Is it Bad to Cover Acne With Makeup

Is it Bad to Cover Acne With Makeup

What’s the right way to cover zits with makeup? Covering up any pimples with the most full coverage foundation and concealer is the knee-jerk reaction for most of us, right? I mean, covering them up just makes them look like they’re not there anymore…

Or, at least that’s what the effect is supposed to be. In reality, it can often look very obvious when someone is trying—and failing—to cover up acne. Luckily, there is a right way to cover up acne with makeup!

However, makeup and acne are a combination that needs to be taken seriously—trying to cover up acne with makeup could be making it worse in some cases. Called acne cosmetica by skin care professionals, it usually manifests as smaller pimples in specific areas of the face. For example, pimples around the lip area could be signs of the lipstick being the culprit.

Either way, there’s been a supposed link between makeup and acne for a very long time—but is it really true that makeup just makes acne spring out of nowhere? Let’s find out.

Does Makeup Cause Acne?

This is a yes and no question. There are specific situations where makeup could cause acne—but there are usually other factors involved. These are some of the most common causes of makeup-related acne:

Not Removing Makeup Properly

Some people claim that their makeup is breaking them out, when in fact they're actually just not removing it properly. Gross! Leaving makeup on your face for longer than it's supposed to be is a surefire recipe for breakouts. The leftover product clogs pores and provides the perfect food source for acne-causing bacteria, leading to completely preventable flare-ups. Use a separate makeup remover before washing your face to ensure that all traces of makeup are really gone.

Makeup is Contaminated with Acne Bacteria

This usually happens when the concealer or foundation applicator is applied straight to the face, then dipped back into the bottle. Again, this is pretty gross, but one that not a lot of people think about. If you tap your concealer wand against that pimple, then put it back into the bottle, you've potentially introduced some of that bacteria into the tube. The solution is to apply the product to the back of your hand before applying it to the face to avoid any cross-contamination of bacteria. From there, you can use a clean fingertip or brush to blend the product in.

Makeup Ingredients are Causing Acne Cosmetica

One of the really annoying things about acne is that it’s so individual. Different people respond to different formulas—and your friend’s favorite foundation might not be right for you and could cause breakouts. This is the common skin concern known as acne cosmetica—basically, acne caused by cosmetics. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear makeup, ever—it just means you have to figure out which ingredient specifically bothers you. A good start is to only use non-comedogenic makeup that’s oil-free, plus you can get samples from stores to try something out before buying.

Applying Makeup to Dirty Face

When you put makeup on over skin that hasn't been freshly washed, you're basically trapping all of the already accumulated grime to the skin and under makeup—a surefire recipe for breakouts galore. If you do want to wear makeup, always wash your face first and use a moisturizer that's right for your skin type. This ensures that your face is clean of any dirt and grime, plus it is properly hydrated to ensure that makeup lasts without breaking down on skin.

Using Dirty Makeup Brushes

In the same vein as using dirty makeup, dirty makeup brushes can be a hidden source of acne. Ideally, you want to wash brushes at least once a week. Brushes and sponges used for liquid products such as foundation are more prone to collecting germs and need to be cleaned more often than brushes used for powder products. Almost anything can be used as a good brush cleanser—castile soap, dish soap, and bar soap are all perfect options for giving makeup brushes a thorough cleanse. Just be sure to leave them to dry either lying flat or hanging upside down—drying them quickly ensures that no lingering germs are left hiding in the bristles! 

Sharing Makeup With Friends

This is something that almost every single girl out there has done—but do you really know how this could be affecting your skin? The thing is, your friend doesn’t even need to have any active zits cause to cause a breakout in your skin when you share makeup. Just the presence of foreign dead skin cells might be enough to trigger a breakout—so minimize the risk and stop swapping makeup. Keep a small makeup bag with all of your own products with you so you won’t need to borrow others’. Also, don’t let other people use your makeup either! You don’t know where their hands have been!

How Do I Cover Acne With Makeup?

When it comes to covering acne with makeup, less is more. Covering all of your skin with a high coverage product isn’t going to look natural—but strategic concealer application can. Using a concealer that perfectly matches your skin, carefully dab it on using a small, precise brush. Try to concentrate the concealer only on the pimple, but still blend out the edges so that there aren’t very obvious little circles of makeup on your face! This technique can be used to conceal the dark marks left behind by pimples, too.

However, there are some types of pimples that makeup just shouldn't be used on. Any zit that has broken skin or crusty skin won't be suitable for this. You'll be doing two terrible things to your skin: potentially introducing more pimple-causing bacteria to your skin, and making the pimple more obvious, rather than concealing it. Sometimes, you just need to leave pimples alone and let them heal.

The bottom line?

It’s not always bad to cover acne with makeup. But, always make sure that you’re using the right tips and techniques that don’t cause more breakouts and stop your makeup from looking cakey. 

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