Is your Shampoo Making you Break out?

When your skin breaks out, it is easy to blame stress, hormones, diet and even your skin care products.  And while those are all possible culprits, the actual cause may be the products that you are using to keep your hair looking its best.

Hair blog


How do I know?

If you are breaking out consistently along your hair line, forehead and your back, there is a very good chance, your acne is caused by your hair care products.

Why does this happen?

The ingredients in hair care products can clog pores, especially if they build up on skin over time.  If you have sensitive skin they can also cause inflammation in the skin. Most shampoos and conditioners contain ingredients that are great for your hair, especially if it is dry, damaged or color treated, but you would never think to put them on your skin.  Yet they come in contact with your skin every time you wash your hair.

  • isopropyl myristate- used as an emollient, thickening agent, or lubricant in beauty products, but it can clog your pores
  • oil-based products containing petroleum, silicones, jojoba oil, and shea butter tend to trap the most bacteria and create a breeding ground for acne.
  • sodium lauryl sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate- the “detergents” that cause the rich, sudsy lather when you shampoo can irritate sensitive skin and cause acne.

How can I avoid breakouts caused by hair care products?

The good news is you can reduce the chances of acne caused by your hair care products by making a few simple changes:

  1. Always wash your face after your hair in the shower to make sure you are rinsing any excess hair product residue from your skin.
  1. Protect your face from styling products. When you use hairspray use a clean towel to cover your face to protect your skin.  Or wash you face after you use hairspray or gel to remove any leftover product.
  1. Keep hair out of contact with the skin on the face and avoid touching your hair and then touching your skin afterward. It can transfer product
  1. Always use a sweatband when you hit the gym so no hair products drip onto your face when you begin to sweat.
  1. Sleep With Your Hair up At Night. Unless you wash your hair at night, when you go to sleep, the product you have used and the oils that have built up over the day transfer to your pillowcase and then back to your face. To reduce transfer, pull all of your hair off your face and clip your bangs back before bed or try sleeping with a scarf around your head.
  1. Try switching shampoos and conditioners. If the first 4 tips don’t produce results, then you may need to change your shampoo and conditioner. Since not all skin is the same, it can take some trial and error to see what ingredients are causing your acne. If you have extremely acne-prone or oily skin, you may want to incorporate a salicylic acid-based shampoo into your routine once or twice per week to help balance oils on the face and scalp.


Did any of these tips help you reduce breakouts? What other changes have you made to your hair care routine that have reduced acne?  Share with us in the comments or on Facebook.

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