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As cosmetics and other skin products are applied to the skin they form a covering over the skin’s pores. Some products will generally not go any deeper into the hair follicles and once removed will leave the skin unharmed.

Thicker, oilier products can sometimes make their way inside hair follicles, become stuck and form a blockage, along with the oil flowing outwards from the sebaceous gland and any dead skin cells that may have been inside the follicle. Hair products can also block hair follicles if they rub against the skin, such as hair wax on a fringe rubbing off onto the forehead. These blockages can then develop into forms of acne if they are not broken down, either naturally or by exfoliating, and removed.

To reduce the risk of cosmetics and other skin products causing acne-related blockages you should:

  • Look for products that are labelled non-comedogenic (meaning non pore-blocking)
  • Avoid oily or oil-based products, opting for water-based products instead
  • Choose lighter and thinner products, such as gels