Free Things to Do Right Now to Stop Your Acne From Getting Worse.


There are many natural acne remedies you can do right now that don’t cost a thing that will help with your acne.

Grab an ice cube

When you discover a zit forming, grab an ice cube and rub it gently over the spot for about a minute. Keep it moving. Don’t let it sit in one place or you will burn yourself. This will bring down the inflammation and in some cases the pimple will go away by the next morning.

Don’t pick

The temptation is so great! What are you going to do with a zit if not pop it? Isn’t it better to squeeze out those blackheads? Shouldn’t I just take the top off the white head and let it out? NO, NO, NO! You think you are getting rid of the blemish, but I promise you are making it worse. Your chances of rupturing the follicle wall are great, which will trigger your immune system to flood the area with inflammation and enzymes that will destroy healthy tissue and leave scars – go read the article about cystic acne. If you are tempted to pick, grab the ice cube, or if you are our client, call and we will try really hard to squeeze you in for a free extraction. If you find yourself picking all the time, slather your hands with cream and put on gloves. If you’re male, the gloves alone will do.

Change Your Pillowcase

There is evidence that changing your pillowcase every night goes a long way toward cutting down on blemishes. If you can’t see yourself doing that, use two pillows and be sure to turn them over so you have a clean side every night for four nights. Then into the wash they go!

Pass the Salt

As in pass it by. Cutting down on salt has many health benefits (you really don’t want me to start, do you?), but it is the iodine in salt that is wrecking your face. Buy the un-iodized kind if you can’t stop using it, but when you are out order your food without salt and bring your own salt shaker. This is a cute trick for French fries because you will get better fries. The restaurant has to make them fresh to get them without salt!

Watch out for Kelp

Kelp is very high in iodides, much higher than fortified table salt, which irritate the follicle walls in acne prone people. This is true of all seaweed products. (Algae, Carrageenan). Kelp is in a lot of vitamin supplements. Iodine is necessary for making thyroid hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine), so vitamin manufacturers think they are helping people by including it. It is why it was put into salt in the first place. But trust me, you can’t eliminate it from your diet completely so your thyroid will be fine (unless a doctor has told you otherwise), so don’t buy products that contain it.

Say Cheese

For the camera, but don’t eat it. Dairy of all kinds is problematic for people with acne, but cheese is the worst. There are conflicting theories as to why – the cows lick salt that has been iodized, carrageenan is a common additive, the chemicals used in processing the milk, the hormones fed to the cows, the additives used in making the cheese. It is probably all of them. Whatever the cause, switch to almond milk for two months and see what happens. Unless of course you are allergic to tree nuts. The jury is still out on soy milk.

Skip the Fabric Softener

Dryer sheets are the worst, but any fabric softener leaves a waxy residue on fabric to cut down on static. It is highly comedogenic (clogs your pores), so especially don’t use it on your pillowcases. If you can’t stand the static, many people have luck with the dryer balls you can get at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Chocolate, but not Peanut Butter

Chocolate has a bad rap for causing acne, but clinical experiments have proven that it doesn’t cause or worsen acne. That doesn’t mean that some chocolate candies don’t have ingredients that can worsen acne, but chocolate itself isn’t acnegenic. However, peanut butter is. It has a substance that mimics androgen hormones. Ditto peanuts, peanut oil, and wheat germ. Can’t live without your fix? Try unsalted cashew butter instead. Yummy!

Drink Your Water

People with acne often confuse dry skin with dehydrated skin. Dry skin has little oil, dehydrated skin has little water. Unfortunately the products you use to dry up the oil implicated in your acne usually take the water with it. Dehydrated skin has trouble healing, it flakes more, and is more prone to breakouts. There are lots of products designed to keep moisture in your skin and some (called humectants) are able to attract moisture out of the air to your skin. Unfortunately, most of these also clog your pores. Nothing works as well as drinking the stuff. Not only is it good for your skin, it is good for everything. It helps with weight loss. Ironically it helps prevent fluid retention. If you’re not drinking enough, your body tries to hold on to all it has. It helps with headaches. It helps with elimination. It flushes toxins from your body. The list goes on. How much should you drink? A rule of thumb is to divide your body weight in half and drink that in ounces. So if you weigh 150 lbs. you should drink 75 ounces. Put a jug in your fridge and put that much in it and drink it by the end of the day. Or take an insulated jug to work with you.

