Is your moisturizer causing acne? With so many hydrating products on the market promising to treat your acne, it’s important to know what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to choosing a moisturizer.
To better understand why your moisturizer may cause acne, let’s look at the root of all breakouts: too much oil. “There’s a big misconception that dryness is the absence of oil,” Dr. Neal Schultz, a New York City dermatologist, tells Acne.com. “But it’s actually the absence of water. So if there’s too much oil in your moisturizer you’re adding fuel to the fire and could potentially be making your acne worse.”
To combat this problem, make sure your moisturizer is water-based. If you look at the list of ingredients, oil should be at the very bottom of the list. That means that there may be some oil in the product, but it’s so miniscule that it won’t cause clogging. “To find a good moisturizer that won’t make your acne worse, it should have one of four labels,” adds Dr. Schultz. “It should say water-based, oil-free, non-clogging, or non-comedogencic.”
Oil-free is exactly what it says, a product devoid of oil so it won’t exacerbate your skin problems. Non-comedogenic and non-clogging mean the products did not cause clogging during testing.
But what about Vitamin C, retinoids and AHAs? None of these extra ingredients will cause acne, but retinoids and AHAs can help prevent it. “If you want something for your acne get a retinoid or glycolic product separately,” says Dr. Schultz. “Trying to combine it with your moisturizer isn’t the most effective. If you want to combine something, pick a moisturizing sunscreen.”
Is it possible to over-moisturize? “If you’re using the right moisturizing product, over- moisturizing just means you will feel this layer of stuff on your skin,” notes Dr. Schultz. “It won’t do harm, but at a certain point it will feel funny. You’ll have problems if it’s the wrong product, though.”
Morning and night are generally more than enough.. “When you wake up start with a cleanser, toner, spot treatment, sunscreen, moisturizer then makeup,” says Dr. Schultz. “At night, use a cleanser and toner, put on glycolic, then your spot treatment followed by your moisturizer.”
One of our favorites? The Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer. It’s lightweight, non-greasy and won’t clog pores, which is everything you want in a moisturizer. It also contains green tea, which helps fight free radicals!