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Hair Product Ingredients that Cause Acne

Hair Product Ingredients that Cause Acne

Want beautiful hair and acne-free skin? You need to become an ingredient detective. 

If you have acne, avoid products that add oil to your hair. If it says “oil-free,” it may still contain ingredients that cause breakouts. Stay away from isopropyl myristate, oils, silicone, PVP, CVP and copolymer ingredients. Sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate and sodium chloride are other commonly found ingredients in hair products that you should avoid. Wash and condition your hair before washing your face and body to remove any residue the hair products tend to leave on your skin. Think how hard it is to get grease off dishes–it’s the same with hair products. After rinsing your shampoo and conditioner, wash well with an approved cleanser so it’s the last thing that touches your skin.

To prevent pimples, consider a few changes to your hair routine.

  1. Style your hair before you apply your makeup, then wash your hands thoroughly to remove all hair products before you touch your face. Some of these products really stick, so you will need to wash your hands twice.
  2. Cover your face before you use hair spray. Check out beauty supply stores for a plastic face shield (or just use a hand towel).
  3. Don’t touch your hair and then your face once you’ve applied styling products, since that will just transfer hair product to your skin.
  4. Choose a hairstyle that doesn’t come in contact with your forehead or cheek area.
  5. Wash your hair before you go to bed to remove hair products that cause acne.
  6. Pull hair away from your face with a ponytail or bun when you sleep.
  7. Trade out your pillowcase every 2-3 days and avoid sleeping on dirty pillowcases.
  8. Use a headband to keep sweat and hair products from running down your face.
  9. To be on the safe side, only use approved shampoo, conditioner and leave-on hair products.

Think like a detective.

Here is a list of ingredients that cause acne from James Fulton, Jr. M.D. Ditch any of your hair products that have these ingredients. If breakouts just recently started happening, what new products have you been using? Stop using them for several weeks and see if your skin clears.

  • Apricot oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Peach Kernel oil
  • Palm oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Grape seed oil
  • Rosehip oil
  • Cocoa butter
  • Shea butter
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Meadow foam seed oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Wheat germ oil
  • Olive oil
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
  • Oleic Acid + its derivatives
  • Oleic Acid
  • Oleyl Alcohol
  • Decyl Oleate
  • Isodecyl Oleate
  • Sorbitan Oleate
  • Botanicals
  • Algae extract
  • Carageenan
  • Red algae
  • Isopropyl Myristate
  • Isopropyl Palmitate
  • Isoparaffin C13-14
  • Isopropyl Linoleate
  • Isopropyl Lanolate


  • Isopropyl Isostearate
  • Myristyl Myristate
  • Myristyl propionate
  • Myreth 3 myristate
  • Butyl Stearate
  • Isostearyl isostearate
  • PPG 2 Myristyl propionate
  • Isocetyl stearate
  • Oleyl Alcohol
  • Isostearyl Alcohol
  • Octyl Dodecanol
  • Isocetyl Alcohol
  • Cetearyl Alcohol and Ceteareth-20
  • Glyceryl-3-diisostearate
  • Polyglyceryl-3-diisostearate
  • Laureth 4
  • Laureth 23
  • Steareth-10
  • Oleth-3
  • PPG 5 ceteth 10 phosphate
  • Glyceryl stearate SE
  • Trideceth
  • Lauric Acid
  • Isostearic Acid
  • Hexylene Glycol
  • Cetyl Acetate
  • Ethylhexyl palmitate
  • Isopropyl Isostearate
  • Isopropyl linolate
  • Isostearyl isostearate
  • Stearyl heptanoate
  • Decyl oleate

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