Ingredients in makeup that cause acne

There are a number of ingredients in makeup that cause acne. Products with these ingredients need to be avoided to prevent new acne from forming. This list will walk you through some of them.

Ingredients in makeup that cause acne

Looking at product ingredient lists can be very confusing and makeup users can quickly fall into the habit of just picking products based on how the product will make you look. Little do they know it can cause acne. There are a number of products that can cause acne especially if your face is acne prone. Try to avoid products with ingredients on this list, or at least use the products sparingly.

Acetylated Lanolin

This ingredient is meant to keep your skin soft and provide moisturization on the skin. It is usually found in products like emulsions, unfortunately, it is comedogenic causing acne breakouts.


This product is usually used to bind ingredients together in the formula. Unfortunately, it winds up getting trapped in the pores of your skin and eventually clogs them up.


Alcohols shouldn’t go near your skin, not in the form of makeup or other skincare products. They are known to be very drying, cause irritation and are comedogenic. They are supposed to make it easier for other ingredients to penetrate the skin but this doesn’t justify their part in the formulation if it harms the skin so much.

Algae Extract

Some concealers contain this product, it is a known comedogenic product. It is also a bad idea because it will irritate your skin.

Almond Oil

Not all oils are made equal, this is a known comedogenic ingredient. Although it has great properties such as Vitamin E, Zinc and potassium I would not recommend you use a product that contains this ingredient.


Fragrances are usually a bad idea when used in products, this is one of them. It might smell good but it can be very clogging and irritating

Bismuth Oxychloride

This ingredient gives products a shimmery finish to powders. Unfortunately, it can cause cystic acne.

Coconut oil:

This is a comedogenic ingredient thus pore clogging. Note that fractioned oil (Capric/caprylic triglycerides) is an ingredient that does the same job as coconut oil but is an ingredient where the comedogenic properties of the coconut oil are removed.

D & C Red

Colours used in makeup products are also a bad idea, this is because the colourings used are artificial and are comedogenic

Ethyhexyl Palmitate

Bronzers usually carry this ingredient. It can lead to irritation on the skin, bumps, and clogged pores. This is because it is a fatty acid that sits on your skin.  


This is definitely not a good ingredient to have in makeup products. This might smell lovely but it can irritate the skin and make the skin develop a reaction like reddening or a rash.

Lauroyl Lysine

You will find this ingredient in some loose powders but unfortunately, powders are known to clog pores and won’t allow pores to “breathe”. It is also highly comedogenic

Lauric Acid

This ingredient is another fatty acid that is comedogenic. It’s worth noting that this can be found in makeup as well as in coconut oil which is a known comedogenic product

Stearic Acid

Your more pricy and luxury items might contain this ingredient. If you are a person who is prone to breakouts or have sensitive skin be weary as this product will clog up your pores.


Usually used to make your skin smoother, this ingredient can actually get into pores and clog them up. It can also cause redness, breakouts and pore-scarring


This ingredient can cause dryness as well as irritation on your skin when included in makeup and general home care products. It can be found in eye shadows and setting powders.


More and more companies are avoiding this ingredient in their formulas and that’s great. This product can mess up your hormones which will make acne worse. It is supposed to be a preservative in products.


The reason products remove parabens and phthalates at that same time is because they have the same effect on you, negative hormonal effects. This ingredient is supposed to dissolve solid ingredients as well as carry fragrance.


This is used in products to moisturize the skin, lock in moisture and preserve products. This product also clogs pores on your skin, if anything else is on your skin it will bring all those other impurities deeper into your skin.

Shea Butter

When used as a body moisturizer this is a good fit, as an ingredient in makeup or other facial products, it’s not so great. If you have acne prone skin this will clog your pores up.

Sodium Chloride

You’ll find this ingredient in foundations usually. It is basally salt if we are using casual language, salt does exfoliate but if found in makeup products it will clog up your pores.

Wheat Germ Oil

Even though this a great ingredient if taken orally when trying to achieve healthy skin, it doesn’t have the same effect topically. This ingredient will clog you your skin as it is an oil.

That’s it for my list of ingredients in makeup that cause acne. I hope this article will help you make an informed decision when choosing products. If you enjoyed it and think it might help someone please share it so we can make more informed decisions.

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