Get Enough Sleep

Someone who knows more about skin than just about anyone says at least 7 hours every single night of uninterrupted sleep. I function best on nine! Seven is deprivation for me. It varies from one individual to another, but minimum is seven. If you think you do just fine with less you are fooling yourself. Scientists are starting to discover all kinds of health issues are associated with not enough sleep, including increased risk of cancer. Lack of sleep definitely affects your skin. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing.

Reduce Your Stress Level

This is hard to do, but find a way. Whatever it takes. Deep breathing. Yoga. A walk at lunch time. Progressive relaxation. Staying away from toxic people. Be gentle with yourself when you have those stress-inducing life changes. Even the happy ones are stressful. Birth, marriage, a new job, a new home. Stress definitely brings about acne lesions in those of us who are acne prone. It isn’t a coincidence that you get a big zit right before a big presentation or a date for the prom.

So those are some free things to stop your acne from getting worse, but if you are serious about getting rid of your acne, book your appointment online and let’s get started.


Diet and Acne



Acne is hereditary. But like many things that are hereditary, acne is affected by environmental factors as well, like what you eat and how much you sleep.

For 25 years the medical community said that your diet did not affect your acne. Even today, about half the books on my shelf claim there is no correlation between what you eat and acne. But in the last ten years the tide has gradually turned. The acne sufferers who said that they broke out if they ate certain foods are being vindicated. With acne, just as with the rest of your health, what you eat matters.

Your diet is not the whole answer. Acne is more complicated than that. You can have a perfect diet, free of any of the foods that can lead to breakouts, and still have acne. And some people eat all the foods linked to acne and still have clear skin. So just changing your diet does not usually result in completely clear skin. But it can help.

We tell our clients that clearing their acne is like pushing a rock. If your diet is clean, we are pushing the rock across level ground. But if your diet is filled with break-out stuff, we are pushing that rock up a slope, and your choices dictate how steep that slope is.

If you want to level out that slope, what should you eat, and what should you stay away from? Interestingly enough, just about everything that is good to eat for your skin is good to eat for the rest of your health– for your heart, for your brain, for your waistline. There are some surprises, but mostly if you are on a heart-healthy, cancer-preventing, waist trimming diet, your skin will thank you.

Stay away from simple carbs. That’s sugar and stuff that turns to sugar as soon as it gets in your body, like crackers and pasta and bread. When you eat sugar your body has to produce insulin to take that sugar into your cells to be used. A lot of sugar means an insulin spike to deal with it. That insulin is also working on your sebaceous glands causing them to produce more sebum and making the sebum stickier, so it is more likely to clog your pores.

Stay away from processed food and fast food. Stay away from salty snacks. Skip the processed meats like hot dogs. They are all loaded with inflammation-producing Omega 6 fats which are bad for your acne, but these foods also make your acne worse by feeding you too much iodine.

There has been a lot published about whether excess iodine causes acne. There is plenty of disagreement, and the disagreement gets pretty heated.

Iodine is a necessary nutrient. You need it! Your thyroid gland can’t function without it. Without it, the thyroid becomes inflamed, a condition called goiter. If you are pregnant and don’t get enough of it, the fetus’ developing brain will be affected. Back in the early part of the last century, there were many cases of goiter, so by World War I they began iodizing salt – adding iodine to salt, which already has some iodine in it – to combat this. It was actually a brilliant public health initiative. After the wide-spread iodizing of salt, goiter virtually disappeared.

But you can get too much of it too.

