Satirically, the very same products we rely on to keep our skin looking its best could be doing our pores a big disfavor. Using the wrong makeup or cream could actually put emphasis on the pimples that we are trying so hard to hide.

Caring for acne-prone skin requires some careful cosmetic steps, like reading labels to find products that won’t clog your pores and lead to more breakouts.

There are breakouts so bad that makes a grown woman, literally want to hide under a blanket. The cause of such breakouts are usually working stress, late nights, junk food, insatiable sweet tooth, not drinking enough water, etc…

Makeup for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin

Makeup products formulated especially for oily and acne-prone skin can help prevent skin irritation and mask breakouts. It’s important to use the right makeup that contains ingredients that can help alleviate acne issues, and won’t irritate your skin in the process.

Ideally, makeup sits on the surface of the skin for hours at a time, and the correct formulation is crucial to preventing excessive occlusion of the skin’s surface.

Some makeup products include the acne-fighting ingredients, such as antimicrobial peptides, vitamin A derivatives, and rosewater. These ingredients can help relieve the primary factors like bacteria, congestion, and inflammation associated with acne.

What to Look for in Makeup for Acne-Prone Skin

There are key factors you might want to consider before trying a makeup formulated for an oily or acne-prone skin.

Non-Comedogenic Or Oil-Free Label

Before choosing makeup for acne-prone skin, you might want to read the label of such products first. The American Academy of Dermatology advises that you use makeup products that have “oil-free and “non-comedogenic on their packaging to avoid clogged pores and skin irritation.

Important Ingredients

Some makeup products for acne-prone skin are formulated with ingredients such as salicylic acid; hyaluronic acid, minerals, and sulfur that can help minimize stubborn breakouts and skin irritation.

“Salicylic acid breaks up the dead skin cells in the pores to unclog pores, and hyaluronic acid can help moisturize the skin. “Minerals (such as titanium dioxide) have SPF properties that block ultraviolet UV radiation, and sulfur is anti-inflammatory in nature; helpful for people with acne.

Ingredients to Avoid

Some popular makeup products can irritate acne-prone skin, and you should avoid certain makeup ingredients, such as Cetearyl alcohol and silicone derivatives, that can trigger acne issues.

Many of the additive ingredients used in traditional makeup can cause significant congestion and clogging of pores, and certain types of alcohols in makeup such as Cetearyl alcohol and oleyl alcohol are occlusive.

Additionally, ingredients such as lanolin, silicone derivatives (like dimethicone and siloxanes), and petroleum derivatives are highly problematic for acne-prone skin.

While considering makeup for oily and acne-prone skin, it’s also helpful to reassess your skincare regimen with your dermatologist, as some people have acne resistant to standard treatments.

Thus, it’s important to consult your dermatologist to ensure every product or ingredient that touches the skin is safe and not triggering your acne.


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Does Some Makeup Cause Acne?

First, we need to become familiar with acne, pimples, blackheads, and inflamed bumps that we hate so much. These are actually clogged hair follicles that occur when pores (tiny little openings at the top of hair of our hair follicles) get plugged with sebum (oil) and dead skin.

Acne appears in many different shapes and sizes, but the root of its cause is a clogged hair follicle. As the clogged pores become red, inflamed, filled with pus, or infected, pressure on the surrounding cells increases as the buildup continues to grow.

With enough pressure, the sides of the pore can rupture, and as the contents of the pore leak into the surrounding cells and spread bacteria, the affected skin becomes infected, creating that red bump we know as a pimple or inflammatory papule.

While the leading causes of acne are mostly physiological factors, lifestyle reasons, such as the use of makeup can as well, contribute to breakouts. Any non-cleansing product, whether its makeup, sunscreen, or even the dirt on your hands applied to the skin has the potential to clog the pores.

Acne caused by products on the skin is referred to as “acne cosmetic”, and can generally appear like a rash, in the form of tiny red or pink bumps. The oil-prone areas of the face, such as the forehead, chin, and nose, are especially susceptible to acne cosmetic, as they more irritated by the additional oil provided by makeup.

Makeup varies tremendously between brands in terms of quality and ingredients, but using the wrong makeup product can certainly aggravate breakouts.

How To Avoid Acne Caused By Makeup?

The best approach to stave off acne that’s caused by makeup includes:

  • Purchase cosmetic products that are labeled “non-comedogenic”. Non-comedogenic products are less likely to clog pores, which can thereby reduce the buildup of sebum and bacteria that cause acne.
  • If you can’t find non-comedogenic products, be sure to at least avoid the ingredients mentioned earlier that are known to aggravate breakout.
  • be diligent to avoid common makeup mistakes that lead to breakouts
  • Avoid using dirty brushes, in order to reduce the amount of acne-causing bacteria on your face. Be sure to regularly clean all of your brushes and applicators. Makeup bags are soiled places, and storing your brushes in there can lead to some serious contamination. Separate your tools (brushes) if possible.
  • Avoid applying makeup with dirty hands. However, if you prefer to skip the blotters and blenders that breed bacteria by applying makeup with your hands, then be sure to wash your hands every time to prevent spreading dirt from your hands onto your face.
  • Do not ignore allergic reactions, as the acne you experienced after using a certain product could actually be an allergic reaction to a specific ingredient. Ensure to read your labels and keep track of your flare-ups to identify any possible allergens.
  • Avoid going to bed with makeup on. Sleeping in your makeup increases the chance of the product settling into your skin, and resulting in breakouts and enlarged pores.

Finally, when shopping for makeup, avoid products whose formulas contain:

  • Fragrances and dyes (contain strong chemicals that can be especially irritating to sensitive or acne-prone skin),
  • Alcohols (extremely drying compound and can lead to dehydration and irritation),
  • Acrylics (same as putting plastic on your skin),
  • Parabens (cause acne by interfering with our endocrine system and triggering a hormonal flare-up), and
  • Silicones (contribute to dry skin and clogged pores, which can cause acne).
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