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  • Writer's picturePaty Cholewczynski

Acne Prevention - A list of Pore Clogging Ingredients you should avoid.

Acne Specialist in Kitchener-Waterloo

With the dawn of social media, there are so many Acne "Life Hacks" and advice that is proven to do more harm than help. More and more of my new clients have come to me, using coconut oil as part of their current skin care routine. They were wondering why their skin was getting so much more acne, many black heads and their skin becoming more sensitive & irritated.


Natural oils like cocoa butter and coconut oil, which are found in many “organic” skin care lines, will wreak havoc with acne-prone skin.

Also, many professional skin care products, natural skin care products, organic skin care products and even acne skin care products can have pore-clogging ingredients.

Since no government agency oversees this, any skincare company can claim that their products promote clear skin and still have pore clogging ingredients.

Another interesting fact… Some prescriptions like Retin-A in cream form contains isopropyl myristate - a potent pore – clogger. But, many other prescription products also contain comedogenic ingredients as well.

And don’t get me started on 'over- the-counter' acne medications. Yes, they also have pore clogging ingredients. Oh, and “Oil-free” products? they are not necessarily safe either.

As if this was not hard enough to keep track of. Unfortunately there are also many hair care lines that contain ingredients like sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, both of which are high on the comedogenic (pore-clogging) scale. They are found in a multitude of shampoos and hair care products. Oils such as jojoba, olive and lanolin are mildly comedogenic (pore clogging) and can be a problem if formulated with other comedogenic ingredients.

So, before trying out a new skin care or hair care product, check out their ingredients first. Even if it says “non-comedogenic”, “oil free” or “won’t clog your pores” on the bottle that doesn’t mean it’s safe to use on your acne prone skin.

If you are tired of keep wasting more time and money on buying products trying to find the one that will work, schedule a skin care consultation at my studio. Together we can device a plan to help you achieve clear skin.

Here is a list of some pore clogging ingredients you should be avoiding as much as possible:

  • Acetylated Lanolin

  • Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol

  • Algae Extract

  • Algin

  • Argan Oil

  • Butyl Stearate

  • Bismuth Chloride Oxide (causes irritation but not acne)

  • Carrageenan

  • Cetearyl Alcohol + Ceteareth 20

  • Cetyl Acetate

  • Chlorella

  • Chondrus Crispus (aka Irish Moss or Carrageenan Moss)

  • Coal Tar

  • Cocoa Butter

  • Coconut Alkanes

  • Coconut Butter

  • Coconut Oil

  • Colloidal Sulfur

  • Cotton Awws Oil

  • Cotton Seed Oil

  • D & C Red # 17

  • D & C Red # 21

  • D & C Red # 3

  • D & C Red # 30

  • D & C Red # 36

  • Decyl Oleate

  • Dioctyl Succinate

  • Disodium Monooleamido PEG 2- Sulfosuccinate

  • Ethoxylated Lanolin

  • Ethylhexyl Palmitate

  • Glyceryl Stearate SE

  • Glyceryl-3 Diisostearate

  • Hexadecyl Alcohol

  • Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

  • Isocetyl Alcohol

  • Isocetyl Stearate

  • Isodecyl Oleate

  • Isopropyl Isostearate

  • Isopropyl Linoleate

  • Isopropyl Myristate

  • Isopropyl Palmitate

  • Isostearyl Isostearate

  • Isostearyl Neopentanoate

  • Kelp

  • Laminaria Digitata Extract

  • Laminaria Saccharina Extract (Laminaria Saccharine)

  • Laureth-23

  • Laureth-4

  • Lauric Acid

  • Mink Oil

  • Moroccan Oil

  • Myristic Acid

  • Myristyl Lactate

  • Myristyl Myristate

  • Octyl Palmitate

  • Octyl Stearate

  • Oleth-3

  • Oleyl Alcohol

  • Olive Oil

  • PEG 16 Lanolin

  • PEG 200 Dilaurate

  • PEG 8 Stearate

  • PG Monostearate

  • PPG 2 Myristyl Propionate

  • Plankton

  • Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate

  • Potassium Chloride

  • Propylene Glycol Monostearate

  • Red Algae

  • Sea Whip Extract

  • Seaweed

  • Shark Liver Oil-Squalene

  • Shea Butter

  • 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

  • Wheat Germ Glyceride

  • Wheat Germ Oil

  • Xylene

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