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Have you ever wondered what are the ingredients which causes acne? Acne is caused by many factors ranging from stress levels to our regular diet. However, unknown to some, a reason for acne is due to the ingredients in the beauty products that we smear on our face. Some ingredients are highly comedogenic, which means they tend to clog and block pores which ultimately forms blackheads.

Ingredients that you MUST avoid to prevent acne from sprouting:


Alcohol removes oil on your skin, causing it to become dry and irritated. The reason why many like to use products with alcohol is because it produces a mattifying effect for the skin – a fast and effective finish. If you have sensitive skin, it’s recommended not to use products with alcohol as it might irritate your skin. If you have dry skin, it’s best to avoid this ingredient as it makes your skin dry. Many believe that alcohol-based products are effective in controlling oily skin, but little do they know, it actually enlarges your pores and cause breakouts.

Coconut Oil:

Many people use coconut oil as a form of make up remover, be it a cleanser or a moisturiser. However, coconut oil is highly comedogenic. If you have oily skin, it’s best to avoid coconut oil as it produces excess sebum. If your skin is dry to normal, it’s alright to use coconut oil as your pores do not get clogged easily.


Many products contain fragrance to mask the unpleasant smell of some ingredients or to make the product smell good. The downside is that fragrances are irritating to sensitive skin. If you have dry skin, using products with fragrances might result in blotchy and itchy skin. It is best to choose products without fragrances but not all fragrances cause acne. You just need to identify fragrances that cause acne and avoid using them.

Isopropyl Myristate:

This ingredient helps to create a softening and soothing effect on your skin. However, it is highly comedogenic and is likely to cause pimples. Repetitive use of this product may lead to clogged pores and skin irritation. Many like to use products with this ingredient because of the silky finish that it produces, but beware of the consequences in the long run


Lanolin is an oily extract from the lamb’s wool. It works as a moisturiser for the skin that creates a smoothing effect on your face. The downside to it is that it clogs pores easily and for those people who are prone to acne, it can cause flare ups and breakouts. Products usually contain synthetic lanolin. Hence, it’s best to find 100% pure lanolin oil as a safe option.

Mineral Oil: 

Mineral oils are also comedogenic. It does not provide any hydration although it prevents moisture loss from your skin. As it continues, your skin is being masked and the skin condition worsens, causing acne breakouts and even photo-aging.


Silicones are often found in products like primers, sunscreens and many more. Many people think that silicones help create a silky soft texture on your skin but it actually causes flare-ups. Products containing silicones layer on your face and can clog your pores over time. This leads to your occasional breakouts and acne. Some examples of silicones in product are dimethicone (silicone oil), cetearyl methicone (non-water soluble silicone) and cyclomethicone (synthetic silicone oil). It is best to totally avoid using silicones and use chemical-free cleansing products instead.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: 

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, also known as SLS, is a foaming agent. It is commonly used in many shampoos, toothpastes and face products. It has been identified as a skin irritant as it strips away oils from your skin. People with acne-prone skin can trigger more breakouts even with the slightest amount of irritation. SLS is even used as an comparing ingredient in test labs. If they want to test if a particular ingredient causes problems for skin, they compare the results against SLS.

Now that you have read through this list, you might want to dig out all your beauty products and scrutinise the ingredients list! Don’t forget to spot these irritants during your next beauty haul too!