Can Makeup Cause Acne? Understanding the Relationship

makeup cause acne

A quick Google search will tell you that there is a regular search term or complaint from makeup wearers: “When I wear makeup I always seem to break out in spots. Why is this the case?” This isn’t to say that everyone is complaining, of course. But it does certainly seem to be the case that people have made a connection between the two, specifically that one – the makeup – causes the other – the spots, or acne. But is that connection justified? Can makeup cause acne? Or does it worsen an existing connection? We’ve had a look at the facts.

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The connection, Unfortunately, like with a lot of cleansers, applying makeup can clog the skin pores. This means that the oil and the bacteria under the top layers of skin get trapped, leading to pesky blackheads and red, swollen spots. Your forehead and nose are the most prone to this. Also, a lot of brands used oil-based products, meaning that you’re doubling a potential problem every time you apply it. The mistakes:

  • If makeup clogs pores, it stands to reason that if you leave it on longer, it will do more damage. Unfortunately, we are all guilty of forgetting to take our makeup off when we got to bed sometimes, or just not washing it off thoroughly enough.
  • We are often attracted to cheap brands or ones that dominate the TV adverts. These can often be poor choices though, as makeup that isn’t labeled as “noncomedogenic” (containing an active ingredient that helps prevent pore blockage), is likely to be worsening your spots.
  • Our natural reaction to spots is to simply put on more makeup to cover them up. But this is the worst thing you can do, as it is making the underlying problem much worse. This is the quickest way to give yourself permanent acne scars.

A few things to avoid:

  1. Always remember to take your makeup off at the end of the night, to avoid pore blockages.
  2. Don’t be afraid to change makeup, and look for those noncomedogenic labels, even if it’s going to hit your pocket a bit.
  3. Use moisturizers that come as a partner to acne treatment kits. Don’t be afraid to mix and match when it comes to your makeup.

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Finally, check if there is a connection for yourself by avoiding makeup for a few days and making a diary of whether your acne noticeably clears up. But can makeup cause acne? There isn’t an established link or any scientific evidence to say that people who don’t naturally suffer from the bad skin are more prone to acne when they use makeup. The link is only between existing sufferers and a worsening of the condition.The message then must be to know your own skin and to listen to your body.

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