If the mere thought of scanning a skincare label’s ingredient list causes you to nauseated with a side of head spins, you are not alone. And sometimes, similar to our favorite boxed mac and cheese, whether or not we all know there are likely sketchy ingredients lurking within, we do our greatest to feign ignorance. Because the thought of finding a replacement skincare regimen appears like the ask of a lifetime. Especially for the acne-prone.
Over the years, we’ve picked up bits of wisdom here and there—no alcohols! No comedogenic oils! No harsh ingredients! But when the time involves decipher an ingredient list as long because the product packaging itself, all previous standards are quickly chucked out the window and that we usually find yourself with something our friend likes, something that smells good, or something that simply sounds like it’ll work (or encompasses a buzzy brand behind it). However, in keeping with celebrity estheticians Renée Rouleau and Biba de Sousa, those are some of absolutely the worst belongings you can do when choosing products to beat your breakouts. So here are some of the ingredients you need to look into with the products you are buying for your skin that need to avoid.
- Acetylated Lanolin
Lanolin is a natural ingredient produced by sheep’s skin to keep their wool soft, just like we produce sebum to keep our skin soft. Lanolin is used in cosmetics and skin care products to provide softness and moisturization, but unfortunately, it’s highly comedogenic! It might also be referred to as acetylated lanolin alcohol, ethoxylated lanolin, PEG 16 lanolin or the less common name of solulan 16.
- Algae Extract
This nasty ingredient can be found in some concealers and is rated a 5 on the comedogenic scale. It’s very irritating to the skin and will definitely clog up your pores so make sure to avoid it.
- Almond Oil
Whilst almond oil is natural, it has pore-clogging abilities when used on the face. However, almond oil is great when used as an ingredient in natural, healthy body moisturizers as it does provide that extra bit of hydration for very dry skin. It’s rated 2 on the comedogenic scale so avoid using it on your face as well as your chest and back where acne flare-ups can also often occur.
This is an added fragrance used in cosmetics and skin-care products to give the product a nice scent. This, however, is one scent we can do without as it’s rated at about 3.5 on the comedogenic scale and clogs and irritates the skin the way all artificial fragrances tend to do.
- D & C Red
This will be seen as ‘D & C Red’ on the label and followed by a number. D & C # 19 has been banned. However, the following can still be found on the market. D & C Red # 3, D & C Red # 21, D & C Red # 30, D & C Red # 36, D & C Red # 40, D & C Red #27. Numbers 27 and 40 are rated high on the scale, whereas the others are rated as medium on the scale. These are added to give colour to cosmetics, usually blush, and might just be the cause of those pimples on your cheeks and acne in general, as they are highly comedogenic. Look for a range such as our Anti Ageing Minerals that don’t contain D&C Red.
- Isopropyl Palmitate
This fatty acid is a common ingredient in many tinted moisturizers and is rated as a 4 on the comedogenic scale. If a tinted moisturizer claims to be ‘non-comedogenic’, but this ingredient is on the label then you know you are being fooled!
- Ethyhexyl Palmitate
NARS may be a high-end makeup brand, but this horrible ingredient is found in their bronzer. Like Isopropyl Palmitate, Ethyhexyl Palmitate is also a fatty acid and rated as a 4 on the comedogenic scale. This ingredient is likely to result in small irritating bumps as a result of clogged pores.
An organic bronzer can give you a glowing sun-kissed complexion, without any added toxins.
- Lauroyl Lysine
This ingredient is found in many loose powders and prevents the skin from breathing, resulting in clogged pores and acne. It’s rated as high on the comedogenic scale. This is the last thing you want, especially in a face powder as it is applied all over your face!
All products in our Anti Ageing Minerals™ range are infused with Vitamin C and Rosehip Oil providing proven anti-ageing benefits while also nourishing and protecting your skin from free radicals, without clogging your pores and causing acne.
- Lauric Acid
Rated as high as four on the comedogenic scale, this is one fatty acid we don’t want in our lives, but it’s common in many well-known cosmetics and skin products. Keep in mind, while lauric acid is found on the comedogenic scale, it’s also found in coconut oil, and as we found out in a previous post, organic coconut oil is beneficial for your body. So before you deduce that lauric acid is the culprit, make sure there are no other factors like hormonal imbalance or poor diet contributing to flare ups.
