Is Your Makeup Causing You Acne? [Ask Yourself These 3 Questions To Find Out]


Does makeup cause acne? This question often pops up to those about to jump in the colorful world of makeup. Heavy and thick foundation use is often associated with getting those frustrating and irritating bumps on your face — acne. And of course, no one wants their skin to suffer while basking in the beauty of makeup.

For those of us already inducted into the makeup world, various beauty products may seem like the only cure when the best acne treatment still won't show us its face. By "cure," I mean makeup helps us look acne-free, even if just temporary. Do you remember the satisfaction of perfecting your makeup base? Foundation and concealer smoothly blending into our skin, hiding every single imperfection we hate seeing in the mirror. Lovely.

Unfortunately, this cure often does more harm than good. Read on to learn why your makeup might be clogging your pores and preventing your skin from breathing.

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Does Makeup Cause Acne?

The first time I asked myself this question was about 6 months ago. 

At that point, I had already been eating a vegan diet for almost half a year. I've also gotten rid of cleansers, creams, toners, and moisturizers consisting of harmful toxins. This cleanout was required as I started making my own skin care products. 

But lo and behold, I was still breaking out like crazy.

Something is definitely wrong here, I thought. I've established healthy skin habits like drinking more water and eating an alkaline diet. I've also been religiously following my skin care regimen.

So, what gives?

Covering Pimples With More Makeup

We've all been through that frustrating day. May it be picture day at school, presentation day at work, or an anniversary celebration with the boyfie or hubby — any type of important day really, where our acne just suddenly decides to flare up. Seriously, right? Doesn't acne have any decency? Ugh.

No matter how frustrated we get, the inevitable truth is that acne is there to accompany us through our important day. Acne's there, proudly showing its redness to all that will lay their eyes upon it. 

When this happens to me, I do the next logical thing I can think of — hide my pimples with makeup. I can't count the times I tried so hard to conceal my pimples every time they decided to pay a visit. But the more concealer and powder I used to cover imperfections, the more I was breaking out.

So, I decided to give my skin a break and go bare for a couple of weeks. The first few days felt weird and awkward, but it was worth it. Believe it or not, at the end of the second week, my face started slowly clearing up and looking healthier and brighter. Acne blemishes started healing faster, and I wasn't getting new ones.

What a miracle! Or was it?

Does this sound familiar to you? Below are 3 help-questions to ask yourself to find out if your makeup is causing you pimples.

'Does makeup cause acne?' ​Help-question No. 1

Is Your Makeup Comedogenic?

Is You Make up Comedonic - Pretty Blooming; I am sorry to break your heart but there is a big chance that your favorite brand full-coverage, silky foundation is comedonic. What does this means?   Acne caused by certain chemicals found in makeup is known as acne cosmetica.  The use of certain makeup and beauty products can cause you blackheads, whiteheads, papules and pustules.   Comedonic makeups clogs the pores which opportunity for give the acne bacteria to grow and cause inflammation from inside.  In this study, women were tested for reactions to their everyday makeup. 45 percent of them were tested positive for skin reactions and 14 percent showed developing full-blown acne.

I am sorry to break your heart, but there is a big chance that your favorite brand of that full-coverage, silky foundation is comedogenic. What does this mean? 

Comedogenic ingredients are those that can clog the pores, leading to various types of acne. These ingredients work hand-in-hand with acne cosmetica, bacteria found in makeup that causes acne. Comedogenic makeup clogs the pores, which opens the opportunity for the acne bacteria to grow and cause inflammation from inside.

So, the use of particular makeup and beauty products can cause blackheads, whiteheads, papules, and pustules to pepper your face suddenly. In this study, women were tested for reactions to their everyday makeup. 45 percent of them were tested positive for skin reactions, and 14 percent showed developing full-blown acne.

I am sorry to break your heart, but there is a big chance that your favorite brand of that full-coverage, silky foundation is comedogenic. What does this mean? 

