Say goodbye to clogged pores and acne for good with GoodGlow’s Pore Clogging Ingredient Checker. Simply paste the ingredients of any skincare product below and run it against 318 comedogenic ingredients medically tested by our dermatology team to clog the pores and trigger acne breakouts. Remember to bookmark this page so you can come back to it if you need to check any more products!
We found some potential pore clogging ingredients
Where Can I Find Acne Safe Products?
You can find non-pore clogging, acne-safe products by clicking on the links above. This includes facial cleansers, moisturizers, face masks, sunscreens, and more that have been vetted by our team of dermatologists and estheticians.
What Is The Best Way To Use GoodGlow’s Pore Clogging Ingredient Checker?
Step 1: Find the ingredients label of the skincare product you want to verify is non-comedogenic. If browsing the product online, you should be able to copy the ingredient list easily. If you have the product in hand and cannot find it online, you can take a picture of the ingredients label on your smartphone and press down on the text. Both the iPhone and Google Pixel can copy the text from the image. Otherwise type search for (“product name” + ingredients).
Step 2: Paste the ingredients into GoodGlow’s pore clogging ingredient checker and then click “check ingredients.”
Step 3: Analyze the results and determine if you are comfortable using the product you checked in the ingredients checker.
Step 4: Compare the product you analyzed to GoodGlow’s vetted list of hormonal acne safe products to determine what is best for your situation.
What Causes The Pores To Clog?
Pores generally clog because sebum oil produced by the skin mixes with dirt, dead skin cells, pollutants, and other comedogenic ingredients in skincare products. While sebum production is necessary to keep the skin hydrated and protect the skin barrier, excessive sebum production can lead to clogged pores and acne. Typically, excessive oil production is due to hormonal changes stemming from chronic hormonal imbalances, medications, puberty, and menstrual cycles. The use of comedogenic skincare products or ingredients can worsen pore clogging, which can lead to severe cystic acne breakouts. Below, we have listed some of the most common skincare ingredients, environmental triggers, and dietary triggers that contribute to clogged pores.
Common Skincare Ingredient Triggers
Using the wrong skincare products can cause the pores to become clogged, and the skin to become inflamed with acne breakouts. Below we have a few of the most common acne causing skincare ingredients that are widely known to clog the pores:
- Isopropyl Myristate and Isopropyl Palmitate: These emollients are frequently used in cosmetics products but are known to be comedogenic.
- Lanolin: Found in many moisturizers, lanolin is derived from sheep’s wool and is know to clog the pores and cause blackheads, a precursor to acne breakouts.
- Cocoa Butter: It’s a rich emollient that can be too heavy for some people, leading to clogged pores. Generally it is safe to use on the body, but its use should be avoided on the face.
- Coconut Oil: While it’s a favorite in natural skincare, it can be comedogenic for some skin types and its use should be avoided on the face.
Many people are surprised to learn that your diet has a large impact on skin, more specifically, your oil production. Below we have a list of foods that can cause significant hormonal changes which will trigger increased oil production:
- Sugary Foods: Processed, sugary simple carbs, like soda, juice, and cookies cause insulin levels and IGF-1 to spike. This can lead to increased oil production which causes provides the perfect environment to develop.
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Although some Omega-6 fatty acids are needed, the Standard American Diet (SAD) is high in processed oils like corn oil and soy oil. When consumed in excess, these oils can cause inflammation in the body which can cause increased oil production and clogged pores. Omega-6 fatty acids are commonly found in fried and processed foods like cookies, cakes, and energy bars.
- Dairy: Although dairy milk and cheese are generally considered healthy in moderation they contain growth hormones which are associated with acne breakouts including IGF-1, IGFBP-3, and estrogen.
- Alcohol: Unsurprisingly, alcohol is bad for pretty much every health marker and your skin is no exception. Alcohol is highly inflammatory, frequently high in sugar, and dehydrates the skin making it more susceptible to sun damage and wrinkles.
