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Makeup and Skin Care for Acne

Acne-Friendly Aftershave Lotions continued...

What to look for: Use a non-irritating, lubricating shaving gel, or a prescription shaving foam containing benzoyl peroxide or a topical antibiotic that's designed for men with acne. When you shave, use a sharp razor so you don't pull on the hair or cut your skin. Shave downward, in the direction of growth of the hair follicles, to prevent irritation. After shaving, skip the splash of cologne or alcohol-based aftershave, which can irritate your skin -- not to mention leave you in agony if you have any open cuts or recently popped pimples. Use an oil-free moisturizer or a prescription topical antibiotic lotion or gel instead.

 

Wearing Makeup When You Have Acne

People have been covering up their blemishes for centuries. In the 1600s, women wore star-and moon-shaped silk patches to hide their smallpox scars. Today, we use makeup to camouflage our pimples, but applying layer after layer of cover-up when you have acne isn't necessarily the best approach. Makeup can be very good at hiding pimples, but it can also accentuate zits if you use the wrong kind of concealer or slather it on too thickly. The redness and peeling many acne treatments leave behind can look even worse when smeared with thick makeup.

What to look for: All of your makeup, from blush to eye shadow, should be non-greasy, non-comedogenic (or non-acnegenic), hypoallergenic, non-irritating, and oil-free. Read the ingredients -- the very first one should be water. Mineral-based cosmetics contain added ingredients like silica, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide, which both absorb oil and hide redness without irritating skin and causing pimples. Another ingredient to look for is dimethicone, which also conceals redness while smoothing out uneven skin.

Pick a makeup color that compliments your skin tone. When applying foundation, a little goes a long way. Use about a quarter-sized amount, and blend it into your entire face. Allow your foundation to dry for a few minutes before putting on the rest of your makeup.

If you notice that your skin is red, itchy, or swollen after you apply a certain type of makeup, stop using it. Some ingredients in cosmetics cause an allergic irritation known as contact dermatitis in certain people.

Sunscreen for People With Acne

Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen doesn't cause acne. And while red, sunburned skin might temporarily hide your pimples, getting burned too many times can also leave you with premature lines and wrinkles, and increase your risk for skin cancer. You want to protect your skin when you're outside in the sun without slathering on gobs of greasy sunscreen.

What to look for: A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that protects against both UVA and UVB light. A water-based or light liquid-based gel or spray-on sunscreen is best for people who tend to get breakouts. You can also look for light lotions and powder sunscreens. Look for “noncomedogenic” on the label, which means it should not clog your skin’s pores. Watch out for chemicals such as PABA and benzophenone, which can irritate sensitive skin. Look for physical sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on June 27, 2013

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