Does Ethylhexyl Palmitate Cause Breakouts On Your Face?

Breakouts can be an absolute nightmare, especially when all your efforts to get rid of your blackheads, whiteheads, and those irritating little bumps don't even get the job done. While you investigate your daily routine in search of the culprit, don't hesitate to ransack your cosmetic product ingredients too, especially if you use them frequently. Oftentimes, your pimply plight could have resulted from substances that buildup on your face over time. These ingredients can cause clogged pores, which ultimately lead to breakouts.

A lot of skincare and makeup brands add ethylhexyl palmitate to their formulas for its smoothening effect to gloss over uneven textures. It is a common solvent that works by ushering the active ingredients into your skin for better penetration. Some of your favorite products contain ethylhexyl palmitate. However, it's been speculated that the nature of the compound could cause it to clog pores. The big question is: Could it be the cause of your breakouts?

Ethylhexyl palmitate clogs pores

On a molecular level, ethylhexyl palmitate is a large hydrocarbon that is classified as a comedogenic ingredient, meaning it can clog pores. Clinical aesthetician and founder of Acne Clinic in San Diego Danielle Gronich shed more light on this ingredient with PureWow, "When an ingredient's molecule size is larger than our natural sebum, they block our pores, causing breakouts to form."

Gronich goes on to explain that about 90% of cosmetic products contain pore-clogging substances, including ethylhexyl palmitate. This is because of its long shelf-life. Companies want to maximize profits so why not? "Ethylhexyl palmitate is [...] most commonly added to the formula as an alternative to silicone," she states.

And if you're thinking that organic products are excluded from the list of perpetrators, you're wrong. They aren't always as innocent as you think, and can still lead to your breaking out in pimples and zits. Gronich recommends staying away from products that contain ethylhexyl palmitate altogether. It has a very high chance of clogging your pores, so don't be tempted to cave in.

Prevent breakouts by cleansing your face, especially at night

One of the best ways to avoid breaking out is by making sure you thoroughly cleanse your face before calling it a day. This is particularly important for those of us with oily faces who use a lot of skincare products and makeup. An effective method you can try is double cleansing. 

Double cleansing comes with a lot of benefits because you are using two types of cleansers: oil-based and water-based. You start off with an oil-based cleanser which will dissolve the oil and product buildup, as well as impurities on your face that cause pore-clogging. After washing all that heavy gunk off, you go back in with a water-based cleanser to finish off the remnants. This cleansing technique is preferred because washing your face just once isn't likely to get all the product off.

Another big help for acne-prone folks is finding alternatives to pore-clogging products and opting for noncomedogenic makeup and skincare products instead.