Having clogged pores is a bummer. Nobody wants blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples. But unfortunately, preventing clogged pores is not as easy as you might think. While we can avoid products that have comedogenic ingredients, there are also other factors that lead to clogged pores. It’s not just the type of comedogenic ingredients in the product, but the level of concentration, the process that the product went through, other ingredients, and your skin type are other things to consider.
But there are certain ingredients that are known to make you more prone to clogged pores, especially for those who are prone to skin problems. Keep reading to know the 6 ingredients that cause clogged pores. The more you know, the more you can keep your pores clear and your skin healthy!
Why do pores get clogged?
As our skin regenerates, dead skin cells build up along the walls of the pore. Sebum or oil produced by the sebaceous glands coats the buildup hence creating the clog. When this happens, the skin problem can appear as either a whitehead or a pimple. These are what you call comedones.
Comedogenic ingredients make this problem worse because it also coats the buildup and adds to the blockage. People with excessively oily skin are more likely to have it worse and people with dry skin may not even have an issue with comedogenic products.
The real deal is that you never really know if a product will clog your pores. You may spot one or two comedogenic ingredients on the label, but because of the other factors we previously mentioned, it’s a matter of trial and error to find a product that suits your skin.
People with oily skin should avoid heavy creams and ointments. These act as a barrier on the skin thus creating more blockage.
How can I test if a product is comedogenic?
Applying a small amount of the product on your chest or back twice a day for two weeks will give you an idea if it works well with your skin.
So should I look for the term non-comedogenic on the label?
You could, but it does not guarantee that you won’t have an adverse reaction to the product. It a product is labeled non-comedogenic, then it only means that the manufacturer is claiming that it is. This term is not regulated by any body so technically almost anyone can claim that their product won’t clog your pores.
The best way to check the label is to read the ingredients so you’re sure about what you’re about to put on your face.
Ingredients appear on the label in the order of their concentration. This means that if an ingredient is first on the list, this is the ingredient that makes up most of the product. If a comedogenic ingredient is last on the list, then there may be less chance that the product will clog your pores.
Here are the 6 pore-clogging ingredients you should avoid:
- Lanolin is a type of wax that is derived from the oil glands of sheep and is usually found in ointments and heavy balms. Its composition is close to our natural oil composition so it helps retain moisture on the skin and is great at healing chapped skin. However, it is still a heavy ingredient that could potentially clog your pores.
- Mineral oil creates a seal on the skin because it is basically a large molecule. This is a great ingredient for hand creams but people with oily skin or are prone to clogged pores should avoid applying this on their face. Mineral oil is a typical ingredient in moisturizers and heavy creams. Petrolatum also falls in the same category and has the same potential to clog pores.
- Isopropyl palmitate is quire fittingly a big word because it is a long-chain fatty acid that is usually used in moisturizers. It has comedogenic properties, same as isopropyl myristate. Applying these ingredients on the face may cause blackheads.
- Cocoa butter is a hydrating agent that is heavy on oleic acid. This is a type of acid that is also great at clogging pores. It is not usually in skin care products but can be found in hair products and can settle on the skin that the hair comes in contact with.
- Coconut oil may come as a surprise that it has made an appearance on this list because of its awesome benefits to the skin. However, coconut oil is a heavy type of oil that can make matters worse if you’re prone to pimples. It’s best to use coconut oil for dry patches of facial skin, or your kness, elbows, and soles of the feet.
- Silicone is a known culprit for clogging pores but it is still commonly used in facial products because it makes the skin feels smoother. And that’s the double edged sword, isn’t it? It sits on top of the skin and locks in other ingredients including harmful ones. Look out for the words dimethicone and cyclomethicone on the label. You can still try out these products but if it breaks you out, stay away. Stay far away!
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