Common irritants in acne treatments

When you’re experiencing breakouts, it can be tempting to throw every product at the problem – no matter how harsh.

We’ve all been there! But many common acne treatments contain irritants that lock skin into a cycle of dryness, irritation and breakouts.

Dodge the eye-watering astringents and take back control by getting familiar with ingredients labels.

Here’s 4 ingredients to avoid when shopping for acne skincare:

  1. Detergents 

    Look at common acne skincare ranges, and you’ll find foaming facial washes galore!

    The problem is, the foaming agents in these cleansers, such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), (SLES) and Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAMS), strip away the skin’s natural protective oils.

    The skin then over-produces sebum to replace lost oils, which blocks pores and causes breakouts.

    They’re also very alkaline, disrupting the skin’s pH balance and important acid mantle.

    Opt for a detergent-free Cream Cleanser instead – best used with a muslin face cloth to gently exfoliate the skin and remove dead cell build-up.


  2. Alcohol

    Alongside detergents, cleansers (and toners) for acne-prone skin are often laden with Ethyl alcohols – listed as ‘alcohol denat.’, ethanol and ethyl alcohol.

    These further dry out the skin, causing irritation and imbalances.

    Instead of harsh toners, try a natural plant water to refresh combination and oily skin.

    Our Rice Plant & Rosemary BioAffinity Tonic goes one step further, using the living waters from the Rice Plant, to calm, tone and purify with the help of anti-inflammatory Rosemary extracts.

  3. Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid 

    If your skin is on the temperamental side, don’t be tempted to reach for traditional acne treatments, such as Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid.

    These potent, chemical-heavy formulas dry and irritate the skin, leaving it exposed and aggravated.

    Our bestselling Copaiba & Zinc Perfect Balance Blemish Serum has all the efficacy of a traditional anti-acne product – minus the irritation – and works to treat and heal blemishes.

  4. Grainy facial scrubs and strong acids 

    Scrubbing at sensitive, blemish-prone skin will only cause irritation which can worsen acne – as will using harsh peeling or ‘resurfacing’ products.

    Not only will you run the risk of a reaction, but you may also break down the skin’s precious acid mantle.

    To shift dead skin cells and impurities without tearing or damaging, use exfoliators that have perfectly spherical beads, like our Kukui & Jojoba Bead Exfoliator.

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