Tips For Preventing Cream Blush-Induced Breakouts (& Finding The Right Formula For You)

If you love your cream blush and can't imagine leaving the house without it, you may have to reconsider if acne becomes a consistent problem. Depending on the makeup you wear, you could be irritating your skin and contributing to breakouts — and if you don't know what your skin needs or how it reacts to certain ingredients, you may be courting disaster in terms of pimples.

Generally speaking, all of the makeup you wear on your face should be non-comedogenic, which means it's formulated not to clog pores. Cosmetics are usually not the primary cause of acne, but they can encourage its development by preventing your skin from shedding dead cells. In turn, your pores can become blocked and inflamed, increasing the chances of a breakout.

Your hormones, as well as bacteria, can lead to ongoing acne flare-ups. You can only do so much in terms of controlling the emergence of zits, but your choice of makeup can aid in prevention. For instance, a cream blush might not be best for your skin if you have a combination or oily skin type and need to keep your pores clear. On the flip side, it might be perfectly acceptable to use cream formulas if your skin tends to be dry, especially in the colder months. If you prioritize understanding the causes of your breakouts and the best treatment for your specific situation, you'll be able to care for your skin even while wearing makeup products like your fave cream blush.

Examining the different types of acne

There are many causes behind acne, but Mayo Clinic explains it simply as the result of your hair follicles becoming clogged. This can be due to the oil your skin produces, dead skin cells, bacteria, hormones, or a combination of these factors. Although people commonly associate pimples and breakouts with teenagers, anyone can develop them, including adults. Additionally, there are many different types of acne, and knowing which one you're dealing with can help you find the most effective treatment.

For instance, hormonal acne — sometimes referred to as adult acne — is typically caused by clogged pores, often from the excess oil produced by your skin. Combined with a buildup of dead skin cells and bacteria, you could be in for unsightly recurring breakouts.

Cystic acne, on the other hand, can arise as a result of genetics. For example, if one of your parents had this condition, you may be prone to developing it once you reach your teenage years as well. Cleveland Clinic notes that treating this form of acne isn't as easy as keeping your pores clear — a dermatologist may recommend a prescription-strength topical gel or oral medication, depending on your specific situation. If you're struggling with recurring breakouts and nothing seems to help, a doctor can properly examine your skin to identify the appropriate treatment for your form of acne and what forms of skincare products and makeup are best to use on your face.

How to effectively treat and prevent breakouts

No matter which form of treatment you and your doctor decide is best for you, keeping your pores clear will be a part of the equation, meaning you might want to discuss your makeup usage with your dermatologist. They can help you understand the ingredients in the cosmetics you use and how they may be contributing to breakouts. For instance, any products you apply to your skin that contain coconut or flaxseed oil — two known comedogenic ingredients — could be clogging your pores and result in acne.

Along the same lines, you'll want to think about how your skincare routine might be impacting your acne. Moisturizers can be comedogenic too, which might be rendering your skin more prone to pimples even if your makeup is in the clear. Certain serums and face oils can cause similar issues, meaning it's best to read the ingredients list before applying.

By cleansing your skin routinely, you can keep your pores free of dirt, debris, and bacteria that can cause a breakout. Your dermatologist might recommend an over-the-counter retinoid to help eliminate bacteria on the surface of your face. A facial cleanser with ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can also minimize the number of breakouts you experience on a regular basis, as they limit the number of acne-causing bacteria that reside on your skin (per Neutrogena).

Using blush without causing a breakout

Even when you know the causes of your breakouts, it can be nearly impossible to prevent them altogether. To make matters worse, pimples can arise at any given time, including before an important upcoming event. But just because you have this skin condition doesn't mean you can't enjoy wearing makeup. Once you've got a handle on how to minimize breakouts for your skin, you can take steps to attack the problem from different angles.

For starters, you can familiarize yourself with the ingredients in your favorite cream blush. Keep in mind that just because it's a cream consistency doesn't mean that it's off the table — it might be non-comedogenic. The same goes for any formulation of blush, including liquid. Look for any information on the label that might mark it as formulated for acne-prone skin or "oil-free."

If you have a severe type of acne, such as cystic acne, pay attention to how you apply your blush. The texture of your skin may make you hesitant to draw attention to it with blush or bronzer, but the way you apply it can make all of the difference. Look for a blush that comes with an applicator made for the specific product, and try for a subtle, natural glow. In a pinch, you can default to your fingers to blend accordingly.

How to prevent pimples and still wear makeup

If you aren't afraid of just your cream blush causing a breakout, take a look at what else you have in your makeup bag. Once you have a better understanding of what is causing your acne, you'll want to ensure that you're doing everything you can to prevent future pimples.

While it's best to use non-comedogenic cosmetics, you can also reduce your chances of a breakout by cleaning your face before you apply any makeup. Look for a chemical exfoliant to eliminate any dry dead skin that might be lingering on the surface of your skin — this will help you make sure that your pores are clear and you have a smooth canvas to start your makeup application. In addition to exfoliating, make sure your skin is as hydrated as possible. Though it might seem like a recipe for disaster (especially if you have oily skin), moisturizing before adding makeup to your skin can prevent it from gathering in patches and appearing cakey.

Of course, always try to make sure whatever is touching your face is clean to stop bacteria from building up and evoking a future breakout. Wash your hands before using your fingers to blend, and take a moment to clean any brushes or applicators you use afterward so they're fresh for next time. When the day comes to an end, reach for your cleanser to remove your makeup and eliminate bacteria and debris on your face.

Covering up existing blemishes with makeup

If you already have a zit on your face when it comes time to apply makeup, you'll especially want to pay attention to how you prep your skin. Ensuring the area is clean is essential to preventing a full-blown breakout from developing. Then, exercising caution while using your cosmetics is necessary to cover your acne and stop it from getting worse.

Don't apply any oils or oil-based makeup to the area, as doing so can further clog your pores. Similarly, steer clear of powders that contain talc, which is a comedogenic ingredient and can also cause skin dryness. If you notice redness around the pimple, you might want to use a tinted concealer or color corrector to neutralize it. Doing so before you apply your concealer can make it easier to cover when the time comes — or, if you get lucky with the pimple's placement, you may be able to hide it purely with your cream blush and appropriate blending. (Bonus: Your cream blush may even look more natural over textured skin compared to powder formulas that can easily get caught in the crevices of a breakout.)

Finally, don't hesitate to reach out to your dermatologist again if breakouts continue to be a problem. You might need to reexamine the products you're using on your skin to find a more effective treatment for your acne and a makeup formula that works for you.