The Ingredients You Should Avoid If Managing Adult Acne

It's a tough world out there for those of us with infiltrated skin.

We can purchase, play with and pry ourselves with products until the proverbial cows come home – but still, no difference is made. 

Which begs the question, do we really know what is going on our skin? And what reactions are happening as a result?

For those of us prone to breakouts, it can be a heartbreaking journey trying to source the solve-all product that we wholly believe is out there. 

But, the task can be made far easier if we know what to avoid. 

Luckily, in this day and age, there's tons of research around ingredients, including those you should stay away from if you have acne-prone skin.

Below, find a list of common culprits that may be causing your breakouts.

1. Oils

Including avocado, almond and, yes, coconut. If a product is referred to as “comedogenic,” that means it’s more likely to cause your pores to clog, which will lead to breakouts—so for anyone with acne-prone skin, all products should be "non-comedogenic."

Coconut oil is highly comedogenic – meaning you should steer well clear of it if you'd rather your pore remain unclogged.

2. Sodium Chloride

Yes, that is another name for salt – which is sometimes added to products as a thickening agent, apparently. 

Similarly to salty food, sodium chloride can clog pores and cause breakouts. Stick to it in your food instead. 

3. Acetylated Lanolin

Lanolin is a natural ingredient produced by sheep's skin to keep their wool soft, just like we produce sebum to keep our skin soft. It's regularly used in cosmetics to provide softness, but unfortunately, it's also highly comedogenic.

It might also be referred to as acetylated lanolin alcohol, ethoxylated lanolin, PEG 16 lanolin or the less common name of solulan 16.

4. D & C Red

This will be seen as ‘D & C Red’ on the label and followed by a number.

These are added to give colour to cosmetics, usually blush, and might just be the cause of those pimples on your cheeks and acne in general, as they are highly comedogenic.

5. Silicone

Silicone is often found in makeup primers, where it is used to give products a smooth texture when applied to the skin. However, this leads to dehydration and the clogging of pores – meaning that your skin can suffer. 

Instead, opt for hyaluronic acid, which plumps and hydrates to beat the band. 

6. Petrochemicals

Petrochemicals is an umbrella term for any of the following: paraffin wax, mineral oil, or petrolatum. These are chemicals used to preserve the shelf life of a product, but they can clog pores when used topically. 

7. Ethylhexyl Palmitate

Found in NARS bronzers, Ethylhexyl Palmitate is a fatty acid and rated as a four on the comedogenic scale. This ingredient is likely to result in small irritating bumps as a result of clogged pores.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but we believe it's a good place to start. For a detailed skincare dictionary in full, click here.

Main image by @sotretinoinwiths on Instagram

READ MORE: A Skincare Dictionary Which Informs About 'Good' And 'Bad' Ingredients Exists

READ MORE: Dear Derm: What Are The Ingredients I Should Be Looking Out For/Avoiding In Products?

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