Makeup Tips for Acne-Prone Skin

A woman with and without an acne on her forehead

Finding perfect makeup for acne-prone skin is a challenge. However, if you know what to look for and, more importantly, what to avoid, you will be able to get the products that will help you enhance your natural beauty.

The first thing you need to understand before you set out on your cosmetics shopping expedition is that makeup does NOT cause acne. This skin disorder is caused by inflammation that often depends on hormonal imbalance. It’s true, however, that some makeup products (and skincare products in general) may exacerbate the problem in those who possess acne-prone skin. Considering this fact, it really is important to choose your makeup carefully.

“Non-Comedogenic” Is a Myth

The bad news is that you can’t just buy makeup products with a “non-comedogenic” mark on the label as these words don’t really mean anything important. It’s a marketing trick used by manufacturers and nothing else.

The term “comedogenic” was coined after a 1975 study that revolved around applying 5 layers of concentrated pure ingredients on rabbit skin for two weeks in a row. Note that the skin wasn’t cleaned even once during this time. These conditions definitely show that no matter what the result of this study was, it’s a far cry from the effect of applying foundation with a sliver of these ingredients in it will have.

What you need to understand about this study is that it’s true that some ingredients are more prone to clogging pores than others. However, their concentration in cosmetic products isn’t high enough to create any negative effect. Therefore, the term “non-comedogenic” is redundant.

What Makeup Should I Buy?

If “non-comedogenic” isn’t a trustworthy mark, then what is?

The answer to this question comes from understanding the nature of acne. It’s a condition caused by inflammation. Therefore, you should avoid products that cause irritation. Another type of ingredients you should stay away from is waxes as they DO clog pores significantly and their concentration in makeup is high enough to make the effect clearly visible.

Therefore, the most important rule of makeup shopping for acne-prone skin is to avoid all thick and solid products. You shouldn’t buy any cream, pancake, stick, cream-to-powder, or compact concealers, foundations, bronzers, and blushes.

In essence, you shouldn’t try for a “full coverage” effect when applying foundation. Though, we understand that it might be tempting to create a “mask” to cover all the blemishes and tiny scars. This temptation is dangerous as using these products will definitely aggravate your condition, trigger new breakouts, and make your skin even oilier.

The best type of makeup for acne-prone skin is a combination of medium-coverage fluid foundation and full-coverage liquid concealer (applied topically). These products will give your skin a natural healthy look and hide any marks of past breakouts. Fix this kind of makeup with fine powder and you will get your perfect look.

As for bronzers and blushes, it’s best to use powder formulas as liquid products may pool into enlarged pores and draw attention to old acne scars. To learn how to apply blush beautifully, check out this post

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