Your Poor Pores! Could your acne simply be caused by your products?

Holy hair product acne Batman! Don't let this be you.

Holy hair product acne Batman! Don’t let this be you.

Quite often, I meet people who have normal or even dry skin as their skin type but who seem to have acne. There are other

potential causes (which I will get into in an upcoming blog) but what is most often the culprit is simply the products we use on our hair and our faces. Knowing how to identify the culprits and removing them from your beauty regimen may just be the key to you rediscovering clearer skin.

One symptom that differentiates product acne over typical T-Zone acne is the location of the acne. If it is mostly around the forehead and sides of face, possibly even on the back and shoulders it could be your hair products. Surprisingly, it’s not just conditioners that have comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients but also shampoos and styling products. If this could be you, it may be advantageous to look at the ingredient decks of all of your products.

If the acne is all over the face and maybe even the neck, your face products could likely be the culprit. If the acne or congested skin is at the corners of the mouth and/or lip line it may be your waxy lip balm or lip gloss. If the acne is over the bridge of the nose and under your eyes you probably just need to clean your glasses and/or goggles!

Here is a short list of some of the more common ingredients and their levels of comedogenicity. Remember that a product’s ingredient deck had the ingredients listed in the order of concentration, with the highest concentration of ingredients being located at the top of the list. If a product you love has one mildly comedogenic ingredient in the deck and it is almost the last ingredient, you may be able to get away with using it without problems. On the other hand, if a product you love has a highly comedogenic ingredient(s) in the top third of the list it’s probably a really good idea to remove that product from your regimen and find a more suitable replacement.

Highly Comedogenic:

Linseed Oil, Olive Oil, Cocoa Butter, Oleic Acid, Coal Tar, Wheat Germ Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils, Isopropyl Isostearate, Squalene (not Squal-Ane, which is completely non-comedogenic), Isopropyl Myristate, Acetylated Lanolin (and many lanolin derivatives), Isopropyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Linoleate, Oleyl Alcohol, Octyl Palmitate, Isostearic Acid, Myreth 3 Myristate, Butyl Stearate, Lanolic Acid, Flaxseed Oil, and Soybean Oil.

Moderately comedogenic:

Decyl Oleate, Sorbitan Oleate, Myristyl Lactate, Coconut Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Sesame Oil, Hexylene Glycol, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Most D & C Red Pigments, Octyldodecanol, Peanut Oil, most Tocopherols (Vitamin E’s), Lauric Acid, Mink Oil, Avocado Oil, Beeswax, Argan Oil and Argania Spinosa.

Mildly Comedogenic:

Corn Oil, Safflower Oil, Lauryl Alcohol, Lanolin Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Lanolin, Sunflower Oil, Mineral Oil, Coconut Oil (however, makes a great body moisturizer and does not interfere with the body’s ability to hydrate itself), Emu Oil.

Noncomedogenic (or very, very minimally):

Glycerin (highly moisturizing), Squalane (also most like the oil our body produces), Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol Acetate & Tocotrienols (the good forms of Vitamin E), Cholecalciferol (an absorbable form of Vitamin D), Sorbitol, Sodium PCA, Zinc Stearate, Beta Glucan, Octyldodecyl Stearate, SD Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Allantoin (very soothing and calming), Panthenol, Water, Iron Oxides, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide (best sunblock ingredients), Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Polysorbates, Cetyl Palmitate, Propylene Glycol dicaprate/dicaprylate, Jojoba Oil, Isopropyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid, Alpha-Lipoic Acid,  Octylmethoxycinnimate, Butylene Glycol, Tridecyl Stearate, Tridecyl Trimelitate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Phenyl Trimethicone.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list however, it is a great start and the list is short enough that you can copy to your smart phone or print out and carry in your purse.  Take a peek at the products your already use and become the Sherlock Holmes of good skin. Product acne doesn’t really have to be that much of a mystery ;o) Besides, having this little list handy during shopping adventures can really save your skin (and your pocket) some grief down the line.

Here’s to clear skin!

-Karyn 🙂


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