“I’m worried that my make-up is making my acne worse. But I don’t want to stop wearing it. What can I do to make sure I don’t get breakouts because of my make-up?”

While make-up certainly does have the potential to aggravate acne, there are a few things that you can do to reduce its effect. Importantly, be sure to choose products that are noncomedogenic as they are less likely to clog pores than products that are heavy, greasy and oily. This applies to all products that you may use, including foundation, blush, eye shadow, etc.

If you are using moisturizer under your make-up, again, select a noncomedogenic product that is light weight and oil free as well. Another point to consider is that the ingredients in make-up can be allergens, which can cause rashes or skin reactions that resemble acne.

If you are currently using noncomedogenic products and still developing acne breakouts, a trial of a different noncomedogenic product might be considered, just in case the lesions are actually related to an allergic reaction.

When trying new make-up, it is important to pay attention to the effect that it has on your acne. If you notice that your acne gets worse in the first few days, this is an indication to stop using this product and try a different alternative. Give your skin a break from make-up when you can, perhaps one or two days per week if manageable and be sure that you do not sleep with make-up on.

Remove make-up on a nightly basis using a gentle, soapless cleanser. Remember that bacteria on the skin contribute to the development of acne lesions. Make-up applicators (such as brushes or sponges) can be a source of transfer of bacteria to the skin. It is a good idea to wash your make-up applicators with an antibacterial soap a few times each week and allow them to air dry. Disposable applicators are also an option.