Check your shelf before you wreck yourself

In the game of acne there are many opponents, but using comedogenic (commonly known as pore-clogging or cloggy) products is the biggest yet easiest one to beat.

Just by switching to "active and acne-safe" skincare, most cases of acne clear up completely, or at least show major improvement — even before lifestyle changes are implemented.

Over 10 years ago, we were one of, if not the first to share this comedogenic tool online, thanks to the research of industry pioneers over the years.

Audit your stash using the product checker below, and use only what’s considered safe in your current collection. Or, speed up the whole process by starting fresh with an entirely new regimen from our shop where everything is guaranteed acne-safe products — easy peasy.


com·e·do·gen·ic /ˌkämədōˈjenik:

adjective; tending to cause blackheads by blocking the pores of the skin. also known as pore-clogging, or “cloggy.”


Compare + confirm

Compare the ingredients on your bottle to the list you find online.

Make sure it matches, since manufacturers often switch up formulas without telling consumers.


Copy + paste

Once you’ve verified the ingredient list, copy and paste it into the search box below.

Ingredients will light up with notes about their documented comedogenic tendencies.


Carefully analyze

If the list passes the first check, do a double take by searching individual ingredients to make sure*.

Using Command + F on a desktop computer will speed this process up a lot!


Keep or Toss

When analyzing the results, it’s best to avoid anything with 3; definitely avoid anything with 4 or 5.

It’s gonna be hard but you may have to break up to clear up.

Pro tips: Get the most out of the auditing process

• Check ALL the products you are using, including things like toothpaste, hair products, makeup, and laundry detergent as they can be majorly affecting your acne in an indirect way.

• Once you’ve audited your stash, test what seemingly safe products that remain by actually using them, preferably one at a time, for 1-3 months. This way, you can isolate any new breakouts to the new product you're testing.

• Try donating your unwanted products to local shelters in your area, or to friends and family.

• You can try to salvage what you have, but doing so may slow down or halt your clearing process. For the fastest and most reliable results, use skinSALVATION products.




The almighty product checker

For this search box to work, ingredients pasted into the box MUST BE TYPED EXACTLY as they appear in our database.

Manufacturers often give ingredients alternate names or spellings, so make sure to double + triple check them after a successful first pass. You can scroll down to find it, or using the (command + F) feature to quickly search the list. A quick internet search can also help further identify questionable ingredients.

With this in mind, use the search box by copying and pasting a comma-separated list of ingredients here:

Mad props

It’s thanks to acne researchers Dr. James E. Fulton, Dr. Albert Kligman, and Dr. Mark Lees, esthetician Olga Valencia, plus the work of my team (spearheaded by skinSALVATION esthetician Kerry Watson) that helped compile this list.

Many websites now tout a similar list, but don’t credit the actual sources, nor actually put in the work to test individual ingredients themselves in the right way.

We credit all of our sources, rigorously test on clients (never animals), and never copy anyone or any brand.

We are happy to make our database open source, and especially appreciate anyone that uses our database on their site to let us know, and give us credit for our work.

Nerd alert

For those that like to read up on the nitty gritty, get into these articles (with plenty more on the blog) to satisfy your quest for knowledge most don’t even know about, or have seen with their own eyes.

How we test (our comedogenic vetting process)

Oils (using them and eating them)

Fragrances in products (and why they matter)

Product Checker database research papers

Hidden offenders

Not sure where to start?