An adult needs roughly 150 mcg of iodine a day. A teaspoon of iodized salt has about 400 mcg, so a half teaspoon of iodized salt a day is more than enough. Back when people’s only source of salt was what they sprinkled on their food, this was a pretty normal amount of salt to be eating.

But since that initiative, our eating has changed dramatically. We now eat a lot of processed food. We eat a lot of fast food. We love our salty snacks. These are all loaded with salt and the salt is iodized.

Iodine comes to us in other ways as well. It is in vegetables like broccoli and asparagus. It is in everything from the sea. It is in turkey. It’s in beef liver.

Many of us are getting far too much iodine. When you get too much iodine in your blood stream it comes out through your sebaceous glands into your pores, irritating them and causing inflammation, which can lead to break-outs.

I never tell my clients not to eat asparagas or broccoli or seafood or turkey. They are too good for you! And they have all sorts of nutrients to help your acne. But salty snacks? It is hard to make a case that you need salted tortilla chips. Dip veggies into your salsa! Cut back on processed food with high sodium levels. Eat fast food less frequently. Buy plain salt, not iodized.

Stay away from peanut butter. It has a component like an androgen hormone that works on your sebaceous glands causing them to produce more and stickier sebum, clogging up those pores. Try almond butter or cashew butter instead.

Skip dairy. Clinical studies as early as the 1930s showed a connection between eating dairy and getting acne. Try almond milk on your cereal. Try cheese made from goats’ milk or sheep’s milk feta. You can keep eating your Greek yogurt. The fermentation seems to reduce the hormones that trigger the acne.

So what can you eat?

Eat lots of brightly colored vegetables. The different colors have different reasons for being great for your skin. A sweet potato has 3 to 5 times the RDA of vitamin A. Your skin LOVES vitamin A. But don’t get in in a supplement. It is fat soluble so you can overdose on it and vitamin A toxicity causes all sorts of terrible problems. But you can’t EAT too much of it. So load up on carrots too. Spinach and Kale have great antioxidant capabilities and beets and purple cabbage reduce inflammation.

So just remember bright colors are good!

Same goes for fruits.

Eat fiber rich foods like lentils, brown rice, and whole grain pasta. Skip the sweetened breakfast cereals and eat one high in fiber. And top it with almond milk. Throw some berries on it while you’re at it. Studies have shown that healthy digestion benefits your skin.

Eat wild-caught Salmon, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. Omega 3, especially the EPA kind, is great for reducing inflammation in your skin and throughout your body. If you are going for supplements, take enough for the EPA to add up to 1000 mg. Doesn’t matter what the front label says. Read the back for the important information.

Use olive oil instead of corn oil or vegetable oil which are high in Omega 6 fats, promoting inflammation.

And finally, drink a ton of water! Most of us are borderline dehydrated. For some there is no borderline involved. They are dehydrated. Lots of things are dehydrating. Coffee. Black Tea. Alcohol. Sports drinks and energy drinks. Pop. And of course, exercise.

Start with your base line – half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 130, half your body weight is 65 so 65 ounces per day is your base line. That’s about a half-gallon. Drink that each day for a week or so. When you get used to that, start drinking more for your dehydrating factors: an ounce of water for every ounce of coffee, black tea, pop or energy drinks. Two ounces of water for every ounce of alcoholic beverage. A quart (32 ounces) for every hour of heart-pumping exercise. Yes in the beginning you will use the restroom a lot, but your kidneys adapt in a few days. Your body and your skin will thank you.

Will making these changes to your diet make your acne go away? Not usually alone, though some people in tests showed marked improvement in five weeks. But following this advice will give your skin a better chance when you start with an acne professional’s program of skin clearing. And the rest of your body will thank you as well.

Pore Clogging Ingredients


You already know that if you are in the least acne-prone, you never want to put anything on your skin or in your hair that is going to clog your pores.

But there are many products labeled “Non-comedogenic” and “Won’t Clog Pores” and “Hypoallergenic” that have some of the worst ingredients for clogging your pores.

