Can Your Makeup Cause Your Breakouts & Acne?

Yes it can! In this post, you will learn what causes makeup associated breakouts an acne, how to prevent it, and what your best makeup choices are.

The medical term for makeup associated acne is acne cosmetica. It generally appears like small, white bumps, but can also look like regular acne. Acne cosmetica usually occurs on the chin and cheek and occasionally the forehead too. This type of acne can take months to form, but once it starts it tends to last for years, as the person ends up using more makeup to cover the acne, which in turn leads to more breakouts. Acne can also be aggravated by applying makeup too aggressively, or using a harsh or dirty makeup brush.

Some women may experience allergic reactions to their cosmetics. The difference between acne cosmetica and an allergic reaction, is that the allergic reaction can occur very quickly, within minutes to hours of exposure. The reactions can range from an itching/burning to itching, swelling and even blister formation. These types of reactions are usually caused if you develop any kind of reaction soon after you begin using a new makeup product. If this occurs, it’s probably a good idea to stop using that particular product. Remember it’s not just what you put on your skin it’s what you put in your skin.


Recently the media is in a frenzy over gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and related grains. Why is wheat in your makeup? It is often used as a filler, or bulking agent. Many people are unaware that they are gluten sensitive. Maybe you notice if you eat pizza, you get a little bloated and “uncomfortable” after. This may last the whole day and you may think this is a normal reaction to the food, however this may be a gluten sensitivity. If your makeup has gluten, then you may develop a mild reaction to the makeup. This may show up as puffy, red, sensitive skin, and maybe even mild forms of acne. It is difficult to diagnose this sensitivity



by a medical test; clinically the best way is avoidance; eliminate gluten from your diet (if you have those abdominal symptoms of bloating, pain and upset stomach), and use gluten free makeup. Because gluten sensitivity is quite often undiagnosed, we formulated all of the makeup at to be gluten free.

How to Prevent It?

If you think you have acne cosmetica, consider going bare when possible. This may alleviate the irritation on your skin, and give your skin a chance to heal. When applying makeup, use a gentle touch to minimize skin irritation. Use non-comedogenic (doesn’t cause your skin pores to clog), fragrance-free, powder based preparations as liquid based products have more oil, and can clog pores. Don’t sleep in your makeup at night and use a gentle cleanser to remove it. Consider using exfoliating wipes and pads, which are gentle but remove more dead skin than soap does. This will prevent clogged pores and acne.

Mineral makeup is a good choice as it uses natural minerals for color as opposed to artificial colors and dyes which are skin irritants. Some women may find a decrease in their acne just by changing their makeup brands to noncomedogenic brands. If you have skin irritation, and you also have symptoms of gluten sensitivity, consider using makeup that is gluten free.

Vsacharmd makeup

At, we formulated our Loose Mineral Foundation and Cream Mineral Foundation with high levels of Zinc Oxide. Zinc Oxide protects against both UVA and UVB harmful rays, and is a proven natural antimicrobial which minimizes the breakout of adult acne. This makes our makeup an effective sunscreen with a natural sun protection factor (SPF) and an antimicrobial that prevents adult acne.



There are many Major Mineral Cosmetic companies that have Bismuth Chloride as one of their ingredients, however we know that this is a skin irritant, and is associated with acne, blemishes, inflammation and allergic reactions. Bismuth Chloride causes skin irritation in up to 80% of users because its molecular crystalline shape causes tiny micro tears in the skin, which are associated with itching, that is much worse with sweating. Bismuth Chloride is also associated with lead, which is a toxic metal.

At we complement our foundation with added topical botanicals that are anti-inflammatory, reparative and soothing to your skin. Our entire makeup line is non-toxic, and safe in pregnancy. All of our Mineral Foundations are Vegan, Gluten Free, are made without FD&C dyes, no nanoparticles, no carmine colorants, no BHT, no bismuth chloride, paraben free, free of petroleum-based oils, no alcohols, talc free, and preservative free.

Our cream foundation is hand crafted from the safest, highest quality botanicals, blended from premium crushed mineral pigments. It is specially formulated with topical botanicals such Bisabolol (the active component of Chamomile), Provitamin B5, Allanoitin and Golden jojoba oil, to protect, heal and nourish your skin. Meadowfoam seed oil provides a natural intrinsic sun protection factor (however we do not recommend using this as your only sunscreen). All of our Mineral Cream Foundations are Vegan, Gluten Free, are made without FD&C dyes, no carmine colorants, no BHT, no bismuth chloride, paraben free, free of petroleum-based oils, no alcohols, no nanoparticles, talc free, and preservative free.

One last possible source of acne is your makeup brushes!

There are 2 types of makeup brushes: those made from real animal hair (squirrel, weasel, sable, boar, horse,pony, goat, raccoon, squirrel, dog) and synthetic. At V Sachar MD, we use only synthetic brushes made from Taklon fibres. Taklon brushes are more hygienic than real hair brushes because real hair have an irregular surface which traps powders, dead skin cells, bacteria and chemicals. This can lead to “dirty” brushes which then get your makeup “dirty” as well, which leads to a recurrent cycle. Synthetic fibers\Taklon lack these surface irregularities, accordingly they cause less irritation and acne. Because Taklon is synthetic, animal cruelty is not an issue. At V Sachar MD, we do not support animal testing, and are PETA certified. The best way to clean your brushes, is soap and water, and isopropyl alcohol to disinfect them.

For makeup that is noncomedogenic, looks good and is good for you, go to



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