Does Dirt Really Cause Acne?

The Truth About Dirt and Acne

People used to think that dirt caused acne. Then there were thousands of "experts" who said it didn't. So who's right and who's wrong? They both are. Dirt may not be the only cause of acne, but it can definitely contribute to the condition. Here's what you need to know about dirt and acne.

The Acne Enemy

The number-one acne enemy is clogged pores. Clogged pores, my friends, are what cause acne. Whether those pores are clogged from excess sebum production, pore-clogging makeup, dead skin cells or oils and dirt doesn't matter. It's the clogging of the pores that leads to the acne condition.

Notice dirt WAS on that list? That's because dirt CAN clog pores. That's what the people who insist that acne has nothing to do with dirt have forgotten. No, dirt isn't the sole cause of acne, but it can definitely aggravate the condition by clogging acne-prone pores.

The Oil Issue

I read a web page the other day that said dirty, oily hair won't cause acne. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. How much misinformation can the Internet harbor?

Oily, dirty hair won't cause acne if it is kept away from the face, but if the residue on that hair is allowed to collect on the skin it can clog pores and can definitely cause acne. If you want to keep your complexion clean, keep oil off of your skin.

A Word to the Wise

Everyone's an expert nowadays. Unfortunately, half of the acne "experts" don't know what they're talking about and that results in tons of misinformation flying around. Do yourself a favor -- understand that dirt is not the ONLY cause of acne, but you need to control it to control your acne situation.

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