How does the shedding of old skin help to prevent acne?

Old, dead skin clogs your pores. Clogged pores build up bacteria and oils leading to pimples. Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and acne scrubs shed this dead skin opening the pores and preventing acne from developing. 
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Shedding old skin cells, which most people do naturally and invisibly, prevents them from plugging up pores. As new skin cells are formed underneath, the old cells eventually move up to the skin's surface where they fall off, usually every 28 days. For some reason, people who have acne have trouble shedding the cells inside their pores. The dead cells end up mixing with other substances, such as bacteria and the oil secreted by tiny glands in the skin. This mixture swells inside the pore until it erupts into a whitehead, a blackhead, or an infected pimple. To disrupt this process, some acne products help speed up the removal of dead skin cells.

Continue Learning about Acne Prevention

How can I avoid exercise-related acne?
Ben KaminskyBen Kaminsky
Exercise-related acne is usually caused by friction or something that touches the skin (sweat, chemi...
More Answers
Can OTC medications help prevent acne?
Susan V. Bershad, MDSusan V. Bershad, MD
Yes, the good news is that several ingredients in OTC acne products actually can help prevent breako...
More Answers
How can I avoid pimples on my buttocks?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
The four-step solution to avoid pimples on your buttocks is:Wear clean cotton underwear that can abs...
More Answers
What Foods Help Prevent Acne?
What Foods Help Prevent Acne?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.