Acne can push even the best of us to extreme, sometimes dangerous measures to rid our skin of the dreaded spots.
From putting toothpaste on our faces, to scraping and picking away at our skin and cotton-budding harsh chemicals or neat alcohol on open sores, many of us have tried some relatively unadvisable things in a bid to decrease the number of blemishes.
Then, of course, there are the antibiotics. A course of often six or 12 months means no drinking and often lists depression as a possible side effect. Again, not ideal.
We’ve broken down the legit acne treatments designed to treat your skin and clear your complexion without the risk factor.
‘Adult acne is the result of a problem with the oil chemistry,’ says dermatologist Dennis Gross, MD. ‘As hormones change, oil does too, becoming more viscous and as it flows through the gland and out through the pore, it gets stuck.’
So how can we banish those sore, unsightly bumps for good?
1. Ditch The Dairy
While facialists have dismissed dairy for decades, clinical studies have only recently established a link between milk consumption and acne.
‘Milk contains testosterone precursors, which cause increased sebum production,’ says dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD. ‘What’s fascinating is that one study found that of all milk, skim milk has the strongest correlation with acne, and some hypothesise that skimmed milk has less oestrogen than whole milk.’
The thing is, switching to organic milk won’t remove your exposure. ‘All milk naturally contains androgens and IGF-1 [Insulin-like Growth Factor 1, a hormone that may be a precursor to breakouts],’ says Kavita Mariwalla, MD. ‘There’s no such thing as hormone-free milk. Plus, milk contains sugar, a lactose, so it stimulates insulin.’