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8 Tips and Tricks For Navigating Your Acne While Using Makeup

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

Believe it or not, I used to suffer from horrible acne. Not to give away my age but this was before the days of Retin A, Accutane and laser treatments. The tinted Clearasil was my go to for trying to conceal my blemishes. Of course sometimes the breakouts around my period were so awful nothing really helped. Growing up in a family where herbal medicine was a way of life, my mother and I concocted remedies that helped calm my skin down and minimize the outbreaks but hormones were the real culprit. For those times when concealing was a must, I wish I had known back then what I know now. Here are some zit and blemish healing and concealing tips to help give you a healthy glow and more natural looking result.

1. Use a gentle moisturizing cleanser.

Acne sufferers tend to have oily skin but using a harsh acid based cleanser with a loofah type scrub is not the answer. This strips your skin of essential oils that it needs. Dry skin makes makeup/concealer look unnatural and cakey making zits and blemishes even more obvious.

2. Don’t apply makeup to a freshly popped pimple.

If you popped a pimple or it came to a head on it’s own, don’t apply makeup to it. It would be like applying makeup to an open wound and that will not only irritate it more but increase the chance of causing an infection. Allow it to heal first.

3. Use a topical treatment with salicylic acid – not benzoyl peroxide.

Benzoyl Peroxide is very irritating to skin and can cause it’s own set of breakout issues. Irritation leads to redness and drying which is hard to conceal.

4. The Visine hack.

Using a dab of Visine (or Afrin nasal spray) on red blemishes causes vasoconstriction and can alleviate some of the redness even before using a concealer.

5. Use disposable applicators.

You can get a bag of 100 disposable sponges for a couple of dollars. Avoid using brushes (unless they are very clean). Used sponges and brushes are a bacteria breeding ground and that will definitely worsen your acne. If you prefer to use your fingers as your blending tools, make sure you wash your hands or apply hand sanitizer first. It would be nice if we washed our makeup brushes after every use but we don’t. Cleaning them once a week I think is a more reasonable expectation. I use baby shampoo to do this.

6. Use a color corrector.

Acne tends to leave inflammatory redness or hyperpigmented scars which can more effectively be concealed by using a yellow based color corrector. Less is more and you can either apply it before your concealer shade or mix a little with the concealer before applying.

7. Match the concealer color.

If you use a concealer that’s too light you’re going to draw more attention to the area.

8. Mineral powder

A very light dusting of mineral powder will set the area. Too much and it starts to look unnatural.

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