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Acne Caused by Cosmetics

By: Jody Ehrhardt - Updated: 13 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
Acne Cosmetica Acne Inducing Cosmetics

Common acne caused by hormonal changes and the excesses production of oil, is never initially caused by the use of cosmetics. However, cosmetics can make already present acne worse and even cause the appearance of acne cosmetica. Acne cosmetica is the medical name for a common, yet mild form of acne that is directly related to the use of certain cosmetics.

This type of acne is recognised by the appearance of small, pink bumps that spread like a rash over the cheeks, forehead, and chin. Since the condition is directly caused by the use of certain make-ups, treating the condition is simple and effective, but you do need to determine which cosmetics are at fault before you can begin treatment.

Which Cosmetics Are to Blame?

Although many cosmetics, like foundation, moisturiser, blushes, and powders, are blamed for their acne triggering properties, it is actually the ingredients found in some of those cosmetics that are to blame. The biggest culprit is the oil that is added to many cosmetics to produce a smoother finish. This oil acts like the naturally occurring oil sebum and can clog pores and lead to the appearance of blackheads, whiteheads, and acne breakouts.

Another acne causing culprit found in many cosmetics is dye. Dyes, especially D&C dyes, have a tendency to clog pores and cause blackhead and whitehead breakouts. These dyes can also make common acne worse. While these dyes are most commonly found in blushes, they can be present in other types of make-up.

The final ingredient to watch for in order to avoid acne cosmetica is fragrance. Although the introduction of a fragrance to an item like foundation may seem unnecessary, many manufacturers add these ingredients to mask the smell of other ingredients or to heighten the pleasure derived from the use of the product. These added fragrances, like ambrette, musk, and bergamot, can cause allergic reactions on facial skin, irritate already present facial lesions, and increase the occurrence of acne cosmetica.

Treatment and Prevention

The most obvious treatment and prevention plan is the avoidance of acne inducing cosmetics. However, since the selection of non-acne inducing cosmetics is rather slim, and since so many women enjoy the blemish covering properties, and beauty enhancing properties of make-up, this plan isn't really the most plausible. So, if total make-up avoidance is not the key, what is?

You can start by reading the ingredients on your cosmetics and only purchasing those that contain the least amount of harmful ingredients. Avoid dyes and fragrance whenever possible and look for labels that state the item is oil free.

Your next step is to make sure that you keep your make-up and your face really clean. Do not apply make-up with a soiled sponge or brush, always wash your face thoroughly before applying make-up, and never leave make-up on for extended periods of time. If you need to wear make-up from sun up to sun down try to wash your face, remove the old make-up, and reapply after work and before heading out for the evening. And never sleep in make-up. This practice leaves the pores susceptible to clogging for longer periods of time and the oil that your skin produces overnight can mix with the make-up and make breakouts more likely.

Finally, if you are currently suffering form an outbreak you should treat your skin with an acne medication, like an over-the-counter treatment that contains benzoyl peroxide, after cleansing and before applying make-up. If possible, you should also avoid the use of any cosmetics until the condition clears. If that is not possible, then you should at least choose your cosmetics well.

Choosing Your Cosmetics Well

First and foremost, always choose a cosmetic that claims to be oil-free. However, remember that even oil-free make-ups usually contain some type of synthetic oil that keeps the make-up smooth but allows the manufacturer to boast the oil-free claim. Check ingredients and choose products that contain mineral oil, sunflower oil, or no oil at all.

Secondly, choose cosmetics that are labeled noncomedogenic. This label means that the cosmetic has been tested for pore clogging properties and has been found to be safer than other types of make-up.

Finally, choose make-up that is intended for acne sufferers since the ingredients in these cosmetics are meant to help clear up acne breakouts are usually less harmful on the skin.

By reading labels and taking some extra care you can avoid the harmful effects of cosmetics and reap only the beauty enhancing properties that you were originally after.

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