Makeup and Skin Care for Acne
Acne-Friendly Aftershave Lotions
Men with acne need to pay attention to their skin care regimen, too. Shaving can be both a plus and minus for a man's skin. The plus is that shaving each day acts as a natural exfoliant, opening your pores so the excess oil can drain out. But if you shave the wrong way or use the wrong products, you could wind up with more acne. Or, you could get razor bumps, which aren't acne but look a lot like them. Razor bumps pop up when newly cut, sharp-ended hairs turn back into the skin and make the skin swell up.
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.