Makeup & Acne: What Causes It & How to Avoid It

Worried your makeup is making your acne worse? It's a tale as old as time - you wear a full face of makeup and the next day you can feel a nasty boi lurking below the surface, ready to break through and ruin your day.. 

While the relationship between makeup & acne is complex and unique to every single person, here are my top tips to avoid breakouts while still living your best beauty junkie life. 

The proof is in the pudding: ingredients matter

When you have acne-prone skin, the number one thing you've gotta watch out for is comedogenic ingredients, Yoram Harth, M.D. explains

Simply put: comedogenic ingredients = clogged pores = breakouts. 

Common comedogenic culprits include:

  • silicone (commonly used in blurring makeup primers)
  • oils (found in some foundations & primers)
  • fragrance (found in a lot of skincare & some makeup)

If you're prone to breakouts or have sensitive skin, make sure you check your makeup for these ingredients. If you're still not sure, a lovely human at your local Mecca, Sephora or skin clinic should be able to steer you in the right direction. 

A makeup wipe does not a clean face make: cleanse every morning & night

Look, I'm not gonna lie - even as a makeup artist, I'm guilty of occasionally sleeping in my makeup after a big night. But if you're prone to breakouts & give a f&%# about your skin, do as I say, not as I (sometimes) do... 

If you're prone to breakouts, it is essential to cleanse every morning and night. And no, a makeup wipe does not count as a cleanse. 

In the morning, cleansing removes all the oil & dirt that builds up while you sleep. Cleansing at night removes your makeup along with all the other gross crap that accumulates on your skin during the day PLUS it creates a perfect, clean base for your nighttime skincare. Simples! 

Wash your brushes & clean your makeup, you detty pig 

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Let me paint you a picture. It's Saturday night, your Thursday night tan is at peak glow and you've just taken off your Transformazing Sheet Mask. You've sat down with a seltzer, turned on the Real Housewives and you're ready to do your makeup on your perfectly prepped base. Enter: the brushes you haven't cleaned in months & the eyeshadow palette that hasn't been cleaned since you bought it in 2019. Sound familiar? 

Girllllll, we gotta TALK. 

Why? Because your brushes & makeup are a literal breeding ground for bacteria, dirt & oil that could compromise your flawless face. Oh, and we're not just talking breakouts, we're talking rashes, allergic reactions, eye infections and even fungal infections *gags*. Don't believe me? Read some super nerdy but terrifying proof here

So what is the golden rule? If you're serious about preventing breakouts from makeup, clean your brushes & makeup before every lewwwkk. Otherwise, aim to deep clean your brushes and spritz Saint Jack's Makeup Cleaning Mist on your makeup collection at least once a week.

Spoiler alert: you can also use the Mist to refresh your brushes between deep cleans as an extra layer of acne protection  ☠️😎 click here to check it out. 

Acne & breakouts are a confidence buzzkill so I hope this article has been helpful! If you need more help, why not hit up a local skin clinic for a consult to see if there are any more changes you could make to your routine to bust those breakouts! 

Sending good vibes as always, 

Beth xx

(makeup artist & founder of Saint Jack)