So what does comedogenic mean anyway? Also known as acneogenic, comedogenic refers to substances that cause comedones to spring up. And what are comedones? They’re simply a type of pimple caused by clogged pore. The pore can either be clogged close at the skin’s surface (a whitehead), or it can be open at the skin’s surface and filled with melanin buildup (a blackhead). Pores make up our skin, and within them are hair follicles. The health of your pores has a big influence on the health of your hair. Because many shampoos clog your pores, you may want to consider switching to a non-comedogenic shampoo.
Out of the few non-comedogenic shampoos out there, Naked Bee takes the cake for being both completely natural and effective. It’s free of sodium lauryl sulfate, dyes, and other potentially hazardous chemicals. It’s gentle, it cleans and conditions well, and the fragrance is yummy.
Aqua Glycolic Shampoo is a very popular non-comedogenic option. It’s centered on supporting a health scalp by maintaining pH levels. As it’s name suggests, the shampoo doubles as a body cleanser as well.
This very versatile hypoallergenic shampoo is also an effective shower gel. It’s especially great for those suffering from not just acne, but other skin issues like rashes, hyper-pigmentation, or general skin sensitivity.
The trouble with many body washes is that they’re loaded with oils and other chemicals that clog your pores. Glytone is very effective at moisturizing and rejuvenating the skin without inducing acne on your face and other sensitive areas.
How Can Your Shampoo Cause Acne?
The lathering ingredients, and others, found in many shampoos can cause acne. These waxy ingredients clog up your pores. If you sweat a lot, the clogging effect can easily move from your hair to your face.
Common Acne-Causing Ingredients in Shampoo
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
SLS is a heavy detergent that creates the lathering effect found in many store-bought shampoos.
Many styling gels and other products contain petroleum-based ingredients. Since they’re oil-based, it’s tough to get them out of your hair, in the same way it’s tough to scrub oil off of dishes. Petroleum ingredients seal up your scalp, allowing moisture to enter and preventing it from escaping. This effect can cause scalp acne, and eventually facial pimples.
Oils and other natural ingredients
Aside from common shampoo chemicals, like those above, many oily ingredients found in natural remedies can cause acne. Many of these ingredients are chemically related to sebum, your scalp’s natural oil, which can produce acne when it builds up in your pores. Though many of these ingredients have great scalp and hair benefits, it’s best to use them in moderation if you’re suffering from serious acne:
Wheat germ oil
Other essential oils
Tips for Clear Skin and Healthy Hair
First of all, you need to choose a shampoo that has only non-comedogenic ingredients. Even products with just one comedogenic ingredient can cause pimples. Keep in mind that the label “non-comedogenetic” isn’t regulated by law: you’ll need to look at all the ingredients.
As a followup, make sure you pay attention to the ingredients in all the products you use, including your sunscreen, lotion, and toner.
Choose a hairstyle that keeps your hair away from your face.
Use a headband to keep your sweat from carrying acne-causing ingredients from your hair to your face.
Remember that an oil-free label doesn’t mean the product is non-comedogenic. Again, you’ll need to look at the ingredients.
Wash your hair before you wash your face and body. This will clean off any oily buildup that might have seeped from your hair to your face.
Keep hair products off your skin.
Change your pillowcase frequently, and cover your hair at night if you keep product in it.
Switch to a natural, hypoallergenic shampoo.
Learn more about the Pro’s and Con’s of Non-comedogenic cleansers at HowStuffWorks.
Learn more about more great natural shampoos here.