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5 myths about acne, debunked

Our skincare survey reveals some common misconceptions

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 6, 2023 • 3 min read
Closeup of woman with skincare cream in spots around face
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 6, 2023 • 3 min read
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Part of what makes acne so seemingly difficult to grapple with is how mysterious it can seem— there are many potential causes, and even more misinformation! As skincare experts, we’re out here trying to make healthy, clear skin accessible to all — in an industry that gladly profits off of widespread misinformation.

So we conducted an online survey of 1,001 men and women ages 18+ in the U.S. What we found was that a lot of “old wives’ tales” about acne and skincare persist.

chocolate with open wrapper

Go ahead — eat that chocolate

Almost 30% (27.3%) of people think that eating chocolate can worsen acne. It doesn’t — but sugar and dairy can! You’ll want to avoid milk chocolate, white chocolate and other sweetened varieties. Don’t be glum–dark chocolate is just fine.

Just say no to coconut oil

Unfortunately, 22.3% of people think that coconut oil is a good solution for breakout-prone skin. While trendy, coconut oil commonly blocks pores and can contribute to acne. It’s important to avoid, but we get that it’s not easy — coconut oil and its derivatives are used as ingredients in many skincare products. Make sure to check the ingredients of any product for coconut oil before using it.

Person rubbing skincare cream on chin

Your pores just want to be understood!

A staggering 65.9% of men and women think that pores can shrink, open, and close. In reality, pore size is genetic; you can’t shrink pores or make them go away. There are ways to improve their appearance, some of which we get into in our Guides, but don’t let pricey products mislead you with false promises!

Don’t sweat it if you break a sweat

Nearly 40% of people believe that sweat directly causes acne. The truth is that sweating doesn’t directly cause acne — however, sweating and humidity can aggravate breakouts by giving the bacteria on the skin a better environment to grow. Don’t be afraid to break a sweat, but do make sure to cleanse your skin afterwards.

Bed with closeup of sheets

Wash your pillowcase more often!

Only 54.7% respondents believe that unwashed pillowcases can make acne worse. Wishful thinking! We know doing laundry isn’t exactly fun, but with the combination of product residue and oil buildup, it’s important to wash or change your pillowcase at least once a week.

Remember: Curology’s got your back

Everyone’s skin is unique, but certain rules of thumb apply across the board — and we’re all about empowering you with research-backed skincare tips and professional expertise to make your journey to clear skin easier.

Stay tuned to this space for more need-to-know info!



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Curology Team

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