Makeup Tips For Acne-Prone Skin

Trusted Health Products

Written By Kevin Kerfoot / Reviewed By Ray Spotts

People with acne-prone skin may find that certain makeup products, such as foundations and concealers, worsen acne or cause new breakouts. However, dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology say it’s okay for acne patients to wear makeup.  

The key is to select cosmetics that don’t cause acne and establish a skin care routine that works for your skin type.

“I get a lot of questions from my patients about whether makeup is causing their acne and if they should avoid wearing makeup to improve their skin,” says board-certified dermatologist Rebecca Kazin, MD, FAAD. “While some cosmetics do cause acne, you can still wear makeup by choosing your products carefully and following a few simple steps before, during and after your application. Sometimes, despite a person’s best efforts, acne can be stubborn, If you have questions about what is causing your acne, how to treat it, or how to select skin care products for your skin type, see a board-certified dermatologist.”

Here are some tips to wear makeup on acne-prone skin:

Prep your acne-prone skin

Remember that dry and sun-damaged skin is irritated skin, and irritated skin puts you at risk of getting more acne. Before putting on makeup, start with a clean face. Wash your hands, and then use your fingertips to gently apply a mild cleanser to your face, and rinse off with lukewarm water.

If you apply an acne medication in the morning, apply the medication after cleansing your face, and then apply a moisturizer that contains sunscreen. Make sure the sunscreen says “broad-spectrum” and has an SPF of 30 or higher.

Choose makeup carefully for acne-prone skin

If you notice that your skin breaks out after applying makeup, try to identify the product that is causing your acne and stop using it. With so many products available on the market, you may need to try out different makeup to identify the products that work best with your skin type.

When selecting makeup, look for products that say “non-comedogenic,” “oil-free” or “won’t clog pores,” as these are less likely to cause breakouts. Consider makeup products that contain salicylic acid, which can prevent and reduce acne.

However, keep in mind that products with salicylic acid may cause dryness, especially if you are already using another acne medication. You may want to avoid heavy liquid makeup that can trap dirt and oil and block pores, leading to breakouts.

Use makeup applicators for acne-prone skin

Remember to always be gentle when applying your makeup because excessive tugging can irritate your skin. Avoid applying your makeup with your fingers, which can transfer oil from your fingers to your face.

Instead, use makeup applicators, such as brushes, to apply makeup directly to your skin. Wash your brushes with soap and water every seven to 10 days to avoid new acne breakouts, since makeup brushes collect product residue, dirt, oil and bacteria.

Acne is not contagious, however, acne-causing culprits, including bacteria, dead skin cells and oil from other people’s skin can stick to your makeup and applicators. This can lead to new breakouts so always use your own products and tools.

Remove makeup before going to bed for acne-prone skin

If you apply an acne medication at night, apply it after cleansing, and then apply a non-comedogenic moisturizer on top of the medication. Use an oil-free makeup remover, and then wash your face using a gentle cleanser. Avoid scrubbing your face, even when removing makeup.

Investigational treatment for acne and acne-prone skin

Topical retinoids, which target retinoic acid receptors, are commonly used to treat acne. New research published in the British Journal of Dermatology reveals that trifarotene, a fourth-generation retinoid with potent and selective activity against only one particular retinoic acid receptor, may have an improved efficacy and safety profile compared with less selective retinoids.

Trifarotene is expected to result in low systemic levels, while retaining strong activity at the skin. This is likely to lead to reduced side effects.

"The pharmacological potency of trifarotene translates from in vitro models to topically treated human skin in vivo, resulting in the modulation of biological pathways that collectively are expected to translate into strong clinical efficacy in acne," says senior author Dr. Johannes Voegel, of Galderma R&D. "As trifarotene is expected to be rapidly eliminated in the blood stream, this drug should be particularly useful for the treatment of large skin surface areas, including the back and chest of acne patients."

Looking for 100% chemical-free, all-natural nourishing face and body oils? Check out Earth & Elm Nourishing Face Oil and Earth & Elm Nourishing Body Oil. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list

Written By:

With over 30 years of writing and editing experience for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications, Kevin Kerfoot writes about natural health, nutrition, skincare and oral hygiene for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletters.

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at

Image by Joseph Mucira from Pixabay 

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