- Stearic Acid
This ingredient is found in some expensive and high-end foundations, but you might want to save your money. Even though rated as fairly low on the comedogenic scale, this ingredient still has the potential for clogging your pores. This is especially bad news if you have sensitive skin or are prone to acne break-outs. You deserve a product that contains zero pore-clogging ingredients.
- Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat germ powder is beneficial for your health when consumed, but you might want to reconsider wheat germ oil as a face product. Rated as high on the comedogenic scale this oil will do your skin no favours.
- Sodium Chloride
The fancy name for salt, sodium chloride is an actual ingredient in some cosmetics including certain foundations. Who knew! Whilst you would probably consider salt to have exfoliating properties, it, in fact, does the opposite and clogs up your pores quite badly. Rated as a five on the comedogenic scale, sodium chloride should be avoided.
- Shea Butter
Shea butter is absolutely wonderful for moisturizing the body, but problems arise when it is applied to the face. It’s too rich and may clog your pores and cause acne. So use it on your body, but leave your face out of it!
This list is nowhere near definitive, but these potential comedogenic ingredients should be avoided if you want to keep your skin clear. Even though not everybody has a reaction to comedogenic ingredients, usually the rule is that if you can’t say it, don’t buy it. Be sure to check the labels and avoid any skin problems in the future, and if you’re still not sure, there’s an APP for that: check out the free Think Dirty APP (iOS only) from the APP Store. Think Dirty allows you to compare and find safer alternatives to toxic cosmetics products.
Heidi Klum Skincare Tips
When you think of Heidi Klum, 47, her supermodel great looks and blonde hair probably spring immediately to our minds, so it might shock you that the German model and TV personality has a rather down-to-earth beauty skin care routine. From washing her face with unconventional, yet affordable, products to how she looks after her signature tresses, we need to know all the secrets for her elegant and fresh skin care.
Heidi Klum’s finally loves to share her new added product in her skin care routine
“I have added sunscreen to my daily routine. I grew up without a lot of awareness of how important it is to keep your skin protected from the sun. I remember tanning with baby oil – can you imagine doing that now? I have always been a sun bum. I’m at my happiest on a beautiful beach in the hot sun but, now, I put on sunscreen first. I like the tinted sunscreen by La Roche Posay.”
Her daily skincare routine
“In the morning, I take a shower and wash my face with Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. I use baby shampoo as a face wash as it is the most gentle for your face and it removes everything. Then, I put on a moisturiser, usually Mario Badescu’s Buttermilk Lotion. At the end of my day, even if I am exhausted, I always wash off my make-up. For removing eye make-up, I again use baby shampoo. Then, I try different moisturisers at night that are a bit richer – I like Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum or Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil.”
Taking supplements to help your skin and body
I definitely think that you can buy all the potions and creams but it is essential to nourish your skin from within. I drink a fresh smoothie every morning that is made from fresh fruit and vegetables, and I take two Perfectil Vitamins which are targeted for my skin, hair and nails.”
Heidi Klum does not wear make up too much
“When I am not working, I try to keep it very natural. Most days I don’t wear any make-up but, if I am running errands, I use a bit of a light base to even out my skin tone and a bit of blush for my cheeks to give it a bit of a glow. I like Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Brow Pencil and Gel too.
“If I am going out with my husband [the German guitarist Tom Kaulitz] to dinner, I may be a bit more bold by painting on a red lip or adding some more mascara, like L’Oreal’s Voluminous Mascara for a more dramatic eye. I think make-up should be fun so I like to try different eyeshadows and colours.”
Bella Hadid Skincare Tips
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most beautiful of them all? Bella Hadid? Well, of course, she is. Her beauty is astounding, especially since her skin seems to glow even without the slightest trace of makeup. A model is required to stay her skin in top condition, but who says flawless skin is reserved only for top models like Hadid. Clear skin being one among her USPs, Bella is usually asked about her beauty routine and the way she manages to place her best bare face forward.
She spills the beans on her beauty routine in various interviews, and we’ve researched the lot to bring you her skincare and makeup tips.
