Conceal While You Heal: Are Medicated Cover-ups Beneficial for Acne?

Curious about pimple patches? We're here to help. Here's the scoop on those medicated cover-ups for acne

The lowdown on medicated cover-ups for acne

We’ve all done it. Whether it was back in high school or more recently, we’ve all plastered over an untimely and unsightly pimple with concealer and hoped no one would notice. We also hoped that we weren’t going to make the pimple worse in our effort to conceal it. And then, miraculously, we were offered a chance to conceal while we heal … a cover-up makeup with medication to help heal the blemish faster—Yay! Guilt-free concealer? Is it too good to be true?

Skin care and Repair

Acne is one of the worst problems to attempt to correct or conceal with makeup. It’s an unfortunate combo platter of discolorations which can range from pink, red, and brown, to blackheads and whiteheads. Not only does it involve discoloration, but also raised bumps and even occasional—well—oozing. It’s not something anyone feels comfortable about showing to the world. Women especially, try their best to cover up a breakout with makeup, and all the while they worry that the cost of going out into the world looking good can actually be making their acne worse and giving them more to try to cover up tomorrow.

So knowing that we can’t sit around at home bare-faced, waiting for a breakout to clear up, what should we look for in makeup concealers that not only won’t worsen acne, but might actually help it to clear up faster?

What to Look for in Acne-Beneficial Concealers

First and foremost, make certain the label of your concealer states that it is oil-free. According to New York dermatologists, a concealer that is oil-based, heavy and occlusive, while working well to cover and hydrate under eye circles, is not meant to be plastered over a pimple. Oil-based concealers are much more likely to clog pores and contribute to further breakouts than water-based ones. Concealers that are specially formulated to not clog pores are are labeled as noncomedogenic, and they must pass rigorous laboratory testing to prove it before being given the label.

Medicated makeup options take pimple-friendly concealer a step further, and add ingredients that can help to limit and even heal a breakout. According to the founder and medical director of Wall Street Dermatology in New York City, concealers that are medicated with salicylic acid can actually help to clear clogged, congested pores in our skin while they cover up the blemish. Also, concealer products containing sulfur are anti-inflammatory, so they can heal redness and reduce the swelling of a pimple.

SPF sunscreen protection is another important ingredient to look for in an acne concealer, according to Wall Street Dermatology. Many people who use concealer to cover breakouts are also using other acne treatments, most of which leave skin especially vulnerable to damage by UV rays by increasing photosensitivity. Choosing a concealer with sun protection will further ensure your skin’s protection.

Some concealers also contain vitamin E, an antioxidant known to reduce inflammation and fight harmful free radicals, making them a great choice in a concealer for acne-prone skin.

All-Natural and Organic Concealer Ingredients That Fight Acne

Some new concealer products contain tea tree oil, which has been shown to reduce inflammation, making it helpful in reducing the swelling and redness associated with an acne breakout. Other plant-based ingredients to help heal while they conceal may be found in concealers containing thyme oil, a natural antibacterial agent, and antiseptic bamboo which can lower sebum production and kill acne-causing bacteria. If you want to heal while you conceal and appreciate natural, plant-based ingredients these are the concealer components that will be most beneficial for acne-prone skin.

Minimizing Damage From Acne Breakouts

Dermatologists also point out that squeezing or popping pimples before attempting to cover them with a concealer is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Squeezing a pimple will cause further swelling, making the pimple much more difficult to conceal. If you do manage to pop it, you will then experience oozing and draining, which is impossible to cover up.

Squeezing and popping pimples can also lead to infection, dark spots, and scarring.

According to skincare professionals, a heavy concealer, even a medicated one, should only be used as a spot treatment. The rest of your face should be covered with a more lightweight, oil-free, noncomedogenic foundation.

Resources— EverydayHealth, Self, Byrdie, StyleCraze

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