Anything your skin comes into contact with you skin can clog your pores, and trigger acne breakouts. Below we have a few of the most common environmental triggers that can cause acne-prone skin to clog:
- Pollution: Urban areas with high levels of pollution can expose the skin to a range of pollutants. These tiny particles can settle on the skin’s surface, leading to clogged pores and oxidative stress. While moving typically is not an option for most people as a cure for acne breakouts it reinforces the importance of washing your face at least two times per day.
- Pillowcases & Towels: Pillowcases and towels can pick up pollutants, oils, and comedogenic ingredients that are left on your face. If you are dealing with acne prone skin you should change your pillow case at least twice per week, and wash your face before going to bed to ensure dirt, oil, and other pollutants are not rubbing off onto the pillow or towel every night.
- Humidity: High humidity can cause the skin to produce more sebum (oil), leading to a greasy surface that can trap dirt and debris more easily, causing clogged pores.
- Excessive Sun Exposure: Prolonged sun exposure can dry out the skin, leading it to produce more sebum as a protective response. This excess oil can combine with dead skin cells, resulting in clogged pores. This does not mean to avoid the sun completely, but use non-comedogenic sunscreen appropriately.
- Dirt and Dust: Environments with a lot of dust and dirt, like construction sites or certain outdoor settings, can lead to an accumulation of particles on the skin, contributing to blocked pores.
- Sweat: When combined with makeup or sunscreen, sweat can contribute to blocked pores. Activities that cause excessive sweating, like intense workouts, without proper cleansing afterward, can lead to clogged pores. In some cases this can actually help alleviate acne breakouts by cleaning out the pores, however it’s essential to wash your face as soon as you are done working out so the impurities that were washed out from your sweat do not reabsorb into your pores.
Is There An Official List of Comedogenic Products?
No, there is no official list of comedogenic products from any dermatology board or government entity. Because of this no one’s “official list of comedogenic ingredients” will look exactly the same. However, there are several dozen comedogenic ingredients that are commonly known to be comedogenic. We have a few of them below:
- Wheat Germ Oil: While wheat germ oil is nutrient-rich, its density can clog the pores and exacerbate acne breakouts for those with acne prone skin.
- Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol: A derivative of lanolin (sheep sebum), it can be comedogenic and result in breakouts for some.
- Sodium Chloride: Essentially table salt, when used in high concentrations in skincare products, it can clog pores and dry out the skin.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): A foaming agent in cleansers that can irritate skin and potentially lead to clogged pores when residues aren’t rinsed off effectively.
- Myristyl Myristate: Similar to isopropyl myristate, it’s used for texture but can clog pores.
- Oleth-3: An emulsifier in many skincare products that can be problematic for some skin types, leading to clogged pores.
- D & C Red Pigments: Some artificial red dyes are derived from coal tar and can be comedogenic.
- Algae Extract: While beneficial for hydration, it can be pore-clogging for some, particularly those with oily skin.
- Stearic Acid: Used as an emulsifier in cosmetics, it can be comedogenic for some individuals.
- Shea Butter: Like cocoa butter, it’s nourishing but can be heavy for acne-prone skin, potentially leading to clogged pores.
- Palm Oil: While moisturizing, its consistency can lead to clogged pores for those prone to acne.
- Squalene: Found in hundreds of moisturizers and serums, it’s naturally hydrating but can be problematic for some with acne-prone skin.
- Isopropyl Palmitate: A fatty acid used to give a smooth feel to cosmetics, it can be pore-clogging for some.
- Isopropyl Linolate: Used in cosmetics for its moisturizing properties, but can be too heavy and pore-clogging for some skin types.
- Butyl Stearate: Used for its emollient properties in cosmetics, it can potentially lead to clogged pores.
- Lanolin Oil: While moisturizing, its similarity to human oil can make it clog pores for those with acne-prone skin.
How We Assembled Our Pore Clogging Ingredient Database
GoodGlow’s pore clogging ingredient checker was created with the help of several dermatologists and estheticians on our team to ensure we have the most comprehensive pore clogging ingredient checker on the internet. Although there are thousands of ingredients that can potentially clog the pores and trigger acne breakouts, our team individually reviewed over 1,000 ingredients to come up with this list of 318 pore clogging triggers. We hope this helps thousands of people heal and avoid potential acne breakouts by using this tool before buying new skincare products.