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Skin Care Ingredients: Are Popular Products Making Your Acne Worse?

Whether you’re a teenager going through puberty or an adult who thought your days of breakouts were over, acne is a stubborn skin condition that can seem impossible to prevent. Breakouts always seem to time themselves around your most important moments as well, such as popping up just in time for your wedding or a promotion at work. Building a gentle and nourishing natural skin care routine is one of the best ways to both treat and prevent acne in people of all ages. Yet there are some common ingredients found even in natural skin care products that can irritate acne and increase your chances of a future breakout.

Watch out for products containing these five skin care ingredients:

Micro Beads

Acne is usually treated with at least mild and occasional exfoliation to keep layers of dead skin cells from trapping oil and dirt. But when you choose a product with micro beads to lift away those skin cells, you’re likely to irritate your skin instead and trigger the formation of at least a few pimples. Stick to very mild exfoliants, such as cotton washcloths, to prevent irritation.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is often added to products labeled specifically as treating and preventing acne, so why should you avoid it? Unfortunately, this acid is often used in too high of a concentration and can burn or dry out the skin. This irritation slows the healing of existing breakouts and increases the production of skin oils to compensate, leading to clogged pores and future cycles of acne. Drop the salicylic acid unless it’s recommended to you by a dermatologist or naturopath who can offer secondary moisturizing treatments to balance out this irritation.

Denatured Alcohol

Alcohol is widely used in skin care products, even natural ones, because it’s necessary to create a less sticky feeling and increase absorption of moisturizers and lotions. With a little alcohol, many makeup products won’t set either and stay too liquid on the skin. Yet the more alcohol you apply to your face each day, the greater the irritation to your already sensitive skin. Avoid products primarily composed of alcohol, such as many toners and cleansing wipes, even if they’re labeled for acne treatment. If you must wear makeup or moisturizer with an alcohol content, choose other products like cleansers and masks that are entirely free from this ingredients to limit your overall exposure.


Finally, silicone is one of the many trendy makeup ingredients being touted as a miracle for smoother and more natural looking foundation and concealer. It’s even used to increase the coverage and spread of sunscreens and moisturizers. It claims to improve your skin by keeping in natural oils, but that same effect that traps the oil near the skin also increases the chances of clogged pores and acne flares. Unless you have dry skin with little oil production, you should likely avoid silicone products or stick to those with a very low silicone content. At the very least, make sure to wash your face thoroughly to remove the silicone as soon as you’re done wearing your makeup or sunscreen.

Preventing Damage

Of course, these ingredients can also appear in prescription medications that you get from your doctor specifically to treat your acne. In these cases, you can usually balance out the irritation caused to your skin by focusing on other parts of your skin health. For example, proper supplementation helps fight acne from the inside out. Taking supplements for clearer skin can speed up your response to prescription treatments and shorten the time you need to use them for good results. This reduces the likelihood of secondary acne flare ups due to your skin medication use.

Working With A Skin Care Specialist At Prime Wellness In San Diego

The PhytoMulti supplements from Metagenics are a good choice because they contain a blend of phytonutrients that may support clearer and healthier skin. Keeping your magnesium levels steady can also result in clearer, healthier skin that is most resilient to changes. Our Mag Glycinate supplement is a highly absorbable form that will support your body’s fight against acne. Schedule a visit with Dr. Kelly Austin here at Prime Wellness for an acne checkup that includes testing and customized treatment suggestions.



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