Are you suffering from stubborn acne, pimples, blackheads? Here are acne-causing ingredients that you should avoid in order to keep these breakouts at bay.
Why is my face breaking out all of a sudden?
If you have breakouts on the face, forehead, chest, shoulders and upper back, the first thing you likely do is treat them with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid and cover the pus-filled pimples with Korean pimple patches or makeup concealers or foundation.
These quick steps are great for post acne treatments, but have you ever wondered what causes these unwanted skin problems? Before we move on to the solutions, let's dive in to find the answers. Why do you keep breaking out?
What causes breakouts on the face?
It's not easy to figure out the exact reasons why some people are more prone to breakouts than others. However, we do know that acne occurs when the pores, known as hair follicles, are clogged with oil, dead skin, or bacteria.
Acne can be caused by a number of factors, including too many facial care products, not washing off makeup, being stressed, traveling, and having poor lifestyle habits such as rubbing the skin after using a smartphone, or inappropriate methods of hair care products such as dry shampoos, hair essences or hair styling products (wax, spray)
However, don't be surprised if your favorite cosmetic makeup products are the culprit for your skin problems. They can play an important role in your adult acne due to comedogenic ingredients, which is an ingredient's tendency to clog our pores. We've put together some wisdom for you to help trigger or worsen acne skin care ingredients when you shop.
Common Causes for Acne Breakouts include:
- Hormone fluctuations
- High stress level
- High glycemic and high daily requirement
- Bad lifestyle habits
- Using wrong cosmetics products
- Dirty makeup brushes, and applicators
- Dirty pillow cases
- Cell phone covered with bacteria
- Touching your face often
(A related blog post: 10 Best Korean Pimple Patches To Clear Acne Overnight )
What are common comedogenic acne-causing ingredients?
Occlusive ingredients generally have a rich and thick consistency that cannot penetrate the skin but forms a second layer on top of your own. They help prevent moisture loss and protect the skin from external attack, which works wonders on dry skin but not oily skin.
Occlusive comes in the form of petroleum jelly (petrolatum), oil, silicone, dimethicone, waxes and lanolin and Some examples of occlusive that you can find in skin care products are: mineral oil, paraffin, beeswax, lanolic acid, stearic acid, caprylic triglyceride.
Lanolin is a natural oil made from sheep's wool and helps make the wool soft and weatherproof, just as we produce sebum to lubricate and protect our skin. It is mainly used in moisturizers for its emollient properties, but is considered acne-causing and can trigger acne breakouts.
Also, look out for other names of synthetic lanolins in cosmetics and personal care products, such as shampoos, hair conditioners, bath gels or handsoap. Some of these include ethoxylated lanolin, acetylated lanolin alcohol, Solulan 16, and PEG 16 lanolin, PEG-50 Lanolin, PEG-75 Lanolin.
Isopropyl palmitate helps smooth out dry rough skin, although skin emollient/softeners may provide many skin benefits, these should be weighed against their potential side effects. It is known to cause clogged pores, acne, whiteheads, blackheads, and possible irritation if overused.
Isopropyl isostearate is the ester of isopropyl alcohol and stearic acid, a saturated fatty acid found in vegetable and animal fats that is very rich and forms an occlusive layer over the skin.
Simply put, isopropyl isostearate is highly comedogenic, which means that when this ingredient is in a product, it is very likely to cause breakouts on acne-prone skin.
This natural oil is commonly used in homemade DIY beauty recipes, but it's best to avoid it if you have oily and breakout-prone skin. Coconut oil has excellent nourishing and moisturizing benefits for dry, dull, and tired-looking skin, but is considered a comedogenic ingredient. It is high in oleic acid, which is high in fatty acids and creates a heavy and greasy texture that cannot easily penetrate the skin.
A helpful tip is add olive oil and cocoa butter need to the list of ingredients to avoid as they do not allow your skin to "breathe" either. In addition, olive oil has been shown to boost activity of acne-causing bacteria.
Alternatively, if you don't have inflammatory acne or acne scars, use rose hip and jojoba oils to brighten and moisturize the skin, and reduce excess sebum which can help prevent future acne.
However, in some people, this natural essential oil can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions such as itchy rashes, red skin, and hives. We recommend that you do the patch test before adding to your regular routine by applying a small amount to a discreet area of your face or body, such as: on the cheek, chin, the inside of your wrist or your inner arm.
Sodium lauryl sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Have you noticed many beauty products that are labeled as "sulfate-free" or "SLS and SLES free"? It's been a while since sulfates were frowned upon in the beauty industry.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is a chemical surfactant and foaming agent, which means that they create a lot of foam or bubbles. Sodium Laureth Sulfate is actually made from SLS that has undergone a process called ethoxylation that makes it less harsh and is widely used in the cosmetics industry.
SLS and SLES are both used in a wide variety of products, including shaving cream, lip balm, hand sanitizer, makeup remover, foundation, facial cleanser, exfoliants, shampoo, laundry detergent, and dish soap.
However, these surfactants strip the skin of its natural oils, which leads to dry skin, irritation and allergic reactions. It can also be very irritating to the eyes. Inflammatory skin reactions include itchy skin and scalp, eczema, and dermatitis. In people with sensitive skin, sulfates can also clog pores and cause acne as well.
* Tip: SLS is also known as sodium dodecyl sulphate, sodium monolauryl sulphate, sodium salt, hydrogen sulphate, sodium dodecane-sulfonate while SLES is known as sodium lauryl ether sulfate.
