Best Makeup for Acne-Prone Skin | Tips, Tricks, & Dupes
If you break out from makeup, read this
Today I wanted to share with you guys a makeup routine and products I use to avoid breaking out. These are products made for sensitive skin that you can wear every day and won't cause or worsen breakouts.
I've been wanting to do this post because it is such a struggle finding makeup that doesn't irritate my skin, and I know lots of women are in the same boat. It becomes a vicious cycle when you break out so you pile on makeup to cover it but the makeup causes more breakouts, and on and on it goes.
A brief history: When I was about 19 I started breaking out like I never had before and tried everything from prescription topicals to lasers and light therapy to changing my diet/going on birth control and none of it worked. In fact, some of those treatments made it worse. The only thing that helped me was becoming aware of the ingredients in the products I used and making a change.
I'm not going to delve too far into the nuts and bolts of acne causes today - I'll save that and my skincare routine for another post. But there is one ingredient that gives a number of people trouble: silicones. Unfortunately, they are in almost everything and became particularly ubiquitous around '08 - the year I not-so-lovingly dub the silicone revolution. They are the ingredients that end in -cone - dimethicone, cylomethicone, or -sane as in cyclopentasiloxane. In and by themselves silicones are not known to be comedogenic, rather in combination with other known pore-clogging ingredients. They work like plastic wrap and form a barrier over your skin, trapping oil and bacteria inside.
Basically, 'cone + known acne aggravator = face is a mess.
Fortunately, there is hope. These three brands have been thoroughly vetted and have my high seal of approval. Plus some are dupes for some of the most popular "regular" makeup brands. Check these out:
I have been loving this brand lately. I have been using their foundation for a month or so now (satin matte - shades Neutral 2 and Cool 2 mixed) and noticed my skin has looked calmer and clearer.
I liked the foundation so much, I ordered their contour powder in the shade Sombra and highlighter in Lumina. Sombra is a very close dupe for Benefit Hoola bronzer and does the trick for contouring. I'd recommend if you're fair to light. It's very pigmented and easy to go overboard, so I treat this like bareMinerals Warmth. Pick up just the tiniest amount on your brush and blend, blend, blend. A little goes a long way.
Lumina is very similar to Hourglass Ambient Strobe lighting in Incandescent and it is seriously stunning. It's a pinky-beige frost, very pale shade. It's super pigmented as well and has a very fine shimmer (not sparkly.) It gives a high, dewy sheen that almost looks wet. Note it is a very very pale shade, so if you're olive-toned or darker than fair to light I'd go with their peachier shade, Dolce.
The next clean brand I adore is Inika Cosmetics. Like Alima Pure, they have a line of bb creams and liquid foundations but I have only tried their mineral powders. They are an Australian brand and difficult to find in the U.S. but I can usually get it on Amazon. I like using their foundation as concealer. It doesn't quite do the trick for me as foundation as I like a fuller coverage but it's a nice concealer because you can really build it up.
Sometimes if I want to use a product I know is bad for my skin, I cheat by applying this first to make a sort of barrier before I put on the offending product.
The last brand is an obvious one when it comes to makeup for sensitive skin but comes with a few caveats: bareMinerals. I love BM and always will, but they were bought by Shiseido a few years back and some of their formulations have changed. To the best of my knowledge, the original loose products are the same but be careful with their pressed formulas. Some I can use and others have been iffy. The other caveat is their original mineral products contain bismuth oxychloride, which can irritate some people. I don't seem to have an issue with this ingredient, but if you do there will usually be signs like itching, redness after application.
Other products to love that also love your skin:
Primer: Too Faced Hangover Primer (so hard to find a silicone-free primer)
Concealer: bareMinerals bareskin complete coverage concealer
Setting powder: Cinema Secrets Ultralucent and MUFE ultra hd loose
Tell me about your favorite natural makeup lines! I'd love to hear new suggestions :)