Does makeup make acne worse?

Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. Many people who struggle with acne-prone skin may wonder whether makeup worsens their acne.

Does makeup make acne worse - is a very common question. In this blog we will explore the relationship between makeup and acne-prone skin and the myths and facts surrounding this topic.

Acne-prone skin and makeup 

The presence of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and other types of blemishes characterises acne-prone skin. This skin type is often oily and more susceptible to inflammation, which can lead to the development of acne

Regarding makeup, some products can exacerbate acne by clogging pores and trapping oil and bacteria on the skin's surface. These products can include heavy foundations, powders, and other cosmetic products that contain ingredients such as oils, silicones, and fragrances. Choosing the right makeup products for acne-prone skin is essential for minimising breakouts and maintaining healthy-looking skin.

Cosmetic-induced acne

Cosmetic-induced acne is caused by using certain cosmetic products and can present as small bumps or pimples. Common causes include comedogenic ingredients, expired or contaminated products, and poor hygiene practices. To prevent and treat cosmetic-induced acne

  • Use non-comedogenic and oil-free products
  • Clean makeup brushes and applicators regularly
  • Avoid excessive use of makeup
  • Remove it before bed

Tips for Using Makeup on Acne-Prone Skin

Choose the right makeup products.

Look for makeup products labeled as "non-comedogenic" and "oil-free." These products are formulated to be less likely to clog pores and cause acne breakouts. You can start with our non-comedogenic moisturiser, Obagi Hydrate, which provides your skin with an 8-hour moisturisation.


Obagi Hydrate


Apply makeup with clean tools.

Wash your makeup brushes and applicators regularly with gentle soap and water to prevent bacteria buildup that can cause acne. Also, avoid using your fingers to apply makeup, as they can transfer bacteria and oils onto your skin.

Remove makeup before going to bed.

Leaving makeup on overnight can clog your pores and contribute to the development of acne. Make sure to remove your makeup thoroughly before going to bed.


Skin Essentia

Consider using acne-fighting products.

Use acne-fighting ingredients in your skincare routine like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, for example, the Obagi CLENZIderm range. These can help to keep your skin clear while you wear makeup.


Obagi CLENZIderm

Consult with a aesthetician.

If you have severe acne or trouble managing acne while using makeup, consult with our aesthetic practitioner, Kuljeet. She can provide personalised recommendations and treatment options to help you achieve clear, healthy skin.

Some ingredients to avoid

Comedogenic Ingredients

  • Cocoa butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Petroleum derivatives (like mineral oil and petrolatum)
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate(SLS) (sometimes found in toothpaste)
  • Wheat germ oil
  • Palm oil
  • Algae extract


  • Ethyl
  • Denatured Alcohol or "Denat"
  • Isopropyl (rubbing alcohol)
  • Cetearyl
  • Cetyl
  • Steary
  • Methyl


  • Lanolin is a waxy substance secreted by sheep and other wooly animals to protect their fur.

Final Words

Does makeup make acne worse? You probably got the answer. Makeup alone is not the sole cause of acne, but it can worsen existing acne or trigger new breakouts if not chosen and applied correctly. Seeking advice from a professional can be beneficial in developing a skincare routine that is tailored to your specific needs. 

If you are struggling with acne or have concerns about how your makeup routine may affect your skin, consider booking a virtual consultation at Uzuri Aesthetics to receive personalised guidance and treatment options.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published