If you have acne, you likely use makeup but if you use makeup, it may aggravate acne (making matters worse). Makeup in itself doesn’t cause acne- if that were the case everyone who wears makeup would have acne. Some people never even touch makeup but experience non stop breakouts, while others do a full beat face daily and never experience a pimple.
While makeup doesn’t cause acne, there are several hidden ingredients that can definitely trigger symptoms and make matters worse. Many cosmetics sold on the market today are packed with fragrances, dyes, and chemicals that can disrupt the skin barrier and cause breakouts. What’s worse is that these chemicals are toxic to our bodies and can disrupt hormone levels, leading to painful throbbing cystic acne and other issues with hormonal imbalances.
Unfortunately because these cosmetics are sold in places like Ulta, Sephora, and other drug stores we are led to believe that they are completely safe to put on our skin. That just isn’t the case, the United States beauty industry is actually one of the most unregulated in the world. When in doubt, stick to natural and organic makeup with minimal ingredients, this will lessen the chance of skin irritation and provide your skin with nutrition rather than harming the skin barrier.
the clean beauty revolution
The best makeup for acne sufferers is going to be “clean” beauty products. Clean beauty refers to skincare and makeup that contains the bare minimum of ingredients, those that won’t irritate or harm your skin. Products that are fresh, organic, and free of any synthetic chemicals or dyes; think completely natural or clean. To discover how harmful your products are check out the ThinkDirty app, which lists all ingredients and rates your product on a 10 point scale of toxicity.
ingredients to look out for
Bismuth Oxychloride: Responsible for giving makeup its shimmery finish, Bismuth Oxide has been positively linked to an increase in cystic acne. So, if you see this ingredient on your fav makeup products, be warned to proceed with caution.
Mica, Silica, and Talc: These minerals are known for their light reflecting particles, found mostly in shimmery bronzers and highlighters. Products containing Mica, Silica, and Talc can lead to irritation or dehydration, worsening breakouts. Although these products may give the skin a faux youthful dewy glow, it ultimately leads to the opposite.
Alcohol: Commonly found in both concealer and foundation, alcohol has the ability to absorb into the skin. Imagine rubbing alcohol on your face, not a pretty picture- this can be extremely drying and irritating to those who are acne prone. After alcohol dries on the skin, it forms a thin coating that can block the pores and create whiteheads.
Acrylic: Acrylics help ingredients stick together, but when applied to the skin it’s like applying a seal-proof barrier, everything underneath (dirt, oil, sweat) becomes trapped and easily leads to clogged pores and acne.
Parabens: Most likely the worst ingredient found in beauty products, parabens are extremely toxic and actually banned from the use in cosmetics in several countries. Parabens are used to extend the shelf life of a skincare or makeup product, preserving the ingredients inside. Parabens are an endocrine disruptor, meaning they can mess with your hormones leading to cystic acne or hormonal imbalances.
Fragrances and Dyes: While they can make a product appear more attractive, fragrances and dyes can be extremely irritating to acne prone skin. They can increase skin sensitivity, leading to clogged pores.
Silicone: Silicones are found mainly in primers, giving it that silky smooth feeling on the skin. On more sensitive skin types, silicones can be aggravating and dehydrating to the skin- leading to clogged pores.
Kali Kushner, known as the Instagram alias myfacestory, is a natural beauty advocate in the greater Cincinnati area who is passionate about using organic skincare and holistic remedies to heal acne from the inside out. Her dedication lies in her own chronic acne struggles as she continues to restore herself while helping those around her.