Acne and makeup: What you should know

For those of us who weren’t born with acne-free skin, we question not only which products to use but also what kind of makeup to use. With hundreds of “acne fighting” marketing slogans being thrown at you, it may be hard to differentiate what is best for you and your skin.

Whether it’s hormonal or ongoing acne, there’s a way to wear our makeup without it clogging our skin pores. The temptation to mask our entire face with heavy, theater-like makeup can be strong and cause even more breakouts!

It’s important to understand that not all oils are the same, nor are they created equally. Some oils block pores, causing blackheads, and some actually cleanse the follicle. For example, isocetyl stearate (stearate esters) are oily liquids and waxy solids, causing a strong coating over the skin leaving it impermeable for oxygen to travel back and forth to heal the skin. The coating can create even more breakouts underneath.brush-makeup-photo

Primer, a popular makeup product, is used before applying foundation to give the appearance of sleek, smooth and toned skin. Due to its popularity, I have been noticing more and more clusters of tiny blackheads all over my clients’ skin during their treatments. A common ingredient in these primers is cyclopentasiloxane, a silicone-derived ingredient that also coats the skin. For those who are not prone to break-outs, this ingredient is fine – but for those who are, it can be the root cause of blackheads.

Isopropyl myristate is also another ingredient to be aware of. It‘s a synthetic oil used to create a slicker skin texture rather than a thick, oily one. Because of its great absorption rate it can cause serious irritation and aggravate acne over time.

There are also cosmetic oils that can help calm acne. Essential oils are natural oils derived from plants. They’re also known to be volatile oils that can break down dead skin cells and cleanse the follicle from sebaceous gland build up. Tea tree oil both disinfect and soothes blemishes. It can be found in spot treatment concealers.

Glycerin is an excellent triglyceride oil serving as a humectant, which hydrates the skin. The skin can become very dry from acne medications and acids like Accutane, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Glycerin creates an important balance to the skin.

Recently, sunscreen has become a great addition to cosmetics. Look for tinted moisturizers that include zinc oxide and protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays with an SPF 30 or higher.

Breakouts happen, and when they do, we can now make a better judgement as to what makeup will not just cover up blemishes, but be beneficial for our skin as well. Meet with your aesthetician or skin care specialist to customize the right plan for your skin type.

Additional Resources

To schedule a visit with a Baylor aesthetician, call (713) 798-6331 or email Kim Chang.

To schedule a visit with a Baylor dermatologist, call 713-798-6131 or make an appointment online.

Don’t skip skin care

Changes in weather can create skin care challenges

-By Kim Chang, aesthetician at the Baylor Aesthetics Studio

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