Can Hair Oil Cause Acne?

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If you’re an acne sufferer, you want to avoid unnecessary triggers. The last thing you want to deal with is something you haven’t considered that will aggravate your skin into another breakout.

Just like you avoid oil-based makeup and cosmetics, perhaps it’s time to consider what other products you use that contain oils that have the potential of clogging your pores.

So, the next question to ask then is, does hair oil cause acne? Clogged pores are a nightmare if acne is an issue!

Unfortunately, hair oil can cause acne, particularly on the forehead. You need to be aware of the products you use on your hair, and how they will interact with your skin.

In this article, we look at hair oil causing acne and give some recommendations.


Can Hair Oil Cause Acne?

acne breakout

Your hair, according to The American Academy of Dermatology, is one of the main factors responsible for causing adult acne! In fact, it is so common that it has its own name — acne cosmetica, which literally means acne caused by products applied to the skin or hair.

Many hair products on the market are oil-based, which may trigger acne in those individuals who are already have or are prone to the condition and may even aggravate it.

This is because when a hair oil or product containing oil accumulates within the skin’s follicles it blocks pores. These blockages in turn cause blemishes like whiteheads, blackheads, and papules on the forehead, the back of your neck, and along the hairline.

The Culprits

These days many haircare products, including shampoos, conditioners, mousses, pomades, styling gels, pastes, waxes, and sprays are formulated with oils that have the potential to soak into your skin and clog your pores.

So, it’s not just pure hair oils, such as argan oil, that can cause you problems with acne.

Those listed below are oils that you’ll need to watch out for in your haircare products. These are the ones, if left on the skin, that have the potential to cause even subtle breakouts of acne and closely packed whiteheads and bumps:

  1. Mineral oil
  2. Jojoba oil
  3. Coconut oil
  4. Olive oil
  5. Shea butter oil
  6. Cocoa butter oil
  7. Almond oil

After you stop using the product causing the problem, it can take your skin up to six weeks to clear from your acne breakout!

So patience is needed on your part. Consider some facial brushing as well, it can help!

Make sure the haircare products that you use contain a minimum amount of oil to keep both your skin and hair healthy.

Considering making a change to your shampoo, conditioner, and other products? Keep an eye out for those containing more natural and organic ingredients, and those that are silicone- and sulfate-free.

Not only are these products more anti-inflammatory, but most also have anti-bacterial properties that will help to combat skin residue and clogged pores.

Prevention Is The Key

In order to clear your skin, you’re going to have to wash everything that your head has touched. This includes pillowcases and sheets, hats, beanies or anything else you wear on or in your hair.

This is because oil from the hair can stick to anything! So to be sure no oil residue will cause your acne to erupt, you’ll have to make sure everything touched by your head is spick and span.

In fact, anything you put in your hair that touches your skin, including hair oils, hairspray, other hair products should always be kept off your face completely.

If you need to apply these products, you should cover your face when you’re applying them.

When using them in the shower, for example, make sure your hairline and face have been washed of any product residue. A face or body wash with an ingredient like salicylic acid, which is formulated to remove oil residue, would be a great product to use for this method.

Without adding further collateral damage to your skin, if you sweat or are exercising, it would be wise to keep your hair pulled back during these activities.

If you have long hair, then there’s a huge potential that it will get in your face, especially on a windy day, which can trigger or even worsen breakouts.

This is because your pores will be clogged not only with the oils in your hair, but also with any dirt and grime blowing around in the wind that will stick to the product.

And if you have bangs, make sure you pull them away from your face when you sleep and that all hair product is rinsed out after your washing routine.

Final Thoughts

Now you know that hair oil can cause acne. Until you get your eruptions under control, it’s going to be best if you find another solution to your haircare regime.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).