For those with acne prone skin, even the slightest variation can lead to a break out. But what’s causing it? You’re eating right, checking ingredients on labels on makeup and lotions, but there may be hidden ingredients that you didn’t even know were contributing to your acne.
Here are five ingredients to avoid in skin care products that have been found to cause breakouts
#1 Petroleum and Dimethcone in Moisturizers
Why would you want to moisturize pimple-prone skin? Most people with acne avoid moisturizers – a decades-long urban legend that moisturizers will make you break out even more. Wrong. It isn’t the moisturizer, it’s the ingredients. Find oil free moisturizers that are labeled “non-comedogenic” (non-pore clogging). Look for glycerin in the product, which will hold the moisture to the skin. Avoid anything with petroleum and dimethicone. There’s a debate over whether mineral oil is OK for people to use who have acne. Some say it’s fine, others say stay away. The best bet is to see what works for you.
#2 Bismuth Oxychloride
In makeup, oil-free, again, is the way to go here. The very first ingredient in a foundation should be water. Many of the new, natural makeups contain almond oil or coconut oil, which clog pores. Bismuth oxychloride is often found in powder makeups, like mineral makeup and is added to give shimmer and shine to the powder. It’s also in bronzers. Researchers have found that the ingredient promotes the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. It has been linked to cystic acne.
There’s another ingredient to look for that has pore-clogging capabilities and it’s used frequently in many makeup and skin care products. It’s lanolin, an oil extracted from lamb’s wool. Cosmetics will sometimes have a synthetic lanolin derivative called acetylated lanolin alcohol, which can cause your skin to go from clear to breakout in 0 to 60 seconds. Well, maybe not exactly, but it can certainly seem that way.
Scrubs and cleansers contain sulfates, which are added to make them sudsy. But the ingredient is pesky to remove and leaves a film on skin creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Look for the ingredient sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate. This is often found in shampoos, too.
#5 Menthol, Peppermint and Other Astringents
Strong astringents may lead you to believe they’ll clean up pimples, but sometimes they do just the opposite. Products that contain menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, grapefruit or lime irritate the skin. When that happens, the skin tries to repair itself by increasing oil production, which leads to more breakouts.