Makeup and Acne

This week I am answering a question from Alex, who wrote:

I wanted to reach out to you because your blog is very relevant to me as I am struggling with hormonal acne. What makeup foundations and powders do you recommend that won’t cause breakouts? My derm told me not to use anything with dimethicone/trimethicone. Do you have any favorites?

The Short Answer

When applying anything on the skin, be it makeup, moisturizer, or even cleanser, those of us with acne prone skin need to vet our products to make sure they are 100% free of pore clogging ingredients. Any cosmetic with pore cloggers will contribute to a breakout or flare up.

So, the short answer is: once you’ve found a foundation without any pore clogging ingredients, you’re safe to start using it!

Scroll down for a list of foundations and powders free of pore cloggers!

The Long Answer

Avoiding pore clogging ingredients is certainly a big step to an acne-preventing skincare and makeup routine. When it comes to foundation, pure, loose minerals are the safest for acne-prone skin, as the minerals sit on top of the skin and do not get absorbed into the skin. Liquids, creams, and non-mineral powders can be acne-safe, but can still cause irritation or breakouts if your skin is sensitive.

Silicones like dimethicone and trimethicone are controversial in cosmetics! They probably deserve their own blog post. I’ll try to be brief here, though. Silicones sit on the surface of the skin and often help ingredients in skin care penetrate the skin more effectively, and help with the texture of formulas. Silicones are also minerally derived, so they are inert and can be used on the most sensitive of skin without causing irritation. I think some of the hate on sillicones stems from forumals where sillicones and film-forming polymers are in the same formulation, which can cause sticky buildup on the skin.

Hormonal acne can be especially annoying, because we can do everything in our power topically to heal current breakouts and prevent future breakouts, but hormones are an internal trigger. Taking supplements like Omega 3s can help balance hormones, and help the skin be less stressed, but at the end of the day, if hormonal acne is triumphant over topical and internal solutions, working with a holistic physician is encouraged!

Pore-Clogger-Free Foundations:

  • Minerals
    • Adorn Cosmetics Anti-Aging SPF 20+ Mineral Foundation
    • Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation*
    • Bare Minerals Original Foundation (has to be “original” the other formulas have pore-cloggers!)*
    • Dusty Girls by MooGoo Foundation Powder
    • Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation SPF 15
    • Elate Cosmetics Pressed Powder
  • Drugstore
    • CYO Long Lasting Foundation Lifeproof
    • e.l.f. Acne Fighting Foundation
    • IMAN Luxury Concealing Foundation
    • L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Liquid Foundation
    • L’Oreal Infallible Longwear Shaping Foundation Makeup Stick
    • L’Oreal Infallible Total Cover Foundation
    • Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft Matte Hydrating Foundation
    • Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation
    • No7 Lift & Lyminate Triple Action Serum Foundation
    • Nyx Total Control Drop Foundation*
  • Luxury
    • By Terry Terrybly Densilliss Foundation
    • Fenty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
    • Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Smoothing Firming Foundation SPF20
    • Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup
    • Gorgeous Base Perfect Foundation
    • Guerlain Terracotta Skin Cream Powder Foundation
    • Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
    • Marc Jacobs Remarcable Full Cover Foundation Concentrate
    • Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick

Pore-Clogger-Free Setting Powders:

  • Alima Pure Radiant Finishing Powder*
  • Alima Pure Satin Finishing Powder*
  • BareMinerals Mineral Veil*
  • Ben Nye Neutral Set
  • Glossier Wowder
  • Lily Lolo Finishing Powder
  • Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder Loose
  • Morphe Filter Effect Finishing Powder
  • RMS Beauty Tinted Un Powder
  • W3ll People Invisible Bio Brightening Powder

*asterisks denote some of my faves!

Keep in mind that manufacturers can change ingredients whenever they want – so be sure to check the packaging on any product before you purchase to double check that there has not been a pore-clogging ingredient added!

Thank you for your question, Alex, and I hope this helps!

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