Acne caused by skin and hair products is incredibly common. Doctors call it acne cosmetica, and luckily there are plenty of easy ways to treat it. Using the best shampoo and conditioner for acne prone skin is a great start.
Table of Contents
Brickell Men’s Shampoo & Conditioner (Our Top Pick)
Oily shampoos can often worsen acne, so men do a double take when I recommend tea tree oil shampoos to treat scalp acne. It’s a special exception. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial benefits, so it actually fights the bacteria causing your scalp acne, rather than clogging your pores. And it has that classic minty smell and tea tree tingle.
Brickell Men’s makes some of the best tea tree shampoo for men. Their all-natural formula ensures that you’re using gentle, effective ingredients against your scalp, sure to prevent breakouts. And the conditioner is formulated with aloe to soothe irritation.
We’ve also named Brickell Men’s best smelling shampoo for men and a great shampoo for smelly scalp. So you can treat that scalp acne while smelling top-notch.
• Thin texture and gentle ingredients won’t clog pores.
• Tea tree oil fights acne-causing bacteria.
• Rich lather.
• Best smelling shampoo to fight acne.
• Not specifically formulated as an acne shampoo.
Dr. Squatch Shampoo & Conditioner
Dr. Squatch is unique. That’s really the best word to describe it. Guys who appreciate the brand aren’t afraid to embrace a new way to shampoo and condition.
The first thing you’ll notice is the gel-like texture. Both bottles are rich with natural ingredients, so they don’t lather like processed hair care products. The scent is one that you have to get used to. Once you rinse it out, it fades to that cool ocean breeze smell, but while you’re using it, it’s strong and almost medicinal.
Ultimately, the real appeal is how healthy your hair will feel in the long-run. It’s great for acne because it totally flips the script on typical shampoos that worsen scalp conditions. It’s one of the best shampoo and conditioner for acne prone skin, period.
• Great for short and thin hair.
• Scalp cleanliness is unmatched with Dr. Squatch.
• Wildly popular among outdoorsy guys.
• The scents are hit or miss for a lot of guys.
• No lather. Natural ingredients give it a gel-like texture.
Billy Jealousy Shampoo
Billy Jealousy’s morning mist shampoo smells and feels exactly like morning mist. It has a thin texture, but a cool and creamy lather, with that sharp earthy tea tree oil scent. It’s best for dry and easily-irritated scalp.
The company was founded in 2004, and they’ve been welcomed into salons and luxury hair care stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Ulta, and more. Despite being picked up by big retailers, Billy Jealousy is still grounded in its environmentally friendly ingredient promise.
• Lives up to the “morning mist” vibes.
• Has earthy tones while still preserving the sharp scent of tea tree oil.
• Great for easily irritated scalp.
• Some guys don’t get the tea tree tingle. It’s lost among the other natural ingredients.
Ursa Major Shampoo & Conditioner
Ursa Major is named after the largest northern constellation, “Great Bear,” and it’s inspired by the founders’ time spent living in the mountains of Vermont. To say it’s a natural shampoo would be an understatement. It’s made with a unique combination of natural ingredients.
Best for oily hair, the shampoo has balsam and macadamia to scent and soften your hair, while the conditioner moisturizes your tangles with jojoba oil and sandalwood. The scent is woodsy but gender-neutral.
To get the most value out of both bottles, use sparingly. Just a small squirt easily covers your whole head, especially if you have short hair.
• Works wonders on oily hair.
• Just a small squirt goes a long way. Use sparingly for a long-lasting bottle set.
• All-natural ingredients inspired by the founders’ “adventure time” living in the mountains of Vermont.
• Not for dry or frizzy hair. Will worsen tangles.
Jack Black Shampoo + Conditioner
Jack Black is a luxury brand with a handful of ardent followers. The guys who like Jack Black really, really like Jack Black. The biggest appeal is the manly scent – warm and herbal, lingers in your hair.
The shampoo and conditioner is relatively high-quality too. It’ll help break down product build-up in your hair, which often causes acne. Most guys enjoy the way it softens their hair, but it works best for short and thin hair.
As odd as it may sound, I’d describe Jack Black as high-quality compared to most shampoos, but on the lower end of the scale among luxury shampoos. It’s a great way to ease into the idea of investing more in your hair.
• Manly herbal scent.
• Best for thin and fine hair. Helps with oiliness.
• Breaks down hair product build-up, which can cause acne.
• Luxury shampoo, but not top-tier among luxury shampoos.
Does Shampoo And Conditioner Affect Acne?
All cosmetic products can affect your acne, including shampoo and conditioner.
The biggest offenders are cosmetics that clog your pores with butters, waxes, and oils. But there are plenty of shampoos and conditioners on the market that just don’t clean your hair well enough, causing acne. Some even irritate your skin.
On the other hand, not using shampoo and conditioner enough can also cause acne. Your scalp collects just as much oil, dead skin, and bacteria as your face. Those are the three key ingredients that form your pimples, and that’s why you sometimes get hard material coming out of your popped pimple. Dead skin doesn’t have a fluid consistency.
So use a thin shampoo that won’t clog your pores, use a shampoo that feels good on your scalp, and use it often enough to keep your hair bacteria- and grease-free.
Can Shampoo And Conditioner Clog Pores?
Shampoo and conditioner can clog your pores, especially if they have thick ingredients. Butters, waxes, oils, petroleum, silicones, and more can form clogged whiteheads.
It’s really a shame because ingredients like shea butter and jojoba oil are amazing for thick, curly, dry hair, but they’re awful for causing scalp acne. It’s a trade off that you have to consider when you wash. (These coconut oil shampoos fall into that camp…but they smell and feel so good.)
Some guys like to switch between a buttery, oily shampoo and a thin, more regular shampoo on a weekly basis to meet both needs. If you’re someone who’s in it for the texture, then you can opt for a shampoo that has a thin consistency, but a thick, bubbly lather.
Other guys actually need a shampoo that treats folliculitis, slightly distinct from acne. They help soothe scalp irritation that leads to redness and acne-like bumps.
If your scalp condition persists even after trying new shampoos, including the ones on this list of best shampoo and conditioner for acne prone skin, you may need to see a dermatologist for more help.