Acne Cosmetica: Is Your Makeup Breaking You Out?

Are you dealing with mild facial acne that just doesn’t seem to go away? Tiny bumps on the face, neck and hairline that aren’t really inflamed, but seem to be getting more and more persistent may be a condition known as acne cosmetica. As the name implies, acne cosmetic is acne that’s triggered by the use of cosmetics and styling products.

Now don’t worry ladies, I am not suggesting that we all go out and face the world with bare faces and frizzy hair. Makeup and beauty products are part of who we are—it all adds up to that whole feminine mystique that guys don’t realize comes from the beauty aisle at our favorite department store.

So how do you deal with acne that comes from a bottle?

For starters, it’s essential to pinpoint the cause of your little dilemma. Something you’re using is clogging your pores and causing all of that unwelcomed acne. To figure out what’s doing it to you, zero in on the part of your body most affected. For example, if you’re breaking out along the hairline, on your forehead, or even on your scalp, the culprit is most likely your hair styling products. On the other hand, if you’re seeing bumps and whiteheads around your eyes or upper cheeks, your moisturizer skin care cream may be to blame. Finally, if those pesky pimples are appearing all over your face and nose, you might have foundation issues.

Once you’ve figured out what’s to blame, you can discontinue that particular product, and your acne cosmetica should clear up within a few weeks. In the meantime, here are a few tricks to help prevent cosmetic acne in the future:

  • Buy only non-comedogenic makeup and facial lotions
  • Whenever possible, apply hair styling products (including gel, mousse, hairspray, etc) only to the ends of your hair—avoid the scalp and hairline if you can
  • Carefully wash off all makeup and hair products every night
  • Look for foundations and concealers that contain salicylic acid and other good for your skin ingredients
  • Switch to an oil free moisturizer
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