Why would a manufacturer put an ingredient that will clog pores into a skin care product? There are lots of reasons. Some highly pore-clogging ingredients give the product a smooth, elegant feel. But the same properties that make it feel smooth and elegant make it glide down into your pores and stay there, blocking them. Some give make-up its color.

Research has shown that some algae products have the ability to strengthen the walls of blood vessels, leading some researchers to hypothesize that they will be good for helping to combat rosacea. So some manufacturers put it in their rosacea products, but algae products are highly comedogenic. A real puzzle for rosacea sufferers, because like acne sufferers, they need to avoid pore-clogging ingredients.

Some of the worst offenders are natural products, and consumers are drawn to natural products because they believe them to be safe.

But the only way for an acne sufferer to be safe is to always, always check the ingredients. Don’t use the product if it contains any of the ingredients listed below. If you are getting break-outs around your mouth, check your toothpaste as well. If you are getting breakouts on your scalp or around your hairline, or where you hair falls in your face, check your shampoo and conditioner. Don’t use products that have these ingredients.

Having made that statement, I will amend it slightly. If there is only one ingredient from the list in the formulation, that product only gets a 3, and it is way down on the ingredients list, (ingredients in higher concentrations appear at the beginning of the ingredient list on a product, and they decrease in concentration as you go down the list) it may be okay for you to use. But watch for signs of clogging pores. Sometimes it doesn’t take much.

Some of these ingredients are really good for other skin conditions, and if you weren’t prone to acne, they could be good for you. If you are, they will make your struggle to overcome your acne more difficult.

I have tried to put the reasons manufacturers include these “bad boys” in their formulations, but if you find that column totally snore-worthy, you have my permission not to read it! In fact the printable version skips that column altogether.

Print out the list and take it with you when you shop. We have put the list in alphabetical order to make it easier to find the ingredients, but we have highlighted the worst offenders.

Don’t try to memorize the list. You’ll go crazy because lots of things seem to make no sense if you aren’t a chemist. For example Octyl Palmitate and Octyl Stearate are really bad, but Octyl Salicylate is fine. Isopropyl Alcohol won’t clog your pores, but Isocetyl Alcohol will. So trust me, just take the list.

But the one you should remember is Isopropyl Myristate. (Ice-a-pro-pl Meer-estate). It’s in a lot of products and it is perhaps the worst offender of all.

The ingredients that are the most pore clogging have a five (5) after them. The scale runs zero to five. If an ingredient scored less than a three (3) on the pore clogging study, we didn’t include it. Download PDF of Pore Clogging Ingredients

