fragrance: a clogger by any other name…

more news on the sneaky, sneaky pore-cloggers front:

at sS, we warn clients to look out for fragrances in products because “fragrance” is an umbrella term that masks a host of ingredients, some which are pore-clogging.

these mystery “fragrance” ingredients can appear in all kinds of products that come in contact with your skin: from perfumes to makeup, from cleansers and moisturizers to clothing detergents and fabric softeners. and just think of all the sunscreens and serums with delicious aromas too!

you may be wondering how many ingredients are hidden under the term “fragrance”? well we just found a list of 3,059 ingredients! yowzer!

and much to our dismay, just as suspected, there are tons of insidious, comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients on this list.

right off the bat we spotted isopropyl myristate and corn oil, and further perusal revealed 43 additional cloggy ingredients masquerading as fragrance. the full list of comedogenic ingredients (that we know of) that can simply be labeled as “fragrance” includes:

  • Acetylated Lanolin
  • Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol
  • Avocado Oil
  • Black Kelp
  • Butyl Stearate
  • Cetyl Acetate
  • Coconut Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Cotton Seed Oil
  • Ethoxylated Lanolin
  • Fucus vesiculousus
  • Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
  • Irish Moss
  • Isopropyl Myristate
  • Isopropyl Palmitate
  • Kelp
  • Knotted Kelp
  • Lamimaria ochroleuca extract
  • Laminaria digitata
  • Laminaria longicruris
  • Laminaria saccharine
  • Lanolic Acid
  • Lanolin
  • Lanolin Alcohol
  • Lauric Acid
  • Lauryl Alcohol
  • Linseed Oil
  • Mineral Oil
  • Myristic Acid
  • Octyldodecanol
  • Oleic Acid
  • Olive Oil
  • Peanut Oil
  • PEG 16 Lanolin
  • Petroleum
  • Propylene Glycol Monostearate
  • Seaweed
  • Sesame Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Stearic Acid TEA
  • Tocopherol
  • Xylene

so what’s an acne sufferer to do? well, apart from avoiding all delightfully-smelling products, your best bet is to either stick to sS-vetted products or contact the manufacturer of any product you are interested in, and get a complete list of the ingredients used in the product’s fragrance and run it against skinSALVATION’s complete list of known comedogenic ingredients.  another alternative, if you choose to take it, is to carefully test one suspicious product at a time (while being acne-safe with everything else!) to be able to isolate any new breakouts to the new ‘fragranced’ product you are using.

at sS, you know we’ve tested our products long term for ensure they aren’t pore-clogging, so no need to worry about your tried and true sS favorites!

new clogger alert: argan oil

Arganbad news, sSers, vivant labs has confirmed that argan oil (sometimes called argania spinosa in ingredients lists) is a certified pore-clogger. argan oil has gained popularity in cosmetics over the past couple of years — especially in some of the higher-end brands — so make sure you check your labels.

we’ve updated the comedogenic list to include both argan oil and argania spinosa, so if you keep a copy of the list on your phone or in your purse, it’s time to trade up for the new one. as always, keep in mind that it’s an evolving list. we do our best to include the latest research, but since new ingredients are invented everyday it will never be fully complete.

so, do your due diligence and check those labels, but also make sure you’re listening to your skin. if you start using a new product and start breaking out, stop using it (even if the ingredients look safe). there a plenty of acne-safe products out there, but sometimes it just takes a little effort to separate the wheat from the chaff.