Have Acne Prone Skin Make These Changes to Your Hair Routine


Finally got your curly hair on point but ended up with acne outbreaks? That could be because the products that are working on your hair might not be so good for your skin. Because curlies tend to use a lot of products on our curls – many of them heavy in oils or butters – excess products can rub off from your hair onto your skin or ‘bleed’ onto the skin with sweat. Common areas for acne are along the hairline on your forehead, at the top of the back and along the jawline. Don’t despair though – there are ways to keep it at bay, or at least not to exacerbate it, with your hair routine.

1. Clean Your Face After Applying Products

Once you’ve added all of your products, give your face a quick cleanse or wash with water, paying particularly close attention to the skin closest to the hairline, to remove excess product from the skin.

2. Cover Your Shoulders

Apply styling products with a towel over your shoulders or while wearing a t-shirt. This will help if you have a problem upper back area.

3. Use Sleep Protection

As well as using a satin or silk pillowcase, which is generally better for you skin than cotton, try putting your hair up, either in a pineapple, silk scarf or bonnet. As you move about at night your hair rubs against your face and can aggravate your acne. Make sure you wash pillowcases regularly as well, in a detergent that’s gentle on your skin.

4. Go Product-Free for Exercise

Or at least avoid applying any fresh products. Sweat could cause products to drip or run onto your skin. If you can’t avoid this and don’t want to wear a headband, dab the sweat off your skin around the hair with a towel.

5. Avoid Acne-Causing Ingredients

If these steps are still not helping, you might want to think about the ingredients in your products that could be worsening your acne. Petroleum, mineral oil and lanolin are heavy and can block your pores so try avoiding these. In addition, there is a specific type of ingredient that you can try to eliminate. Board-certified dermatologist Hope Mitchell says, “Many of the comedogenic ingredients in hair products can cause acne.”

Comedogenic Ingredients

Comedogenic ingredients can cause blackheads; some examples are:

  • cocoa butter
  • Moroccan oil
  • coconut oil
  • almond oil
  • soybean oil
  • avocado oil
  • olive oil

Non-Comedogenic Ingredients

Examples of non-comedogenic ingredients include:

  • jojoba oil
  • sunflower oil
  • safflower oil
  • squalene
  • castor oil
  • all essential oils

The list of comedogenic ingredients is long so try eliminating a few a time. If you don’t have time for that, you could check out our product recommendations below.


“Many of the comedogenic ingredients in hair products can cause acne.” – Board-certified dermatologist Hope Mitchell

Product Recommendations for Acne-Prone Skin

Here is a list of products that might help acne-prone curlies:

Jemima Price

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