The 20 Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Acne-Prone Skin (2020)

Acne is a struggle for many.

In the course of finding that effective product to solve your skin woes, you’d usually gravitate to pick one that’s expensive because it makes you think that it “must” work.

However, acne has several causes, and whatever triggers it varies from one person to another.

Some may have acne breakouts because of food intake, stress, genetics, or simply because of any reaction to whatever that comes in contact with the skin.

That’s why you should pay attention to whatever products you apply.

Some may seem harmless, but they may be the culprit to your struggles: A perfect example is your daily shampoo and conditioner.

A lot of people may say it’s just shampoo and conditioner.

But, if you would consult dermatologists, one of the questions they’d always ask is if you have changed your shampoo or conditioner recently.

It’s because shampoos and conditioners contain oils and other ingredients that may cause your pores to clog. In effect, you break out.

What to Look for When Choosing Your Shampoo and Conditioner

Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is usually about trial and error. One person may not have any reactions to what he or she is using, but another person may breakout when using the exact product.

Shampoos and conditioners have a lot of unnecessary ingredients added to fill up the bottle or to make it bubble up even more when you use it to make it more affordable. True, essential oils are necessary to keep your mane moisturized and shiny, but the same oils can cause your skin to break out.

Some of the most commonly used ingredients that you should avoid are:

  • Isopropyl myristate
  • Oils except for sunflower oil, safflower oil, and tea tree oil
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Sodium chloride

These ingredients are mostly at the top of the ingredients list. However, most of us don’t even know that these cause skin irritation to those with sensitive skin.

In short, it is safer to choose a shampoo and conditioner that are labeled:

  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Phthalates-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Dye-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Non-comedogenic

Indeed, it is not easy to find a product that can comply with the points mentioned. However, it is good to be aware of what are the components of the products so that it’s easier for you to spot what may have caused you to have irritation.

Top Shampoos and Conditioners for Acne-Prone Skin

Pura D’Or Deep Moisturizing Biotin Conditioner

A lot of people love this conditioner because it has biotin in it, and at the same time, it is safe for acne-prone skin.

It can help thicken your hair without worrying about breakouts.

The oils in this conditioner are hydrating enough, but it won’t make your hair too oily, that it would cause you to break out in your scalp or forehead.

The best part is that it does not contain harmful chemicals, SLS, and parabens.

Neutrogena T/Sal Shampoo

Dermatologists recommend this shampoo not only because of its active ingredient but also because it is free of unnecessary chemicals that may cause pores to clog or irritate the skin.

The main component of this shampoo is the 3% salicylic acid. It is a known treatment for skin conditions such as acne. The good thing about this shampoo is that it can treat and prevent acne from the get-go.

Maple Holistics Pure Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

This tea tree shampoo is paraben-free, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, silicone-free, and made from natural ingredients.

The main ingredient, tea tree oil, is used in many skin care products because it has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

As a component of a shampoo, it helps to clarify your scalp from oils that may cause buildup.

What’s good about it is that it cleanses the hair but doesn’t strip your hair of the natural oils that are required to keep your hair moisturized.

Maple Holistics Biotin Shampoo

If you are searching for a mild shampoo that will help you grow your thinning hair, then this is the answer to your problem.

It is a treatment shampoo that can thicken the hair by stimulating the hair follicles and removes dandruff.

It is paraben-free, sulfate-free, and hypoallergenic. It’s safe for use by those with sensitive skin, and so you know it won’t have residue that will cause you to breakout.

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo

This shampoo is best for those with kinky, curly, and wavy hair, but with sensitive skin. Do note that this shampoo contains coconut oil and hibiscus flower extract.

As long as your skin doesn’t react to these two, then you can have healthy, shiny, frizz-free, and protected hair.

You can feel assured that it’s gentle enough since it is silicone-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalates-free, propylene glycol-free, mineral oil-free, and petrolatum-free.

Puriya Scalp Therapy Shampoo

Removing buildup in the hair is the key to avoiding breakouts. This shampoo’s ingredients are mild enough, but it can effectively clarify the scalp using a blend of herbal extracts from tea tree, sage, rosemary, and arnica.

The best part is that it is free from sulfates, sodium chloride, parabens, and artificial fragrances.

Since it is free from unnecessary ingredients, then you know that what is left is all the good stuff to treat your hair.

Avalon Organics Scalp Treatment Tea Tree Shampoo

Dry scalp and dandruff can cause your scalp to have breakouts. It becomes bothersome when you feel pain while combing your hair because of the bumps on your head.

You can avoid this with the Avalon Organics Tea Tree Shampoo.

It’s free from harmful ingredients such as parabens, preservatives, sulfates, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances.

However, it is still equally competent in clearing your scalp of dandruff and dry skin to prevent future breakouts.

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

This shampoo comes in a set with a conditioner. It is loved by many because of its main ingredient.

The apple cider vinegar has anti-bacterial properties and is known to be acidic and keratolytic, which can help clear out the pores.

Even if it may seem too harsh to apply anything acidic to the hair and scalp, the shampoo itself is hypoallergenic, which is a huge plus to those with sensitive skin.

Tree to Tub Organic Soapberry Shampoo

This soapberry shampoo stays true to its brand. It’s like a shampoo taken fresh from nature, so that’s how raw it gets.

This shampoo contains anti-bacterial and moisturizing ingredients such as organic soapberry, argan oil, aloe vera, chamomile, and olive leaves.

