October 5, 2016

Whenever we experience a sudden pimple outbreak or the start of a cystic acne flare-up, we tend to analyse every aspect of our lives to find out what might have caused it. Every single skincare ingredient, environmental stressor and dietary change is a potential suspect. However, what we tend to overlook most of the time is how the ingredients in our makeup products can affect our skin. That’s right. That new foundation you shelled out waaay too much money for? It could be the sole culprit for the constellations on your face.



Unfortunately for us, most products that bear the labels “non-comedogenic”, which means that it won’t clog pores and cause breakouts, or “non-acnegenic” (yup, that exists) are absolutely useless. There are simply no regulations anywhere that determines the meanings of those terms and what conditions they should be tested under to prove their efficacy. Many of us have bought products claiming that they won’t cause breakouts, and yet we still broke out from them. So, what’s a girl to do? Find out which sneaky makeup ingredients that might be causing that breakout.



A.K.A.: SD alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol (alcohol denat.), cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, hexadecyl alcohol, isocetyl alcohol, oleyl alcohol, acetylated lanolin alcohol, basically anytime you see the word “alcohol”

It may be used to help other ingredients to sink into your skin, but alcohol can be incredibly drying and unforgiving. Once it dries on the surface of your skin, the thin coating of alcohol can clog pores and cause blackheads and whiteheads to surface.



A.K.A.: Acrylic/acrylates copolymer, acrylic/acrylate crosspolymer, acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, 2-ethylhexyl-acrylate

Acrylics can help your makeup ingredients bind and stick together, but you wouldn’t want to put this plastic on your face, would you? Everything under an acrylic layer will get trapped and in turn, clog your pores. This ingredient is one for the canvas, and not for your skin.


Bismuth Oxychloride

This chemical can often be found in powdered makeup. It’ll leave a shimmery finish on your skin, but proceed with caution – this ingredient has been linked to cystic acne. Bismuth Oxychloride has crystals that can be irritating when it gets stuck in your pores.


Mica, Silica, Talc

If you’re wondering why you’re getting breakouts on the high points of your cheeks, then your highlighter may be causing them. These light-reflecting particles can actually be found in everything – from foundation to powder, bronzer, and illuminating highlighters. It potentially causes dehydration and irritation which can lead to breakouts. While they do give you that beaming glow, it may not be the best for acne-prone skin.



A.K.A.: Butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben

Parabens are one of the most harmful ingredients in skincare and makeup products. In fact, these are illegal in many countries. Parabens are used as a preservative to extend the shelf life of a product, but these are toxic and they can even screw your hormones up, so beware.



A.K.A.: Fragrance, parfum

Artificial fragrances may help enhance the sensory experience of a product, but they can be extremely irritating to the skin, especially sensitive ones. Exacerbated skin will often lead to clog pores, and well… You know the rest. Instead, opt for a more natural route with plant-based ingredients with soothing scents.



A.K.A.: Paraffin wax, mineral oil, petrolatum

These chemicals are often used in makeup as a preservative and to help lock in the moisture. However, when mixed with the other terrible ingredients that are found on this list, they can sink into your skin, clog pores, and wreak havoc.



A.K.A.: DEP (diethyl phthalate), DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate), BzBP (benzylbutyl phthalate)

This toxic chemical is another makeup ingredient that’s been banned in several countries. They’re used to give your makeup products that soft, malleable texture, but just like parabens, they can have negative effects on your hormones and aggravate your acne.



A.K.A.: Methicone, dimethicone, trimethicone, cyclomethicone, siloxane, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclotetrasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, silsesquioxane, trimethylsiloxysilicate, methylpolysiloxane, stearoxytrimethylsilane

The secret to your silky smooth primers and foundations? Silicones. The secret to your acne flare-ups? It could also be silicones. On certain skin types, silicones can be incredibly dehydrating and they’re known to clog pores, so scan the ingredients list real quick before making a move.