Lifestyle

These 8 skin-care ingredients could be the cause of your breakouts

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If you’re prone to breakouts, you probably have an arsenal of products to treat them, but not all are actually helpful.

These are the 8 ingredients that could be making your acne worse.


1. Salicylic acid

While you may have grabbed products with salicylic acid as a teen, as it’s commonly found in drugstore cleansers and moisturizers targeted toward women with breakouts, salicylic acid can be too harsh on acne, causing inflammation, redness, and excessive dryness. Not ready to part with your favorite cleanser? Don’t worry, you can still use it strategically. It can be used in small doses as spot treatments.

2. Exfoliating beads

After a long day, treating your dull skin to some much-needed exfoliation sounds like a treat. But rather than gently sloughing away dead skin cells, exfoliating beads can be too harsh, causing irritation and even breakouts. Exfoliating beads are bad for acne because they inflame the skin, making the condition worse and more protracted.

3. Fragrance

The smell of citrus might perk you up in the morning but it doesn’t justify using scented products on your face. Fragrance and perfumes can be found in many over-the-counter washes and scrubs marketed toward acne-prone skin. These commonly used products could be the culprit behind that inflamed pimple or blotchy complexion. If you have dry skin or you find yourself scratching your face throughout the day, adding unscented products to your routine could ease your discomfort.

4. Retinol

You might have stocked up on products containing retinol after you heard about its many anti-aging promises. The seemingly magical ingredient (which is commonly found in wrinkle-fighting night creams and serums) has been shown to treat fine lines and uneven skin tone by promoting cell turnover and exfoliating away scars left behind by acne.

5. Alcohol

Alcohol dries the skin, which excites the sebaceous glands to secrete more oil (sebum) in order to hydrate the skin. The sebum gets trapped in the glands, and bacteria go to work. They love sebum.” To prevent dry and uncomfortable skin, add a gentle cleanser with micellar water to your nighttime routine.

6. Benzoyl peroxide

Many over-the-counter face washes and spot treatments boast Benzoyl Peroxide as their star acne-fighting ingredient that will wipe out blemishes for good. The powerful ingredients may work to clear a zit or two away, but its not a long-term solution for those battling hormonal acne.

7. Coconut oil

First we thought oil was off-limits for acne-prone skin, and then we heard that oil attracts oil and is actually totally appropriate for acne-prone skin. Even if some skin-care oils do work for this skin type, you might still want to avoid coconut oil on your face. Coconut oil is considered to be a highly comedogenic, meaning it can block or clog your pores. You can still slather it on your dry elbows or fried hair ends if you want.

8. Silicone

Ever notice breakouts after using a heavy foundation or facial sunless tanner? Silicone may be the culprit behind those unwanted flare-ups. Heavy products containing silicone can make your skin feel soft at first but are quick to layer onto your face, causing clogged pores that lead to breakouts over time.