The Science Behind Beauty

By Dr Juliet O.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

What No One Tells You About Using Makeup On Acne

Tips for using makeup on acne prone skin

I have been recently watching a lot of makeup tutorials for hyperpigmentation and acne prone skin on youtube. And after watching a full face beat/ tutorial, I am amazed at how these self-taught makeup artists conceal their imperfections. It often reminds me of why I was inspired to start 'The Science Behind Beauty', because I really wanted a platform, where I could help people look at the science behind skin and tackle a lot of these skincare problems. 

Acne, also known as, acne vulgaris is very common from adolescence all the way up to old age. Almost everyone has experienced some kind of acne breakout during their life and although it is very common it doesn't actually make it any easier to deal with. And because it can be so difficult to deal with, it is easy to reach for makeup products to help conceal those imperfections.

Have you ever heard of the 3 C's of makeup:

Cover, Conceal & Camouflage.

Well, thats what makeup is actually designed for. Even the way makeup is applied to the skin, delicately with brushes, sponges, even fingers, you can really see that it is for covering imperfections and creating a flawless look.

What does that mean for acne breakouts skin? It means that makeup doesn't actually hide acne. It can only cover, conceal and camouflage the after effects of acne during its healing process.

Acne actually occurs in different phases: 1) active 2) healing 3) healed - sometimes left with discolouration.


- Makeup actually makes the acne breakouts appear larger and even more raised than before because you are enhancing the bumps by coating the top and sides with makeup and when any light/ shadows hit your face its even more obvious (just like the mascara-effect).

- Makeup only conceals, covers and camouflages; therefore it can not hide any raised bumps over the skins surface, the only effect it has is on the colour

- Using makeup with certain ingredients on acne (especially during its active phase), may actually aggravate it and make it much worse.


*Try not to use much makeup during the active phase of acne. When the acne breakouts have healed and you're probably left with discolouration/ dark marks on your face. You can then use makeup as a great cover-up!

- When your acne breakouts are healing (less active); this is the best time because they are flattening towards your skin surface and when you wear makeup they won't appear so large.

- Use makeup products that are primarily water based and non- comedogenic (this works well for many people) and they may be less likely to aggravate any acne present.


I remember when I was a lot younger and I would use makeup to cover my spots and they would look so large, and I used to think 'why does it look worse'. Thankfully now I know and so when I wear makeup during a breakout, I purposely go around them, so they're not more obvious. Anyway, hope you learned something new and please let me know if this post was helpful!

Thanks for reading and I'll see you in the next one!

Love you lots, Jx

Pinterest image for acne and makeup on skin



  1. I've got spot prone skin so I always make sure my foundations are oil free and non comedogenic! Great post! x

    Cyber Mermaids | Alternative beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog

  2. I have a friend that suffers from adult acne and it's so difficult for her to apply foundation and to cover her breakouts. Great tips love!! xx


  3. Thanks so much for this! It makes sense now :)


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