Face masks are a luxurious way to take some time out and treat our skin with extra attention. There’s nothing better than relaxing with a face mask on and feeling good about putting effort into your skin. Yet, how many of us have used a face mask only to wake up with a break out a few days later. We suspect the face mask, but how could something designed to help your skin hurt it by causing a breakout?

Some ingredients shouldn’t be in face masks, yet companies often include them to offer a particular texture, color, or fragrance that increases the user experience at the moment. Unfortunately, there are very few people who will accept a break out in return for a pleasant fragrance during their 3-minute face mask. You must watch your face masks and defend your skin on your own, so here are the typical ingredients in a face mask that can spur a breakout.

  1. Synthetic Fragrance: Many face masks that claim to have ingredients that would normally have their own natural fragrance, like coconut or lavender, will include synthetic fragrance to increase the potency of that smell, making it seem like the face mask is “stronger.” However, the price to pay for a pretty fragrance is usually a breakout. This ingredient will have neutral effects on your skin and cause havoc at worst.
  2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: We often find this ingredient in cleansers and hair care products but could make its way into your face mask too. It’s a harsh ingredient that will increase your likelihood of having a breakout and can also cause general irritation, a particular concern for those with sensitive skin or conditions like rosacea.
  3. Dyes: Any color additives in your face mask is an unnecessary and risky addition. Though they might be labeled differently, dyes are often noted on the ingredients list as D & C Red #21, for example. These dyes are comedogenic, likely to clog your pores, and have also been noted for adverse health effects.

When you buy a face mask, your goal is to help your skin, not hurt it. Unfortunately, not every ingredient in a face mask does that. By avoiding these major breakout causing ingredients, you can choose face masks that are more friend than foe.