If you have acne, makeup can be your best friend and worst enemy. The right makeup hides your pimples and gives you confidence. But the wrong makeup can irritate your skin and make underlying acne worse. Some people find themselves trapped in cycles — acne, makeup, more acne, more makeup! Before you give in to despair, read this guide to learn what makeup ingredients cause acne, and how to find a makeup routine that promotes clear, healthy skin.
Technically, most makeup doesn’t cause acne — but certain ingredients can clog pores, which helps acne-causing bacteria grow.
The good — look for makeup labeled:
The bad — beware!
Scan your makeup for the following chemicals. CosDNA is a user-submitted database of products that uses data from comedogenicity studies to rank ingredients in terms of their comedogenicity potential. The scale ranges from 0-5, and 5’s are believed to be the worst offenders in terms of clogging pores. Try to avoid anything that rates a 3 or higher! For a more extensive list, visit CosDNA.
|Soybean oil||Coconut butter/oil||Isopropyl isostearate|
|Myristic acid||Lauric acid||Isopropyl myristate|
|Glyceryl stearate SE||Isopropyl palmitate||Myristyl myristate|
At the end of the day, your makeup should be gone like it was never there. Choose the right makeup remover for your skin type to avoid irritation.
The Cleanser by Curology is a light-foaming everyday cleanser that also works great as a makeup remover. It’s gentle and non-irritating enough for all skin types and leaves skin clean, hydrated, and smooth.
Micellar water is the Swiss army knife of makeup removal: it cleanses, remove makeup, and moisturizes all in one step by using tiny molecules — micelles — that pull the dirt and oil out of your skin. They’re good for all skin types (though people with oiler skin may want to use The Cleanser as well).
Mineral oil and some other oils such as olive oil are cheaper alternatives for makeup removal and are generally well-tolerated. But that’s a whole other topic.
Face wipes may sound like the most convenient things in the world, but they often contain ingredients (hello, alcohol) that can irritate the skin. If that’s all you have on you, gently splash your face with water after using a face wipe.
Last but not least, put your skin on a diet
If you’ve removed obvious offenders from your makeup routine but you’re still breaking out, it might be time to try a skin diet. Remove one makeup product from your routine for a week or two, and see how your skin reacts. Listen to your skin. Respect it. There is no one-size-fits-all — do right by yourself.