8 Skincare Ingredients To Avoid For Oily Acne-Prone Skin

Are you suffering from stubborn acne, pimples, blackheads? Here are acne-causing ingredients to avoid to keep those breakouts at bay.

acne-cause ingredients for acne-prone skin occlusive natural oil mineral oil breakouts K beauty world

What causes your face to breakouts and how do you get clear skin?

When you have breakouts, one of the first things you may do is treat them with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid and cover the pus-filled zits up with Korean pimple patches or concealers. Those steps are great for post-acne treatments, but have you ever wondered what’s causing the skin troubles? It’s not easy to figure out exact reasons that some people are more prone to pimples than others but we know that it occurs when the pores get blocked with oil, dead skin, or bacteria.

Acne can be caused by a number of factors, including stress levels, high-glycemic diet, hormone fluctuations, and poor lifestyle habits like rubbing your skin after handling your smartphone or not inappropriate ways of using hair products like dry shampoos, hair essences. However, your favorites cosmetics makeup products may play a role in your adult acne due to comedogenic ingredients. We’ve picked up bits of wisdom for you to avoid trigger ingredients when you shop.

List of Pore Clogging Ingredients  

Occlusive Emoliants

Occlusive ingredients have generally rich and thick consistency that is not able to penetrate into skin but form a second layer on top of your own. They help prevent moisture loss and protect skin from external attacks which works wonders for dry skin but not to oily skin.


It’s the natural oil from sheep’s wool and it helps to make their wool soft and weatherproofing like we produce sebum to lubricate and protect our skin. Lanolin is used mostly in moisturizers with its softening properties, but it considered acnegenic and can trigger cystic acne. A helpful tip is to watch out for synthetic lanolins such as ethoxylated lanolins, acetylated lanolins as they may travel deeper into the skin – the safest option is a 100% pure natural one.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is widely used in skincare and makeup products, but it has gotten a bad rep for a long time that it clogs pores. Mineral oil is an occlusive – which means it sits a top layer of skin and creates a physical skin barrier to trap in moisture but also everything else that may lead to skin breakouts.

Isopropyl Isostearate  

This skin-softening agent/emollient helps smoothen rough skin, but it has been known to cause clogged pores, acne, whiteheads, blackheads and possible irritation. It’s the ester of isopropyl alcohol and stearic acid (occlusive – large molecules) – a synthetic oil. It also works as a thickening and lubricant agent in skincare products, face and eye makeup.                              

Isopropyl Myristate 

This emollient works in a similar manner as Isopropyl Isostearate in moisturizers, making your skin soft and smooth. Many cosmetics brands like to use this ingredient because aside from the smoothing benefits when you apply, it glides on nicely to lock in hydration with a silky finish. Unfortunately, it deeply sinks into the skin and blocks pores, resulting in unwanted skin problems. 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is commonly used in homemade DIY beauty products but it’s best to avoid it if you have oily and breakout-prone skin. This natural oil has excellent nutrient and moisturizing benefits for dry and dehydrated skin, but it’s considered as a comedogenic ingredient. Coconut oil has high levels of oleic acid – which contains a high amount of fatty acids making a heavy and greasy texture that can’t penetrate into skin. Olive oil and cocoa butter need to be added to the avoid-list as they also won’t let your skin “breathe”. As alternatives, use rosehip and jojoba oils to hydrate skin and reduce excess sebum. 

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate

Have you noticed many beauty products labeled “Sulfate-free” or “SLS-free”? It has been a while that sulfates have frowned upon in the beauty industry. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, also known as SLS is a foaming agent that is commonly used in soaps, facial cleansers, shampoos, toothpastes, body washes. Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, aka, ALS or ammonium dodecyl sulfate and it’s a surfactant that helps exert emulsification action and suds up nicely. However, they both known to be skin irritants and strip away oils from your skin and scalp which can lead to damage to the natural skin barrier. In addition, some find that they may trigger more acne breakouts with frequent use.


