Posted on by Paul WebDev

What Common Ingredients In Cosmetics Cause Clogged Pores?

Are you suffering from never ending blackheads and pimples no matter what you do? The answer might just lie in the ingredient list on your favourite cosmetics. When pores become clogged from an irritating ingredient such as lanolin they attempt to flush themselves out, which consequently results in pimples or blackheads. If a specific ingredient in your foundation or makeup powder, for example, is the instigator, then it honestly doesn’t matter how good your face-wash is, because the problem simply won’t go away. You need to look for the term ‘
non-comodegenic’ and ‘oil-free’ on the label as this should mean the product does not contain ingredients that will clog your pores. However, sometimes even though a product states that it is non-comodegenic, it might still contain some pore-clogging ingredients. So just to be sure, cross reference your favourite makeup and skincare with these 13 common ingredients in cosmetics that will actually cause acne.

1. Acetylated Lanolin

Lanolin is a natural ingredient produced by a sheep skin to keep their wool soft, just like we produce sebum to keep our skin soft. Lanolin is used in cosmetics and skin care products to provide softness and moisturization, but unfortunately it is highly comodegenic and rated on a scale of one to five for it’s pore clogging abilities, lanolin rates as high as a four out of five! It might also be referred to as acetylated lanolin alcohol, athoxylated lanolin, PEG 16 lanolin or the less common name of solulan 16.

2. Algae Extract

This nasty ingredient can be found in some concealers and is rated a 5 on the comedogenic scale. It is very irritating to the skin and will definitely clog up your pores so make sure to avoid it.

3. Almond Oil

Whilst almond oil is natural, it has pore-clogging abilities when used on the face. However, almond oil is great when used as an ingredient in natural, healthy body moisturizers as it does provide that extra bit of hydration for very dry skin. It is rated 2 on the comedogenic scale so avoid it using it on your face as well as your chest and back where acne flare-ups can also often occur.

4. Benzaldehyde

This is an added fragrance used in cosmetics and skin-care products to give the product a nice scent. This, however, is one scent we can do without as it is rated at about 3.5 on the comedogenic scale and clogs and irritates the skin the way all artificial fragrances tend to do.

Enjoy fresh smelling scents with natural fruit extracts like the
Sweet Orange Foaming Cleanser from La Mav.

5. D & C Red

This will be seen as ‘D & C Red’ on the label and followed by a number. D & C # 19 was banned, but these ones can still be found on the market: D & C Red # 3, D & C Red # 21, D & C Red # 30, D & C Red # 36, D & C Red # 40, D & C Red #27. Numbers 27 and 40 are rated high on the scale, whereas the others are rated as medium on the scale. This is a colour added to give colour to cosmetics, usually blush, and might just be the cause of those pimples on your cheeks as they are highly comedogenic.

 

6. Isopropyl Palmitate

This fatty acid is a common ingredient in many tinted moisturizers and is rated as a 4 on the comedegenic scale. If a tinted moisturizer claims to be ‘non-comedegenic’, but this ingredient is on the label then you know you are being fooled!

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7. Ethyhexyl Palmitate

NARS may be a high-end make-up brand, but this horrible ingredient is found in their bronzer. Like Isopropyl Palmitate, Ethyhexyl Palmitate is also a fatty acid and rated as a 4 on the comedogenic scale. This ingredient is more than likely to result in small irritating bumps as a result of severe clogged pores.

An organic bronzer can give you a
glowing sun-kissed complexion without any added toxins.

8. Lauroyl Lysine

This ingredient is found in many loose powders and prevents the skin from ‘breathing’, thus resulting in clogged pores. It is rated as fairly high on the comedogenic scale. This is the last thing you want, especially in a face powder as it is applied all over your face!

All products in our
Anti Ageing Minerals™ range are infused with Vitamin C and Rosehip Oil providing proven anti-ageing benefit while also nourishing and protecting your skin from free radicals, without clogging your pores.

9. Lauric Acid

Rated as high as a four on the comedogenic scale, this is one fatty acid we don’t want in our lives, but is common in many well-known cosmetics and skin products. Keep in mind, while lauric acid is found on the comedogenic scale, it is also found in coconut oil, and as we found out in a previous post,
organic coconut oil is beneficial for your body. So before you deduce that lauric acid is the culprit, make sure there are no other factors like hormonal imbalance or poor diet contributing to flare ups.

We, at La Mav, believe the you don’t have to sacrifice your health and the health of your skin in the name of beauty! Our non-comedgenic, toxic free and certified organic formulations are suitable for all skin types – even the most sensitive ones! Getting your smooth, glowing skin back has never been so easy (and safe)!

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10. Stearic Acid

This ingredient is found in some expensive and high-end foundations, but you might want to save your money. Even though rated as fairly low on the comedogenic scale, the point is that this ingredient still has the potential for clogging your pores. This is especially bad news if you have sensitive skin or are prone to
acne break-outs. You deserve a product that contains zero pore-clogging ingredients!

11. Wheat Germ Oil

Wheat germ powder is beneficial for your health when consumed, but you might want to reconsider wheat germ oil as a face product. Rated as high on the comedogenic scale this oil will do your skin no favours!

12. Sodium Chloride

The fancy name for salt, sodium chloride is an actual ingredient in some cosmetics including certain foundations. Who knew! Whilst you would probably consider salt to have exfoliating properties, it in fact does the opposite and clogs up your pores quite badly. Rated as a five on the comedogenic scale, sodium chloride should be avoided.

13. Shea Butter

Shea butter is absolutely wonderful for moisturizing the body, but problems arise when it is applied to the face. It is too rich and high on the comedogenic scale for its pore-clogging abilities. So use it on your body, but leave your face out of it!


This list is nowhere near definitive, but these potential comedogenic ingredients that should be avoided if you want to keep your skin clear. Even though not everybody has a reaction to comedogenic ingredients, usually the rule is that if you can’t say it, don’t buy it.
 Be sure to check the labels and avoid any skin problems in the future, and if you’re still not sure, there’s an APP for that: check out the
free Think Dirty APP (iOS only) from the APP Store. Think Dirty allows you to compare and find safer alternatives to toxic cosmetics products

Are there any other ingredients you can spot on your cosmetics you would like to know more about? Leave a comment and we’ll find out for you!

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