List of Pore Clogging Ingredients


Acetylated Lanolin4

Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol4

Algae Extract5

Algin (Alginic acid; potassium alginate; sodium alginate)4

Butyl Isostearate4

Butyl Stearate3


Cetyl Acetate4

Cetyl Alcohol3

Cetearyl Alcohol + Ceteareth 204

Cocoa Butter4

Coconut Oil, Butter, Cream4

Colloidal Sulfur3

Cotton Seed Oil3

D&C Red #173

D&C Red #213

D&C Red # 33

D&C Red #303

D&C Red #363

Decyl Oleate3

Dioctyl Succinate3

Disodium Monooleamido PEG 2- Sulfosuccinate4

Ethoxylated Lanolin3

Ethylhexyl Palmitate4

Glyceryl Stearate SE3

Glyceryl-3 Diisostearate4

Hexadecyl Alcohol5

Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil3

Isocetyl Alcohol4

Isocetyl Stearate5

Isodecyl Oleate4

Isopropyl Isostearate5

Isopropyl Lanolate4

Isopropyl Myristate5

Isopropyl Palmitate4


Isostearyl Isostearate4

Isostearyl Neopentanoate3

Laureth 233

Laureth 45

Lauric Acid4

Mink Oil3

Myristic Acid3

Myristyl Lactate4

Myristyl Myristate5

Octyl Palmitate4

Octyl Stearate5


Oleyl Alcohol4

PEG 16 Lanolin4

PEG 75 Lanolin3

PEG 200 Dilaurate3

PEG 8 Stearate3

PG Monostearate3

PPG 2 Myristyl Propionate4


Potassium Chloride5

Propylene Glycol Monostearate4

Red Algae5

Shark Liver Oil3

Sodium Chloride5

Sodium Laureth Sulfate3

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate5

Solulan 164

Sorbitan Oleate3

Soybean Oil3

Steareth 104

Stearic Acid TEA3

Stearyl Heptanoate4

Sulfated Castor Oil3

Wheat Germ Glyceride3

Wheat Germ Oil5


Ingredient#What it is and why it’s in there

Acetylated Lanolin4Lanolin derivative – Lanolin is a wax from the sebaceous glands of sheep that allows the wool to shed water. In cosmetics and skin care products it acts as an emollient that forms a water repellent film on the skin.

Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol4Lanolin derivative a skin softener with anti-allergenic properties.

Algae Extract5Botanical- used to normalize the skin’s moisture content and provide suppleness and firmness to the epidermis. There are many different types of algae and they exhibit different properties. Manufacturers rarely disclose the specific strain of algae used.

Algin (Alginic acid; potassium alginate; sodium alginate)4Botanical – from the cell walls of Brown Algae, it is used as a thickener, stabilizer and gelling agent.

Butyl Isostearate4Fatty Acids & Derivatives – Fatty acids are lubricant ingredients derived from plant oils or animal fats.

Butyl Stearate3Fatty Acids & Derivatives – typically used in very small quantities as an emulsifier for creams and lotions. It has been shown to cause allergic reactions

Carrageenan4Botanical – another seaweed, carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years. It is used in cosmetics, shampoos, toothpastes and other skin care ingredients as an emulsifier and thickener, it can help the skin to remain soft.

Cetyl Acetate4Fatty Alcohols & Esters – Fatty alcohols are fatty acids that have been exposed to hydrogen. Fatty esters are produced from fatty alcohols and fatty acids. Cetyl acetate is a mixture of cetyl alcohol and acetic acid used as a skin-conditioning agent and emollient.

Cetyl Alcohol3Fatty Alcohols & Esters – derived from coconut and palm oils it can serve as an emollient, emulsifier, thickener, binder, foam booster or emulsion stabilizer, depending on the formulation and need.

Cetearyl Alcohol + Ceteareth 204Fatty Alcohols & Esters – cetearyl alcohol is an emulsifying and stabilizing wax produced from the reduction of plant oils and natural waxes. It is used as an emollient and to give a high viscosity to the product. Ceteareth 20 is used as an emollient, emulsifier and lubricant. The combination is particularly comedogenic.

Cocoa Butter4Natural Oils – softens and lubricates the skin. It is solid at room temperature but melts between 90° and 100°, so is often used in lip balms and in massage creams. Like most natural oils it is comedogenic and may cause allergic reactions.

Coconut Oil, Butter, Cream4Natural Oils –used as a cream base it is found in soaps, ointments, massage creams and sunscreen forumulas.

Colloidal Sulfur3Minerals – colloidal means the sulfur is finely divided so it stays in suspension. It is a common ingredient used in acne preparations as it reduces oil gland activity and dissolves the skin’s surface layer of upper most cells. Interesting that while it does this, it also shows the ability to clog pores.

Cotton Seed Oil3Natural Oils –widely used in cosmetics it acts as a carrier. It is mildly irritating and can cause allergies.

D&C Red #173Pigments

D&C Red #213Pigments

D&C Red # 33Pigments

D&C Red #303Pigments

D&C Red #363Pigments

Decyl Oleate3Fatty Acids & Derivatives- an emollient with good penetrating properties, has a nice feel on the skin, contradicting what you might read on some websites that say you can tell if something is clogging your pore by how it feels on your skin. It is a component of human sebum and is produced commercially from olive oil and synthetically.

