No matter how you slice it, breakouts are never fun. They pop up at the most inconvenient times and can do a number on your self confidence. Understandably, acne is something that most people try to avoid. So, when your skin starts acting up, it’s natural to want to fix it by incorporating new products. But how can you avoid doing more harm than good?
That’s the million-dollar question. You want to clear your skin but also want to avoid further clogging your pores and causing irritation. Before you select “add to cart,” read this list of ways to avoid comedogenic or acne-causing products.
1. Understand Your Pores
The first step is to understand the role your pores play in your skin’s look and feel. Pores are small openings in your skin that house hair follicles and sebaceous glands. These glands produce the oil your skin uses for moisture to prevent cracks and irritation. That sounds great, right?
When they’re clean and clear, pores are fantastic. But their open structure makes them susceptible to clogging. This is because it’s relatively easy for dirt and bacteria to enter your pores and get trapped. That’s when they become clogged and create acne. Unfortunately, pore-clogging bacteria can come from the air, your hands, or anything else that comes into contact with your skin. That includes skin care and makeup products.
Get ahead of the curve by incorporating best practices for your pores. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. Wipe down your phone and other electronics that go near your face to remove bacteria. If breakouts pop up, use your favorite acne treatment to help soothe the skin. These steps may seem small but they can make a big difference in your journey to clear skin.
2. Look for Non-Comedogenic Labels
When you’re looking to add a new beauty product to the mix, you’re deciding based on a few factors. Maybe it has eye-catching packaging or appealing sustainability claims. Perhaps it can help solve a problem that you’re having, like discoloration. Something you may not be thinking about, though, is if it’s actually going to be good for your pores.
While products are created to be put on your face and body, that doesn’t mean they’re always great for it. Fortunately, many beauty products have labels that help make identifying products that are a good bet easier. These provide information on the product creation process and ingredients in a snapshot. This can include being cruelty-free, vegan, and — you guessed it — non-comedogenic.
So, if a product has the term non-comedogenic on its label, it should have a lesser likelihood of breaking you out. However, this label is up to the cosmetic company producing the product to determine, not the FDA or other government entities. That means the label alone isn’t a fool-proof way to avoid breakouts. Despite it not being ironclad, though, it’s still a great tool to use as a starting point.
3. Get Familiar with Common Pore-Clogging Ingredients
Take it a step further and avoid breakouts and skin congestion by familiarizing yourself with common pore-clogging ingredients. That way, you can pick up any new product off the shelf, scan its ingredients, and know if it will be problematic. This information paired with a non-comedogenic label means you’re likely in the clear.
Of course, the list of comedogenic or pore-clogging ingredients is far from short. However, knowing some of the most commonly used ones is a great place to start. Those include:
- Coconut oil
- Algae extract
- Isopropyl myristate
- Cocoa butter
Also, pay attention to where these ingredients may fall on the ingredient list. They are listed in descending order of concentration, so the first ingredient is the highest. If a product has comedogenic ingredients toward the end of the ingredient list, it may be worth trying. However, you’ll want to buy with that in mind and keep an eye on your skin when testing it out. If irritation happens or you get breakouts, stop use in favor of an alternative option.
4. Use Technology to Your Advantage
If you’re like most people, your phone goes with you most places. With nearly uninterrupted access to limitless information, use it to your advantage when browsing skin care products. Another great way to choose non-comedogenic products is by downloading skin care apps.
Some apps allow you to quickly scan the barcode or search the product’s name to pull up its listing. From there, you can see its rating and any ingredients that are flagged as pore-clogging or potentially irritating. So, whether you’re an in-store shopper or browsing online, you can quickly and easily evaluate products.
You’ll save time not having to memorize every ingredient to avoid. Plus, many apps let you save your history, so you can keep a close watch on your existing collection. It truly is a game-changer that your skin and wallet will thank you for.
Try, Try, Try Again
In a perfect world, you’d find products that work well for your skin on the first try. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case. But over the course of time, you’ll discover different ingredients your skin loves and hates. With that information, you’ll be able to choose options that won’t clog your pores. And you’ll eventually love the way your skin looks and feels.