Skin

Updated 20 July 2014

9 tips: acne and cosmetics

Does the wearing of makeup make your acne worse? Take a look at what you should throw out and what you should buy.

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Right, so if you've got acne, does this mean you should not ever wear any makeup at all? Read the following and then take a look at what you should throw out and what you should buy:

  • Certain cosmetics and hairstyling products do have the ability to induce acne – this is called acnegenicity. These can cause both blackheads and whiteheads (comedones), as well as pustules and papules.
  • Pustules appear a day or two after the offending cosmetic has been used – comedones appear later.
  • Those with acne often have to change the cosmetics they are using, especially if there is a sudden visible deterioration in the skin. It is also possible that something that you have used for months without any problems, can suddenly start to irritate your skin.
  • If you have ever had acne, all cosmetics you use, including foundation, blush, moisturizers and eye shadow should be oil free.
  • Check with your dermatologist before starting to use any new cosmetic. They may be able to tell you in advance about the acnegenicity of the particular brand of cosmetic, especially if the cosmetic itself does not indicate whether it is noncomedogenic (doesn't cause acne)
  • All cosmetics should be used very sparingly by anyone who has or has had acne.
  • When removing cosmetics, gentle cleansers, or plain soap and water, should be used – no harsh scrubbing.
  • Even if a particular cosmetic has been recommended for use, stop using it if your acne suddenly becomes worse. Everybody's skin is different, and what works for one person may not work for another.
  • Some cosmetics can make your skin excessively dry, flaky or itchy – avoid those. All skin irritants can make your acne worse.

(Source Health24, updated November 2010)

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Skin expert

Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch.

She currently runs a dermatology practice in Cape Town’s northern suburbs and her specialities include eczema, childhood skin conditions and acne.

She also has a passion for enhancing natural beauty through cosmetic procedures.
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