Do not ever put anything on your skin or your hair without checking the ingredients first, even if it says “won’t clog pores” or “noncomedogenic” on the bottle. No government agency oversees this, so skin care companies can claim their products promote clear skin and have pore-cloggers in their ingredient list. Many professional skin care products, natural skin care products, organic skin care products and even acne skin care products can have pore-clogging ingredients.

There are many ingredients that sound wonderful for your skin, but can be some of the worst offenders. Natural oils like cocoa butter and coconut oil, which are found in many “organic” skin care lines will wreak havoc with acne-prone skin. Other oils such as jojoba, olive and lanolin are mildly comedogenic and can be a problem if formulated with other comedogenic ingredients.

The prescription product Retin A (the cream form) has isopropyl myristate-–a potent pore-clogger. Some other prescription products are comedogenic (pore clogging) as well. Many over-the-counter acne medications also have pore-clogging ingredients. “Oil-free” products are not necessarily safe either.

The following are ingredients that can aggravate acne. If you have acne, it is best to avoid all of them.

A

Acetylated Lanolin
Acetylated Lanolin
Alcohol Algae Extract Algin

B

Butyl Stearate

C

Carrageenan
Cetyl Acetate
Cetearyl Alcohol + Ceteareth 20
Cocoa Butter
Chondrus Crispus (aka Irish moss or Carageenan Moss)
Chlorella
Coal Tar
Cocoa Butter
Coconut Alkanes
Coconut Butter
Coconut Oil
Colloidal Sulfur
Cotton Awws Oil
Cotton Seed Oil

D

D & C Red # 17 (can also be listed without D&C)
D & C Red # 21 (can also be listed without D&C)
D & C Red # 3 (can also be listed without D&C) D & C Red # 30 (can also be listed without D&C)
D & C Red # 36 (can also be listed without D&C)
Decyl Oleate
Dioctyl Succinate
Disodium Monooleamido PEG 2-Sulfosuccinate

E

Ethoxylated Lanolin
Ethylhexyl Palmitate

G

Glyceryl Stearate SE
Glyceryl-3-Diisostearat

H

Hexadecyl Alcohol
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

I

Isocetyl Alcohol
Isocetyl Stearate
Isodecyl Oleate
Isopropyl Isosterate
Isopropyl Linolate
Isopropyl Myristate
Isopropyl Palmitate
Isostearyl Isostearate
Isostearyl Neopentanoate

K

Kelp

L

Laminaria Digita Extract
Laminaria Saccharina Extract (Laminaria Saccharine)
Laureth-23
Laureth-4
Lauric Acid

M

Mink Oil
Myristic Acid
Myristyl Lactate
Myristyl Myristate

O

Octyl Palmitate
Octyl Stearate
Oleth-3
Oleyl Alcohol

P

PEG 16 Lanolin
PEG 200 Dilaurate
PEG 8 Stearate
PG Monostearate
PPG 2 Myristyl Propionate
Plankton
Polyglyceryl-3-Diisostearate
Potassium Chloride
Propylene Glycol Monostearate

R

Red Algae

S

Seaweed Shark Liver Oil (Squalene)
Sodium Chloride (Salt)
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Solulan 16
Sorbitan Oleate
Soybean Oil
Spirulina
Steareth 10
Stearic Acid Tea
Stearyl Heptanoate
Sulfated Castor Oil
Sulfated Jojoba Oil
Syearyl Heptanoate

W

Wheat Germ Glyceride
Wheat Germ Oil

X

Xylene