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Should You Break Up with Your Makeup to Save Face?

Don’t ditch your beauty products to save face because the answer might surprise you. Although sometimes makeup can cause a flare-up, there is more to this tale than meets the proverbial brush. Oil-free makeup choices are a great place to start when you’re looking to free up problem pores and reduce redness and painful inflammation.

Kick Oily Makeup to the Curb

When breakouts occur, whether it’s one pimple or several, one of the first things we do is grab the concealer and try to cover it. Yet, this might do more harm than good for an acne-prone complexion. So, before you reach for your makeup bag, consider how your makeup is made. If it’s not oil-free, non-comedogenic makeup, then you may want to consider a breakup. Here’s why.

Regular makeup is made with oils, perfumes and dyes, all, of which, can irritate your skin, especially if you are sensitive to these products. Adding more oil to your acne-prone skin is a blemish war waiting to happen. However, opting for oil-free makeup paves the way for a clearer complexion and reduces the likelihood of blemishes bursting forth to create a makeup mayhem situation.

Since oil-free makeup contains no, er, oil, you won’t get that added shine like you would with other cosmetics and it is less likely to clog your pores. So, if you have oily, acne-prone skin, oil-free makeup is the way to go. Those with sensitive skin should also consider hypoallergenic makeup to reduce the risk of developing a rash from perfumes and dyes commonly used in many cosmetics today.

Sharing is Not Caring

Momma always told you that sharing is caring, but that doesn’t apply to your makeup and brushes. In fact, the opposite is true. Sharing your cosmetic products and tools puts you at risk for more blemishes than you realize.

When you share your makeup tools with a friend, you’re also sharing whatever bacteria, dirt and debris they have sitting on their face leaving yours with a cocktail of living microbes getting down and dirty. Although you may love your friend, if you want a clear complexion, it’s better to let her use her own makeup and tools and stick, instead, to a no-share rule.

Sleep In the Buff

Aside from the no-sharing rule, another way to stop a breakout is sleeping in the buff and, no, we’re not talking about going nude. According to research published by the Daily Mail, a poll was conducted by ErgoFlex, a UK-based mattress company. The poll surveyed 1,500 British women on their makeup and sleep habits and found that one in four regularly sleep with their makeup on their face. This presents a problem for women with acne-prone skin.

Not only does wearing your makeup to bed increase your risk of clogged pores and breakouts, research also shows that it can hasten the signs of aging over time. Forming a routine of removing your makeup at the end of the day will help save your skin from the blemish brigade while keeping your skin looking healthy and youthful for as long as possible.


All this talk about makeup brings us to our next point: beauty tools. We all love and adore our makeup brushes and applicators, but even these tools can spread bacteria (and not the good kind) if not properly washed. If you haven’t washed your makeup brushes in over a month, or ever, you’re not alone. A Harris Poll was conducted on behalf of Anise International and discovered that 39 percent of women fail to clean their brushes monthly and 22 percent avoid cleaning them at all. Yet, keeping your beauty brushes clean can make a difference between a breakout and a clear complexion.

Over time, your makeup brushes collect more than makeup alone. They also collect all the dirt, debris and bacteria from your face and the faces of your friends if you share. Because bacteria thrive in a warm environment, your makeup brush is the perfect, unsuspecting place to breed. These bacteria often lead to skin rashes or blasted blemishes, but they can also do far worse damage.

In 2015, CBS News reported about an Australian woman who picked up a staph infection from a makeup brush she shared with a friend. The life-threatening infection led to paralysis. While the woman did survive, it’s one example of what can happen. Our best advice is to wash your makeup brushes weekly.

Treat with Care

Sometimes, blemishes happen and there isn’t a whole lot that you can do about it. If you do experience a flare-up, there are a few things you can try for relief.

  • Anti-acne face washes
  • Anti-acne treatments like Keeva with tea tree oil
  • Prescription acne treatments and washes
  • Do-it-yourself acne solutions

A word of caution, here. Many home remedies for acne treatment and care have been proven useful to acne sufferers to some degree, but not all are effective for all acne types and some should just be avoided like the plague. So, if you’re considering a DIY acne treatment, do your research or ask your doctor before you try them.

Even if you do everything you’re supposed to do, breakouts can still happen, but this doesn’t mean that you necessarily must stop wearing makeup, especially if you opt for the oil-free, hypoallergenic variety. If you’re concerned that your makeup is the reason behind your blemishes, try going makeup-free for a week or two. If all else fails, talk it over with your dermatologist.

Should You Break Up with Your Makeup to Save Face?
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Should You Break Up with Your Makeup to Save Face?
Sometimes makeup can cause acne flare-ups, but oil-free makeup choices are a great place to start to open problem pores and reduce redness and inflammation.
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October 17, 2019
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