You could say this one is near and dear to me, pretty close to my heart. After trying for years to get rid of my acne through every cream, supplement, and yes, even prescriptions. But those horrible little zits just kept popping up. Some of these helped to a point. When my acne would come back it wasn’t as bad but nevertheless it was still there.
But what if there was another cause that was so often ignored it was almost hidden? It’s something we use almost every day to cover up our imperfections from the world and make us look our best in public. It’s called many things: makeup, cover up, foundation, concealer, or a formula to “even out your skin tone.” (1)
Many suffer from acne cosmetica, known in plain English as breakouts directly linked to the use of cosmetics. One study done in Brazil found that 45% of women sampled had skin diseases and 14% had active acne lesions due caused by the inappropriate use of cosmetics. (2)
Unfortunately, acne brought about by makeup can take weeks or months to notice. Acne sufferers use it as a temporary tool to mask their skin problem while taking supplements and using other products to get attempt to clear acne. They end up going in circles wondering why despite their hardest efforts, there are little improvements.
Makeup isn’t always a bad thing and you don’t have to can your cosmetics forever. However, different brands of makeup such as Clinique’s Acne Solutions, Physicians Formula, and Bare Minerals have exploded in the last few years promising the same results of makeup without the negative side effects. However, many of these products can often feels dry and sticky and may not apply very smoothly. Some may also fail to provide the heavier coverage many of us need and even can lead to itchiness. But, everyone’s skin is different and it’s best you test products out for yourselves that fit your budget. You can try them on a small area first. Over the course of a few days notice what happens and see how your skin reacts. There are many acne regimen guides on the web easily available to you!
Another ingredient that has become popular and even found in many new cosmetic products such as cover ups, etc… is salicylic acid as an active ingredient. Salicylic acid has has been studied to “reduced the number of primary lesions and thereby the number and severity of all lesions associated with acne.”(3)
Some essential tips for putting on makeup are:
Applying primer. Make sure it’s oil free, fragrance free, and very light. This will prevent unnecessary clogging of the pores. Make sure your skin is cleansed and exfoliated; it is also not advisable to put on creams underneath. Even with the lightest makeup the mix of chemicals (and sweat) can cause irritation. (1)
Concealers can use first or second depending on the type of acne you’re trying to cover. For pustules and whiteheads use it first. For blackheads and cystic acne use it after you apply foundation. Avoid heavy ones and make sure when you buy it you match it with your foundation or let it be a shade darker than your skin. (1)
Pressed powders work best with mineral makeup for heavier coverage, and should be avoided on top of cream based foundation. Make sure they’re fragrance free not lighter than your skin tone or wash you out (1).
Apply powder blush versus a creamy formula should be applied on the apples of your cheeks. (1)
Smoothly apply a bronzer but be mindful of the ingredients. Check the label for bismuth oxychloride known to cause skin irritation. Other irritating ingredients: cocoa butter, isopropyl isostearate, soybean oil, stearic acid. (1)
Lastly, to remove heavy makeup wash it off with a soft cleanser good for sensitive and acne prone skin. Cetaphil is the most basic drugstore brand that is great for this but the right formula can vary from person to person. Consult your dermatologist. Eye makeup should be rinsed off with an oil free makeup remover; avoid oils of any kinds even natural ones as this can cause irritations and small breakouts around the eye area! (1)
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