Comedogenic and acnegenic explained

Comedogenic and acnegenic ingredients. This is a phrase you may have heard about, you may have a basic understanding of its meaning and know that it isn’t great, but would like to know more.

Comedogenic means a product tending to cause blackheads and whiteheads by blocking the pores of the skin. There is a rating out of 5. The higher the rating the more likely to cause blockage. If you suffer from congestion or acne, then you will want to stay away from anything rated 4 or higher and a rating of 3 depending on where it is on the ingredient list and how prone to acne you are.

Acnegenic means causing blockages and inflammation in the skin.(blackheads, whiteheads and pimples) Ingredients that are acnegenic causing are the same ingredients as comedogenic causing ones, but also include fragrances and oil.

Just like on the back of the label on the food you purchase at the supermarket there is a list of ingredients on your skincare and makeup. These are listed from largest quantities to least. So you are really wanting to look at the top half of the list.

Now we aren’t saying comedogenic ingredients will always cause comedones and acne. If you have dry skin and never get pimples then you are likely able to use these ingredients and be fine, some of these ingredients will even help with dry skin, but if you feel blackheads or pimples increasing, looking at your make-up and skincare ingredient list may help you discover why.

There are way too many ingredients to list, but you can always check on the website This site allows you to type in an ingredient and it will tell you.

Some of the ingredients we look for the most (not a full list)
Coconut oil
Cocoa butter
manula oil
Isopropyl isosterate
Isopropyl linoleate
Isopropyl mysritate
Isopropyl palitate
Isostearyl Isostearate
Isostearyl Neopentanoate
Myristyl mysritate
Myristyl lactate
Myristic Acid
Oleth 3
Laureth 4, 23
Ethylhexel palmitate
Acetylated Lanolin
Butyl Stearate
D & C Red # 17, 21, 3, 30, 36
Glyceryl Stearate SE
Hexadecyl Alcohol
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
Octyl Palmitate
Octyl Stearate

Other ingredients to add, which aren’t on the list above, but we recommend to avoid:

Lanolin: it is a fatty substance obtained from the sheep’s wool. While it’s a known emollient with moisturizing properties, it can have skin-clogging capabilities, triggering the cycle of breakouts.
Occulsives- Mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum) and Petrolatum. They work to create a physical sealed barrier on the surface of your skin to protect and hydrate it, (Great for dry and eczema skin) but they have been shown to cause and exacerbate acne. An occlusive works by helping seal your skin with a barrier, so if your skin is oily, congested or breaking out they will seal in the oil and bacteria causing your skin to become more congested.
Fragrance: Artificial fragrances can increase acne infection and inflammation, skin sensitivity and photosensitivity

I know remembering all these can be overwhelming, but when you book a discovery facial on your 1st visit, we encourage you to bring in your products (skincare and makeup) or list them in your online consultation so our therapists can help check your products for you and give you advice.