Your Bod

Your face wash could be causing your breakouts

When it comes to breaking up breakouts, we tend to shop for products that come from big, recognizable brands. You see them everywhere: They're trusted among friends, beauty bloggers and even dermatologists, and the bottles call the products "acne-clearning" or "breakout-busters." Unfortunately, that may not always be the case.

You may be thinking, "What?! My facewash is supposed to be preventing acne, not causing more breakouts!"

Trust, we get the frustration. Luckily, there are ways to tell if you have sensitive skin, or if your acne wash is the real problem at hand.  

First, make sure you've eliminated any other problems (check out this article on how to spot sneaky causes of acne). Then, you can check your fave product online at This website has a large information database on almost all skincare products, and outlines each of their ingredients from most to least prevalent in the product. The ingredients are then scored on three categories: acne, irritant and safety. Each category is graded on a scale from 1 to 5.

The acne category shows how likely the ingredient is to cause acne, 1 being least likely, and 5 most likely. The irritant category shows how likely the ingredient is to irritate your skin, and the safety category shows how safe the ingredients are on your skin.

Quickly searching a popular product, Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser,  you can quickly see that the fourth ingredient has a level 5 acne irritant. That means this face wash, instead of clearing your acne like it advertises, could be the secret cause of your breakouts. 

Of course, if you're using this face wash and it's working for you, by all means, keep using it. You may not have skin sensitive to that ingredient. What works for one person may not work for others. However, if you are having consistent breakouts, try typing in your skin products to this website to see their ratings, especially in the acne category. If you find a high rating, you may have found your acne culprit. 

YouTuber Haley of Haley's Corner explains the entire CosDNA website on her channel for further clarification:

When in doubt, you can always stick to natural products, like witch hazel, which acts as a toner, different oils like grape seed oil to eliminate acne scars and redness or even a full-fat greek yogurt mask to reduce puffiness and moisturize. 

Skincare is complicated. This website can act as an aid in picking a product for you. If you're worried, check out your products, and if your face wash is causing acne, note which ingredients are irritating your skin. That way, you can make more informed decisions in the future to finally bust those breakouts.

What do you think, GL girls? Do you think your acne wash could be causing your breakouts? Let us know!

We want to hear from you! Send us your weirdest body questions here (seriously, we'll answer anything!) and it just might get featured.

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by Linda Horn | 11/18/2018