Does Makeup Make Acne Worse?

Breakouts are the worst.

If your conscious brain is anything like mine, and a pimple appears on your face, your initial response may be to conceal it before anybody else notices.

Usually, the simplest approach to get rid of a breakout is to reach for a tube of foundation or concealer, but you’re worried that wearing makeup today could lead you to break out even more tomorrow.

So, does makeup make your acne worse? And, if so, what is the best acne treatment method for concealing your acne?

Continue reading to find out everything they had to say about cosmetics and acne.

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Does Makeup Make Acne Worse?

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What Is Acne Cosmetica?

Acne thought to be caused by makeup was previously referred to as ‘acne cosmetica.’

Acne cosmetica can be caused by any cosmetic product – makeup, cleansers, hair products – and affects areas where cosmetics are most commonly applied, typically the forehead and cheeks.

A 2013 study found that several cosmetic products, including makeup, may cause acne cosmetica.

About Comedogenic Levels

Acne breakouts from cosmetics were assumed to be tied to a product’s comedogenic (pore-clogging) levels.

However, this hypothesis was invalidated as early as 2005, with research revealing that products containing presumably comedogenic ingredients did not always produce breakouts.

According to current studies, too many comedogenic ingredients in one product can cause acne cosmetica, but the most important factors in cosmetics and acne are application and removal.

It is also advised to avoid products containing irritants such as alcohols, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus, camphor, lemon, grapefruit, and lime.

Benefits of Makeup

While more research is needed to determine a link between makeup and acne, the psychological benefits of makeup are evident.

Covering up acne boosts confidence, which reduces stress (a potential trigger for future breakouts), resulting in greater quality of life. While the skin is being treated for acne, makeup can help cover the blemishes.

As oil-based foundations can clog pores, look for mineral-based coverage instead.

Can I Still Wear Makeup If I Have Acne?

Yes, it is still possible to wear make up even if you have acne.

However, it depends on how makeup affects your skin and acne. If the effects of makeup are limited and you are unwilling to give up on facial products, at least be picky about what you buy.

The best way is to use makeup that is labeled “noncomedogenic.”

Noncomedogenic products are less prone to clog pores, which can prevent the buildup of oil and bacteria that causes acne, irritation, and scars.

You should also be on the alert for chemicals that could worsen your acne. Fragrance-containing products may irritate your skin or create an allergic reaction.

It is advisable to look for cosmetics that are labeled “hypoallergenic” and “fragrance free.”

If you are unsure about the effects that specific components may have on your skin type, you can also consult your dermatologist for additional recommendations on how to use makeup that will not interfere with your acne treatment.

Look Into Your Makeup Ingredients

“One of the most important considerations here is ensuring that your cosmetics products aren’t acne-causing culprits,” says David Lortscher, MD, board-certified dermatologist, CEO, and founder of Curology.

In fact, if your makeup isn’t pore-clogging, wearing it for a longer period of time shouldn’t be a problem.

But how can you be certain that your cosmetics will not clog all of your pores? Lortscher claims that it is actually pretty simple.

All you have to do is read the label on the foundation.

“Although it’s not a guarantee,” he explains, “it’s preferable to use only products labeled with terms like ‘noncomedogenic,’ ‘non-acnegenic,’ ‘does not clog pores,’ or ‘won’t trigger outbreaks.”

If you don’t notice a label like this on your favorite makeup product, or if you just want to make sure it won’t trigger breakouts, Lortscher recommends checking out cosDNA.

CosDNA is a website that assigns numerical evaluations to popular products based on their contents.

“I advise discontinuing use of items with acne scores of 3s, 4s, or 5s.”

Best Acne Treatment Products for Makeup Users

Finding the best acne treatment and preventive products for your skin is the greatest solution to conceal pimples.

If you detect a definite link between cosmetics and acne, you may need to avoid makeup and instead use specific acne treatment kits.

The best acne treatment solution is  to clear your skin by removing toxins deep within the pores with benzoyl peroxide and exfoliating the follicle walls with salicylic acid.

You can experiment with a foundation that contains acne-fighting chemicals in its formulation.

Lortscher recommends Bare Minerals’ Blemish Remedy Foundation, which contains salicylic acid and tea tree to help clean up acne.

Just be aware that foundations containing salicylic acid may be excessively drying for some skin types, according to Lortscher.

So, if you’re experiencing new and unwelcome dryness with a salicylic acid formulation, it might be worth switching back to a traditional foundation that doesn’t contain this element.

Tips on Applying and Removing Makeup

Wearing makeup will not likely cause acne, but if the products are outdated or not properly sealed, bacteria might grow and cause your skin to react (cystic acne).

Similarly, if your makeup brush or hands are not clean when you apply it, you may be spreading bacteria across your skin.

Use other disposable applicators, clean your brushes on a regular basis, and never share your brushes.

Improper washing can also result in bacteria building up, entering the pores, and causing breakouts, so a regular skin care routine designed for acne prone skin is essential.

Our Thoughts

Many cosmetic experts will tell you that makeup should be used to highlight your greatest assets rather than conceal your perceived imperfections.

It’s easy to say when your face is a clear, glowing canvas.

However, for those of us who haven’t found the best acne treatment, makeup may appear to be the only option.

Unfortunately, other makeup can worsen acne by causing blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and irritation.

Makeup, like other non-cleansing products applied to the skin, can clog pores.

Oily areas like the forehead, nose, and chin are especially vulnerable, especially when concealers or powders are used to cover them up.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you prevent acne when wearing makeup?

  • These six tips will help prevent makeup from breaking you out.
  • Never Sleep in Your Makeup.
  • Choose Makeup Labeled Noncomedogenic.
  • Clean Your Applicators Frequently.
  • Choose Powder-based Makeup Instead of Liquids.
  • Try Switching Brands.
  • Go Bare Whenever Possible.

What makeup causes acne?

Silicones: You’ll likely find this ingredient in your foundation or concealers, as they’re designed to make your skin feel silky smooth. Unfortunately, silicones contribute to dry skin and clogged pores, which can cause acne

Can makeup help clear acne?

Michele Green, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist, agreed that giving skin a rest from makeup can help reduce and improve breakouts.

“There’s more oxygen that’ll be delivered to your face; your skin will have more time to repair itself and regenerate its elastin and collagen,” says Dr. Green.

Does drinking water help acne?

By drinking more water, you ensure that you won’t suffer from severe pimples and acne. The more hydrated your skin, the less your pores will clog.

What makeup do dermatologists recommend for acne?

Neutrogena Skin Clearing Liquid Makeup

For normal to oily skin types suffering from acne, Neutrogena’s Skin Clearing Liquid Makeup provides a natural and even coverage while fighting breakouts with salicylic acid.

Monica, who thinks most bios are pretty boring, wants to live in a world where dragons exist so she can feel she is Daenerys Targaryen.