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Do you like the way your beard hair feels? I know, it’s a pretty cushy feeling. But did you ever notice that after using beard oil for a while, some acne has popped up on your skin? What’s going on here? Is there something in the beard oil causing this to happen and is it really happening to everyone else too?
Well, we decided to investigate.
In a nutshell, beard oil can actually cause acne in some people. But don’t worry! There are ways around this problem. To learn more about how you can take care of your skin and still grow a healthy beard, read below for our findings.
What causes acne?
Acne is caused by clogged pores from excess sebum production or dead cells found at the surface of the skin. The pore becomes inflamed and filled with pus which can lead 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. These are the most common causes but there are some external factors that can contribute to acne as well, such as certain medications or products you use on your skin. So, can beard oil trigger acne? Let’s take a look at the ingredients of beard oil and see if they can cause acne.
Beard oil Ingredients that can cause acne
As we mentioned acne is caused by clogged pores by excess sebum production and dead cells found at the surface of the skin. 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 called comedogenic meaning they have a tendency 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 extractions are blackheads caused by the surface pigment (melanin) that gets collected in the pores and clogged 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 are not going to go through them in this article.
Carrier oils that are comedogenic typically have high concentrations of fatty acids which cause them to be thicker inconsistency. They also contain triglycerides (fats) which create 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 with 0 being no chance of clogging pores and 5 being extremely likely to clog pores.
Because these oils are very thick, they can give beard oil a thicker consistency which is why some people prefer lighter oils such as grapeseed oil. When choosing a carrier oil for your beard oil, you want to consider the benefits that the carrier will have on your skin and facial hair while also considering whether it will cause you to 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 cause irritation which can cause the skin to break out. While phenols have antioxidant properties, they can be irritating to people with sensitive skin.
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 help prevent infection they are also are are are 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 you can choose the right oil for your skin.
The first thing to do if your skin is prone to acne is to avoid carrier oils with a comedogenic rating of 3 and above. This means that avocado oil, soybean oil, and coconut oil should be avoided. You can choose from grapeseed or hemp seed oil which has a very low comedogenic rating making them suitable for most skin types. Grapeseed oil is also light making it easy to absorb into the skin while hemp seed oil is high in anti-inflammatory omega 7 fatty acids which cause your skin to produce less sebum.
When it comes to essential oils, you want to 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 that do not include the ones we mentioned above such as tea tree oil, thyme oil, or oregano oil.
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 will help you fight off acne-causing bacteria. It is also a very calming oil, making it ideal for people who deal with stress which can cause your skin to overproduce sebum.
Sandalwood Oil (santalum album)
Sandalwood oil is another great essential oil for acne because it has also antimicrobial properties to fight off bacteria that can cause acne while also being very effective against fungus, viruses, and parasites.
Frankincense Oil (Boswellia carterii)
Frankincense oil is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which makes 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 that you found it insightful and that the information was able to answer your question, “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.
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