, scientifically formulated skincare regime may well be worth the cost.