6 Tips for Applying Makeup When You Have Acne

All Posts, Beauty Hacks February 9


If you’re acne prone, makeup can be a touchy subject. Most sources out there tell us that any makeup whatsoever will aggravate existing or even cause new acne. Yet, makeup is not only super fun – we live in a world where it’s also (let’s be honest) part of Western beauty standards.

The truth is that makeup rarely causes acne (because it’s typically caused by issues within the skin), but it can definitely make it worse. Follow these 6 smart tips to apply makeup to facial skin with acne without adding to the breakouts.

  1. Only Use Non-Comedogenic Makeup

AKA makeup that won’t clog your pores. If you have acne, chances are good that your pores are already working overtime on sebum production, so you want to choose makeup that will give them a break. When shopping, don’t just settle for labels claiming to be non-comedogenic. You want to make sure that there are no comedogenic ingredients at all, or a very limited concentration of them.

  1. Highlight & Contour with Makeup to Detract From Pimples

When you know how to skillfully highlight and contour your features, you can minimize the appearance of your acne without using too much makeup. Primers and matte finishes instead of sheen finishes, for example, help to conceal the noticeability of acne and acne scars. There are a ton of application tips out there and beauty bloggers that discuss ways to effectively highlight and contour your face to help your pimples ‘vanish.’

  1. Apply with Fingers


It’s better to apply blush, foundations and the like with your fingertips as opposed to with brushes or sponges. It makes it easier to lightly dab instead of over-applying and massaging it too far into your skin. 

  1. Don’t Go Crazy with the Layers

This can be really hard especially when you have a lot of acne because it’s tempting to put on a bunch of layers to try to cover over blemishes. But don’t apply a ton of layers of foundation, concealer or various kinds of moisturizers. It’ll created a ‘caked on’ appearance that’s not only unattractive, but terrible for your facial skin as well, further clogging up those already-clogged pores.

  1. Avoid Fragrances

Makeup formulated with fragrances can irritate existing acne, especially if you’re allergic to scents to begin with. If you’re not sure, try going fragrance free and see if it makes a difference in your flare-ups. If it does, you could possibly be sensitive to perfume. Speaking of perfume, make sure you’re not spraying your perfume of choice on your face. Many colognes and fragrances contain ingredients that can aggravate your extra-sensitive facial skin. 

  1. Choose Powders Over Liquids

powder makeup

Facial skin with acne is oily enough as it is because of an over-production of sebum, but liquid foundations can make skin even oilier. Liquids are often greasy and can clog pores. Powders, on the other hand, are slightly absorbent and help reduce the shininess that results from excess sebum.

Have you mastered your makeup application routine while living with acne-prone skin? Let us know what works best for you in the comments and stay tuned for our tips on removing makeup when you have acne.

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