Makeup and Acne: Everything You Need To Know Now!

makeup and acne

This question is commonly asked by people and I bet you now wonder about it too.

So does makeup really cause acne? We compiled different possible reasons why or why not makeup causes acne.

Before anything else, have you heard of the term Acne cosmetica?
If not, then let me briefly explain first. Acne cosmetica is a persistent form of acne that is triggered by makeup. This is more common than you think and most people are unaware of this.

Going back to the question, the answer is YES and.. NO.


Some people may debate that makeup does cause acne. They are not wrong either way since makeup can have a lot of reasons on why it causes acne. Remember that makeup can cause acne if you check the following:

Makeup Tools are Dirty
When was the last time you cleaned your makeup sponge or brushes? If you cant remember then this is the sign to do so.

It is better to clean your makeip tools every after use to ensure a no bacteria build up especially if you use them everyday. However, if you dont use them regularly then once a week of cleaning would do as recommended by dermatologists.

Why you should start cleaning your makeup tools regularly

Your brushes and sponges absorbs products and leftover amount of products inside could be the cause of bacteria. They also collect oil, dust, and dead skin! If you are unable to clean them regularly, then this could be the cause of acne even to non-acne-prone skin. Besides, when makeup is applied with dirty makeup tools, it can result to an uneven application.

Another question is, when should you buy new makeup tools? According to dermatologist Melanie Palm, M.D., you should invest in a new attachment every three months.

“Maintaining clean and healthy skin starts with good habits, including care of the tools and devices that clean, nourish and enhance our skin.”

Exception is if you can take care of them better. That could help lengthen their usage period before you toss them and buy a new one.

Makeup Ingredients
You can look for non-comedogenic and oil-free products to ensure that your skin is safe from unwanted ingredients. Certain ingredients can be irritating to the skin that can clog your pores.

Although not all people react to these ingredients. Better watch out these ingredients:

  • Acetylated Lanolin – an ingredient that is mostly used in skincare products. This is considered comedogenic because it is pore-clogging to most people.
  • Algae Extract – they penetrate pores and accelerate the growth of micro-comedones.
  • Benzaldehyde – added to cosmetics as a scent, they clog and irritate the skin because of it being a fragrance itself.
  • D & C Red – added to cosmetics as colors, they can be a cause of acne.
  • Isopropyl Palmitate – mostly found in tinted moisturizers that are also known to cause skin breakouts.
  • Lauroyl Lysine – found in loose powders that prevents skin from breathing and will eventually clog skin pores.
  • Lauric Acid – a fatty acid that causes acne especially to acne-prone skin.
  • Stearic Acid – this ingredient is mostly found in the foundation. Triggers sensitive and acne-prone skin that clogs pores.
  • Wheat Germ Oil – the most pore-clogging ingredient that your skin will not benefit from.
  • Sodium Chloride – aka salt, is found in foundations that clogs pores badly enough to ruin your skincare progress.

READ: Luxe Organix Aloe Vera Soothing Gel Review: Best Affordable Skincare?

Using Wrong Makeup for your Skin Needs
We all have different skin types and skin needs. There is no universal product that are meant for everyone. Even your favorite influencer or celebrity’s products may not work for you. However, it is not that hard to find products suited for your skin type. If you don’t know your skin type yet, you can find out here.

Covering Acne too Often
The great thing about acne is that it will most likely go away on its own. However, it needs time and space to do that. Your acne needs to breathe in order to heal and trapping it under foundation or concealer can delay the process of its healing time.

Although foundations or concealers are not really the main cause of acne, it can further trigger your acne and cause irritation. Especially if you wear makeup as often as everyday, then that could be the reason for your never stopping acne formation.

Sharing makeup
Makeup is personally used and is not recommended to share with other people. You don’t really know if they cleaned their face before asking for your makeup and it could seem rude to ask. So if you are the type to share your makeup to anyone, expect the worse to happen.

Why you shouldn’t share your makeup

Sharing eye makeup can be dangerous. The reason for this is because the skin around our eyes is really sensitive and is rone to infections. This can get you conjunctivitis (pink eye), warts and unwanted eye infections. Same as to sharing lipsticks, foundations, etc.

In conclusion, makeup can be the common ground for bacteria and shaeing your makeup products will be easier for bacteria to spread. In fact, sharing makeup could worsen your acne since someone else’s oils acne and oil is touching your face.

Using expired products
This should be obvious since expired makeup items should be thrown away. As much as we would like to preserve our not so used makeup products, the consequences could worsen our current skin conditions. All in all, if you want your skincare products to kick in and do its magic, then we should avoid the habit of using expired products.

You might be thinking that the consequences are actually not too bad compared to buying new products. Well, it actually is THAT bad. Repeated use of expired products can cause far more than acne like skin infections, exacerbate rosacea, irritated skin, and clogged pores. Keeping expired foundations and eyeliners should be the least thing you should do.


On the other hand, makeup does not cause acne if all the following above are avoided and understood. This includes:
• Cleaning makeup tools regularly
• Avoiding unwanted ingredients in makeup products
• Using the right makeup for skin needs
• Letting skin breathe
• Avoiding makeup sharing
• Throwing away expired products

If all these are followed, then there could be less to no chance that your makeup will actually cause you acne. Picking the right makeup is as important as picking your skincare.

“Technically, most makeup doesn’t cause acne, but certain ingredients can clog pores, which helps acne-causing bacteria grow”

As said by David Lortscher, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and CEO and founder of Curology told Women’s Health, makeup isn’t commonly the reason for breakouts. If pimples occurred, then try to recall what you did and find the culprit to avoid repetition in the future.

If you are experiencing acne formation and you concluded that it is not from makeup, then there could be another reason for that. Acne formation is another topic and if you wanna read another post about it then click here.

You have reached the end!

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