Select a Concealer That Does Not Contain Pore-clogging Ingredients and Apply It Gently
The Essential Info
Before buying any concealer for acne-prone skin, look at the list of ingredients. Avoid concealers that contain pore-clogging ingredients.
In addition, opt for fragrance-free concealers, because fragrances may irritate the skin or may cause allergies in some people.
A concealer specifically made for acne-prone skin, which normally means it contains a small amount of salicylic acid may be preferable if you can find one.
Some concealers have a green undertone. Because green is a complimentary color to red, green-tinted concealers can help mask the redness of acne lesions.
Important Considerations When Using Concealer
- Apply it gently: Apply concealer very gently to avoid irritating the skin.
- Remove makeup before bed: The skin is more vulnerable at night. Remove all makeup very gently before you go to bed.
- Don’t use expired makeup: Use only fresh makeup.
- Guidelines for Choosing a Concealer for Acne-prone Skin
- List of Common Comedogenic (Pore-Clogging) Ingredients in Makeup
- Tips for Using Concealer on Acne-prone Skin
A concealer, also known as a color corrector is a makeup product that evens the skin tone by covering minor skin imperfections, such as:
Concealer is similar to foundation, but is typically thicker and contains a larger amount of pigment. People usually apply concealer on its own to cover a specific imperfection, or apply it under foundation in particular areas that require more coverage.1-3
Since some makeup products can potentially trigger or worsen acne,4 finding the right concealer for acne-prone skin can be challenging.
Guidelines for Choosing a Concealer for Acne-prone Skin
- Avoid pore-clogging ingredients: Before buying a concealer, take a look at the list of ingredients. Avoid concealers containing pore-clogging (comedogenic) ingredients. The table below provides a comprehensive list of common comedogenic ingredients.
- Look for a fragrance-free concealer: Some concealers contain fragrances, which are the ingredient most likely to cause allergies. Even if you are not allergic to fragrances, they may irritate your skin and thus make acne worse. The best strategy is to select a fragrance-free concealer.
- If possible, find a concealer made specifically for acne: Some manufacturers produce concealers for acne-prone skin by adding salicylic acid, which is an anti-acne ingredient that is somewhat effective. The concentration of salicylic acid in over-the-counter products like makeup is low, so it is unlikely to lead to a dramatic improvement in acne. Still, it may be a good idea to opt for a concealer with this ingredient if you can find it.
- Consider choosing a concealer with a green undertone: When looking for a concealer to cover pimples, consider selecting a product with a green undertone. The green tint will cancel out the redness of the pimple, creating a neutral skin tone. Alternatively, opt for a concealer that is a shade or two lighter than your natural skin tone so that it effectively masks blemishes.1,3
- Do not worry about looking for a concealer that contains sunscreen: Although some concealers do contain sunscreen, most people do not apply enough concealer to adequately protect the skin from the sun. Therefore, it is not worthwhile to search for a concealer containing sunscreen. However, if you spend a lot of time in the sun, it is important to protect your skin from the sun’s rays by wearing a separate sunscreen product, primer, or foundation that contains broad-spectrum sunscreen.
List of Common Comedogenic (Pore-Clogging) Ingredients in Makeup
Many scientific studies have looked at how likely various ingredients are to cause comedones (clogged pores).4 We have combed through this research and compiled two lists:
- Definitely avoid: These are ingredients that people with acne-prone skin should definitely avoid, because a convincing amount of evidence indicates that they are comedogenic.
- Consider avoiding: These are ingredients that people with acne-prone skin may wish to consider avoiding, because some evidence indicates that they might be comedogenic.
Tips for Using Concealer on Acne-prone Skin
Physical irritation of the skin can worsen acne, so whenever you apply concealer or any other makeup to acne-prone skin, avoid irritating the skin. In addition, it is important to practice good hygiene to reduce the risk of skin infections. Whenever you use concealer on acne-prone skin, keep these tips in mind:
- Apply concealer gently: Traditional makeup sponges can be irritating to the skin. A better option is to apply concealer with the softest makeup brushes or simply with your fingertips. Always apply makeup gently to avoid irritating the skin.
- Remove concealer before bed: Since the skin is more vulnerable at night, it is good practice to remove concealer and any other makeup before you go to bed. Remove cleanser gently so as not to irritate the skin.
- Do not share your makeup tools and clean them regularly: Do not share your makeup brush or other tools with anyone, because sharing makeup tools increases your chances of catching a skin infection. Using disposable tools or cleaning your tools regularly will prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
Concealer Ingredients: The Full Scoop
- Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concealer. Accessed on 10/08/2017.
- CONCEALER COMPOSITION, United States, Patent Application Publication, Pub. No.: US 2008/0081027 A1, Pub. Date: Apr. 3, 2008.
- Vrcek, I., Ozgur, O., 1 Nakra, T. Infraorbital Dark Circles: A Review of the Pathogenesis, Evaluation and Treatment. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 9, 65 – 72. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27398005
- Katoulis A. C., Kakepis E. M., Kintziou H., Kakepis M. E. & Stavrianeas N. G., Comedogenicity of cosmetics: a review. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 7, 115-119 (1996). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-3083.1996.tb00606.x
- Giacomel, C.B., Dartora, G., Dienfethaeler, H.S., & Haas, S.E. (2013). Investigation on the use of expired make-up and microbiological contamination of mascaras. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 35, 375-80. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23590385
- González-Muñoz, P., Conde-Salazar, L., & Vañó-Galván, S. (2014). Allergic contact dermatitis caused by cosmetic products. Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas, 105, 822-32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24656778
- Hamilton, T., de Gannes, G.C. (2011). Allergic contact dermatitis to preservatives and fragrances in cosmetics. Skin Therapy Letters, 16, 1-4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21611680