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium lauryl sulfate, also known as ALS or ammonium dodecyl sulfate, is a fairly common detergent that can be derived from coconut or palm kernel oil.
ALS is an anionic surfactant that has an emulsifying effect and suds up nicely, cleanses the skin and hair by helping water mix with oil and dirt so they can be washed away. It is widely used in shampoos, bath products, hair dyes, facial makeup, deodorants, and perfumes.
However, if you want very sensitive skin that is easily irritated, you should avoid ammonium laureth sulfate in skin and hair care products. ALS are known to irritate the skin and remove oils from the skin and scalp that can damage the natural skin barrier. Additionally, some find that with more frequent use, they can trigger more acne breakouts.
Fragrances, along with preservatives, are one of the main causes of pimples and this applies not only to sensitive and redness-prone skin, but to all skin types.
Synthetic fragrances should be a red flag when purchasing a product as they are made with various chemicals that can cause negative skin reactions.
Please note that not all fragrances cause breakouts, so you need to find out which ones will work for your skin. In general, "fragrance-free" is the safest choice if you have sensitive skin.
Another helpful tip is to look for artificial colors and dyes that are coal tar derivatives and are potential acne triggers. The easy way to find them is to search for PVP (polyvinylpyrrolidone), FD&C and D&C followed by a number, for example D&C red # 30.
Best Korean Skin Care for Acne-Prone Skin
♦️ Cosrx AC Collection Acne Set
This is a complete acne treatment solution from Cosrx to treat your troubled, reddened, and damaged skin for a healthy, clear complexion. The AC line is specially developed for those who are prone to breakouts and blemishes and who have sensitive skin.
The innovative Centella AC-RX formula from the cult favorite beauty brand, which consists of natural healing ingredients, has been developed to soothe, repair the skin without irritation.
This 4-step face care set contains Calming Cleansing Foam to wash away dirt, sweat and pollutants, Calming Liquid Intensive (or Mild) to remove dead skin cells, Blemish Spot Clear Serum to reduce acne scars and Acne Patch to cover and protect infected pimples for fast healing and prevent Secondary infections.
👉 Shop Now Cosrx AC Acne Routine Set
♦️ Pyunkang Yul Acne Skin Care Set
Pyunkang Yul has launched its specialty acne care line, inherited from over 40 years of experience at the Pyunkang Oriental Medicine Clinic. Their skin care products contain medicinal herbs like forsythia fruit and white willow extract to quickly soothe angry and problematic skin while also helping with sebum control.
The cleansing foam has a mild gel-like formula with microbubbles, while this lightweight toner helps refine the skin's texture and tone. The facial moisturizer has an oil-free and gel-like consistency that is best for oily, acne-prone skin, and you'll also find the pimple patches that promote fast healing process and prevent further infection.
Thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, this high-quality yet gentle skincare set helps to transform the appearance of or damaged, blemished skin into a clear, healthy-looking complexion.
👉 Shop Now Pyunkang Yul Set for Acne-Prone Skin
♦️ Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Skin Care Set
This 4 steps of the acne-care routine work wonders on your skin to transform dull, blemished skin into clearer, more radiant skin.
Enriched with powerful skin exfoliating acids, AHAs to slough off dead skin cells and improve skin tone and texture, BHAs to remove excess oil and debris from the pores and prevent whiteheads, blackheads and PHAs to prevent moisture loss and tea tree extract to soothe acne, inflammation and control of sebum production.
This all-in-one skin solution set contains cleansing soaps, exfoliating toner, serum and facial moisturizer that brightens, moisturizes and improves the appearance of pigmentation and fine lines.
👉 Shop Now Some By Mi 30 Days Miracle Full Set
♦️ Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch
A quick and easy fix for visible minor blemishes in less than a day, these non-drying spot zapping stickers are vegan and cruelty free.
This acne patch in the form of hydrocolloid bandages that protects pimples from secondary infections and absorbs exudate from developing blemishes or an existing pimple to promote the wound healing process more quickly.
Formulated with white willow bark and betaine salicylate to treat blemishes and reduce scars. Cosrx pimple patch is clear, near-invisible, waterproof and easy to apply to the skin, and you can even wear it under your makeup.
👉 Shop Now Cosrx Pimple Patch
♦️ Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner
A hydrating and refreshing toner works as a gentle exfoliant, which is filled with 80% aloe vera juice, instead of purified water, which provides a lot of moisture and cools pleasantly dehydrated, irritated, and sunburnt skin.
BHA is effective at removing dead skin cells and blackheads, while snail secretion filtrate hydrates, nourishes, brightens dark spots, or PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation).
This lightweight, mild chemical exfoliator effectively rebalance skin tone and texture. This product is gentle enough for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
👉 Shop Now Benton Aloe BHA Toner
♦️ Klavuu Green Pearlsation Tea Tree Care Spot Corrector
A concentrated spot treatment with gel texture supports the rapid healing process of acne breakouts and reduces the appearance of pimples, pigmented spots and imperfections.
Formulated with tea tree extract and panthenol to soothe redness and inflammation, while salicylic acid exfoliates and reduces excess oil. This product contains Korean pearl, seaweed and algae extracts to nourish, whiten, tighten pores and improve skin texture while also keeping it hydrated.
👉 Shop Now Klavuu Tea Tree Spot Treatment