5 Makeup Mistakes That Are Giving You Serious Acne

While it’s common to experience acne as a teenager, it can be pretty annoying (and downright embarrassing) when you’re still experiencing breakouts as an adult.

While your first thought may be to buy an over-the-counter acne treatment or make an appointment with your dermatologist, you may be surprised to learn the reason for that pimple on your chin could be related to your makeup. We talked to a few dermatologists as well as a makeup artist to find out the common makeup mistakes that women make that could be causing acne.

1. Using The Wrong Foundation

“Technically, most makeup doesn’t cause acne, but certain ingredients can clog pores, which helps acne-causing bacteria grow,” says David Lortscher, a board-certified dermatologist and CEO and founder of Curology. Lortscher suggests using foundations labeled non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, or mineral-based to reduce the risk of irritating skin or clogging pores.

2. Covering Acne With Too Much Foundation

“Many of my patients cover up their acne with thick foundation, and that actually delays the healing process and could potentially cause further irritation,” says Craig Austin, an associate clinical professor of dermatology and dermatopathology and the creator of Cane + Austin. When air can’t get to the pimple, you’re actually preventing it from healing. Austin suggests spot-treating acne before applying any foundation. If you happen to pop a pimple, you should avoid applying makeup on the open pore to prevent infection.

3. Applying Makeup With Your Fingers

“Your fingers carry many germs and can irritate the skin if you’re applying makeup with your hands,” explains Austin. Instead, use a makeup brush or sponge to apply makeup, and clean it regularly.

4. Using Dirty Makeup Brushes And Tools

If you aren’t regularly washing your makeup brushes and tools, they could be the culprit behind your face breakouts.

(Just think: Damp brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria, and if you’re swiping them over your face day after day…yuck).

Cristina Bartolucci, celebrity makeup artist and founder of natural cosmetics line PEEK Beauty, explains how to properly clean makeup brushes. “Treat the hair on your makeup brushes like the hair on your head,” says Bartolucci. “Wash and condition them once a week. This will keep the bacteria load down and there is nothing like the feeling of a clean soft brush on your face.” As for makeup sponges, Bartolucci suggests washing them with soap and hot water and squeezing them out until the water runs clear.

5. Not Adequately Washing Your Face At Night

If you are only using makeup remover wipes to remove your makeup at night, you aren’t doing enough. “It is extremely important to fully remove makeup before bed, especially if you have a full face of makeup,” explains Joshua Zeichner, dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research. “During the day, dirt and oil may get trapped underneath heavy makeup, increasing your risk of a breakout.” Zeichner recommends swapping your makeup remover wipes for dedicated makeup removers, or doing a double cleanse before bed.

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