Are you looking for acne skincare products that can help your skin? Or wondering what common skincare ingredients actually make your acne worse?
When you’re battling with skin problems, it can be hard to know what the best acne skincare products really are? There’s no shortage of acne skincare products out there, but some could be doing more harm than good.
Just because a product says it’s for acne-prone skin, doesn’t mean that all the ingredients in it are going to be helping, not hindering your quest for clear skin.
Here are my top four common ingredients that are hiding in your skincare products and could be irritating your acne or causing more breakouts.
Top 4 Ingredients To Avoid In Acne Skincare Products
Super common in many skincare products, mineral oils can be tricky to avoid. It’s often included in skincare for acne due to its ability to help reduce water loss from skin and keep it moisturized.
But it has a dark side too.
Although mineral oils can trap the moisture in, it doesn’t actually hydrate your skin. So while your skin may look like it’s more moisturised, it’s actually just masking the problem.
Not only that, but mineral oils are also comedogenic – meaning they are known to cause blackheads and blocked pores.
In the long run, skincare products with this ingredient can worsen your skin’s condition, increase the signs of ageing and even cause more acne breakouts!
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Again, another very popular ingredient not only in shower gels and shampoos, but it can also be found in some acne skincare products too!
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, otherwise known as SLS, is added to products as a foaming agent. You know when your shampoo or face wash goes nice and foamy? That’s thanks to the SLS.
Although we all love a good lather, SLS is one of the nasties to avoid in all products.
It’s a known skin irritant and it strips the oils from your skin. This can leave you more prone to skin problems such as dryness, itching and even eczema. The drying effect of SLS can actually increase acne because it causes your body to produce more oil (sebum). So you might actually notice an increase in breakouts and acne due to SLS containing products!
If you want healthy, clear skin then skincare for acne with SLS is definitely something to avoid.
Don’t panic! I don’t mean your Friday night wine – I mean alcohol as a skincare product ingredient.
Alcohol is often included in skincare for acne thanks to its ability to deliver a quick mattifying effect. Basically it can strip the oils from your skin, “solving” your greasy skin problem.
The problem is, it doesn’t really solve the problem. It just covers it up.
Alcohol can irritate your skin, dry it out, as with SLS, this then stimulates more sebum. You might notice your pores seem enlarged and your acne breakouts more frequent. So if you’re struggling with your skin, alcohol is definitely best avoided.
Whilst we are on the subject of alcohol, drinking it can also negatively affect your skin. It causes dehydration but is also highly inflammatory which can lead to redness, acne, rosacea and eczema.
Time and time again I see acne clients who tell me they use a really harsh face scrub 2-3 times a week or in some cases, daily! Whilst I understand your logic in doing this, as you would think your skin will be super clean and exfoliated, all this actually does is irritate your skin. You can’t scrub away blackheads and spots.
Grainy face scrubs such as those containing crushed up fruit pips, nutshells, salt or sugar can actually create microscopic tears in your skin. Over time this weakens your skin’s barrier, strips away your natural oils which leads to redness, sensitivity and dryness.
4 Great Ingredients To Look Out For When Treating Acne
It’s all very well knowing what to avoid, but what good ingredients should you be looking out for in your acne skincare products? There are lots of great ingredients that can help get your acne under control, here’s four to get started with…
Canadian Willowherb Extract (Epilobium Angustifolium)
If you haven’t heard of Canadian Willowherb before, you’re not alone. Despite its huge benefits for acne-prone skin, this wonder- ingredient is still pretty unheard of.
But Canadian Willowherb is not a new discovery. It has been used for centuries as part of ancient skincare routines.
It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory, can reduce redness and calm skin irritation. Its antioxidant capabilities make it effective at protecting from the damage caused by free-radicals and antibacterial qualities work against the P Acnes bacteria, one of the bacteria responsible for severe acne.
Vitamin E is well-known for its acne-treating capabilities. Not only does it help keep your skin hydrated, but it’s highly effective at reducing acne scars too.
Its powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties can help with skin cell regeneration. If you’re looking for an all-round acne skincare treatment, or to reduce the scarring from previous breakouts, then this is a great ingredient to look out for.
Another natural ingredient, Allanotion is an anti-irritant derived from comfrey root. It’s great for calming and soothing irritated skin and can help promote the healing of acne scars.
Salicylic acid is my favourite ingredient for acne skincare. Its a beta-hydroxy acid and offers a wealth of benefits include being gently exfoliating which removes the dead skin cells that clog your pores, it is anti-inflammatory and calming, it reduces excess sebum production and kills acne-causing bacteria.
So now you know some of the best and worst ingredients to look out for in your skincare for acne!
There are many great acne skincare products out there, but here at The Body Clinic, we love the USA brand Circadia and the French Dermaceutic Laboratoir. We find these products are highly effective yet gentle enough to use every day, plus they are affordable. Especially when you sum up the amount you could be wasting trying, testing and being disappointed with some of the high street brands.
If you’re struggling with acne, pop into the clinic and we’ll see what products and acne treatments can help you. Just click HERE to get in touch.