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Does Makeup Make My Acne Look Worse?

The answer to this question is not as simple as a yes or a no. There are many factors you need to consider. These include the type of makeup you use and the way you cleanse your face. Read more about this question in this article.


Comedogenic Makeup Can Actually Make Acne Worse

The term "comedogenic" is derived from the word "comedones" and refers to the ability of a cosmetic ingredient or product to clog the sebaceous glands. These are responsible for the production of sebum. This blockage prevents the natural removal of sebum, which tends to lead to various skin problems, such as acne, which takes the form of stubborn white pimples or painfully swollen red pimples.

The concept of comedogenicity of a makeup product is especially important for people with combination to oily skin or skin prone to blemishes, as they may be more likely to develop comedones after using a comedogenic product. For these skin types, it is therefore best to choose a non-comedogenic cosmetic product. A non-comedogenic skincare product is simply one that does not contain comedogenic substances.

But how can I tell if my makeup and especially my foundation is comedogenic?

There are several things you can do:

  • Check the I.N.C.I. list of your cosmetics to identify comedogenic ingredients.

  • Although it's not a guarantee, you should use products labeled with terms like "non-comedogenic," "won't clog pores," or "won't cause rashes."

  • Don't forget your skin's tolerance level, as everyone's skin is different and reacts differently to the product. For example, products labeled non-comedogenic may clog pores in some people and vice versa.

The term comedogenic is calculated on a scale. Ingredients are ranked from 0 to 5 according to their comedogenic effect, where a value of 0 means that no blackheads have developed, i.e., the pores are not clogged, and a value of 5 means that the ingredient is highly likely to cause blackheads. The comedogenicity index of an ingredient is based, among other things, on the speed with which it enters the top layers of the skin and its susceptibility to oxidation. Any ingredient rated 2 or less is considered non-comedogenic. Here is a list of ingredients to avoid, for oily or acne-prone skin that already has problems and clogged pores.

  • Animal waxes: beeswax and lanolin;

  • Certain mineral oils and waxes derived from hydrocarbons: Paraffinum Liquidum, Cera Microcristallina, Synthetic Wax, Vaseline, Mineral Oil, Ceresin Wax, etc. ... ;

  • Certain plant oils and butters: Triticum Vulgare or Wheat germ oil, Argania Spinosa (argan oil), Persea Gratissima (avocado oil), Coco Nucifera or Coconut Butter (coconut oil), Cacao Butter or Theobroma Cacao (cocoa butter), Butyrospermum Parkii or Shea Butter (shea butter), Rosa Canina or Rosehip Oil (wild rose oil), Castor Oil (castor oil), etc. ;

  • Certain fatty acid esters: especially stearic and oleic acid derivatives, or also isopropyl myristate.

  • Silicones: often found in conventional foundations because they give a soft texture with a non-greasy finish, these polymers are usually very pore-clogging. Double-check the ingredients of your products and remember that silicones may also be listed as dimethicone in the ingredient list. Note: Some silicones such as cyclomethicone (a mixture of D4, D5 and D6 silicones in varying proportions) are known endocrine disruptors.

Worth knowing: some ingredients such as alcohol are not comedogenic, but have a particularly drying effect on the skin. However, they should be avoided in makeup products for acne-prone skin, as they can aggravate micro-injuries and also cause sebum overproduction.

What Precautions Should Be Taken When Applying Makeup to Acne-Prone Skin?

Makeup can be applied to acne-prone skin, but only under certain conditions. Applying makeup to acne-prone skin requires a proper beauty routine, with some important rules to follow.

  • Clean your skin daily

    If you have acne, we recommend washing your skin with a mild cleansing product that respects the skin's balance (without alcohol, without perfume...). Otherwise, the skin will react with increased sebum production. You can use our balancing cleansing care with nettle, which is made in France and is 100% natural. It is cold saponified and consists of eucalyptus essential oil and nettle powder.

    Alternatively, you can apply our clarifying cleansing gel. This cleansing gel, concentrated with purifying ingredients such as zinc PCA, clarifies the skin, regulates sebum production and limits the development of impurities. You can then apply peppermint hydrosol, which helps to rebalance the pH-level of the skin. Note that if you have oily skin, cleansing with a gel can only be done in the evening, so as not to stimulate sebum production. Apply only the hydrolate in the morning to cleanse your skin.

  • Remove makeup from your skin every evening

    If you have acne, it is even more important that you do not forget to remove your makeup! You can apply our makeup remover oil directly to your face until the makeup is completely gone. Supplement the makeup remover oil with the micellar water with 7 ingredients.

  • Moisturize your skin with the right care

    It's a common misconception that oily skin doesn't need moisture. Although it may sound surprising, oily skin can also suffer from moisture loss, which affects how your skin looks and feels: tightness, irritation, redness....

    If you are looking for a care that will moisturize your oily skin daily, we recommend the clarifying face cream with a light texture that absorbs quickly without being greasy or sticky. You can hydrate your skin without clogging pores, while limiting the appearance of blemishes, thanks to Zinc PCA that is included in this cream. This mineral has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, acts against the proliferation of Propionobacterium acnes and fights inflammatory reactions. In addition, its formulation ensures control of sebum production thanks to the absorbing action of bamboo extract and the sebum-regulating action of zinc.

  • Maintain the hygiene of your makeup utensils

    Over time, dust, and bacteria can accumulate on brushes. This is even more true if they are kept in a humid environment like the bathroom. If your brushes aren't cleaned regularly, dust and bacteria will get directly onto your skin, clogging pores and potentially leading to skin blemishes like pimples or blackheads.

    Brushes used for foundation, dark circles and blush should be cleaned at least once a week, as they can be a breeding ground for bacteria. If you apply makeup daily, you should wash the products after each use or at least several times a week.

  • Always apply makeup with clean fingers

    If you prefer to apply makeup with your hands, they should be cleaned first. We recommend that you apply a hazelnut-sized amount of the makeup in question to your clean finger and lightly tap it on your face.


Understand your skin
and its complex needs.