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Do you like the way your beard hair feels? I know; it’s a pretty cushy feeling. But have you ever noticed asmall bumps appearing on your skin after using beard oil? What’s going on? Is there something in the beard oil causing this to happen? Is it happening to other people too?
Well, we have been asked these questions a lot, so we decided to put our investigation suits on and do some digging.
In a nutshell, we found that beard oil can cause acne in some people. But don’t worry! There are ways around this problem. Read on to learn about our findings and see what you can do to prevent beard oil from causing acne.
Table of Contents
What causes acne?
Acne is caused by clogged pores from excess sebum production or dead cells found on the surface of the skin. The pore becomes inflamed and filled with pus, leading to an infection. This inflammation can be triggered by many things such as stress, hormones (both male and female), eating certain foods, and living an unclean lifestyle. And while these are the most common causes, certain external factors can also contribute to acne, such as medications or products you use on your skin. But, can beard oil trigger acne? Let’s look at the most common beard oil ingredients and see if they can cause acne.
Beard oil Ingredients that can cause acne
As we mentioned, acne is caused by clogged pores from excess sebum production and dead cells on your skin’s surface. But there are also some carrier oils in your beard oil that can cause acne.
Comedogenic Carrier Oils
One of the basic ingredients in beard oils is carrier oils. Some of these carrier oils are comedogenic, meaning they tend to clog pores. The word comedogenic comes from the word “comedo”, which is another term for a clogged pore.
There are two types of comedones: open comedones and closed comedones. The difference between them is that the open comedones are blackheads caused by the surface pigment (melanin) that gets collected in the pores and clogs them. This is why they are black.
On the other hand, closed comedones are created when dead skin cells get combined with oil and form a plug of sebum in the hair follicles.
There are other types of comedones, but we will not go through them in this article.
Carrier oils that are comedogenic typically have high concentrations of fatty acids, which cause them to have a thick consistency. They also contain triglycerides (fats), creating an environment where acne can thrive. There is a scale to measure the degree of how comedogenic a carrier oil is. The scale ranges from 0 to 5. 0 means it will not clog pores, and 5, means it will most likely clog pores.
When choosing a carrier oil for your beard oil, you should consider the benefits that the carrier will have on your skin and facial hair while also thinking about whether it can cause you a breakout.
Essential Oils that can cause acne
The other basic ingredient of your beard oil is essential oils. While essential oils are not comedogenic themselves, they can trigger acne breakouts on the skin.
This is because some essential oils have high levels of phenols, a chemical compound that causes irritation and can cause skin breakouts. While phenols have antioxidant properties, they can be irritating to people with sensitive skin and cause acne.
Some oils with a really high concentration of phenol are:
- Oregano Oil (origanum oil)
- Clove bud Oil (eugenia caryophyllus flower oil)
- Thyme Oil(Thymus vulgaris oil)
- Tea Tree Oil (melaleuca alternifolia leaf oil)
- Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus oil)
While these oils are antimicrobial, meaning they kill bacteria and prevent infections, they are also highly irritating to the skin.
You should also avoid citrus essential oils because they are phototoxic, meaning they can cause damage to the skin when exposed to sunlight.
Some citrus essential oils are:
- Orange Oil (Citrus Sinensis oil)
- Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum peel oil)
- Grapefruit Oil (Citrus paradisi oil)
- Bergamot essential Oil (bergamia bergamia fruit oil)
How to choose beard oil if you have acne?
Now that you know the ingredients in beard oils that can cause breakouts, here are some helpful tips on how to choose the right oil for your skin.
If your skin is prone to acne, the first thing to do is avoid carrier oils with a comedogenic rating of 3 and above. This means that soybean, coconut, and avocado oil should be avoided. You can choose grapeseed or hemp seed oil which have a very low comedogenic rating making them suitable for most skin types.
When it comes to essential oils, you should use oils that have beneficial properties but don’t contain phenol or other compounds that can cause acne.
Below there is a list of essential oils that work for acne-prone skin.
The most common essential oils for acne are:
Lavender Oil (lavandula angustifolia) Roman
Lavender oil is good for acne because it has both antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which can help fight off acne-causing bacteria. It is also a very calming oil, making it ideal for people who deal with stress which can cause sebum overproduction.
Sandalwood Oil (santalum album)
Sandalwood oil is another great essential oil for acne because it has antimicrobial properties and fights off bacteria that can cause acne. At the same time, it is very effective against fungus, viruses, and parasites.
Frankincense Oil (Boswellia carterii)
Frankincense oil is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, making it great for reducing acne. It also has antibacterial properties, which will help keep breakouts at bay.
Related Article: 8 Beard Oil Alternatives that Won’t Break The Bank
Does beard oil clog pores?
Not all beard oils clog pores.
This will depend on the carrier oil in your beard mix.
As we mentioned earlier, ingredients with comedogenic ratings of 3 and above are pore-clogging. Carrier oils like coconut oil or grapeseed oil which you see most beard brands use contain comedogenic oils. If the carrier oil in beard oil contains comedogenic ingredients it can clog pores causing acne to occur.
Is Beard Oil Bad For Your Skin?
No by no means beard oil is bad for the skin. You just need to know if it contains comedogenic ingredients or not before using it on your skin. You just need to be careful and know what you are applying to your skin.
Depending on your skin, hair type, and grooming goals you should choose or make a beard oil that contains ingredients that will work best for you.
Thank you for reaching the end of this article. We hope you found it insightful, and the information presented was able to answer your question of “Does beard oil cause acne?”
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below! We will do our best to answer them as soon as possible.
Russell is the founder of themensattitude.com. He is a barber a beard enthusiast and he is obsessed with trying men’s lifestyle products and blog about them. If you have any questions you can hit him up via the contact page.