In the world of acne woes, there's a wide range of obstacles that can cause breakouts. Everything from dietary and stress inducing habits to overusing skincare or even using the wrong haircare products. That’s right, now we have to worry about which haircare we're using. I mean, it does make sense. Our hair is pretty much always touching our skin, isn't it? From working out in a sweaty swinging pony tail to short hair that perfectly frames your face, hair serves as a way to transfer excess oil, dirt, and bacteria. And if you have bangs, it might make matters even worse as the grease and oils from your hair can easily transfer to your skin and serve as an extra irritant, further clogging pores.
is it the products i´m using?
This can be due to a number of things like the wrong shampoo or excess conditioner, but it's most commonly a hair styling ingredient, serum, wax, or oil that’s to blame. There's even a name for it- pomade acne. Pomade acne is defined as acne on the forehead, temples, and hairline due to the repeated use of haircare products. If you are experiencing acne in these places that repeatedly pops up, try switching out your haircare products for ones with more natural, lighter ingredients. Or, if you can, completely cut them out and see if your skin clears up.
Unfortunately, the acne isn't always in these specific places. It can also appear on the shoulders, chest, and upper back for those with long hair. But, more times often than not, for those who have bangs and are breaking out, it's often the products being used.
ingredients to avoid
It's important to remember that everyone is different and responds differently to certain products or ingredients. What may be totally okay for one person's skin, acts as an irritant for someone else's. However, the most pore clogging ingredients tend to be sulfates (in shampoo), anything petroleum based (masks and serums), and silicones (most products that claim to be soothing), and fragrances (which are in virtually everything).
At times, it's not an actual ingredient to blame but instead the substance which delivers that ingredient. Whether it’s a cream, oil, or wax, it's going to be more likely to trigger a breakout. Coconut oil hair masks, which are a huge trend right now in the beauty community, pose serious risks for acne prone skin. Anything you apply to your scalp has a tendency to run down your face, clogging pores and promoting acne. Coconut oil is no different. Being that it is extremely comedogenic (pore clogging), it's wise to either completely skip this trend or make sure you're taking the proper precautions to prevent it from clogging your pores (like wearing a hair cap or avoiding areas close to the hairline). When it comes to hair masks, serums, hairsprays, and waxes, its best to keep products to a minimum if you feel your acne is a result of over using hair products.
how to prevent pomade acne
Besides the glaringly obvious to "just stop using products", there is a way to prevent pomade acne. It starts with narrowing down your haircare products and figuring out the source. Shampoo is usually where it all begins so, start with switching out your shampoo to a milder one. Look for fragrance-free, sulfate-free, or even a gentle baby shampoo.
Secondly, look at your conditioner. Is it super rich and thick? This should be the second product you evaluate. Because conditioners are meant to hydrate and soften the hair, they can oftentimes have a pore clogging effect on the skin around it. When it comes to conditioner, skip the scalp and stick to ends. Make sure with each product you lean your head back, so that your hair doesn't touch your face nor your body.
Lastly, look at your styling products. Start by completely eliminating everything cold turkey, adding one product in at a time to see how your skin reacts. If you have a die-hard go to product you've been using forever that you know does not break you out, of course it's okay to keep that in your regimen! It's important to make sure when you do begin to add them back in to avoid any areas close to your face like the roots or scalp where problems could quickly arise.
And of course, as always, be sure to change your pillow cases weekly. Not only hair products, but skincare, makeup, sweat, and dirt build up quickly which can lead to some unsightly blemishes.
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Kali Kushner, known as the Instagram alias myfacestory, is a natural beauty advocate in the greater Cincinnati area who is passionate about using organic skincare and holistic remedies to heal acne from the inside out. Her dedication lies in her own chronic acne struggles as she continues to restore herself while helping those around her.