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There are countless myths about what causes acne and how to treat it. Some of these myths—such as sugar or greasy foods causing acne—have persisted for decades, despite any research or scientific proof. There are also myths about skincare and treating acne that can cause confusion, especially for those trying to get their breakouts under control. Here, Dr. Lain sets the record straight about choosing the right products, the importance of moisturizer for those with both oily and dry skin, what causes acne and what won’t work to help clear up breakouts.

6 Common Acne Myths

  • Strong products are necessary for clearing acne
  • All acne treatments are the same
  • Oily skin doesn’t need to moisturize
  • Those with dry skin can’t get acne
  • Dirt causes acne
  • Changing your diet will clear acne

Hi, everyone. This is Dr. Ted Lain. I’m a board-certified dermatologist. I treat acne patients every day and I hear the same myths from many of my patients. I’d like to go through those with you and dispel them so you can be more educated about your skin.

“I need strong products to clear my face.”

Dr. Lain: You don’t need strong products to clear your face, you need the right products to clear your face. Keep it simple and choose the right products. Often that means that I refer to CeraVe’s line of acne products.

“I’ve tried tons of acne treatments. They’re all pretty much the same.”

Dr. Lain: If you believe that all the acne products you’ve used are the same, then you need the help of a dermatologist to help guide you to a regimen that will work for your skin.

“I don’t need to moisturize. My skin is oily.”

Dr. Lain: Look, people with acne have an impaired skin barrier. The oil that your skin produces does not restore the skin barrier like a moisturizer does. So it’s so important to use a moisturizer to help restore that skin barrier so that you can start using those acne-fighting ingredients and products to improve your skin.

“My skin is super dry. I shouldn’t even have acne.”

Dr. Lain: Yes, some people with dry skin can get acne, and that’s why it’s so important to look at the ingredients in the acne products to make sure that they are moisturizing and hydrating. If your skin is dry, it’s even more important to use products that contain the three essential ceramides that are found in all of CeraVe’s products.

“I always keep my skin clean. I don’t understand why I have acne.”

Dr. Lain: Dirt is not the reason why you have acne. So over-washing or washing more than once or twice a day is not needed, and in fact can actually cause more harm than good.

“If I change my diet, my acne will go away.”

Dr. Lain: There’s no research to show that changing the diet will improve your acne, but what we do know, though, is whatever is good for your body is good for your skin. So following a healthy diet is important.

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