Is It Really A Good Idea To Wear Makeup Over Active Acne?

Acne can be very frustrating at times. It can feel like it appears out of nowhere and has a tendency to obstruct people's self-confidence. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases describes acne as a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles in the skin become clogged. Clogging leads to what we know as pimples, which could occur all over the face and body. This can happen for many reasons, with some people being more acne-prone because of genetics. However, this can also be caused by other issues which should be explored.


Because the skin is in a sensitive state, there is a common idea that you should stop wearing makeup until your skin is clear. This is because makeup is thought to make acne worse and in some cases be the cause of your skin's current breakout. However, dermatologists and experts at The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) agree that you can wear makeup while having acne, you just have to be strategic about it.

Cleansing is key

When it comes to wearing makeup while dealing with acne, cleansing is very important. While it may be easy to mask the breakout during the day, the AAD recommends you remove all makeup before going to bed, which can be done using either a makeup wipe or micellar water. It's also best to wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser. The cleanser should be non-comedogenic and oil-free to keep your pores clear, as well as not to agitate the acne further. Treating your acne while not wearing makeup is the key to healthy skin.


It's also important to cleanse your makeup brushes as well. Most of us should be cleaning our beauty tools more often than we might think. This is because bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells often get stuck in the tools, making them harmful to the skin. The AAD recommends that you clean your brushes every 7-10 days in order to avoid breakouts.

Choose your makeup carefully

Though you can wear makeup while dealing with acne, it's always best to choose your makeup carefully. New York City-based board-certified dermatologist David Orentreich, M.D., explained to Clinique, "Oil-based makeup goes on well and has properties a lot of makeup artists love, but they may be completely unsuitable for people with acneic skin." This means that the best way to go about using complexion makeup products is to stick to products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic. It can also help to specifically look for makeup products that have acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid.


It's important to also watch how you apply your makeup. While it can be fun using heavy makeup for full glam, it's best to stick to light makeup while going through a breakout. This is because applying heavy amounts of product can make your acne look worse than it actually is.