Makeup Mistakes That Are Making Your Acne Worse

Have you ever woken up to a giant pimple and your first thought was to Google the inventor of concealer so you could silently thank them? Yes, the whole point of makeup may be to enhance our natural beauty. But if you've ever woken up to a hormone-induced cluster of blackheads on your chin, or a pimple on your nose that is so large it would make Rudolph blush, then you know makeup conceals as well as it enhances.

Having a full-blown breakout, or even just a few pimples on your face, is no fun. But it might help to know that you are definitely not alone. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology states that acne is the most common akin ailment in the U.S. and affects nearly 50 million Americans annually. If you're prepared to use the contents of your makeup bag as armor and not let the unwelcome zits on your face destroy your confidence, then good for you! Just try and avoid these cosmetic mistakes that could be making your acne even worse.

Start with a clean surface

According to Insider, prep is key. One of the easiest ways you could be making your acne issues even worse is by applying makeup to skin that is not clean. "To avoid breaking out from your makeup, make sure to prep the skin using a salicylic acid-based cleanser to remove excess oil, dirt, and dead cells from the surface," advised Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital.

There is also a not-entirely-true assumption that wearing makeup for long periods of time will cause breakouts. David Lortscher, a board-certified dermatologist sets the record straight to Byrdie: "If your makeup is not pore-clogging, wearing it for a longer period of time should not be a problem, in theory." He adds, "Although it's not a guarantee, it's best to use only products labeled with terms such as 'noncomedogenic,' 'non-acnegenic,' 'does not clog pores,' or 'won't cause breakouts."

Consider a weekly brush cleaning

Applying makeup to clean skin and finding the right formulas are both great ways to avoid a dreaded acne flare up. You should also start creating a routine to clean your makeup brushes, and clean them often. Makeup brushes can get pretty dirty, per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), harboring not only leftover makeup and oils and dirt from your skin, but bacteria that can cause breakouts and even harm your health. Cristina Bartolucci, celebrity makeup artist and founder of natural cosmetics line PEEK Beauty, explains via Women's Health how often you should clean your makeup brushes. "Wash and condition them once a week. This will keep the bacteria load down and there is nothing like the feeling of a clean soft brush on your face." If you use a makeup sponge to apply your concealer or foundation, Bartolucci recommends washing them with hot water and soap until clean. 

But don't for a second think you're doing your skin any favors by applying makeup with your fingers instead of a brush or sponge. Insider reports that using your fingers and hands as applicators can transfer many germs and irritate the skin on your face. Makeup can be the best weapon you have against an unwanted breakout. Just make sure to clean your skin, choose the right formulas, and have a clean tools before you start to both conceal and enhance.