7 Makeup and Skin Care Tips for Acne-Prone Skin

Ugh—there’s another one! A red, painful blotch and future zit on your right jawline.  Or nose. Or chin. It doesn’t really matter where the pimple is, because the last thing you want is for anyone to notice it!

So you spend the next 10 minutes trying to cover up your blemishes and redness with thick foundation and concealer so your skin looks smooth. And it helps…a little. The shot of confidence helps a lot, too.

But could this makeup routine be making your acne worse?

While there are a lot of things that trigger acne– from stress and fluctuating hormones to diet and even your digestion – sometimes the wrong products on your skin can be to blame.

girl washed her face

Thankfully, there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing acne-safe skin care and cosmetics. These seven tips for acne-prone skin will go a long way to helping you get clear!

1. Use a cleanser formulated for acne prone skin
A cleanser is your first best step for fighting acne breakouts. Look for products like these that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that target built-up oil and dead skin cells, the root cause of those annoying blackheads and whiteheads. Benzoyl peroxide attacks the P. acnes bacteria that causes those painful zits that lie underneath the skin. It also helps dry up extra oil, too. (caution: benzoyl peroxide can bleach colored fabric).

And always—always—wash off your makeup before going to bed, no matter how tired you are! Crusty, smudged makeup at night leads to new breakouts in the morning.

2. Use a toner
Toners don’t get a lot of attention—although they should. They’re just as important as a cleanser when it comes to keeping acne-prone skin clear. Toners not only remove any makeup residue left after cleansing, they also help unclog pores, kill bacteria, and soothe skin.

Look for toners that contain salicylic or Mandelic acid. These products can gently exfoliate dead skin cells and lighten discoloration. Plus, they keep shine at bay without drying your skin. [Check out our acne-safe toners here]

3. Moisturizers are your friend
One of the best ways to get clear is to use a moisturizer morning and night. Moisturizers hydrate and balance your skin. They can help loosen dead skin cells and remove sebum build-up inside your pores. And they’re especially important if you are using acne treatments that dry out your skin.

But many people with acne are afraid a moisturizer will make their skin worse—and some moisturizers do. In fact, some of the most popular moisturizers out there contain ingredients that can aggravate acne. Even products that claim to be ‘oil-free’ or “non-comedogenic’ contain pore-clogging ingredients (see the list of worst-offenders here.)

Acne on woman's jawline

However, dermatologists agree that a moisturizer is essential for people with acne-prone skin. It’s just a matter of choosing the right one.

If you have sensitive, acne-prone skin, choose a lightweight, alcohol-free moisturizer that doesn’t contain pore clogging ingredients. Clove Hill Balancing Lotion is exclusive to Natural Acne Clinic. It’s first all-natural moisturizer created especially for acne-prone skin. It contains skin loving botanicals that help relieve redness, reduce shine and give your skin a healthy glow.

4. Don’t forget sunscreen (yes, even in winter!)
I hear you asking…won’t a sunscreen make my temperamental skin break out even more? And why do I have to wear sunscreen in the winter?

A good SPF formula isn’t just for sun only. It can also help protect against brown spots, dryness, and premature skin aging are all caused by sun exposure. New research also shows that blue light from mobile devices and computers can cause photoaging of your skin. Plus benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics and other acne treatments can make your skin more sun-sensitive, which make sunscreen more of a necessity.

By the way, don’t use a sunscreen meant for your body on your face. These are generally much too thick, heavy, and greasy, and may contribute to breakouts. Our Clove Hill Mineral Sunscreen is lightweight and feels more like a BB Cream than a Sunscreen. It is available both tinted and non-tinted, and at SPF 40 it adds that much needed protection without feeling greasy.

5. Just Say NO to primers
Beauty experts swear by primers, because they help your skin look smooth and your makeup last. But we believe that the vast majority of primers are nothing more than breakout-causing nightmares!

Typical primers are very thick, flaky messes that clog your pores and aggravate acne.
If you must use a primer, we recommend Priia Acne-Safe Foundation primer. This 100% acne-safe formula helps reduce the appearance of enlarged pores while increasing the longevity of your foundation. Plus, it gives your skin a beautiful matte finish.

6. Avoid liquid foundations
All liquid foundation makeup – even BB and CC creams—is aggravating to acne. Even if they don’t contain any of the pore clogging ingredients on our list, they will still prevent you from getting clear.

Loose powder, mineral makeup tends to be the best choice for no-breakout makeup – but you have to be careful there too.

For example, Bare Minerals Original Formula loose powder is a safe choice. Meanwhile, the newer Bare Minerals Matte formula contains ActiveSoil Complex, which triggers breakouts. We do not recommend any of the pressed Bare Minerals blushes, bronzers or veils.

GloMinerals and Priia powders and concealers are provide a beautiful satin matte medium to full coverage finish that lasts all day. They feel great on your skin, too.

By the way, don’t forget to clean your makeup brushes regularly. And use a new cosmetic sponge every day (you can get cheap disposable ones at your local drug store).

7. Stay away from lip balms (but use this instead)

Small, angry bumps around your lips? The problem could be your lip balm!

Lip balms usually contain lanolin, cocoa butter, coconut oil, glycerin or other ingredients that are known pore-cloggers. Avoid using, lip balms that come in pots unless you wash your hands with soap after every use. Tinted and ultra-moisturizing lip balms can trigger acne as well.

While Vaseline petroleum jelly is considered safe, some people have broken out with Vaseline, too. Priia Acne-Safe Lip Care is an acne-safe lip balm that won’t cause clogged pores and breakouts around the mouth. It’s also infused with botanicals that are rich in linoleic acid– an essential fatty acid that’s great for acne-prone skin.

Ideally, the key is to get your skin looking clear and smooth enough so you don’t have to wear makeup at all – and that’s what we specialize in at Natural Acne Clinic.

Ready to clear you skin for good?

Our unique, whole-body approach to clear skin as helped thousands of people just like you get clear with a personalized Online Acne Program. And we have a 95% success rate doing it, too!

Our Clear Skin Coaches help design a skin care and makeup regimen that’s unique to you and your skin. And we give you encouragement and support every step of the way.

Discover How You Can Get Clear Of Your Acne. Schedule A Free 15 Minute Clear Skin Discovery Session

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About the Founder: Jessica Gremley

Jessica has been a Medical Esthetician, Certified Acne Specialist and Healing Diets Coach since 2003. After struggling with acne for more than a decade, she became determined to find a way to clear acne without pharmaceuticals for herself and eventually, future clients. Today, she offers a complete acne regimen that combines proven non-comedogenic skincare products, natural supplements, lifestyle coaching, and support from trained acne specialists to achieve lifelong clear skin. She and her staff serve locally at Natural Acne Clinic in Wheat Ridge, Colorado and nationally via NAC’s Online Acne Program.

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