Comedogenic ingredients are those that can clog the pores, leading to various types of acne. These ingredients work hand-in-hand with acne cosmetica, bacteria found in makeup that causes acne. Comedogenic makeup clogs the pores, which opens the opportunity for the acne bacteria to grow and cause inflammation from inside.

So, the use of particular makeup and beauty products can cause blackheads, whiteheads, papules, and pustules to pepper your face suddenly. In this study, women were tested for reactions to their everyday makeup. 45 percent of them were tested positive for skin reactions, and 14 percent showed developing full-blown acne.

What Products Should Be Avoided?

To steer clear from the path of acne cosmetica, always check the label for:

If you want to check the ingredients of the products you already own and have thrown away the packaging, you can go to one of these websites and find what is hiding in your makeup:

Cosdna is especially useful as they provide a comedogenic rating along with the ingredients. If you are prone to breakouts or your skin has recently gotten worse, it's worth it to do some research and find out if your makeup is causing your pimples.

Choosing To Go Natural

Finding non-comedogenic makeup products that are also free from harmful ingredients can be tricky, exhausting, and time-consuming. It doesn't help that we need multiple products to replenish our makeup kit — primer, foundation, concealer, blush, setting powder, eyebrow product, eyeshadow, mascara, highlighter, bronzer, contour product — did I get it all?

Like I said, tricky, exhausting, and time-consuming. We'll really need to reserve some time for researching non-comedogenic alternatives for every piece of makeup product in our kit. 

By now, I bet some of you are now beginning to consider returning to your comedogenic products. Please don't! There's still another way you can retire all those acne-causing products while still filling your makeup kit with the essentials. And this way I'm about to present won't need as much effort.

Let me introduce you to the brand 100% Pure

I stumbled upon this brand one day, and I've never looked back since. 100% Pure is committed to providing makeup products with natural ingredients. These ingredients are guaranteed pure, naturally pigmented, completely cruelty-free, and never animal-sourced. Give their website a visit, and I'm positive you'll find products that will tickle your fancy.

To help you pick a place to start, I highly recommend their full coverage fruit pigmented water foundation. This foundation deserves its holy grail status in my makeup kit — a staple and forever to be restocked.

The Best Affordable Non-Toxic and Natural Foundations [Makeup That Both Your Skin & You Will Fall In Love] - Pretty Blooming

It absorbs so well into the skin and does not accentuate small fine lines like so many other foundations. Plus, it's so light that I can barely feel that I have any makeup on when I have it on.

'Does makeup cause acne?' Help-question No. 2

Are you sleeping with makeup on?

Are you Sleeping in your makeup? - Pretty Blooming; To be able to answer the question 'Does makeup cause acne?', you need to ask yourself question number 2- Are you sleeping in your makeup?  We both know this is a deadly sin. And unless you are travelling without access to makeup removers and cleanser, you have no excuse to go to bed without thoroughly cleansing your face.   Even if you are careful enough to select non-comedonic makeup brands, but also careless enough to let yourself fall asleep with face covered in foundation, powder, blush and highlighter, acne will always be around the corner.   It will take you 15 minutes to properly take your makeup off, wash your face, tone it and moisturize it. On the other hand, if you decide to skip these 15 minutes, it might costs you tones of money and time to cure ​acne and blemishes.

To be able to answer the question 'Does makeup cause acne?', you need to ask yourself question number 2 — are you sleeping with makeup on?

We all know this is a deadly sin, and we've most likely been guilty of this plenty of times. But, unless you are traveling without access to makeup removers and cleansers, you have no excuse to go to bed without thoroughly cleansing your face. 

Even if you are careful enough to select non-comedogenic makeup brands, you are still bound to cross paths with acne if you sleep with makeup on. Yes, you can be sure that if you are careless enough to let yourself fall asleep with a face covered in foundation, powder, blush, and highlighter, acne will always be around the corner.

Remember, even on the most exhausting days, it will take you no more than 15 minutes to properly take your makeup off, wash your face, tone it, and moisturize it. On the other hand, if you decide to skip these 15 minutes, it might cost you tons of money and time (and a lot of frustration) to cure ​acne and blemishes.