When it involves skincare, Bella keeps it simple. She claims her skin is super sensitive and tends to induce dry; therefore, she sticks to the products that she knows works on her skin and doesn’t change them. Moisturizing formulas are her preferred function of skincare products.
Bella’s daily skincare routine is the same as always. Cleansing with a gentle face wash lotion, a moisturizing face mask, and lastly an oil-infused serum. Her routine doesn’t feature a toning step which we figure is due to her sensitive-dry skin type that could get disturbed and inflamed with the use of toner. Jelly masks that plump up her skin are her favorite.
Additionally, Hadid previously told Elle that she was not a fan of facials, but that must have been in her pre-Sturm days. “I’m not really into facials. I usually go for a massage because my bones are always hurting. And I like getting body scrubs, just to kind of get Fashion Week scrubbed off,” she said.
Moreover, the supermodel also has a killer travel routine for keeping her skin fresh too. “I travel a lot and I often work directly after landing. I use my mom’s advice, keeping my skin as good as it can be. So on a plane I wash my face as soon as I get on, I have all my serums and my night cream. And then I fall asleep and do it again when I wake up,” she told British Vogue. “So by the time I get off the plane my face is well rested and moisturized. And I always have a concealer with me, especially when I’m super-tired to get those dark eye bags away.”
Dakota Johnson Skincare Tips
Dakota Johnson, known for being the actress in the Fifty Shades and face of Gucci Bloom, knows how to keep it real, especially when it comes to beauty. This gap-toothed, fringe-forward celebrity shares her low-key skin care tips or routine, love for eye drops, and signature scent tactic in a Question and Answer!
She told Glamour that washing her face in the morning and at night, and putting moisturizer is part of her daily routine. She, too, uses sunscreen every day during the day.
The actress then revealed that she is now into using Lancer products. She also unveiled that she is avoiding using makeup if she is not filming any movies. When she has to go out with some friends on her free days, she just uses a little concealer, lip stains, and mascara.
She even uses the beauty tip her grandmother, Tippi Hedren, gave her. Her grandma advised her to hold her mirror down low whenever she is putting her mascara on. By looking downward, she will get the most coverage from her lashes’ base to the tips.
My no-frills skin care routine:
“I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, so I buy a bunch of products but end up not using any of them. I just like the way they look. I truly have the simplest routine: I wash my face in the morning and at night, then moisturise; during the day I add sunscreen. Right now I’m into Lancer products.”
My minimal-makeup M.O.:
“I don’t really wear makeup if I don’t have to. When I am going out somewhere, I’ll use a little concealer, lip color, and mascara.”
My bright-eye beauty hack:
“Hello, I’m Dakota, and I’m addicted to eye drops; the last time I used was 20 minutes ago. Really, I’m addicted to eye drops…. I just love the feeling of them in my eyes. It’s glorious.”
My grandmother’s mascara trick:
“She [actress Tippi Hedren] was watching me put my mascara on once and told me that if you hold the mirror down low and put the mascara on while looking downward, you will get the most coverage from the base of the lashes to the tips. And, of course, she’s right! She’s a f****** movie star; she’s a legend!”
My intentional perfume trail:
“I’ve always worn fragrance because I love to leave a scent behind. I love that perfume can take you back to someplace immediately. I prefer floral scents to ones that are musky. Right now I’m wearing Gucci Bloom; it’s very floral, so I love it. My mother [Melanie Griffith] has worn the same perfume my entire life, and that’s very comforting to me.”
My body-confidence moment:
“For my role as Susie, a ballet dancer, in Suspiria [out later this year], I trained for about six months with the brilliant Belgian-French choreographer Damien Jalet. I actually danced until I was 16 with a company in L.A., so it was great to work that muscle again. I rehearsed six or eight hours a day leading up to the shoot, then continued with two hours of rehearsals while shooting. It was truly the most wild experience. I learned that if I work my ass off, I’m capable of doing all sorts of things with my body.”
My beauty regrets:
“There are a few tattoos I wish weren’t on my body, but it happens, I guess, and admittedly, I continue to get them. I also was feeling a bit sassy this morning and cut my bangs in a whirlwind after six months of growing them out, so I hope I don’t regret that!”
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