Dioctyl Succinate3Fatty Acids & Derivatives – an ester of succinic acid it is found in lichen and fungi and acts as a wetting agent. Some Old Spice and Oil of Olay products use it in their formulations.

Disodium Monooleamido PEG 2- Sulfosuccinate4Fatty Alcohols & Esters – a mild surfactant used as a cleansing agent.

Ethoxylated Lanolin3Lanolin Derivatives – an emollient and emulsifier.

Ethylhexyl Palmitate4Fatty Acids & Derivatives – a non-greasy, non-oily moisturizer with good spreading and solvency properties.

Glyceryl Stearate SE3Fatty Alcohols & Esters – an emulsifier, solvent, humectant and consistency regulator.

Glyceryl-3 Diisostearate4Fatty Alcohols & Esters – widely used in make-up and moisturizers, it has humectant properties (draws water to the skin from the air) and leaves a lipid film on the skin.

Hexadecyl Alcohol5Fatty Alcohols & Esters – another name for cetyl alcohol, it is used as an emollient, emulsifier, or a thickening agent in creams and lotions, and as a surfactant in shampoos.

Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil3Natural Oils – add hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils and you can make them solid at room temperature with a longer shelf life. Consuming these so-called “trans fats” is terrible for your arteries and putting them on your skin is bad for it, as well.

Isocetyl Alcohol4Fatty Alcohols & Esters – a skin conditioner with emollient properties, it can also increase viscosity.

Isocetyl Stearate5Fatty Alcohols & Esters –an emollient.

Isodecyl Oleate4Fatty Acids & Derivatives – an emollient and moisturizer with wetting and pigment-binding properties.

Isopropyl Isostearate5Fatty Acids & Derivatives – an emollient that leaves the skin surface with a smooth and supple finish. It also acts as a binder.

Isopropyl Lanolate4Lanolin Derivative – a skin softener and binder, it aids in the proper spreading of a product.

Isopropyl Myristate5Fatty Acids & Derivatives – an emollient, moisturizer, binder, and skin softener, it aids in product penetration. It is an ester of myristic acid.

Isopropyl Palmitate4Fatty Acids & Derivatives – an emollient and moisturizer, it also acts as a binder and solvent. It is produced from the combination of palmitic acid (coconut or palm oil) and isopropyl alcohol.

Isostearyl Isostearate4Fatty Acids & Derivatives – an emollient resembling jojoba oil. It leaves an almost imperceptible afterfeel.

Isostearyl Neopentanoate3Fatty Acids & Derivatives – an emollient, binder, and skin-conditioning agent with a moisturizing and softening affect.

Laureth 233Fatty Alcohols & Esters – an emulsifier, emulsion stabilizer, and surfactant.

Laureth 45Fatty Alcohols & Esters – a surfactant and emulsifying agent.

Lauric Acid4Fatty Acids & Derivatives – with foaming properties, lauric acid is widely used in soaps and detergents. It is found in many vegetable oils, particularly coconut and laurel oils.

Mink Oil3Natural Oils – a gentle and effective emollient, it softens skin and is occlusive. It comes from the subdermal fatty tissues of the mink.

Myristic Acid3Fatty Acids & Derivatives – a surfactant and cleansing agent. When combined with potassium it lathers well. It is naturally occurring in most animal and vegetable fats.

Myristyl Lactate4Fatty Acids & Derivatives – a light emollient and moisturizer with good spreadability. It leaves a smooth satiny after feel.

Myristyl Myristate5Fattty Acids & Derivatives – an occlusive skin conditioning agent that enhances spreadability and reduces transparency. Good for emulsions that have to melt into the skin upon contact.

Octyl Palmitate4Fatty Acids & Derivatives – a non-greasy, non-oily moisturizer with good spreading and solvency properties.

Octyl Stearate5Fatty Alcohols & Esters – an emollient with properties similar to octyl palmitate.

