Acne Cosmetica (pimples due to cosmetics)

Acne cosmetica refers to onset of acne (pimples) following the use of skin care, cosmetic or hair care products.

Ingredients capable of causing comedones (white/balckheads) are called ‘comedogenic’.

Comedogenicity must be distinguished from acnegenicity which is the onset of pimples and pustules.

It is not yet fully understood why certain individuals are more prone to comedone formation than others.

Some of the most common comedognic substances in cosmetics are cocoa butter, butyl stearate, corn oil, isopropyl myristate, lanolin, mineral oil, olive oil, paraffin, peanut oil, petrolatum, stearylalcohol.

Most currently used products are tested for comedogenicity using the human back model (product is applied on upper back for 28 days under occlusion).

Acnegenicity is tested by in-use testing (human volunteers with tendency to develop pimples use for 4-8 weeks).

Once you are diagnosed with acne cosmetica, it is imperative you stop the alleged cosmetic.

Sometimes acne is due to puberty, hormonal cause or treatment failure. The onset or aggravation after use of a particular cosmetic/skin care product will confirm acne cosmetica.