How to Prevent Makeup From Giving You Acne

Is your make-up making you break out? We can help. Here's how to prevent make-up from causing acne

Don't let your makeup give you acne — here's how

Have you ever gone to sleep with a perfectly clear complexion only to wake up to a face-full of red, unsightly zits? While hormones, genetics and environmental factors can all affect the development of acne, the makeup you use on a daily basis may actually be the culprit.

But with literally hundreds of foundation options out there to choose from, including the best foundations for acne-prone skin, how can you know which ones will leave you covered with blemishes? Read on to learn exactly what not to do to make sure your makeup leaves you feeling beautiful and not covered in unsightly acne.

Covering pimples with more foundation

Sometimes dealing with acne can feel like a never-ending vicious cycle. The second a breakout appears, you can't help but cover it up with a thick, pigmented foundation. But doing this seriously clogs up your pores and gives you, yes, even more acne! Try breaking this cycle by letting your face air out for a bit. Even if your acne isn't all that bad, letting your skin breathe is imperative to keeping your skin acne-free.

If you must put on foundation over your acne, first apply a clear spot treatment to your face, providing a small layer in between your zits and the foundation. And if you happen to have a freshly-popped pimple on your face, never apply makeup on top of it. Not only can this lead to another breakout, but it can cause a nasty infection since this is technically an "open wound."

Applying makeup with your fingers

If you're in a rush, applying foundation with your fingertips may seem like the easiest option. But this habit is a sure way to develop acne. That's because your hands are covered in bacteria, and when you use them to put makeup on your face, you're rubbing that dirt and grime right into your pores!

Instead, opt for a brush or makeup sponge. However, these application methods don't ensure a breakout-free face either. That's because both brushes and sponges can hold onto dirt and bacteria as well. However, if you make sure to wash them on a regular basis, they're still a way better option than using your grubby little fingers.

Falling asleep in your makeup

When you get home from a late night out with the girls, the last thing you want to do is stand in your bathroom for 20 minutes employing your entire skincare routine. While sometimes it's okay to skip a night or two of facial masks and moisturizing cream, it's never okay to skimp on washing your face. Sleeping in your makeup is always a bad idea since dirt and oil can get trapped underneath it, clogging up your pores while you drift off into dreamland.

It's always a good idea to keep some makeup wipes handy so that if you're ever too tired to wash your face, at least you can wipe some of it off. While this doesn't substitute for a good facial cleansing, it's better than nothing.

Picking foundation with bad ingredients

When you're out at your local drug store or Sephora shopping for a new foundation, look for noncomedogenic products (which basically means it's not going to clog your pores) and oil-free makeup to prevent acne in the future. If you are currently broken out, you may benefit from a foundation that has a small amount of salicylic acid in it — just don't use it every single day as it could dry out your skin.

But if you tend to break out whenever you use a liquid foundation, perhaps powder is more up your alley.  This is less heavy on your skin and won't clog up your pores as easily. Plus, if you have oily skin, the powder will help you achieve a more matte finish, unlike oily liquid foundations.

If you follow all these guidelines and still find yourself with breakouts from time to time, don't be too hard on yourself. Acne happens. All you can do is the best you can with the knowledge you have to keep your skin clean and live a healthy lifestyle. And if a giant zit rears its ugly head the morning of an important meeting or on the evening of a hot date, brave it out or call in sick — we've all been there.

Resources — Prevention, Women's Health