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Become an Acne Detective


By: Barbara Strickland, Certified-Para Medical Esthetician

You've heard the word before, it's Comedogenic (ko-mead-dee-oh-jen-ick) that means... it causes acne!

And what does irritating mean to you? We all know that relatives can be irritating. And even on some occasions, our closest friends. The IRS is especially irritating. However, we are talking about ingredients that irritate your skin! The hallmarks of skin irritation are...hives, redness, swelling, flaking, peeling, itching and general crabbiness from the above-mentioned conditions. Traffic is irritating...it causes road rage. Irritating ingredients cause skin rage!

Did you know that there are Comedogenic and Irritating ingredients in everyday cosmetics, medications, make up, sun blocks, shaving creams, hair care and skin care products? It's true!

DO THE INGREDIENTS IN YOUR PRODUCTS CAUSE ACNE?
Check the ingredients on your labels on the Sage Advice Database of Comedogenic and Irritating Ingredients (below) to find out if an ingredient is good or bad for your skin!

It is time to talk turkey about Acne. Almost all cosmetic manufacturers tell you that their products are non-comedogenic (non-acne causing) because they want to sell you products. The unsuspecting consumer purchases these products because the labels state that the product is good for you and will help you to get rid of all of the "ZITS", scarring, discoloration, etc. that you have. The sad fact is that as long as these ingredients are used in skin care products, sun blocks, shaving creams, hair products, make up and products to "clear" acne, the longer the individual who uses them will have active acne.

 

THANKS MOM & DAD...

We know that Acne is inherited from your parents. It may be also be worsened or caused (those who did not inherit the gene) by cosmetics, stress, hormonal fluctuations, medications, certain vitamins such as iodine, the sun and by the very products which are supposed to clear or cure the problem.

Here are a few pointers when purchasing anything to use on your acne or for skin care in general:

Make sure that the individual "selling" you the products can pronounce the ingredients listed on the label.
For example: Isopropyl Myristate (ice-oh-pro-pel ma-ris-tate)

Make sure that the individual "selling" you the products can tell you what these ingredients do for and to your skin!
For example: Isopropyl Myristate makes products feel creamy and it causes grade one and grade two cosmetic acne.

Does the individual know the difference between a cosmetic and a drug?
DRUGS
may penetrate the surface of the skin and must be prescribed by a physician unless approved for over the counter sales. For example, Retina is a drug. It penetrates all layers of the skin and it must be prescribed by a physician. However, Hydrocortisone (under 1%) and Benzoyl Peroxide (10% and under) are also drugs, but they may be purchased over the counter. COSMETICS work on the surface of the skin and they do not penetrate all the layers of the skin.


Can this individual explain the structure and function of your skin to you and how particular products will help or hinder your skin type?
For example, an over the counter moisturizer is made of lipids or oils, which cannot penetrate the surface of your skin. It only seals the skin, because lipids or oils do not penetrate, therefore...

-- If you are dry and use a cream moisturizer, your skin will still be dry (dehydrated) underneath and greasy on the surface!
-- If you are oily and use a cream moisturizer, you will still be dry underneath and very greasy on the surface!
-- If you have acne and use a cream moisturizer, you will still be dry underneath, you will be able to slide down the road on your face AND you will have tons of new zits as well!

 

There is one exception to this list! Lanolin Oil
Lanolin Oil confuses many individuals.  Natural Lanolin Oil comes from the wool of a sheep and does not cause acne.   Synthetic Lanolins (man-made) do cause acne and leave you feeling very oily! 

 


INGREDIENTS THAT CAUSE OR EXACERBATE ACNE

Below is a list which we recommend that you use to become an ACNE DETECTIVE and check ingredients yourself, no matter what the label states or implies! You will need to use this list patiently and search for the strange names of the ingredients on your containers. The reward is simple: No More Zits. This list will help you to make informed and intelligent decisions about what you choose to use on your skin. Remember that the first rule of thumb for any consumer is to be informed. Print this list out and take it with you when you shop for products.

If the ingredient is not on the list - it is safe.

