Acne can be caused by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, diet and hormonal imbalance. On top of that, it can be triggered by the products you decide to use on your face. While there are several reasons for acne, there is a striking amount of discussion out there regarding whether or not makeup is one of the reasons you are breaking out.
And, it can be quite frustrating to deal with the number of opinions out there on the subject from bloggers to skin experts to whoever feels entitled to speak on the subject. Because the internet is a free space for everyone to express their opinions, right?
So, does makeup cause acne?
If you want the short answer to this question, it’s yes. But, like most other things on this planet, it is rarely this black and white. While it is true that makeup products have the potential to worsen your acne, it does not mean that every makeup product out there is designed to make your skin flare-up.
In reality, it’s actually dependent on the ingredients that are present in the particular product you are using. There are many products out there that will not cause breakouts, but certain ingredients in some of the makeup products may be the culprit as to why your skin is acting out.
Chemicals in your makeup that are making your acne worse
- Acrylic - Acrylic is present in some makeup products as it helps in adhering the other ingredients to stick to each other. While this may give a better finish, it is the same as putting a layer on your skin that clogs the pores, trapping the ingredients underneath. This will worsen your acne.
- Fragrances and dyes - Even though perfumed and colourful makeup products look and smell better, certain types of dyes and smells can worsen your breakouts, especially if you have sensitive skin. Look for clean, vegan products that use top quality dyes and add as little perfume as possible.
- Parabens - Parabens are preservatives that are added to certain makeup products to increase the shelf life. Even though they have been proven to do more harm than good, some companies are still using these to achieve longer-lasting products. Parabens can worsen your acne by interfering with your endocrine system, which is responsible for managing your hormones, triggering a hormonal acne flare-up.
- Silicones - Silicones are used in cosmetics like primers and foundations to keep a smooth, waterproof appearance. But, at the same time, they are responsible for clogging pores. Comedogenic products are the ones that clog pores and are known to flare up acne.
- Bismuth Oxychloride - Ever noticed powdered products like eyeshadows and highlighters to have that shimmery and lacquered appearance? Bismuth oxychloride is one ingredient that can achieve this result. And, at the same time, it can cause acne and irritation to your skin.
- Petrochemicals - These are a group of chemicals consisting of paraffin wax, mineral oil and petrolatum which are used as preservatives and moisture locks. These comedogenic ingredients help clog the pores and make it easier for other bad ingredients to enter your skin, causing worsened flare-ups.
- Certain oils - Even though not all oils are bad for acne, certain oils like avocado oil or coconut oil are highly comedogenic and clog pores, causing acne. On the other hand, there are some oils that are actually beneficial for your skin and help heal breakouts like rosehip seed oil or jojoba oil.
- Lanolin - Produced from the sebum of sheep, this is an ingredient that clogs your pores, causing more breakouts. Stay away from products that contain lanolin.
- D&C Red - It is a type of red dye produced from petroleum or coal tar. Generally found in products like blush, it is an irritant for people with sensitive and acne-prone skin. Even though many of its variations are banned, some of the others are still in use and you should watch out for those in your makeup.
- Sodium Chloride - Sodium chloride is the chemical name for common salt and it is used in certain products like foundations as a thickening agent. It is highly comedogenic and causes breakouts, especially around the chin and mouth.
- Mica, Talc and Silica - These ingredients are used in a variety of products from foundations to bronzers and highlighters as light-reflective agents meant to give that glowy finish. However, they are also known to cause irritation and dehydration in your skin, possibly worsening your acne.
So, can you still wear makeup?
Even if you have acne-prone skin, it is still possible for you to wear makeup. Look for non-comedogenic products that do not clog your pores. Even though makeup is an everyday routine for many, if you suffer from acne, it is advisable to go makeup-free once in a while every week to let your skin breathe.
And as for the layering of products, it is advisable to use as few layers as possible on an everyday basis. At the end of the day, remember to take off your makeup. There is little in this world that is worse than sleeping with your makeup on. And, you can always count on dolling up your face if you use the right products with the correct ingredients according to your skin type.