As an acne sufferer, I am always wary when shopping for new facial products. I’ll spend hours in the skincare section at Target, poring over the labels of various cleansers (yes, I am that weirdo that reads every single ingredient). The reason is simple - one wrong ingredient can cause a breakout or worsen existing breakouts. To avoid this, it’s important to research what ingredients will - and won’t - clog pores.
The first and easiest step is to look for the label “non-comedogenic” on the front of a product. You might see this label in conjunction with terms like “hypoallergenic” (less likely to cause an allergic reaction), “fragrance-free” (containing no synthetic fragrances or perfume), or “paraben-free” (containing no chemical preservatives). Non-comedogenic means that the product will not clog pores. This is very important for people with acne, particularly those with oily skin. Clogged pores can lead to inflammation, rashes, and breakouts, which can ultimately cause scarring.
Now, if a product does not have a non-comedogenic label, things get a little tricky. All hope is not lost - you can simply skim the ingredient list for problematic items. To make your job easier, here’s a list of the top five comedogenic ingredients to avoid.
- Coconut Oil
This was a shock to me, mainly because of how many people swear by coconut oil as a natural alternative to face wash. Don’t be fooled: Coconut oil is one of the worst pore-cloggers around.
- Cocoa Butter
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Potassium Chloride
- Wheat Germ Oil
Other ingredients to avoid: Algae extract, carrageenan, hexadecyl alcohol, isocetyl stearate, isopropyl linoleate, isopropyl myristate, linseed oil, octyl stearate, palm oil and sesame oil.
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