With the holiday season fast approaching, and people starting to prepare for parties and other festivities, dermatologists at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) say it is okay for acne patients to wear makeup.
For patients prone to acne flare-ups, the key is to select cosmetics that do not cause acne and establish a skincare routine that works for the individual’s skin type.
“I get a lot of questions from my patients about whether makeup is causing their acne and if they should avoid wearing makeup to improve their skin,” said Dr. Rebecca Kazin in a press release. Dr. Kazin is an associate professor in the department of dermatology at John Hopkins University and is the associate director at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery.
“While some cosmetics do cause acne, you can still wear makeup by choosing your products carefully and following a few simple steps before, during and after your application,” Dr. Kazin added.
For patients with acne-prone skin hoping to wear makeup, Dr. Kazin recommended the following tips:
Choose makeup carefully. With many products available, patients may need to try different makeup to identify those that work best with their skin type. Dr. Kazin suggested that when selecting makeup, to look for products that say “non-comedogenic,” “oil-free” or “won’t clog pores”, as these are less likely to cause breakouts. Also, patients should consider makeup products that contain salicylic acid, which can prevent and reduce acne. However, products with salicylic acid may cause dryness, especially if the patient is using other acne medication. Patients should avoid heavy liquid makeup that can trap dirt and oil and block pores, leading to breakouts.
Prep your skin. Prior to applying makeup, patients should start with a clean face. Patients should wash their hands, and use fingertips to apply a mild cleanser to their face and rinse with lukewarm water. If the patient uses an acne medication in the morning, they should apply the medication after cleansing their face, and then apply a moisturizer that contains sunscreen. Make sure the sunscreen says “broad-spectrum” and has an SPF of 30 or higher.
Use makeup applicators. Dr. Kazin recommended patients avoid applying makeup with their fingers, which can transfer oil from the fingers to the face. Instead, patients should use makeup applicators, such as brushes, to apply makeup directly to the skin. Additionally, patients should wash the brushes with soap and water every seven to 10 days to keep them clean.
Do not share makeup products or applicators. Acne-causing culprits, including bacteria, dead skin cells and oil from other people’s skin, can stick to makeup and applicators, which can lead to new breakouts. Patients should always use their own products and tools.
Remove your makeup before going to bed. Patients should use an oil-free makeup remover, and wash their face using a gentle cleanser. Scrubbing of the face should be avoided even when removing makeup. Acne medication used at night should be applied after cleansing, and then apply a non-comedogenic moisturizer on top of the medication.
According to the AAD, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting as many as 50 million Americans annually.
In Canada, nearly 20% of the population (5.6 million Canadians) are affected by acne, according to the Canadian Dermatology Association. Acne affects about 90% of adolescents, and 20 to 30% of adults 20 to 40 years of age while women make up 75% of adult cases of acne.