Ingredients That Contribute to Acne

Ingredients That Contribute to Acne

Ingredients That Contribute to Acne

Ever wonder why whenever you use certain products you immediately breakout. Our faces are sensitive and more so when exposed to certain products. I’ve compiled a list of the top ingredients that contribute to acne that you may find in your skin care products.

I always recommend to my clients to stop and take a look at the ingredients in their skin care. The items in your products can be contributing to your acne and you may not even know about it. Avoiding these ingredients will help those who suffer with acne. Here are the top ingredients that contribute to acne. You should beware!

Acetylated Lanolin

Also known as “sheep alcohol”, lanolin alcohol or wool alcohol, is a non-drying organic compound produced from lanolin. The fat of wool shearings, which has been reacted with acetic acid and tiny amounts of lye. Acetylated lanolin alcohol is often used for emollient purposes, to soften skin.

It is slightly comedogenic, with a rating of 2 out of 5. Because of this, those who are prone to whiteheads and blackheads should patch test before applying it. Acetylated lanolin alcohol can also be inflammatory to those with wool or lanolin allergies, and should be avoided in such cases.

Butyl Stearate

The stearate esters (Butyl Stearate, Cetyl Stearate, Isocetyl Stearate, Isopropyl Stearate, Myristyl Stearate, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Isobutyl Stearate) are oily liquids or waxy solids. Ethylhexyl Stearate may also be called Octyl Stearate. Butyl Stearate is highly comedogenic. It means that if this ingredient is present in any product, it is very likely to cause pimples on acne prone skin. Even if your skin does not break out easily, you need be careful with products containing this ingredient.

Coal Tar

Coal tar is a known cancer-causing agent taken from burning coal. It is an intricate blend of several mixes, a considerable lot of which are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Coal tar is utilized in food, cosmetics, personal care items and textiles.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is one of the most stable fats known, it is loaded with antioxidants and resists rancidity for a long time (2-5 years). It is solid at room temperature and melts at body temperature. May clog the pores of acne-prone people.

D & C Red Dyes

D&C red dyes are a synthetic dye produced from petroleum or coal tar sources; this dye is FDA-approved for use in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Decyl Oleate

Highly comedogenic. Even if the skin does not get acne instantly, you must be careful with products containing this ingredient. Even when the tiniest bit of this ingredient is added to a product, that becomes its weakest link, rendering the product as a whole comedogenic.

Isopropyl Isostearate

Isopropyl Isostearate is not known to be irritating to the skin. Skin irritants may cause acne even if they are not pore-clogging. This is because they irritate the skin causing it to produce more sebum which may result in acne. Isopropyl Isostearate is mainly used as an emollient, binding agent and skin conditioner in cosmetic products.

Isopropyl Linoleate

Lanolin Derivative – softener and binder of the skin, it helps with the spreading of products.

Isopropyl Myristate

Fatty Acids & Derivatives – an emollient, moisturizer, binder, and skin softener, it aids in product penetration. It is an ester of myristic acid.

Isopropyl Neopentanoate

These are Fatty Acids & Derivatives – it is an emollient, binder, and skin-conditioning agent that moisturizes and softens.

Isopropyl Palmitate

Fatty Acids & Derivatives – an emollient and skin moisturizer, it also acts as a solvent and binder. It is created from the combination of palmitic acid (coconut or palm oil) and isopropyl alcohol.

Isostearic Acid

Binder; Surfactant-Cleansing Agent is included as a function for the soap form of Isostearic Acid.; BINDING; EMULSIFYING.


Lanolic Acid

Unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid found in corn, safflower, and sunflower oils. It is used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. There is some research showing it to be effective as a skin restorative, an antioxidant and as a skin-soothing agent.

Myristyl Myristate

is a 100% natural vegetable derived ester utilizing only the Myristic fatty acids. This mixture of myristyl alcohol and myristic acid results in superior whitening to the product and improved benefits to the skin.


Stearyl Alcohol, Oleyl Alcohol and Octyldodecanol are long chain alcohols that are fatty. Stearyl Alcohol is a white, waxy solid formulated ingredient that has a faint odor. Oleyl Alcohol and Octyldodecanol are colorless liquids. These three ingredients are found in a wide variety of products such as hair conditioners, foundations, eye makeup, skin moisturizers, skin cleansers and other skin care products.

Oleyl Alcohol

Fatty Alcohols & Esters –an unsaturated fatty alcohol found in fish oils or made synthetically, oleyl alcohol works as an emollient, solvent, viscosity-increasing agent and carrier. It is found in a wide range of products.


Squalane and Squalene are oily substances that are basic parts of different oils. Both Squalane and Squalene are regular segments of human sebum, a blend of lipids delivered by parts in the skin. In beauty care products and individual care items, Squalane and Squalene are utilized as a part of the detailing of a wide assortment of items including bath oils, hair products, eye makeup, makeup foundations, lipstick, sun tan and sunscreen products, body powders, nail products and in cleansing, moisturizing, and skin care products.

Oils & Butters Comedogenic Score

0 – Wont Clog Pores
1 – Low
2 – Moderately Low
3 – Moderate
4 – Fairly High
5 – High

Almond Oil – 2
Apricot Kernel Oil – 2
Argan Oil – 0
Avocado Oil – 2
Baobab Oil – 2
Borage Oil – 2
Calendula Oil – 1
Camphor – 2
Castor Oil – 1
Cocoa Butter – 4 
Coconut Butter – 4 
Coconut Oil (from the meat or kernel) – 4 
Corn Oil – 3 
Cotton Seed Oil – 3 
Emu Oil – 1
Evening Primrose Oil – 2
Flax Seed Oil – 4
Grape Seed Oil – 2
Hazelnut Oil – 2
Hemp Seed Oil – 0
Jojoba Oil – 2
Jojoba Oil Sulfated – 3 
Linseed Oil – 4
Mango Butter – 0
Mineral Oil – 0
Mink Oil – 3 
Neem Oil – 1
Olive Oil – 2
Palm Oil – 4
Peach Kernel Oil – 2
Peanut Oil – 2
Petrolatum – 0
Pomegranate Oil – 1
Pumpkin Seed Oil – 2
Rosehip Oil – 1
Safflower Oil (not the cooking oil) – 0
Sandalwood Seed Oil – 2
Sea Buckthorn Oil – 1
Sesame Oil – 2
Shea Butter – 0
Soybean Oil – 3 
Sunflower Oil – 2
Tamanu Oil – 2
Wheat Germ Oil – 5 
Shark Liver Oil – 3


Beeswax – 2
Candelilla Wax – 1
Carnuba Wax – 1
Ceresin Wax – 0
Emulsifying Wax NF – 2
Lanolin Wax – 1



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