Hair Product Ingredients That Cause Acne: What To Avoid

Hair Product Ingredients That Cause Acne: What To Avoid

Published by Jil Goorman on Sep 15th 2022

There’s nothing worse than waking up to discover new breakouts on your face or body, and not knowing the cause is even more frustrating. Whether you struggle with chronic acne or the occasional breakout, your hair products may not be helping your skin. If you notice small clusters of bumps along your hairline, neck, or back, your hair products are a likely culprit. Learn what to avoid by checking out these hair product ingredients that cause acne.

Coconut Oil and Other Oils

Although coconut oil and other types of oil are incredibly helpful when it comes to moisturizing your hair, they can wreak havoc on your skin. If you have acne-prone skin, you most likely don’t need to add extra oil as your body already produces plenty. The coconut oil in your shampoo and conditioner can lead to clogged pores and breakouts; therefore, you should opt for an oil-free option if you notice breakouts around your hairline.

Alcohol-Based Hairsprays

Almost everyone has hairspray in their hair care arsenal, but it may be the cause of your untimely breakouts. Believe it or not, most hairsprays are alcohol-based, which can irritate and dry out your skin. You don’t have to avoid hairspray completely, but you should try to prevent it from coming in contact with your skin.

Pro Tip

Shield your face with your hand as you spray your hair to prevent direct contact with hairspray.


Sulfates are common ingredients in hair care products, and they’re incredibly drying. In fact, sulfates can damage your skin’s barrier by stripping away its natural oils. Unfortunately, this can cause dryness, redness, and irritation, which could result in rash-like breakouts.

What To Look For Instead

Now that you know what to avoid, you should know what to look for instead. Salicylic acid is a common acne-fighting agent found in skincare products, but there are hair products that contain this ingredient to help prevent unwanted breakouts. Additionally, most acne-safe shampoo and conditioner sets have non-comedogenic formulas, which won’t clog your pores or cause acne.

After learning about hair product ingredients that cause acne, you should know what to avoid when it comes to your hair care. Unfortunately, everything that’s good for your hair isn’t always easy on your skin. That doesn’t mean you have to stop using these products entirely, but you should avoid excessive contact between certain products and your face, back, and neck.