ACNE – Ingredients you should AVOID.

Rewind back to when I was 16, I was probably no way near as skin savvy as I am now, when it comes to what products I will allow to touch my face.  Had I known back then to avoid face washes that foams like there is no tomorrow, my skin probably would be in a bit more of a happier state now.

If you’re a reader of my blog (THANK YOU), you will know by now my skin type – since I constantly go on about it on my skincare blog posts or on Twitter.  But if you’re new to my blog then I suffer from adult acne, companied with oily and sensitive skin.  Before I try any new products, I do my research on the ingredients to ensure they do not contain anything that will irritate my skin, aggravate my acne and cause me to break out.  It’s a lengthy process and for new products i want to try, I will always see if there are samples available and if there isn’t, then I don’t buy the product.

I think for many people out there that suffers from acne, when you see a product that states its for acne prone skin.  You immediately just want to buy that product because surely the brand would of done their research and know not to use any ingredients that can aggravate acne, right?  Well no.  You’ll be very surprised that some products marketed for acne prone skin, contain ingredients that should not be in there.  SHOCKING.  And for products that state they are suitable for ‘all skin types’.  I’m convinced now that they have not tested their product on all skin types.

So below I have listed ingredients that you should avoid in skincare products if you suffer from acne.  I usually avoid these ingredients if they are high up in the ingredient list, and I judge it by exactly how many ingredients there are in the product, if there is about 20+ ingredients, I will avoid the product if the ingredient(s) is in the top 10.  If its a shorter list then I will avoid if it is the top 3/5.

Obviously, its not every single ingredient as I could be here forever.  But I will leave a website at the end, where you can find out more information on what ingredients to avoid.

Ingredients you should avoid:

  • Algae Extract
  • Algin
  • Alcohol Denat
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Ethylhexyl Palmitate
  • Glyceryl Stearate SE
  • Isocetyl Alcohol
  • Isocetyl Stearate
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Isopropyl Isostearate
  • Isopropyl Linolate
  • Isopropyl Myristate
  • Isopropyl Palmitate
  • Isostearyl Isostearate
  • Mineral Oil / Paraffinum Liquidum
  • Myristyl Myristate
  • Shea Butter / Butyrospermum Parkii
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate / Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Soybean Oil / Glycine Soja Oil
  • Sulfated Castor Oil
  • Sulfated Jojoba Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil / Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil
  • Wheat Germ Oil

As said before it’s not every single ingredient that you should avoid, as it will be a very long list.  However the ones mentioned above are all classed as highly comedogenic, which means it will clog your pores, and we all know what happens when you have clogged pores.  You get SPOTS!  No one wants spots.

You’re probably now running to your bathroom and checking the back of your products to see if they have any of these ingredients, if they do, I’m not saying you should throw them all out and buy yourself a whole new set of products.  Everyone’s skin is different and if you have used products containing these ingredients and it’s been fine, then by all means carry on using it.

Though I would say one thing is that, if your cleanser has the ingredient Sodium Laureth Sulfate / Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, please throw that cleanser away! It will strip off the natural oils from your skin causing your skin to be very dry.

Majority of all my skincare products that I have used and have mentioned on my blog, do not contain any highly comedogenic ingredients, but they may contain some mildly comedogenic ingredients but those ingredients are usually further down the ingredient list.

I recently found a website called Acne Mantra, where you can check if the product(s) contain any comedogenic ingredients.  You just need to copy and paste or type each ingredients separated with a comma, and it will tell you either if the ingredient is ‘mildly comedogenic’, ‘highly comedogenic’ or ‘comedogenic’.  It’s an amazing website, I wish I found it sooner as then I would of known to avoid using ‘The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil’, since the product contains Soybean Oil, Sweet Almond Oil and Ethylhexyl Palmitate which are all highly comedogenic ingredients!

Remember if you’re intrigued to try out new skincare products (who isn’t), then always ask for a sample.  If they don’t give you a sample then don’t buy!  And remember to test patch on your skin first to see if you’ll get an allergic reaction.

Do you avoid comedogenic ingredients in your skincare products?



13 responses to “ACNE – Ingredients you should AVOID.

  1. I have been told by a few people that the main ingredient for acne face washes, salicylic acid, is bad?! That made me unsure what to use for a while so in the end I just used Simple products. Xxx

    • Salicylic acid is meant to be good for people with acne prone skin. Personally my cleansers do not contain that ingredient. But some of my moisturisers and toners do! x

    • Depends on what type of skin you have .. Typically Salicylic acid is used by people who have mdeium to severe acne and oily skin. Salicylic Acid will peel the skin in order to kill the bacteria and re-heal in a clear clean way.

      On the other hand if you have dry skin, the Salicylic Acid will draw out the little moisture you have and will cause some redness and swelling.

      For dry skin you should use a cream with Benzoyl peroxide.

      Hope this answers your question :) Good luck

  2. This is such a great informative post, thank you! I used a face wash every day for years, but one day, I took a severe allergic reaction to it, it burnt my face, my skin has never been the same since. I have red patches and spots like never before, all because of one face wash! Their compensation, a £5 voucher for any of the product!!! I now have to use Dermol cream, that I have to get from the chemist!!

    • Hello! Thank you so much for reading and sharing the post.

      Yes more or less the same thing happened to me. But I think my reaction was also caused by the daily use of a clarasonic brush and then one evening after using my face wash my skin felt so dry and by the next day it was red and blotchy and like you since then it’s never been the same!

      What sucks is like what I said in the post. Skincare products that are targeted for acne prone skin contain ingredients that are not suitable for that skin type in the first place! It’s a shame how skincare companies can’t even do their job correctly! x

  3. Im forever trying to combat my troublesome spots! I personally find that simples solid soap really helps! It doesn’t seem to have many of the above ingredients either; perhaps that’s the reason ☺

    • Hey Alisha!

      Thank you, but it hasn’t been good lately. It’s very on and off. One month I can be good and next month it’s not. Bloody hormonal acne!

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