These contribute to the formulation’s pH at 5.5, which is the right acidic level for our hair.

Lastly, it is guaranteed safe because it is free from sulfates, parabens, silicone, perfume, dyes, and DEA/MEA.

Maple Holistics Degrease

Degrease is a shampoo for those with oily hair and scalp. Greasy hair will cause breakouts on the scalp and even on the hairline or other nearby skin.

It is best to keep the oil levels of your scalp at bay but not stripping it of essential oils.

This shampoo has jojoba and peach kernel oil to hydrate your scalp, so it doesn’t produce too much oil to prevent your pores from getting clogged.

Pharmaceuticals Specialties Free & Clear Hair Shampoo

If you’re looking for a dermatologically tested shampoo that is safe for use for people who are suffering from eczema, dermatitis, acne, and other skin and scalp conditions, then try this product. It also has a conditioner to use after the shampoo.

Although the packaging looks like it’s a medicated shampoo, it is not. However, it is proven to remove buildup and residue so that the pores are kept clear. It’s also free from harsh chemicals and is hypoallergenic.

WOW Hair Conditioner

This conditioner comes in a set with the WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo. It is best used together for maximum effect.

This conditioner’s formula has virgin coconut oil and avocado oil. These oils aid in inflammation and have soothing properties.

If used with the shampoo, this will moisturize your scalp. Furthermore, it contains other ingredients like keratin, vitamins E and B5, and saw palmetto extract that helps recover dull hair and keep it strong and healthy.

Pharmaceutical Specialties Free & Clear Hair Conditioner

If you want the best results, you will have to use this conditioner with its shampoo. Like the shampoo, this conditioner is best for people with sensitive skin.

The shampoo works to remove flaking caused by dandruff, and the conditioner works to maintain the right amount of hydration.

It’s popular among dermatologists because it is free of dyes, fragrance, parabens, formaldehyde, and other chemicals, and it is also hypoallergenic.

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Conditioner

Aside from castor oil, this conditioner has shea butter, peppermint, and apple cider vinegar.

All of these ingredients help in keeping the hair moisturized but not make your hair look weighed down.

What this conditioner does best is that it restores your hair and scalp without sulfates.

It means that your hair and scalp stay hydrated, so it doesn’t produce too much oil that could cause breakouts.

Derma-E Scalp Relief Conditioner

You will need this conditioner if you have too much dandruff, dry, and irritated scalp.

Having dry, and flaky scalp can cause breakouts when there is a buildup of oil and residue in the scalp and dirt gets trapped in the pores.

This conditioner contains tea tree oil, menthol, and salicylic acid to remove flakes and stubborn residue.

It also has a blend of herbal extracts to revitalize the scalp, so it stays healthy.

Maple Holistics Pure Tea Tree Oil Conditioner

This conditioner is best when used with the pure tea tree oil shampoo.

The tea tree oil’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties help treat the itchy and dry scalp with its cooling sensation.

What’s good about this conditioner is that it keeps the hair moisturized without being too oily.

You don’t need to fear of acne breakouts. This product complements the shampoo to balance things out.

Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Conditioner

First of all, we love this conditioner because it is free from SLS, parabens, and silicone.

From this alone, you can tell that it doesn’t have the main ingredients that are considered irritants found in other conditioners.

Second, it has tea tree oil, rosemary, peppermint, and eucalyptus.

These herbal ingredients are also found in many skin care products to treat acne, and so you don’t have to worry about breakouts.

L’oreal Paris EverCreme Deep Nourish Sulfate-Free Conditioner

Sulfates can help remove residue to avoid breakouts. However, a lot of the sulfates used in hair products can be too harsh on the scalp and hair that it does more damage than good.

This is why we pick this sulfate-free conditioner because aside from it being able to maintain smooth and silky hair and keeping the hair smell good, it doesn’t make the hair greasy.

Maintaining moisturized hair without being greasy is every girl’s dream.

Tree to Tub Moisturizing Argan Oil Conditioner

Argan oil is an ingredient used in a lot of hair products because of its moisturizing power. It is considered safe for use for people with sensitive skin.

We liked this conditioner because it doesn’t weigh down the hair and the hair’s pH is still at 5.5 even though it’s highly moisturizing.

Another thing to love about this brand is that there are no sulfates, parabens, SLS, silicones, and other harsh chemicals. So if you have sensitive skin, then this will be good for you.

Aveeno Scalp Soothing Rose Water and Chamomile Blend Conditioner

The brand is known for its formulations, which are suited for those with sensitive skin.

There are a lot of things to love about this conditioner. The fact that it is free from sulfates, dyes, and parabens is just icing on top.

It has oats at the top of its ingredient list, so you know that it can soothe any scalp irritations.

The rose water and chamomile makes the hair smooth, soft, and smell good.

Conclusion

Concerning shampoos and conditioners, you would know that they are the culprits of your breakouts when you suddenly have breakouts without applying new skincare products or changing your diet or lifestyle.

Skincare products are great, but prevention is better than cure. Knowing what triggers you to have breakouts is a lot easier than having to apply whatever products on your skin and wait for a long time for it to heal.

Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner that suits you will always be a trial and error kind of thing.

Don’t just listen to what others say about what’s good and what’s not, because what works for others may not work for you, and what works for you may not work for them.

Be aware of the ingredients of the shampoo and the conditioner. The shorter the list, the better. This will also help you track which ingredients may cause your skin irritation or cause it to react.

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