'Does makeup cause acne?' ​Help-question No. 3

Do You Clean Your Applicators Frequently? 

Do you clean your makeup applicators and sponges frequently - Pretty Blooming; Half of the fight against acne is keeping the pores clean and shedding dead skin cells and the other half is reducing the amount of acne-causing bacteria on your skin.  And guess what are your makeup brushes and applicators - they are bacteria magnet.  Most sponges are meant to be used damp, meaning you wet them before dipping them into your foundation. And by default sponges keep the moist inside them which ends up and developing bacteria and mold. Imagine tapping your face with something so abundant in bacteria.. every day. Yuck!  Therefore, they require frequent cleaning. Yes, that means every time you use them!

Half of the fight against acne is keeping the pores clean and regularly shedding dead skin cells. The other half is reducing the amount of acne-causing bacteria on your skin. And guess what your makeup brushes and applicators are — they are bacteria magnets

Most sponges are meant to be used damp. Meaning you wet them before tapping them onto your foundation and buffing your face. And by default, sponges keep moist inside them, which ends up developing bacteria and mold. Imagine touching your face with something so abundant in bacteria. Every. Single. Day. Yuck!

Therefore, they require frequent cleaning. Yes, that means, as much as possible, every time you use them!

Washing ​Your Makeup Sponges And ​Brushes

Cleaning your sponges and brushes daily is absolutely critical for skin health. To prevent your skin from being peppered with acne, you should wash your makeup brushes and sponges after every use.

I know this sounds crazy, and you probably think, 'Who has time to wash brushes before leaving for work?' And yes, I know most of us don't have that time. We can only wish.

But, what you can do is invest in multiple sponges and rotate them out during the week. At the end of the week, put all of them in a mesh laundry bag and throw them in the washing machine on a gentle program and extra rinse. Remember to air dry the sponges in a well-ventilated area and never store them in a closed bag. Lest you want molds and bacteria to develop again.

If this idea still seems a bit too fussy, disposable makeup applicators are an alternative you can consider as a last resort. Since, really, we don't want to add more to the mounting trash, if we can help it. But definitely, whatever option you choose, you won't regret this extra precautionary measure.

TIPS:

  • Try going bare whenever possible. The skin will use the 'break' to rejuvenate, heal blemishes, and get the right amount of oxygen.
  • If you have inflammatory acne, try not wearing makeup until it fades away, at least a bit.
  • Do not slather on concealer, foundation, and powder. Less is more.

To Wrap It Up

To answer the question that started this post, 'Does makeup cause acne?' — yes it does. It's an ugly truth, but the answer, unfortunately, is yes. 

So, remember these points from now on:

  • Leaving your makeup on for the night is a recipe for disaster. The compounds sink deep in your pores, preventing your skin from breathing and giving the acne bacteria a great chance to thrive.
  • Using comedogenic makeup is another thing you can easily avoid by always carefully checking the ingredients label.
  • And lastly, a definite no-no is letting acne-causing bacteria to fester in your makeup tools.

I hope the post was helpful. ​Do you have any questions, comments, or recommendations? Please, share them in the comments below.

Stay tuned and take skin care 💋


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Does Makeup Cause Acne - Ask Yourself These 3 Questions To Find Out - Pretty Blooming; I was trying hard to cover my pimples when I noticed it - The more concealer and powder I was using to cover the imperfections, the more I was breaking out.  So I decided to give my skin a break and go bare for couple of weeks.   Believe it or not, at the end of the second week my face started slowly clearing up and looking healthier and brighter. Acne blemishes started healing faster and I wasn't getting new ones.  Oh, Miracle! Or not?   Does this sound familiar? Below are the 3 help-questions to ask yourself to find out if your makeup is causing you pimples:

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The Information on this website has not been evaluated by FDA and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. The content is for educational purposes only and not intended to substitute medical advice. You should seek the advice of your health care practitioner before undertaking any health changes. 

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