PSA: These 5 Comedogenic Ingredients Are Making Your Acne Worse

Steer clear of these pimple culprits!
PHOTO: Jeffrey Westbrook/Studio D

Like many teens, I suffered through a face full of zits and a smattering of blackheads through puberty. Unfortunately for me, there weren’t as many acne-fighting products in the market that could help or were within what was left of my allowance (after I splurged on teen magazines that is). My mom who is blessed with amazing skin was none too sympathetic. My gran, on the other hand, was a different matter altogether, her approach was unfortunately old school DIY, aka the homemade remedies you find on Pinterest these days.

Ever tried white vinegar as a toner? DON’T!! Not only does it sting like a beyotch it also leaves you smelling like sawsawan sans the chicharon. Although my grandmother meant well, many of the hacks did more harm than good. We all have this idea that organic ingredients are good for the body. Sadly, when it comes to the skin there are certain ingredients that may be doing more harm than good. Enter comedogenic ingredients, aka stuff that gets stuck in the pores and makes acne worse. There’s a long list of comedogenic substances but here are five of the most commonly used ones girls with oily skin should avoid.

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  1. Beeswax

    Used by Egyptians pharaohs, beeswax has been a time old favorite because aside from its healing qualities—it never goes bad, btw! A common inclusion in many concealers and foundations, this ingredient can cut off the supply of oxygen on the pores.

  2. Coconut Oil

    Known for its antibacterial properties, coconut oil is unfortunately not suitable for gals or guys who have oily skin. While some people can use it as a moisturizer, this wonder oil leaves a film that can clog the pores and worsen acne.

  3. Cocoa Butter

    Loads of lotions contain cocoa butter. Not only does it smell amazing, but it helps soften and hydrate even the driest dermis. Though it creates a protective barrier to prevent moisture from escaping, it can also trap dirt, debris, and toxins in the pores. When it comes to body butter go for shea instead.

  4. Isopropyl Myristate and Isopropyl Palmitate

    Commonly added to skincare products as a thickener and lubricant, these components rank pretty high on the comedogenic scale. Even topical Retin-A (cream version), which is commonly used for acne, contains it. Rather than picking up a cream-based one, opt for Retin-A in a gel format.

  5. Silicone

    A popular addition to cosmetics, silicones make beauty products more comfortable when applied on the skin. The trouble occurs when this non-water-soluble ingredient inhibits the turnover of oxygen and can trap dirt and sebum causing severe skin irritation.

Nowadays beauty products are developed to be non-comedogenic. Check this quick list of products that will keep those pores dirt-free.

  1. St. Ives Acne Control Scrub

    More famously known as the Apricot Scrub, this luscious smelling thick formula is a classic that even our moms and titas know quite well. Their improved exfoliator now contains salicylic acid to further combat stubborn skin imperfections.

    St. Ives Acne Control Scrub, P255, Lazada

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  2. Luxe Organix Aloe Vera Soothing Gel

    In recent years, aloe vera gel has started making quite the scene. Aloe has soothing properties that can heal irritations while offering some much-needed moisture. Skip trying to grow a plant by adding a tub of Luxe Organix Aloe Vera Soothing Gel to your cart.


    Luxe Organix Aloe Vera Soothing Gel, P209, Lazada

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  3. Human Nature Sunflower Seed Beauty Oil

    I can’t get enough of this homegrown brand’s sunflower oil! Much like coconut oil but without the fear of its comedogenic properties, sunflower oil has a multitude of uses. Rich in Vitamins A, D, and E, this simple serum can lighten blemish marks, hydrate the skin, relieve puffy under eyes, moisturize, and much more.

    Human Nature Sunflower Seed Beauty Oil, P174.75, Human Nature

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  4. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen

    Sticky sunscreen is a No-No. Good thing Neutrogena created this ultra light matte sunshield with a fresh scent thats water proof and oil free. Now you can enjoy sun protection without fear of your skin breaking out.

    Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen, P565, Lazada

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  5. Maybelline Fit Me Matte Poreless Liquid Foundation

    Living in the tropics means needing makeup that provides adequate coverage without feeling like you’ve just slapped on concrete. This matte foundation is the perfect solution since it’s lightweight, dermatologically tased, and does not contain pore-clogging attributes.

    Maybelline Fit Me Matte Poreless Liquid Foundation, P299 (Original price: P399), Lazada

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