Ingredients You Should Avoid If You Have Acne-Prone Skin


Getting the occasional pimple or breakout when you’re stressed is one thing. However, when you suffer from acne flare-ups consistently, it becomes all-encompassing. Acne is not only unsightly, but for some people, it’s emotionally debilitating and painful. Ultimately, finding a solution is paramount when a skin condition causes you so much pain and discomfort. 

As more than half the American population deals with acne, there are hundreds of products on the market to consider for treatment. Anxious to find a solution to reduce breakouts and clear skin, consumers with acne-prone skin will try just about anything to find relief. Unfortunately, not all products are created equally. 

Review Ingredients

Selecting the wrong products to treat your acne could do more harm than good. That’s why it’s essential to review the ingredients label. Below is a look at some skincare ingredients that acne sufferers should avoid and why. 


Silicone is commonly used in products like sunscreen and is advertised as a way to create silky-smooth skin. For individuals with acne-prone skin, silicone can cause more flare-ups. When applied to the skin, it creates a thick layer that can clog the pores. 


Although the overproduction of oil can clog pores and result in skin problems, treating the problem with alcohol is not ideal. Alcohol ultimately strips oil from the skin, causing extreme dryness and irritation. 


Lanolin has been used as a moisturizer for years with properties that include smoothing the skin. While this ingredient might be ideal for someone with normal skin, acne sufferers should beware. Lanolin is an oil extract that clogs pores and causes flare-ups. 

Coconut Oil

Here’s an ingredient you probably didn’t expect to see – coconut oil. When you hear coconuts, it’s easy to equate them to health and wellness. Although it does have healing properties, using coconut oil to treat your acne isn’t ideal. Believe it or not, coconut oil is at the top of the pore clogging ingredients list. When applied to the skin, it traps the dirt and dead skin cells, causing a buildup. 


Skincare products have a short shelf life if they don’t contain the right preservatives. That’s why many brands include parabens in their products. While it ensures there are no bacteria, fungi, or mold in the products, it can cause problems for people with acne-prone skin. They stimulate the production of oestrogen, which can lead to breakouts. 

Cocoa Butter

Another popular ingredient in the health and wellness industry is cocoa butter. This natural bean has been proven to soothe skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars. An acne sufferer might use products with cocoa butter as a means to get rid of scars, but it will have the opposite effect. Cocoa butter clogs the pores, trapping dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells, which cause flare-ups. 

Wheat Germ Oil

Incorporating wheat germ powder into your diet can have positive advantages for your health. It’s packed with antioxidants, vegetable proteins, healthy fats, and fiber. It can improve digestion, boost your immune system, and support a healthy heart when eaten. However, when used as a topical solution, wheat germ is bad for acne sufferers. Its high oil production means when applied to the skin, it will clog your pores. 

Talk To An Expert

Treating acne is a multi-layered process. It may require patients to take pills, use specific topical solutions, and make lifestyle changes. Treating acne also means avoiding ingredients that can clog the pores. The best way to ensure you’re doing the right thing to treat your acne is to speak with a dermatologist. They can do a complete assessment and make recommendations based on your condition. 

Acne is one of those things no one wants to deal with for too long. Although not life-threatening, regular flare-ups can cause pain, discomfort, social isolation, lowered self-esteem, and more. While finding a treatment is ideal for improved health, not all “solutions” are ideal. That’s why individuals with acne-prone skin are encouraged to review ingredients, understand how they work, and follow up with a dermatologist before using products on the skin.