What young girl doesn’t look forward to the day she can start wearing mascara and lipstick? Using makeup is a time-honored rite of passage for teenage girls on the way to adulthood.
If you have acne though, using makeup can be more of a nightmare than a dream. Will it make your complexion look worse instead of better? Will your makeup make your acne problem even worse? Confusion can be enough to make you forego the idea of makeup altogether.
The good news is that acne doesn’t have to stop you from wearing makeup if you need to. As with all other aspects of your skin care program, it takes planning to do it right. Use the following list of tips and advice to understand the do’s and don’ts of using makeup on acne-prone skin.
- Does Makeup Cause Acne
- Preparing Your Skin
- Types of Makeup Products To Look For
- Applying Makeup
- Removing Makeup
Does Makeup Cause Acne?
One of the more difficult questions that usually comes up regarding makeup is whether or not it causes acne. The term acne cosmetica was coined in the 1970s, referring to a form of acne caused or aggravated by makeup that tends to affect your chin and cheek areas.
The development of gentler cosmetics has greatly reduced the incidence of acne cosmetica, but breakouts can still be indirectly caused by makeup use due to poor skin preparation, lack of cleaning or improper application.
Preparing Your Skin
- Always begin by washing your face before applying makeup so dirt and bacteria don’t get trapped.
- Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser and avoid over scrubbing, which can irritate the skin and spread bacteria.
- Don’t forget to use moisturizer. While many people with acne problems mistakenly avoid moisturizers, a good moisturizer is a crucial component of any good acne skin care routine, helping to keep the water content in your skin and avoid drying and peeling.
Types of Makeup Products To Look For
- Look for oil-free, non-irritating skin products that are labeled “non-comedogenic.” This designates that they contain no oil or other ingredients that are likely to clog pores. Avoid any oil-based products such as cocoa butter or mineral oil that can aggravate and worsen acne problems.
- Non-comedogenic is the key for selecting ALL of your makeup products. Try to select hypoallergenic products that are non-irritating that are primarily water-based (listed as the first ingredient). Avoid heavy, greasy products and go with one that lists water as the main ingredient.
- Other mineral-based makeup ingredients to look for include silica, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which both absorb oil and hide redness without irritating skin and causing pimples.
- Primers have gained a lot of popularity for their ability to fill in fine lines, create a smoother skin surface and allow makeup to last longer. Some even contain acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid. Expert opinion is split on the benefit of primers for acne-prone skin. You may want to experiment with a couple of different primer brands and see how they work with your skin.
- Use an oil-free sheer coverage foundation to let your natural skin tone show through. Mineral-based makeup has a natural appearance and it contains zinc oxide, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm irritated skin. Apply foundation lightly with your fingertips. Avoid rubbing your skin too hard or too long. If you use brushes or sponges, be meticulous about keeping them clean to prevent spreading bacteria.
- Don’t use more than one coat of foundation, and don’t apply a thick coat in an attempt to hide breakouts. While it may not feel that way, most of your skin area is blemish-free. Applying multiple layers will cause the clear areas of your complexion to look unnatural.
- If any blemishes are still visible, use a concealer. Dab it on with your ring finger to blend it in with the foundation. For breakouts that are particularly red, apply a green concealer before your regular one to neutralize the color.
- Use powder blush rather than liquid or stick and apply sparingly on your cheekbones.
- Finishing with face powder will help set your makeup. As with primer, though, you may not want an additional layer of product. If you do choose to use powder, stick with loose instead of pressed and apply with a large fluffy brush.
- Removing makeup correctly might be even more important than applying it. Never go to bed with makeup on your face. You should also remove makeup before exercising or any other activity that will make you sweat.
- If any makeup product irritates your skin and becomes red, itchy or swollen, stop using it right away. Contact dermatitis is a fairly common allergic skin reaction that can affect certain people with makeup ingredients.
- Remove your makeup with a gentle pore cleanser and warm water. Follow up with a clarifying gel and acne treatment pads as your treatment plan requires.
- Go without makeup whenever possible to give your skin a break and allow it to breathe.
Creating a makeup routine that works for your complexion involves some trial-and-error, but aren’t you worth the investment?