Best Makeup For Acne Prone Skin: Tips & FAQs

Do you ever face the challenge of makeup related breakouts?  If you do, you’re not alone.  One of the most common questions we get asked is: Does makeup cause acne?  We’d like to give you as straight forward of a response as possible.  The answer is:  Yes.  A lot of traditional makeup definitely causes acne.  This may sound like a rather grim outlook but please know that we never bring a problem to the table without also bringing a solution.  Let’s start with the problem and where it typically starts.

In high school, my friends and I were tormented by the conundrum of trying to make our complexions look better.  The challenge was achieving the results we wanted using makeup but without exacerbating the acne we were trying to cover.  This may very well be the most common makeup related problem in the world.  Here is the typical scenario:

  1. As teenagers, when we enter puberty, our hormones change and we start to produce more sebum (oil). This results in a slowing down of our natural exfoliation process and hyper-keratinization (thickening of the skin) starts to occur.  This clogs pores and follicles preventing oxygen from getting down into the skin and oil from getting out.  As a result, we get acne blemishes and acne related inflammation. 
  2. Our first impulse is to cover the acne with makeup. To the young person, makeup seems like such a perfect solution for instantly covering the blemishes, making skin look brighter and even smoother.  But we quickly realized the double-edged sword of wearing traditional makeup on a regular basis.  Yes, it covers…  but it also creates more acne.  This is because traditional makeup is usually made with ingredients like talc and mineral oil which are not only pore clogging but are also occlusive.  This means they suffocates the skin, further preventing oxygen from getting down into the pores which creates the perfect atmosphere for even more acne bacteria to thrive. 
  3. As the cycle progresses, we find the need to wear more makeup to cover the acne that the makeup is causing. This is like treating depression with whisky. 
  4. We start using harsh cleansers and topical medications with drying agents that dehydrate the skin which prompts it to produce even more oil to compensate for the dry surface layer that we are creating.
  5. In complete desperation we consult physicians that put us on strong medications that may solve the problem but often have side effects that outweigh the solution.

This scenario, as common as it may be, is not hopeless.  For over the last 27 years a movement has been occurring started by a brilliant woman who began her career in the showbusiness industry.  Yes, in 1994, our very own Jane Iredale started creating makeup that broke the rules of traditional makeup by being formulated without sensitizing ingredients like talc and mineral oil or synthetic preservatives and by using ingredients that soothed and calmed inflammation and could be worn all day without exacerbating acne.

While our brand has gained international recognition as THE SKINCARE MAKEUP, we’ve also become the brand that many people turn to when they are at their wits’ end.  They bring their questions and issues and we’re always happy to answer them and recommend products.  Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:

What is the best makeup for acne? 

When looking for a makeup brand, never just look at the advertising.  Always investigate further by looking at the ingredients, seeing how it fares with professionals and checking the reviews.  Typically, a good line will not only be recommended by professionals such as dermatologists and estheticians but it will also have good consumer reviews.  Of course, we will recommend jane iredale Cosmetics because we’ve dedicated the last 27 years to creating products that will be just as beneficial to the health of the skin as they are beautiful on the skin.

What is the best foundation for acne prone skin?

We recommend PurePressed Base.  We love it because its dermatologist tested, sensitivity tested, non-comedogenic, allergy tested, and it has the best ingredients for soothing acne inflammation as well as having incredible coverage that minimizes the appearance of acne texture while you’re wearing it.  Made from Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, it blends seamlessly onto the skin without being occlusive or pore clogging.  It also provides broad spectrum UVA / UVB sun protection.

foundation for acne prone skin ingredients

How do I reduce redness from acne?

There are two ways that we can reduce redness:  One is by wearing soothing ingredients that tone down inflammation.  The other is to wear yellow based pigments on the skin.  Yellow neutralizes redness very effectively.   

How do I cover my acne with makeup?  

The most important starting point is to, of course, use clean, noncomedogenic formulas like ours.  Next, work in layers rather than trying to cover everything at once.  Here are the steps we recommend for a typical acne coverage application.

makeup products for acne

  1. Start with clean, hydrated skin.
  2. Apply Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer in your color to give a sheer, even coverage all over the face. This layer is important because blends well with our Disappear Concealer
  3. Apply Disappear Concealer to the areas that breakouts are most visible and blend out the edges so there are no lines of demarcation. We recommend the Camouflage Brush or Sculpting Brush for smaller areas or the Blending & Contouring Brush for large areas.
  4. Apply PurePressed Base in your color using the flocked sponge in a pressing and rolling motion for an opaquer application.
  5. Spritz with our Balance Hydration Spray to meld all the layers together.
  6. Repeat the application of PurePressed Base and Hydration Spray as many times as necessary until the area is completely covered.

Remember that acne can also be exacerbated by using products and brushes that harbor bacteria so make sure to clean your brushes on a regular basis and, as often as possible, use inert products like PurePressed Base to prevent cross contamination (when the bacteria from your face starts growing in your makeup). 

Regular visits to an esthetician will also help you to create a game plan for addressing your acne and switching to healthier makeup and skincare products for acne.  Please feel free to submit any questions you may have about this article or makeup related acne in general.  We look forward to seeing your transformation!  

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