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7 Ingredients You Need to Avoid When You're Breaking Out

Your skin is better off without these.
7 Ingredients You Need to Avoid When You're Breaking Out
IMAGE Gab Gutierrez
Your skin is better off without these.

Similar to all emergencies, panicking is not a great way to get over a breakout. Instead of trying every acne product out there, play it cool and be extra careful about your skin care instead. Read the ingredients list on everything in your routine and toss out the suspicious ones. To help you, here's a list of ingredients that isn't worth your while:

1. Walnut shells

Found in many exfoliants, walnut shells are unsafe even for those without acne. Not only does scrubbing spread the bacteria from your breakouts all over your face, these harsh beads can also cause tears on your skin over time.

2. Aluminum Oxide Crystals, Fruit Pits, Pumice

They're in the same boat as number one, so avoid scrubs with these ingredients as well. Your already-irritated skin will thank you for it.

3. Alcohol/Denatured Alcohol

Dehydrating your skin with alcohol will do anything but help your breakouts. It might even make things worse! Using skin care with too much alcohol will dehydrate your skin and make it produce more oil than normal. And you know what happens when your skin secretes too much oil? You guessed it—acne.

4. Sodium Laureth Sulfate/Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

If your cleanser has SLS in the ingredients list, approach it with caution. This ingredient is what makes most cleansers extremely drying and alkaline (high in pH). FYI, alkaline cleansers damage the skin's moisture barrier and make the skin more prone to irritation and breakouts.

5. Coconut Oil

Since it's a natural oil, you'd be inclined to think it's safe for acne. Sadly, that isn't the case. Coconut oil and many of its derivatives can be comedogenic (pore-clogging). Unless you're certain that coconut oil works for your skin, don't risk it!

6. Lemon

Lemon helps neither breakouts nor acne scars. It's just too acidic. It even might burn your skin if you're not careful!

7. Synthetic Fragrance

If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, synthetic fragance is your kryptonite. It usually contains irritating (not to mention sketchy) ingredients that cause breakouts and redness. So while your skin is recuperating from a breakout, steer clear of it!

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