Skin Watch: These Ingredients Cause Acne

You adhere to a consistent skincare regimen, eat a well balanced diet, hydrate, exercise, and yet you still experience acne breakouts. How can this be?

The answer may lie in the very products you use daily to ensure your complexion remains radiant and clear. Unbeknownst to many consumers there are acne-causing ingredients lurking in their favorite cleansers, serums, and moisturizers. To ensure that you are staying skin-smart, I have compiled a list of pore-clogging ingredients in alphabetical order.

If any of the below ingredients are listed in the first seven on the ingredient list of a product, it may be causing your acne.

If you have checked your products for these ingredients and are still having trouble figuring out why you are breaking out, do not hesitate to send me a message via the “Ask the Doctor” submission form!

-Dr. Gross

Acetylated lanolin

Acetylated lanolin alcohol

Buytl stearate

D&C red #30

Decyl oleate

Isostearyl isostearate

Isopropyl myristate

Isostearyl neopentanoate



Mink oil

Myristyl lactate

Myristyl myristate


Shark liver oil

Stearic acid: TEA

Wheat germ glyceride



Photo: via shutterstock

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  • Is there a difference between “Stearic acid: TEA” and “stearic acid”? Or should I also avoid anything that contains stearic acid period?

  • Thanks for this list! Is stearic acid the same as stearic acid: TEA? I use the Olay Total Effects Whip Face Moisturizer SPF 25 and am wondering if it is okay to keep using.

  • Spot on with this write-up, I honestly feel this topic needs much more attention.

  • You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that’s been written about for years.
    Wonderful stuff, just great!

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