hidden offenders that are keeping you from clearing up

hidden offenders that are keeping you from clearing up

hidden offenders that are keeping you from clearing up

using your active and acne-safe skin regimen and eating acne-safe, but still breaking out? here are a few sneaky culprits you may want to get on your radar to clear up once and for all.


if you're breaking out around the mouth, this could be a huge game changer. christine, one of my original clients and first esthetician employee had chronic and severely inflamed acne which we were able to clear. however, she still had lingering breakouts around her mouth. upon discovering carageenan in her toothpaste, she switched to one without and cleared all the way up. 

you'll also want to avoid other cloggies like sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate and coconut oil, all commonly found in toothpastes. and double check your lipbalms and lipsticks too.

search "toothpaste" on our blog to find brands that are safe.



we've got a whole blog post about this. basically, there are over 100 ingredients companies can sneak into a product under the umbrella name of "fragrance," dozens of which are cloggy. products we carry that contain it have been tested extensively to ensure their acne-safety, or are comprised purely of essential oils from manufacturers we trust.


GREEN THINGS - seaweeds and the like

seaweeds and algaes are popular in skin products for acne and sensitive skin because they can calm redness and soothe inflammation. however, the iodides in them can cause a rash and acne for those who are sensitive to it - myself included. this goes for ingesting it too, so be mindful with those smoothies.

here's a post that goes into more detail.



silicones, dimethicones and most -icones ingredients are safe for most to use, but in the clinic i noticed a small percentage of clients - about 2-5% - break out with our physical block sunscreens or the mineral makeup gel primer, because of this ingredient. this ingredient is also prevalent in hair smoothing products formulated to calm the frizzies. 

this ingredient is prevalent in mineral sunscreens because it's a great surfactant, a.k.a. vehicle for evenly spreading the ground up minerals (which are essentially rocks) across the skin, which would otherwise be clumpy and globby. there is another ingredient that does this well but it's really cloggy - coconut oil. 

until formulation technology in the USA advances, these are the 2 surfactants most widely used for physical sunscreens. if you are looking for mineral sun protection and are reactive to these ingredients, try la bella donna's powder spf. despite it's silly gender specific packaging, the product inside the brush itself is great and has proven to be acne-safe in years past.



if you're breaking out on your body or on the sides of your face, take heed. laundry detergents commonly contain sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, coconut oil and fragrances which leave a residue on your skin, causing breakouts. it makes sense that clothes would break out on your body, but the sides of your face??

i had a long-time clear-skinned client come for a face treatment with new breakouts on the sides of her face. after much questioning, we discovered she was using a new detergent, and only after washing her sheets and sleeping on her pillowcases, did she start to break out.  

check out this post where we review and test several brands on the market.



kinda obvious but kinda not. most folks think of changing up their face stuff when breaking out, but don't think about the peripheral products they're using that affect their skin too. we saw so many clients using fancy salon shampoos and conditioners that broke them out on their hairline, back and chest.

it's also a major problem with styling products, as they're formulated to stay on the hair and hold the style. with some research though, you may find some hair products that are both acne-safe and effective, so you won't have to choose between good hair or good skin. get you both!

search "hair" on our blog for products we've found to be safe. 



image by thomas bormans on unsplash

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