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How Can Shampoo Cause Breakouts?

How Can Shampoo Cause Breakouts?
woman touching cheek checking for acne breakouts pexels by andrea piacquadio

Shampoos Commonly Contain: Pore Clogging Ingredients

Heavy ingredients added to shampoos to provide moisture oftentimes can clog pores and create a breeding ground for bacteria. For those who struggle regularly with acne, whiteheads, blackheads around their hairline, neck, and scalp, avoid products with heavy ingredients like: petroleum, silicones, jojoba oil, mineral oil and shea butter, cocoa butter, sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, coconut oil, and lanolin.

While some of these ingredients in shampoos are not inherently bad, they are commonly the culprit for acne breakouts around the hairline, neck, shoulders and back.

Shampoos Commonly Contain: Irritating Chemicals

Synthetic fillers, emulsifiers, fragrances, alcohols, etc can cause irritation and inflammation (not to mention hormone disruption). This irritation frequently causes dryness/flakiness which can lead to clogged pores from accumulating dead skin cells.

Along with this, irritating additives regularly cause redness, rashes and inflammation. Inflammation in the skin results in less blood flow to the area (poor circulation) leading to stagnation and the build-up of toxins under the skin. These become those red, tender pimples, pustules or cysts.

Shampoos Can Leave Product Residue

Leftover product in the hair can be transferred to the rest of the body throughout the day. Maybe your hair brushes against your shoulders all day causing those embarrassing red spots along your shoulder line and we are all guilty of playing with our hair at some point throughout the day. Those heavy ingredients can be transferred onto our hands when we touch our hair and from there, our face or any area of the body we touch.

Lastly, products from our hair can build up on our sheets and pillows. As we move our head throughout the night our skin may be accumulating residue that is leading to clogged pores and breakouts.

What to Avoid in Shampoos/Conditioners/Hair Care Products

  • Petroleum
  • Silicones
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Mineral Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Sulfates
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Lanolin
  • Harmful/Harsh Chemicals (read our full article on harmful ingredients to avoid here)

What Shampoos to Use Instead

Look for shampoos/conditioners that list water in the first three ingredients. This usually indicates they are water-based shampoos rather than oil-based. Avoid the ingredients above as much as possible. We always encourage clients to get in the habit of reading ingredient labels on products. And guess what...we LOVE answering questions! If you are interested in a new product but unsure if any of the ingredients may cause acne or contain harmful chemicals, take a picture of the ingredients label and send it to us on one of our social profiles (Instagram, Facebook, Website) and we would love to review the list for you!

We have been on the lookout for clean, vegan and effective shampoos/conditioners for YEARS. Clients regularly would ask for shampoo/conditioner recommendations and we were unable to comfortably recommend any products in the mainstream market.

We are so happy to have finally found a brand that has passed all of our rigorous requirements.

Nutribiotic has created fragrance-free shampoos and conditioners that are water-based, vegan and free of all the pore clogging, harmful, irritating ingredients we are determined to never use. Because we love them so much we will now be selling their shampoo and conditioner online as well as in-store. You can learn more about their shampoo and conditioner here!

Other Tips:

  1. Always wash/conditioner hair as the first step in your shower routine then be sure all products have been rinsed. Follow with thorough body cleansing to remove the shampoo from your skin and face cleanser. Be sure to focus on the areas around your hairline to ensure all products have been removed.
  2. Change your pillowcase daily! We know this may sound excessive, but if you are hesitant to give up your heavy hair products, this may really help reduce the damage.
  3. Use a clip, headband or hair tie to keep your hair away from your face and neck while you sleep.