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Do Cosmetics Causes Acne?

For decades, dermatologists and cosmetologists alike have debated the effectsof
cosmetics on the skin, particularly in acne sufferers. Make-up has often
beenbranded an “acne Catch-22” — you want something to cover the redness, but
you’retold it may actually be causing your acne. Fortunately, this is only
partlytrue. To understand how to approach the make-up issue, we should start
with adiscussion of “cosmetic acne.”

Cosmetic Acne - A mild-mannered cousin. Acne cosmetica, or acne
that is caused by cosmetics, is a mild and fairly common form of acne. Because it
is triggered by topical products rather than the complex process that creates
true acne, it can strike anyone —even people who are not physiologically prone
to the condition. Characterized by small, rashy pink bumps on the cheeks, chin
and forehead, it typically develops over the course of a few weeks or months and
may persist indefinitely. If you've recently started using a new skincare product
and you're experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, discontinue use of the
new product for a few days and see if your breakout subsides.

NOTE: While studies have shown that make-up does not cause true acne, it can
exacerbate the condition. So it’s helpful to be aware of common topical triggers,
no matter what kind of acne you have.

The culprit: Comedogenics. Everwonder where your make-up goes over the course of the day? Some of it is rubbedoff by contact with your hands and your clothing, and some of it migrates acrossyour skin, settling into your pores — much like rainwater collects whereverthere are small holes in the ground. Some make-ups include ingredients that areconsidered comedogenic, or substances that are known to clog pores. Althoughthese cosmetics may not cause true plugging of the follicle, certain ingredientsmay induce follicular
irritation. The result? The small, persistent bumps knownas “cosmetic acne.”

Sevenrules for a clean beauty routine.
Here are seven good rules to follow for a healthy make-up regimen:

1. Avoid penetrating oils. Contrary to popular belief, not all oils are
comedogenic. Petroleum products, mineral oil and sunflower oil do not penetrate
into the pore. Most cosmetic oils, however, can aggravate acne — so it’s best to
avoid them. One of the most common acne triggers in skin products,especially
lotions and sunscreens, is lanolin, a fatty acid extracted from sheep’s wool.
Isopropyl Myristate, which promotes smooth, even application in many foundations,
is such an aggressive penetrator that it’s the main ingredient in most
rust-removers! In general, products labeled “oil-free” and"non-comedogenic" are
less likely to clog your pores and trigger breakouts.

2. Steer clear of sweet smells. Fragrance is a major cause of allergic and
irritant reactions on the face. Even products that claim to be"unscented" may
include fragrances added to mask the smell of other ingredients.It’s best to
stick with products labeled as “fragrance-free” or“hypo-allergenic.” Of course,
reactions to fragrance differ dramatically, and you may find certain perfumes
that don’t affect your skin. The most common offenders are fragrances in the
ambrette, bergamot, cinnamate and musk families.If the derivatives of your
favorite face cream or foundation’s scent are not easily determined from the
product label, try a patch test on the skin behind your ear. If no irritation
appears after three days of repeated application, you may continue usage on a
larger area.

3. Be smart about shadow and blush.The stuff that puts the sparkle in your eye
shadow, face powder and blush isusually mica, a common mineral. The jagged,
flaky shape of mica particles cancause irritation and/or clogging in the
follicle, so it’s best to use productswithout too much shimmer. Likewise, many
of the red dyes used to put a bloom inyour cheeks are coal tar derivatives; not
surprisingly, these substances arecomedogenic, too. Check the labels for blushes
that use carmine, which has beena natural, healthy cosmetic colorant since the
time of the Aztecs. Also, creamblushes are more likely to have comedogenic
ingredients, so stick to powder orgel blushes.

4. Get wise to eye creams. Because of the delicacy of theskin around the eyes,
creams created for this area are often thicker andgreasier than regular facial
moisturizers. Heavy eye creams and oily eye make-upremovers can promote milia,
tiny white cysts under the eyes. These kinds ofproducts can also migrate to
neighboring areas, creating acne on the cheeks,temples and forehead.

5. Style your hair with care. Most hair products are full of the ingredients we’d
like to keep away from our skin: alcohol,adhesives and oils. So if you’re prone
to acne, use care when styling your hair— cover your skin when you spray, and
try to keep oils, mousses, gels and pomades away from the skin at the hairline.
And don’t use hair products when you exercise; perspiration from your scalp can
carry styling products onto your skin, contributing to new breakouts.

6. Wash after exercising. While we know that sweat doesn’t cause acne, it can
promote it in those who are prone —and make-up can make matters worse. Even
non-comedogenic products can cause clogging or irritation in the presence of
heavy perspiration. As a rule, it’s best to wash immediately after exercising
with a medicated exfoliating cleanser.

7. Use the right lip lube. If you have problems with pimples around the mouth
area, you might want to reconsider the products you use on your lips. Lipsticks
and glosses are greasy by nature, with high concentrations of petroleum, wax and
other comedogenic substances. The greater the shine, the greater the potential
for pore-clogging — so if you're breaking out, try going for a matte finish
rather than a high gloss.

In general, it’s fine to doll up! Just choose your cosmetics carefully — look for
products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic. Read labels carefully to avoid
common topical triggers. And of course, use your common sense; if a product that
looks okay on the label is irritating your skin, discontinue usage right away.


  1. i have tried many products before, but none of them gave me instant results like herbal products did. After one day of use, I had people comment on my face. It's a great natural product, which leaves your face feeling wonderful after every use. I'm so thrilled, that I've finally found a product that is great for my face and suits the climate I live in. I would recommend.

  2. I'm totally agree with the article above, and also think the acne can be eradicated, if you follow the point #5. you must use care when styling your hair.

  3. Excellent blog I have been suffering acne since two years ago so I have a similar expirence with the point#3. thanks for share it know somepeople can scape this problem.