         Find out about Sage Acne Try Me Packs

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THE FOLLOWING LIST IS ALPHABETIZED FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE:  

COM = COMEDOGENICITY  IRR = IRRITANCY
Scores are rated as  0 = LOWEST, 5 = WORST
If you have acne, DO NOT use ingredients with a score of 3, 4 or 5

FAMILY

NAME

COM
GRADE

IRR
GRADE

Solvent

Acetone

0    

5    

Lanolins & Derivatives

Acetylated Lanolin

4    

0    

Lanolins & Derivatives

Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol

4    

2    

Botanicals

Algae Extract

5    

4    

Minerals

Algin

4    

4    

Preservatives & Additives

Allantoin

0    

0    

Natural Oils

Almond Oil

2    

0    

Botanicals

Aloe Vera Gel

0    

0    

Miscellaneous

Aminomethylpropionate

0    

0    

Lanolins & Derivatives

Anhydrous Lanolin

0-1    

0    

Natural Oils

Apricot Kernel Oil

2    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Arachidic Acid

2    

0    

Vitamins & Herbs

Ascorbic Acid

0    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Ascorbyl Palmitate

2    

0    

Natural Oils

Avocado Oil

2    

0    

Hydrocarbon

Azulene

2    

0    

Antioxidant

BHA

2    

3    

Waxes

Beeswax

0-2   

0-2    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Behenic Acid

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Behenyl Triglyceride

0    

0    

Clay

Bentonite

0    

0    

Fragrance

Benzaldehyde

2    

2    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Benzoic Acid

2    

3    

Antioxidant

Beta Carotene

1    

0    

Vitamins & Herbs

Black Walnut Extract

0    

0    

Proteins & Enzymes

Bromelain

0    

0    

Natural Oils

Bubussa Oil

1    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Butyl Stearate

3    

0    

Antioxidant

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)

2    

3    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Butylene Glycol

1    

0    

Natural Oils

Cajeput Oil

2    

4    

Botanicals

Calendula

1    

0    

Natural Oils

Camphor

2    

2    

Waxes

Candelilla Wax

1    

1    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Capric Acid

2    

2    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Caprylic Acid

1    

3    

Miscellaneous

Carbomer

0    

1    

Thickeners & Emulsifiers

Carbomer 940

1    

0    

Sodium

Carboxypropylcellulose

1    

0    

Pigments

Carmine

0    

0    

Waxes

Carnuba Wax

1    

1    

Antioxidant

Carotene

1    

0    

Botanicals

Carrageenan

5    

2    

Natural Oils

Castor Oil

1    

0    

Waxes

Ceresin Wax

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Cetearyl Alcohol 

2   

1   

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Cetearyl Alcohol + Ceteareth 20

4    

1    

Lanolins & Derivatives

Cetyl Acetate

4    

0-3    

Alcohols Sugars & Derivatives

Cetyl Alcohol

2    

2    

Botanicals

Chamomile

2    

0    

Botanicals

Chamomile Extract

0   

0   

Natural Oils

Chaulomoogra Oil

1    

0    

Sterols

Cholesterol

0    

0    

Sterols

Choleth 24

0    

0    

Pigments

Chromium Hydroxide

0    

0    

Natural Oils

Cocoa Butter

4    

0    

Natural Oils

Coconut Butter

4    

0    

Natural Oils

Coconut Oil

4    

1    

Botanicals

Cold Pressed Aloe Vera

0    

0    

Minerals

Colloidal Sulfur

3    

4    

Natural Oils

Corn Oil

2    

0    

Natural Oils

Cotton Awws Oil

3    

0    

Natural Oils

Cotton Seed Oil

3    

0-5   

Natural Oils

Crisco

3    

0    

Silicones

Cyclomethicone

0    

0    

Pigments

D & C Red # 17

3    

0    

Pigment - banned by FDA

D & C Red # 19

2    

0    

Pigments

D & C Red # 21

3    

0    

Pigments

D & C Red # 3

3    

0    

Pigments

D & C Red # 30

3    

0    

Pigments

D & C Red # 33

1    

0    

Pigments

D & C Red # 36

3    

0    

Pigments

D & C Red # 4

1    

0    

Pigments

D & C Red # 6

1    

0    

Pigments

D & C Red # 7

1    

0    

Pigments

D & C Red # 9

1    

0    

Pigments

D&C Red #27

2    

0    

Pigments

D&C Red #40

2    

2    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Decyl Oleate

3    

0    

Miscellaneous

Deionized Water

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Diethylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether

