February 17, 2016


The only miracle about “it’s a 10”, a popular “leave-in” hair product, is how often the answer is “yes” when I ask my new ACNE patients if they use this product. This brings me to discuss the acne epidemic caused by this product and many like it, such as biosilk or anti-frizz serums and oils. 

“It’s a 10” is a hair product that is used to control frizz, add shine, and detangle. However, when it’s left in the hair and touches the face throughout the day or overnight, this greasy product sits on the skin, clogs pores, and causes acne breakouts. Breakouts from hair products are often localized on the cheeks and jaw where hair touches the face.

As a general rule in skincare and body care, most products work well for what they are made to do, but when misused, they can cause mishaps. You wouldn’t moisturize your face with your hair conditioner, would you? It seems obvious that this could cause some skin issues; however, most people will not think to correlate their acne breakouts with their skincare products until we mention it.

The only way to eliminate acne caused by hair products is to eliminate the hair product from your routine entirely. However, if you can’t live without the hair product, here are some tips to reduce breakouts:
  • Wear your hair up to avoid prolonged contact of your hair with your face, particularly to sleep
  •  Identify the culprits! Gel, detanglers, heat protectors, leave in conditioner, and Moroccan oil are just a few examples of products that can make acne breakouts worse. Consider what products you use on a daily basis, especially ones that are thick or greasy.
  • Pillowcases: Regardless of the fabric, pillowcases trap oil, dirt, and bacteria. Try changing your pillowcase more often (every 2-3 days), especially if you’re a side sleeper.
  • Shower at night and sleep with clean area.
Hair products are not the only everyday products that could be contributing to your acne. Here are some other tips:  
  • Cell phones and laptops: Your fingers house a lot of bacteria. Clean your electronics daily using a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.
  • Medications: Allergy nasal sprays and inhalers can cause acne as a side effect because of the corticosteroid component. Oral contraceptives and IUDs can cause breakouts of hormonal acne.
  • Sunscreen: Look for sunscreens that are light and “noncomedogenic” (meaning that they should not clog pores). We recommend Elta MD SPF 46 for acne prone skin.
  • Exercise: Exercise is great way to relieve stress, increase the delivery of oxygen to your skin cells, and speed up the disposal of cellular waste. It’s important to note that sweating from exercise can also cause breakouts, so it’s important to wash your body ASAP after a sweat-breaking workout.

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