Fragrance is one of the most pimple-causing culprits along with preservatives and it’s not true only for sensitive and redness-prone skin, but all skin types. Artificial or synthetic fragrance should raise a red flag when you’re in the market as they are produced with various chemicals which can lead to negative skin reactions. Please note that not all fragrances cause breakouts so you need to figure out which ones are working for your skin. In general, “fragrance-free” is the safest bet if you have sensitive skin. One more helpful tip – artificial colors and dyes are coal tar derivatives which are potential acne-trigger. To avoid those, look for PVP (Polyvinyl Pyrrolidone), FD&C and D&C followed by a number, for example, D&C red #30.

Korean Skin Care for Acne-Prone Skin

♦️ Cosrx AC Collection Acne Set


Cosrx AC Collection Acne Set cleanser pimple patch serum AHA BHA exfoliator K beauty world

It's a total acne treatment solution from Cosrx to treat your troubled, redness, and irritated skin for a healthy, clear complexion. This is a new line from the cult-favorite brand that is specially designed for those who are prone to breakouts, blemishes, and have sensitive skin. The innovative Centella AC-RX formula, which is made of natural healing ingredients, is developed uniquely for recovering the skin without any irritation. 

This 4 step set contains Calming Cleansing foam to wash off impurities, Calming Liquid Intensive(or Mild) to exfoliate dead skin cells, Blemish Spot Clear Serum to reduce the appearance of acne scars and Acne Patch to cover and protect your troubled areas and prevent secondary infections. 

👉  Shop Cosrx AC Acne Routine Set

♦️ Pyunkang Yul Acne Skin Care Set


Pyunkang Yul Acne Skin Care Set Cream Toner pimple patch cleanser korean k beauty world

Pyunkang Yul has launched for its special acne care line, which is inherited from their over 40 years of knowhow from Pyunkang Oriental Medicine Clinic. The products contain medical herbs like forsythia fruit extract, white willow extract to rapidly alleviate angry and troublesome skin while helping sebum control and convergence.  

Acne cleanser has a mild gel-type formula with microbubbles while this lightweight toner helps refine skin texture and tone. Pyunkang Yul moisturizer has an oil-free and gel consistency, so it's best suited for oily acne-prone skin. Thanks to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, this great-value set improves skin conditions of damaged or problematic skin.

👉  Shop Pyunkang Yul Set for Acne-Prone Skin

♦️ Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Set


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4-steps of the AHA BHA PHA routine works wonder on your skin to transform dull, blemished skin into more clear and radiant skin. Filled with skin-benefiting acids - AHAs to slough off dead skin cells, BHAs to get rid of excess sebum and residues, PHAs to prevent moisture loss and tea tree to calm redness, skin troubles, and inflammation.

This popular 4-step skin care regimen goes with exfoliating cleansing bar(soap) and toner, serum, and face moisturizer that brightens complexion, purifies pores, and moisturizes the skin. 

👉  Shop Some By Mi 30 Days Miracle Full Set 

♦️ Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch 


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It's a waterproof and hydrocolloid patch that helps prevent secondary infections and absorbs exudate to encourage the wound repair process faster. Formulated with white willow bark and betaine salicylate to treat blemishes and reduce scarring. Cosrx pimple patch goes on clear and adheres to the skin and you can even wear it under your make up. 

👉  Shop Cosrx Pimple Patch

♦️ Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner

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Benton toner is a gentle exfoliator that is packed with BHA and aloe vera to deeply hydrate skin while you removing dead skin cells and blackheads. This lightweight and skin-friendly chemical exfoliator is effective at rebalancing skin tone and texture. Suitable for every skin type including sensitive skin. 

👉  Shop Benton Aloe BHA Toner

♦️ Klavuu Green Pearlsation Tea Tree Care Spot Corrector


Klavuu Green Pearlsation Tea Tree Care Spot Corrector spot treatment acne breakouts k beauty world

A concentrated spot treatment reduces the appearance of breakouts and pigmented spots while supporting the fast healing process. Formulated with tea tree extract and panthenol to promote soothing redness and inflammation while salicylic acid exfoliates and reduces excess oil. It contains kelp and seaweed extract to help pore tightening and improving skin texture.

👉  Shop Klavuu Tea Tree Spot Treatment

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