0    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Diisopropyl Adipate

0    

0    

Silicones

Dimethicone

1    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate

0    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Dioctyl Succinate

3    

2    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Disodium Monooleamido PEG 2-Sulfosuccinate

4    

2    

Waxes

Emulsifying Wax NF

0-2  

0-2  

Preservatives

Ethyl Paraben

0    

0    

Lanolins & Derivatives

Ethoxylated Lanolin

3    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Ethyl Ether

0    

0    

Miscellaneous

Ethylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Ethylene Glycol Monostearate

0    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Ethylhexyl Palmitate

4    

0    

Natural Oils

Evening Primrose Oil

2    

2    

Minerals

Flowers of Sulfur

0    

3    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Glycerin

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Glyceryl Stearate NSE

1    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Glyceryl Stearate SE

3    

2    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Glyceryl Tricapylo/Caprate

1    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Glyceryl-3-Diisostearate

4    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Hexadecyl Alcohol

5    

2    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Hexylene Glycol

2    

1    

Preservatives

Hydantoin

0    

0    

Natural Oils

Hydrogenated Castor Oil

1    

0    

Natural Oils

Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

3    

0-1   

Natural Oils

Hydrolyzed Animal Protein

0    

0    

Thickeners & Emulsifiers

Hydroxypropylcellulose

1    

0    

Pigments

Iron Oxide

0    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Isocetyl Alcohol

4    

4    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Isocetyl Stearate

5    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Isodecyl Oleate

4    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Isopropyl Alcohol

0    

4    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Isopropyl Isostearate

5    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Isopropyl Linolate

5    

0-3    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Isopropyl Myristate

5    

3    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Isopropyl Palmitate

4    

1    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Isostearyl Isostearate

4    

1    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Isostearyl Neopentanoate

