Dry Shampoo & Acne: Acne Triggers - Beach Beauty Bar and Acne Clinic

Dry Shampoo & Acne: Acne Triggers

Ever get acne on your scalp after using dry shampoo? You aren’t the only one. When people think of how to improve their skin, the first thing that comes to mind is cleansing and skincare, but what if I told you that how you take care of your hair has a lot to do with your breakouts?

Well it does!

Do you want clear skin?

Believe it or not, there are actually tons of hair mistakes that cause acne. Once you learn these skin-saving hair hacks, you’ll never go back to your old ways. Odds are you probably never made much of connection between your hair and your skin.

The two might seem like they’re at two different ends of the beauty spectrum, but they’re closer than you might think.

What is Dry Shampoo?

Dry shampoo is pretty wonderful. Typically made with a starch component, dry shampoo is used to eliminate and absorb sebum, the scalp’s natural oil that makes hair look greasy after a day (or two, or three) of no washing.

The components of starch absorb the oils to give a grease-free appearance and feel, which is useful when prolonging your blowouts and keeping hair oil-free between washes.

Cornstarch, Kaolin, Talc (which can be problematic for acne-prone skin), Algaes (bad for acne-prone skin), and other ingredients are the essence of dry shampoo.

Does Dry Shampoo Actually Clean Your Hair?

ANSWER: The short answer, no. Dry shampoos should not be a replacement for actual hair cleansing and clarifying with shampoo. Our scalps need the benefit of shampoo cleansing to rid our heads of excess scalp oil.

Dry shampooing has its place, but not indefinitely.

Your hair and scalp needs to be washed and rinsed intermittently to keep it clean. The scalp collects chemicals and pollutants both from the air and from cosmetic hair care products.

If you’ve been relying heavily on dry shampoo to cut down your shower time, we’d recommend only using a natural dry shampoo when you absolutely need it. Otherwise you’re risking damage to your follicles and the potential of dandruff.

Can Dry Shampoo Cause Breakouts and Acne?

ANSWER: Yes. Same deal here. If you aren’t cleansing and clarifying your scalp, there will eventually be a heavy buildup of powder, oil and dead skin cells which can lead to clogged pores, leading to breakouts and irritation on your scalp.

Many hair products are oil based which may trigger acne in those who are already prone but ingredients such as silicone, cocoa butter, sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, castor oil, argan oil, coconut oil, and lanolin can also trigger acne. Especially if left on the skin.

We’re already battling acne on other parts of our body, so let’s eliminate the chance for acne on our scalps and hairline.

Recommended Dry Shampoos

Acne cosmetica is a mild but persistent form of acne triggered by the use of cosmetics. It can occur anywhere on the body but is most common on the face, neck, hairline, and scalp.

Here are a few that we have reviewed and have found to be safe for acne-prone skin.

Shampooing hair is critical to removing the dirt, bacteria and yeast that builds up on the scalp. Repeatedly adding topical products to the scalp, such as oil, clogs pores and creates opportunities for pimples or bacterial infections.

 A Final Thought

The bottom line hearkens back to the adage “Everything in moderation”— dry shampoo included.

Dry shampoos not only build up a residue in your hair that make your scalp feel and appear sandy and grainy, but the products also dry out your hair, making it brittle or fragile. If the hair is dry and there’s no added moisturizing substance, the hair fiber will fracture and you’ll have a headful of broken hair.  

Using dry shampoo forever isn’t an option. But if you’re having a hard time parting with your favorite hair care products – it’s time to check your favs against our Acne Safe Shopping List.

Are you ready to go all in for clear skin? Book your initial consultation today & get started on YOUR clear skin journey!

Cheers to clear!


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