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How do we apply and remove correctly make-up if we have acne-prone skin?

How do we apply and remove correctly make-up if we have acne-prone skin?


Can we wear make-up when we suffer from acne or can it do us more harm?

The answer is: YES!

We can use makeup products, BUT it is very important what we use. The products must be chosen with great care so as not to aggravate the acne further. There are a wide range of makeup products which can block our pores and predispose to acne. Therefore, it is necessary to read the packaging of products before introducing them into our daily routine.


Both creams, serums and make-up products of any type – be they foundation, concealer, powder, blush etc. – must have written on the packaging: oil-free, non-comedogenic or does not block the pores. Only these products can be used on acne skin or acne-prone skin. There are also some foundations that are specifically designed for acne skin, products that also contain some substances that can help treat acne, such as salicylic acid.


There is even a condition called cosmetic acne, which, as its name suggests, is caused by cosmetics including creams, makeup and any other product applied to the skin that can predispose to the appearance of pimples. Most often, these products block the pores and induce the formation of microcomedones and comedones. The disadvantage is that they can appear immediately or after a longer period of time from the first application of a product (sometimes even months), most often not being able to accurately identify the responsible product. In this type of acne, after removing the products from your daily routine, you will soon notice the disappearance of pimples and return to normal. Most of the time, however, there are multiple factors that predispose to acne, cosmetics being only a small part and only the exclusion of these products, without other adjuvant treatments will not treat the acne.


To avoid an aggressive application of makeup products on the face, it is recommended to use makeup brushes. Used regularly, in addition to makeup particles, they also contain cell debris and sebum. For this reason, they must be cleaned regularly – it is recommended once a week – so as not to clog the pores and predispose to acne lesions.


Make-up removal is another important process in the daily routine that must be done correctly. If we fail to remove make-up, unfortunately, the pores will clog much more easily and microcomedones will appear. Ideally, we should cleanse our skin in the morning and evening to unblock our pores, but especially in the evening to remove makeup.


A first step would be to remove makeup with micellar water or skin cleanser. However, we should not stop here, because we fail to remove all impurities just by this step. Therefore, it is always advisable to follow the cleaning step with a mild washing agent. In order not to irritate the skin, avoid scrubbing or abrasive products. A gentle product, adapted to acne-prone skin, is enough to cleanse the sebum, impurities and makeup residue left after the make-up removal step. By following both steps, the risk of getting pimples from improper skin cleansing disappears.


Also, during COVID19 pandemic when the mask became mandatory, an acneiform rash called “maskne” appeared. This is due to the friction of the mask on the skin along with excess sweat and sebum on the skin covered by the mask. These factors combined with makeup can further block pores, despite the use of correct products. However, we must consider giving up makeup and apply it only if absolutely necessary. Preferably, use under the mask only a moisturizer adapted to your skin type in order to protect the skin. Also, anti-acne skin irritants should be used in the evening, so as not to further irritate the skin during the day.


In other words, makeup can be applied to acne-prone skin if the appropriate products which do not clog the pores are used and if proper cleansing of the skin is strictly followed. However, it is recommended to avoid using make-up products under the mask, especially for people with acne-prone skin so as no to induce new acne lesions.

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