If you’re prone to breakouts, you should stay clear of all the major pore clogging ingredients, even if they’re listed 7th or 10th on the packaging. Find out which ones score a 5 out of 5 on the comedogenic scale and should never touch your skin.
Here are the worst pore clogging ingredients that you should avoid in all your cosmetics. From oils and alcohols that are bad for your skin to sulfates and botanical extracts, check out a few major no-nos for acne prone skin.
1. Wheat Germ Oil
With many benefits for topical use, including moisturizing and healing effects, wheat germ oil also scores a 5, the top mark on the list of comedogenic ingredients in cosmetics. It’s rich in vitamins A, B, D and E, and can even help maintain your skin’s elasticity by aiding collagen formation, but wheat germ oil should not be used on sensitive and acne-prone skin.
Hexadecyl alcohol is also one of the worst pore clogging ingredients, but any kind of alcohol in your beauty products has a drying effect on skin. Once your skin is exposed to the drying effects of alcohol, it will produce more sebum which leads to clogged pores. Move on from any product with alcohol and opt for witch hazel when you’re looking for a good toner.
The sebum produced by sheep’s skin, lanolin is very dangerous for sensitive and acne-prone skin, along with all of its synthetic derivatives. Lanolin is supposed to moisturize your skin and make it softer, but Acetylated Lanolin, Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol also get a 5 score on the comedogenic scale. Other ingredients to avoid are athoxylated lanolin, PEG 16 lanolin and Solulan 16.
Obtained from red seaweed, carrageenan is definitely one of the worst pore clogging ingredients. It’s used in many cosmetics and can hide behind a lot of names, from Chondrus Crispus and Irish Moss Extract to Ubygel GS, Aubygum DM, Burtonite V-40-E, and Carastay. Check moisturizers, along with foundations and even shampoos and conditioners for this pore-clogging nemesis.
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Sodium Chloride also gets the maximum grade on the comedogenic scale, along with Potassium Chloride. It’s a more common ingredient than you might think, and you’re likely to find it in everything from facial cleansers to soaps and shampoos. Salt is bad for your skin because it causes sebum in your pores to harden and even cause a breakout.
6. Algae Extract
While red algae should be avoided because of Carrageenan, any algae extract actually qualifies as one of the worst pore clogging ingredients. Plenty of different algae are used in cosmetics, from Ascophyllum to Ulva lactuca and most of them can cause sebum to get trapped in your pores and lead to trouble. Avoid this ingredient altogether when you’re looking for non-comedogenic cosmetics and makeup.
One of the most controversial ingredients in skin and hair care, sulfates strip the skin of its natural oils, leading your oil glands to overcompensate. The biggest danger to acne-prone skin is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which scores a 5/5 in the list of comedogenic ingredients. Make sure your hair products are free of this ingredient too.
8. Coconut Butter and Oil
Two of the worst pore clogging ingredients, coconut butter and oil can deliver a lot of beneficial effects for your skin, but not if you’re acne prone. You can still use coconut oil in your diet, as long as you don’t put it directly on your skin. Its fatty acids, including lauric acid, are good for internal use, but when applied topically, they can lead to breakouts.
9. Benzoyl Peroxide
Used for the treatment of blemishes, this harsh chemical can have a lot of unpleasant side effects, from dry skin to clogged pores. Opt for the natural alternative, tea tree oil, which isn’t exactly non-comedogenic either, but it is safer.
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10. Ingredients with 5 Points on the Comedogenic Scale
Some of the worst pore clogging ingredients have very difficult names to remember, but it’s very important that they’re not listed on your cosmetics. These chemicals include: Isopropyl Isostearate, Isopropyl Linolate, Isopropyl Myristate, Isocetyl Stearate, Myristyl Lactate, Myristyl Myristate, Laureth-4, Octyl Stearate, and Oleth-3.