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Does makeup cause acne?

If the makeup is kind of greasy and thick cosmetics that alter the cells of the follicles and make them stick together more easily, this will help produce a plug that is the beginning step in the onset of a pimple, i.e. first step in all types of acne.

Also cosmetics that contain certain oils, such as mineral oil will leave our skin shiny and can be aggravating to acne. Usually oils that are problematic are those that are produced by our sebaceous glands (i.e. oil-producing glands located in the deeper layers of our skin and are attached to the hair follicles. The oil produced will travel up the follicle and end up on the surface of our skin. You may want to view here for the structure of human skin). In contrast, certain oils, fats or lipids that are naturally found in our skin will help our skin function as an effective barrier to block bacteria from penetrating our skin, prevent water loss from our skin as well as improving water retention within the skin to keep it looking healthy and supple.

Usually those products that do not aggravate acne are labeled as non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic (i.e. will not induce inflammatory lesions such as papules and pustules to form, usually within 2 to 3 days of using the product). Unfortunately, the exact comedogenic (i.e. that can induce open or closed comedones to form) potential of any product is not known as it is simply too difficult to take into account all of the interactions with all the individual comedogenic and noncomedogenic ingredients included in the final mixture of those products. In short, results are not guaranteed to be consistent; hence, knowing the ingredients and the physical characteristics (such as the density and oiliness) is not enough to help us make an accurate predication about whether a product will be acnegenic. Also, the unscrupulous practices that cosmetics do not contain comedogenic agents are not guaranteed to be noncomedogenic.

Points for reference:
  • We have to look at our own skin and see how our skin toleration with certain products.

  • A big and continuing trend toward oil-free everything exists as a way to prevent acne; however, different kinds of "oils" can be found in products that may or may not have an effect to acne.

  • Many of the acne-control products available are in many ways sebaceous oil-control products.

  • Since acne treatments are usually drying or otherwise irritating to the skin, a more emollient or creamier moisturizer may be needed especially in the evening before bed because water loss from the skin is increased at night while we are sleeping.

  • For acne-prone people, try to keep thing simple by choosing products that have 10 or fewer ingredients. In choosing foundations, look for loose powders since they help absorb excess oil from the skin. If we use a liquid foundation, try to look for ones that are silicone (dimethicone, cyclomethicone) based since this ingredient sits very smoothly on the skin and is nongreasy, nonacnegenic and noncomedogenic. It is good to avoid cosmetics that contain D&C red dyes as they are highly comedogenic, though it can be difficult to find the right blush without D&C red dyes.

  • A product which is labeled as "natural" does not mean it will do well for our skin. Remember that the word natural is largely undefined and unregulated, and even products that are labeled "all-natural" may include ingredients that are comedogenic and acnegenic.

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