It’s not a misunderstood or misspelled question and no, it’s not a silly suspicion too. In reality, your shampoo can lead to an acne breakout. Numerous women complain about acne breakouts on their hairline, neck, back, and shoulders. Often, the epic shampoo that works wonders on your hair is directly responsible for pimples.

In fact, an occasional zit or an acne breakout that occurs due to hair product(s) is called Pomade Acne. Not all shampoos lead to the formation of a pimple though. Only some of these can lead to acne. You can either change your shampoo or you can simply change the way you shampoo.

Why does your shampoo cause acne?

Shampoos that are rich in oils often result in acne. As you rinse your hair the shampoo makes contact with your skin. Consequently, the oil in the hair product traps acne-causing bacteria or clogs your pores, which is directly related to an acne breakout. Coconut-based shampoos are particularly responsible for clogged pores.

Fabian Lliguin, founder of Rahua Beauty elaborated the role of shampoo in causing acne as she talked to Teen Vogue. She said, “Oil-based products tend to trap the most bacteria and create a breeding ground for acne. Ingredients like petroleum, silicones, jojoba oil, and shea butter could be causing the occasional zit.”

She also informs that an over-saturated chemical pool also causes acne. Lliguin adds, “The most common breakouts are due to the build-up of chemicals applied on the skin or scalp over time… The second is due to allergies, and the third is incorrect regimen for skin or scalp type.”

What should you do?

Here is what you can do to deal with pomade acne:

Change the way you shower

Dr. Rachael Eckel, cosmetic dermatologist explains that you can change the way you shower your hair. You can start by rinsing and washing your hair as you begin to shower. Shampoo and condition and follow them by immediate rinsing.

Next, tie your hair and wash your body and face to get rid of any left behind oil from the shampoo.

Keeping pro-clogging ingredients at bay

You can also try to use shampoos that are not oil based. Or skim read the ingredient list of the shampoo before adding it to your cart. As a rule of thumb, keep away from shampoos that contain shea butter, silicones, and petroleum. Dr. Annie Chiu, a dermatologist and the director of The Derm Institute in Hermosa Beach, Calif adds to the list.

She suggests that you leave out panthenol. Chiu says, “It is a popular ingredient for providing strength to the hair, but it needs to be combined with heavy oil-soluble ingredients.” This means you should maintain a safe distance from this ingredient in your shampoo.

Protect your face while you nap

Oil and residue from your hair and hair products ends up on your pillow. This can multiply the odds of a breakout. So, change your pillowcases often to prevent your face from making contact with the residue that collects on the pillow cover. Also, try to put your hair up before bed.

Exercise caution while using hair products

Be very careful when you style your hair. Make sure that the product does not accidentally transfer from your hands to your face. Use a toner that is alcohol-free or a damp washcloth to remove any excess product that you get on your skin.

Use face-safe hair washing products

Try to get your hands on shampoos and conditioners that are safe for your skin. For instance, try the Therapeutic Shampoo by Neutrogena. It is particularly designed to fight pimples, which is why it is infused with salicylic acid.

You can also try the fragrance and oil-free shampoo called Magick Botanicals. It is a great pick for a super sensitive skin.