3 Reasons Your Makeup Is Causing Acne and Bad Skin

Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.
— Gwyneth Paltrow

I don’t have oily skin. I also don’t have a history of acne. But I have been breaking out with acne and my skin is bumpy after I started using foundation.

If this sounds like you, this blog post is for you. And even if this doesn’t sound like you, we are going to share tips on how to keep your skin smooth and radiant in the world of makeup. 

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Research has not found conclusive evidence that wearing make-up leads to acne. Just like other skin care products we use, makeup is a big part of our lives – whether to enhance our natural beauty, to look extra glamorous on special days or to cover up your skin problems. However, covering your acne is one step back to better skin; we always want to seek solutions to clear, bright and radiant skin so that minimal make-up is needed to hide that glow you’ve got ;) 

So… What was the problem if makeup don’t actually cause acne? 

We will cover 3 reasons how wearing makeup can cause acne and skin congestion: 

1.    The Wrong Foundation, And Ingredients for You

I only started using makeup on a daily basis 2 years back, and my first ever foundation was the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation. While satisfied with how it applied, I was constantly on the hunt to try something new – and cheap, of course. I turned to the cult favorite – Colour Pop’s No Filter Foundation. The first application got me falling in love with its full coverage formula and how it seemed to blur my pores and made my skin look smooth and flawless. 

1 year into using my second bottle of the product, however, I realized that I was getting more and more break outs and my skin became bumpy and rough. My makeup routine had not changed apart from the different foundation, so it seems like the most likely culprit. A quick search on the Internet explained my predicament. 

Some products are just not suitable for us – and we have got to realise that as soon as possible so that we can find one that is better for us. To do so, look out for certain ingredients, or lack thereof to ensure minimal potential skin problems. 

One ingredient to look out for is silicone – especially if you have active acne. Silicone is used in make-up products to fill in the pores so that a smooth finish is achieved. This sounds ideal but take a step back and you’ll realize that filling out your pores equals clogging your pores for long periods of time. Your skin is suffocated, which may lead to increased inflammation of the skin and acne. Silicone can also be listed as dimenthicone, or anything ending in “cone”. 

Other ingredients you might want to stay away from include Isopropyl Myristate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Myristyl Myristate and Laureth 4 – common irritants and pore-clogging ingredients. 

2.    How You Apply Makeup Matters 

Whether you use your fingers, makeup brushes or beauty blenders to apply your makeup, it is always important to keep it clean. Bacteria and germs can cling on to your brushes and beauty blender while it is moist with product – and these bacteria transfers onto your skin the next time you apply your makeup.

One cause of acne is bacteria – or Propionibacterium acnes (p.acnes), which lives at the base of the hair follicles on our skin. P.acnes survives in the low-oxygen environment and lives off sebum and cellular debris – it naturally secretes substances that help it break down sebum, which it then consumes as food. When this bacterium is increased, the secretion irritates surrounding tissue and leads to inflammation. 

It is thus of utmost importance that you clean your beauty tools properly on a regular basis to keep it clean and fresh! Wash your brushes and beauty blenders at least once a week to ensure minimal bacteria and product buildup – after all, the tool can hold onto the product better for smoother coverage ;)

3.    Why You Must Use Both Makeup Cleansers & Facial Cleansers 

Double cleansing is the way to go if you put on makeup or are exposed to extreme pollution. While they both remove dirt, oil and pollution from your skin, makeup cleansers and facial cleansers do completely different things: makeup cleansers are often oil-based to melt and thoroughly remove makeup on the skin’s surface, and this is especially crucial for the many “waterproof” makeup products today. It is also important to consider using an eye-specific makeup cleanser to protect the fragile eye area from drying out – which can cause premature fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. 

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The Maria Galland 65A Eye Makeup Remover Lotion is a 2-phase makeup remover lotion that dissolves all eye makeup gently. It is effective even against long-wear and waterproof eye makeup and helps to soothe the skin, leaving it clean, soft and supple. Containing Allantoin (Comfrey Plant Extract) and Panthenol (Vitamin B5), it refines, soothes and softens the skin while moisturizing It also protects the eyelashes. 

Hamamelis Extract clams and balances the skin, and Jojoba oil improves the elasticity of the skin, preventing droopy and tired eyes. 

Facial cleansers can come in lotions, foams or gels to help remove deeper seated debris, and cleanse pores. This ensures that your skin is thoroughly cleansed so that it can breathe and rest throughout the night. Always use makeup cleansers and facial cleansers that have active ingredients containing vitamins to give your skin that extra boost!

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A cleanser that is imbued with the vitamins our skin need is the Maria Galland 60 Refreshing Cleansing Gel. Containing Vitamins A and E that are encapsulated in cellulose beads, this cleansing gel contains anti-ageing oxidants to protect your skin from oxidative stress. In addition, the beads gently exfoliates your skin to reveal fresh, revitalized skin. 

 Tamarind seed extract protects the skin from transpidermal water loss and moisturizes the skin. Perfect for all skin types, this cleanser hydrates the skin and prevent sebum build-up so that you never need to worry about drying your skin out. 

Even if you don’t wear makeup, you may find black spots on your cotton pad after wiping off your makeup cleanser. This is due to pollution and dirt clinging onto your skin – always double cleanse to ensure that your pores are not clogged! 

At the end of the day, makeup should be used to enhance our natural beauty – avoid using full coverage foundations on a daily basis. If you are using foundation and concealer to cover up acne – be warned, it may worsen the problem! Instead, try the Cocoon Foam Mask Deep Cleansing Treatment to remove the acne from its roots, heal your skin from within and achieve naturally radiant skin so that you no longer need foundation! 

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 I will share how I recovered from my acne that resulted from using the wrong makeup products even though I don’t have a history of oily skin. This is especially important because the wrong treatment targeting oily skin might have caused 1) even more acne because my skin produces more sebum to protect itself from excessive dryness, or 2) peeling and flaky skin that feels tight and sore because it is too dry. Both scenarios are not ideal – knowing the root cause of your acne and how to treat it is extremely important ;)