Woman applying something on her acne

Cosmetic Conundrum: Is It Safe to Put Makeup on Acne?

When you have an acne breakout, your first instinct may be to cover it up with foundation or concealer – but is that the best thing that you can do for your skin in the long run? Is it safe to put makeup on pimples?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, yes, you can wear makeup even if you’re breaking out. You just have to be careful about it because some cosmetics can cause acne cosmetica, a mild form of acne that comes in the form of small bumps on your face, neck, hairline, and scalp. It can make your skin look and feel rough. Generally, though, there is very little to almost no inflammation.

Acne cosmetica can take up to six months to appear, which makes it difficult to notice a connection between the bumps and the makeup that’s causing them. As the new pimples form, you may continue covering them up using the very same makeup that made them appear in the first place, creating a frustrating cycle of breakouts.

Don’t let that scare you, though – you can still wear cosmetics and have clear skin. You just have to follow these tips:

Choose the Right Cosmetics

To clear acne, whether it is caused by acne cosmetica or not, you have to choose your makeup carefully. There is plenty of acne-safe makeup available on the market today. You should also choose oil-free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic cosmetics since these are less likely to cause pore blockage.

Don’t Go to Bed with Makeup On

Make sure that you wash off your makeup every night before you go to sleep. Cleansing your face at night not only removes makeup but also excess oil, sweat, and dirt. Use a cleanser that is mild and oil-free. Remember not to scrub your face – only use your fingertips to gently apply the cleanser and rinse it off.

makeup set

Regularly Clean Your Makeup Brushes

If you share your makeup brushes and applicators, acne-causing bacteria, dead skin cells, oil, and dirt from other people’s faces can stick to them. These irritants can spread to your skin, causing a breakout. If you don’t share your brushes, you should still keep them clean so that you don’t make your acne worse.

Address the Main Cause of Your Acne

Aside from acne cosmetica, there are three main causes of acne: a proliferation of acne-causing bacteria, overactive oil glands, and dead skin cells not being shed properly. These factors are genetic; if one of them is the root cause of your acne, it doesn’t matter whether you wear makeup or not.

Start an Acne Treatment

Acne cosmetica will clear shortly after you stop using the cosmetics that are causing it. However, if you still have pimples, you need to start a dermatologist-approved acne treatment. Most acne treatment medication can even be worn under makeup.

No matter the cause of your acne, you can still wear makeup. Just make sure that it is specially formulated for your sensitive, acne-prone skin, and that you prioritize treating the main cause of your breakouts.

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