Are your hair products causing your acne?

During my time as an acne specialist, I have had hundreds of clients come in to Face 5 with acne on and/or around their hairline and forehead. At first, the majority of them don’t believe that these breakouts could be triggered by their hair care routine… until it’s explained to them!

In fact, some hair products are so triggering to acneic skin that these breakouts cannot be cleared without switching to acne-safe hair care.

In today’s blog, Face 5 is discussing all things acne in relation to hair products. If this sounds like you (or, more likely, your teenager!) be sure to bookmark this page for future reference.

Are Your Hair Products Causing Your Acne? The Likelihood, Explained

Officially recognized by the AAD as a common culprit of head and/or forehead acne, hair products may be the reason behind your sudden or chronic breakouts.

Hair products are defined as:

  • Shampoos
  • Conditioners
  • Styling products
  • Leave-in hair treatments

…All of which can lead to recurring breakouts, if they contain certain acne-unsafe ingredients. 

Pore-Clogging Ingredients in Hair Care

Pore-clogging ingredients in skin care, hair care, and general home care (such as laundry detergent!) are more common than you think. Even if a product claims to “not clog pores” or even deems itself “non-comedogenic”, always verify the claim’s validity with your acne specialist ahead of use.

A case in point are natural oils. With the most common offenders being coconut butter, coconut oil, and argan oil, pore-clogging ingredients can wreak havoc on acneic skin even if washed out immediately. Check your labels, if you haven’t already!

“I Don’t Have Acne on My Head. Should I Still Opt for Acne-Safe Hair Care?”


As well as triggering acne on the head, hairline, and forehead, acne from hair care products can also show up on the:

  • Back
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Buttocks

Due to those areas coming into contact with the product when it is rinsed off in the shower.

Additionally, acne can start to appear at any time (yes, even during adulthood!) Opt for acne-safe products in all areas of your life: your skin will thank you.

Other Tips for Acne Caused By Hair Products

Another pro tip to combat acne on the head, hairline, or forehead is to dry your hair before going to bed. Why? While not commonly recognized by clients, going to bed with wet hair laden with acne-triggering ingredients causing your pillowcase to absorb said ingredients, which can spread those breakouts to the rest of your face!

The solution? Dry your hair thoroughly ahead of bedtime and ensure that you are washing your pillowcase often with acne-safe laundry detergent. (Sometimes it can even take multiple washes to completely rid acne-causing ingredients from linens!)

Suffering From Hair Product-Related Breakouts?

If you or your teen is suffering from hair product-related breakouts, nip the problem in the bud with Face 5’s personalized home care system, visit my Acne Info page for more free resources, or please reach out today to receive a personalized recommendation from me, Colorado’s acne specialist, directly!