How to Moisturize Without Causing Blackheads

by Stephanie Mitchell ; Updated September 28, 2017

Many acne-sufferers fear that applying anything to their skin -- makeup, sunscreen or moisturizer -- can cause breakouts and blackheads. However, their fears are unfounded. Using face products does not, in itself, cause blackheads, but some ingredients in face products do. The key to moisturizing without increasing your acne is to buy the right product. With a little research and attention, you can be a savvy shopper and bring home products that will protect your skin without causing blackheads.

Research comedogenic, or acne-causing, chemicals used in skin products. Print out a list and bring it with you when you shop for moisturizers. Comedogenic ingredients commonly used in skin products include cetyl acetate, cocoa butter, sorbitan oleate and coconut oil.

Check the ingredients in each product you consider against your list. If the product does not include any of the acne-causing chemicals, it shouldn't cause blackheads. Particularly avoid oil-based moisturizers.

Look for moisturizers that contain salicylic acid. Also look for products that claim on their labels to fight or prevent acne. Choose these products when possible.

Wash your face first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and moisturize immediately afterward.


  • Natural lanolin oil is the exception to the rule against oil ingredients. Natural lanolin oil does not cause acne. Synthetic lanolin oil does.

    Preserving your skin's moisture is an essential part of fighting acne, so don't hesitate to moisturize out of fear that it will cause blackheads.

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About the Author

Stephanie Mitchell is a professional writer who has authored websites and articles for real estate agents, self-help coaches and casting directors. Mitchell also regularly edits websites, business correspondence, resumes and full-length manuscripts. She graduated from Syracuse University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theater.