Does makeup cause acne?
I have heard so many differing opinions on whether makeup causes acne and it can get pretty frustrating. Everybody seems to have an opinion on it bloggers, beauty magazines, estheticians, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, even men! Some of them say it does cause acne and its the culprit behind all your skin problems and on the other hand some say that make-up alone does not cause acne! So which is it?
Well, the overall impact of cosmetics on the development of acne lesions is mostly considered negligible. But there are certain ingredients in products that can clog pores leading to acne. So pay close attention to the ingredients in your cosmetics, these ingredients will clog your pores and make your acne worse. It is also important to note that there are many other factors that contribute to to acne, make-up in some occasions is just one of them and not the only reason.
So before we get into the ingredients in make-up and factors that that can lead to acne we need to fully understand what acne really is...
These so called pimples are actually clogged hair follicles. When the pores at the top of the hair follicle gets clogged with dirt, sebum and dead skin, they get infected and get filled with pus, become red and inflamed. Pressure from the surrounding cells build up and with enough pressure the sides of the pore can rupture. As the pimple breaks the contents of the pore goes onto the skin, further spreading bacteria, that red bump is known as a pimple or a inflammatory papule. Acne comes in many different shapes and sizes and most common root of the problem is clogged hair follicle. Additionally when the sebum and dead skin cells don't become inflamed it is called a closed comedone or whitehead. While an open comedone or blackhead is when the clogged pore is open and the tip of the plug is darkened due to its exposure to oxygen.
So which ingredients cause acne...
It is important to firstly understand the cause of your breakout in order to fully treat it, as factors such as stress, diet and poor hygiene can be contributing factors to acne formation. In a recent study it was found that 45% women had dermatoses (skin disease) associated with the cosmetics they were using 14% had active acne lesions, which shows a correlation between makeup and acne. As a general rule of thumb make sure you are staying away from ingredients that are known to cause skin irritation and skin problems.
When buying makeup avoid products with:
- Fragrance and dyes: They do help make the product smell better but they contain strong chemicals which can irritate the skin.
- Parabens: These help to extend the usage of the product. However they can also cause acne by interfering with our endocrine system triggering a hormonal flare-up.
- Other ingredients to avoid - DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea, Imidazolidinyl urea, Methenamine, Quaternium-15, Sodium hyroxymethylglycinate, Bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol), 5-Bromo-5nitro-1,3-dioxane, Petroleum distillates, Phthalates
Also make sure that you applying your make-up with clean brushes and your hands are properly washes before applying make-up.
Another no-no is sleeping with your make-up on. This increases your chances of getting acne.
If you do feel you have acne caused by make-up then...
Firstly, you should allow time for your skin to heal. Try going for two - five days without make-up and allow time for your skin to breathe.
Secondly, make sure you are treating the problem. Use a good face wash and find a topical treatment such as salicylic acid, benzyl peroxide or if you have sensitive skin like me you can opt for mandelic acid.
Thirdly, switch your products. Make sure you avoid using products that caused your acne in the first place and try using products that are meant for acne-prone skin.
Try listening to what your skin is saying whenever you get any acne and you will know the path to getting healthy, happy skin.
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II DISCLAIMER: Every skin is different, not everything works for everybody. I recommend you test the product before completely using any new product. II