3    

3    

Waxes

Jojoba Oil

0-2    

0-2    

Thickeners

Kaolin

0   

0   

Lanolins & Derivatives

Lanolin Alcohol

0-2    

0    

Lanolins & Derivatives

Lanolin Oil

1    

0    

Waxes

Lanolin Wax

1    

1    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Laureth 23

3    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Laureth 4

5    

4    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Lauric Acid

4    

1    

Miscellaneous

Lithium Stearate

1    

0    

Thickeners

Magneseium Aluminum Silicate

0    

0    

Miscellaneous

Magnesium Stearate

1    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Menthyl Anthranilate

0    

0    

Preservatives

Methyl Paraben

0    

0    

Natural Oils

Mineral Oil

0    

0    

Natural Oils

Mink Oil

3    

1    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Myristic Acid

3    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Myristyl Lactate

4    

2    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Myristyl Myristate

5    

2    

Miscellaneous

Octyl Dimethyl PABA

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Octyl Methoxycinnimate

0    

0    

Miscellaneous

Octyl Palmitate

4   

1   

Miscellaneous

Octyl Salicylate

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Octyl Stearate

5    

5    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Octyldodecyl Stearate

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Oleth-3

5   

2   

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Oleth-10

2   

1   

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Oleyl Alcohol

4    

2    

Natural Oils

Olive Oil

2    

0    

Miscellaneous

Oxybenzone

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

PEG 40 Castor Oil

0   

0   

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

PEG 100 Distearate

2    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

PEG 100 Stearate

1    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

PEG 150 Distearate

2    

0    

Lanolins & Derivatives

PEG 16 Lanolin

4    

3    

Alcohols Sugars & Derivatives

PEG 20 Stearate

1    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

PEG 200 Dilaurate

3    

2    

Sterols

PEG 5 Soya Sterol

0     

0    

Sterols

PEG 10 Soya Sterol

0   

1   

Lanolins & Derivatives

PEG 75 Lanolin

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

PEG 8 Stearate

3    

1    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

PG Caprylate/Caprate

1    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

PG Dipelargonate

2    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

PG Monostearate

3    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

PPG 2 Myristyl Propionate

4    

3    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

PPG 30 Cety Ester

0   

0   

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Palmitic Acid

2    

0    

Vitamins & Herbs

Panthenol

0   

0   

Proteins & Enzymes

Papain

0    

0-3    

Natural Oils

Peanut Oil

2    

0-2    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Pentarythrital Tetra Capra/Caprylate

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Pentarythrital Tetra Isostearate

2    

0    

Natural Oils

Petrolatum

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

PG Dicaprylate/Caprate

1   

0   

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

PG Dipelargonate

2   

2   

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG 400)

1    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Polyethylene Glycol 300

1    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Polyglyceryl-3-Diisostearate

4    

0    

Alcohol, Ester

Polysorbate 20

0    

0    

Alcohol, Ester

Polysorbate 80

0   

0   

Minerals

Potassium Chloride

5    

0-3    

Minerals

Precipitated Sulfur

0    

0-2    

Preservatives & Additives

Propyl Paraben

0   

0   

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Propylene Glycol

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Propylene Glycol Monostearate

4    

0    

Botanicals

Red Algae

5    

2    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

SD Alcohol 40

0    

5    

Natural Oils

Safflower Oil

0    

0    

Natural Oils

Sandelwood Seed Oil

2    

0    

Natural Oils

Sesame Oil

2    

0    

Oils

Shark Liver Oil

3    

2    

Miscellaneous

Simethicone

1    

0    

Minerals

Sodium Chloride (Salt)

5    

0-3    

Preservatives & Additives

Sodium Hyaluronate

0    

0    

Detergents

Sodium Laureth Sulfate

3    

2    

Detergents

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

5    

2    

Miscellaneous

Sodium PCA

0    

0    

Lanolins & Derivatives

Solulan 16

4    

3    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Sorbitan Laurate

1    

1    

Thickeners & Emulsifiers

Sorbitan Oleate

3    

0    

Alcohols Sugars & Derivatives

Sorbitan Sesquinoleate

0    

0    

Alcohols Sugars & Derivatives

Sorbitan Stearate

0    

1    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Sorbitol

0    

0    

Sterols

Soya Sterol

0    

0    

Natural Oils

Soybean Oil

3    

0    

Natural Oils

Squalane

1    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Steareth 10

4    

3    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Steareth 100

0    

0    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Steareth 2

2    

2    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Steareth 20

2    

1    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Stearic Acid

2    

0    

Miscellaneous

Stearic Acid Tea

3    

2    

Alcohols Sugars & Derivatives

Stearyl Alcohol

2    

2    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Stearyl Heptanoate

4   

0   

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Sterol Esters

0    

0    

Natural Oils

Sulfated Castor Oil

3    

2    

Waxes

Sulfated Jojoba Oil

3    

2    

Natural Oils

Sunflower Oil

0    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Syearyl Heptanoate

4    

0    

Minerals

Talc

1    

0    

Pigments

Titanium Dioxide

0    

0    

Vitamins & Herbs

Tocopheryl Acetate

0    

0    

Fatty Acids & Derivatives

Tridectyl Neopentanoate

0    

3    

Miscellaneous

Triethanolamine

2    

0    

Pigments

Ultramarine Violet

0    

0    

Vitamins & Herbs

Vitamin A Palmitate

2    

1    

Alcohols, Esters, Ethers & Sugars

Wheat Germ Glyceride

3    

2    

Natural Oils

Wheat Germ Oil

5    

2    

Miscellaneous

Xylene

4    

3    

Astringent

Zinc Oxide

1    

0    

Minerals

Zinc Stearate

0    

0    

Barbara Strickland 1998-2013. This information is published and may not be reprinted.

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