Oleth-35Ethers & Sugars – an ether of oleyl alcohol, it is used as an emulsifier and solubilizer.

Oleyl Alcohol4Fatty Alcohols & Esters –an unsaturated fatty alcohol found in fish oils or made synthetically, oleyl alcohol works as an emollient, solvent, viscosity-increasing agent and carrier. It is found in a wide range of products.

PEG 16 Lanolin4Lanolin Derivatives – PEG is short for polyethylene glycol which can be blended with a wide range of other ingredients to produce the desired humectancy, viscosity, or melting point. The number after it indicates its molecular weight.

PEG 75 Lanolin3Lanolin Derivatives – an emollient, emulsifier, dispersant , plasticizer, and foam stabilizer.

PEG 200 Dilaurate3Fatty Alcohols & Esters – an emulsifier.

PEG 8 Stearate3Fatty Alcohols & Esters – an emulsifier and thickening agent generally incorporated into hair care products, hand and body creams and moisturizing preparations. Works as a superfatting agent for shaving preparations and foam baths.

PG Monostearate3Fatty Alcohols & Esters – oil soluble emulsifier with foaming properties.

PPG 2 Myristyl Propionate4Fatty Acids & Derivatives – used as a skin conditioning agent and sometimes for thickening.

Polyglyceryl-3-Diisostearate4Fatty Alcohols & Esters – a skin conditioning agent, emollient, surfactant, emulsifier.

Potassium Chloride5Minerals – increases viscosity in cosmetic and pharmaceutical preparations.

Propylene Glycol Monostearate4Fatty Alcohols & Esters – an emollient

Red Algae5Botanicals – another seaweed. The case for seaweed is long both in terms of history, and positive properties. But some of its many benefits are due to the abundance of iodine in it, which makes it highly irritating to the follicle of acne prone individuals, causing them to form comedones.

Shark Liver Oil3Natural Oils – seen in skin care products more often as Squalane, it is a moisturizer and lubricant, it softens and smoothes the skin while replenishing skin lipids. Human sebum is comprised of 25% squalane.

Sodium Chloride5Minerals – used as a preservative, astringent and antiseptic to treat inflamed lesions.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate3Detergents – an emulsifier and versatile surfactact, with strong cleansing and foaming properties. It is known to be drying and irritating, though less so than its cousin sodium lauryl sulfate.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate5Detergents – surfactant with good foaming properties, dispersant and wtting agent. It is often found in soaps packaged with pump dispensers. Considered very irritating.

Solulan 164Lanolin Derivatives – Solulan 16 is a trade name for ethoxylated lanolin and ethoxylated fatty alcohols. It acts as an oil-in-water emulsifier, a foam stabilizer and it makes the skin feel soft and non-tacky after application.

Sorbitan Oleate3Thickeners & Emulsifiers – a mild emulsifier derived from sugar.

Soybean Oil3Natural Oils – used in numerous forms it is primarily a smoothing ingredient.

Steareth 104Fatty Alcohols & Esters – emulsifiers for water-in-oil formulations preventing separation.

Stearic Acid TEA3Miscellaneous – an emulsifier and thickening agent.

Stearyl Heptanoate4Fatty Acids & Derivatives – a non-greasy emollient that produces a highly water-repellent film.

Sulfated Castor Oil3Natural oil – a surfactant used as a cleansing agent.

Wheat Germ Glyceride3Fatty Alcohols & Esters – softens the skin and has good penetration ability. Commonly used in moisturizers.

Wheat Germ Oil5Natural Oils – an emollient, it helps improve the feel and texture of the skin. It has antioxidant and free-radical-scavenging properties. It is appropriate for use in antiaging products, as well as for dry skin, sunburned skin, eczema, and on stretch marks.

Xylene4Miscellaneous – this is very nasty stuff, classified as a surfactant and previously used in fine perfumes, it causes far more serious problems than clogged pores. If you find it on a skin care ingredient list, don’t even think about buying it!