Feb 21, 2010

Makeup for Acne: Does it hurt or help?

Having battled acne all my life, I am always on the lookout for makeup for acne that will help conceal my blemishes without making them worse.  I have tried everything from specific acne makeup to a whole variety of budget and luxury brands.  As a result, I have a good knowledge of what works and what does not.

One of the first questions acne sufferers ask is whether they can wear makeup at all.  Dermatologists usually recommend to their patients that they refrain from using any makeup.  Others tell them to only use hypoallergenic brands, like Almay or Clinique.  In fact, you can use makeup if you are careful about the ingredients in the product and how you use them.

In order to help you choose what makeup to buy, here are a few tips on what will make your acne worse and what ingredients might even help your acne.

Avoid these types of products:
  • Heavy, greasy lotions or creams.  No petroleum jelly!
  • Anything with lanolin derivatives.  Look for words with lanolin in the name.
  • Products with isopropyl myristate, a deceptive-sounding pore-clogger
  • Shiny, glittery makeup.  The glitter can get stuck in your pores.
  • Makeup with strong fragrances
If you are not already using a topical acne medication, look for these ingredients:
  • Benzoyl peroxide.  This kills bacteria and dries out blemishes.
  • Salicylic acid.  This ingredient exfoliates dead skin cells to help heal blemishes.
  • Tea Tree oil.  A natural ingredient, this kills some bacteria.
Some products contain ingredients that are soothing to inflamed skin with acne or antioxidants to protect the skin from the environment, like Vitamin E, aloe vera, and green tea extract.  If you do not have an allergy to these ingredients then you should consider them an added bonus.

Learn to read labels on any makeup you buy so that you can avoid ingredients that clog your pores.  I have listed out a number of acne makeup ingredients to avoid that were ranked by the Acne Research Institute on my Makeup for Acne website.

In addition, I regularly review popular and new makeup products that are supposed to be good for acne prone skin.  You can read these on my Makeup for Acne website also to find some product recommendations.

Good luck and don't worry about concealing your acne.  Go right ahead!

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