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One common question we get is whether you can apply a foundation with acne and acne-prone skin. The short answer is yes. It’s just a matter of using the proper foundation and establishing a good skincare routine. Follow these three steps to wear makeup without worrying about making your acne worse.

1. Use the right makeup

Not all makeup is friendly for acne-prone skin. Before buying a new product, it’s essential to check the label. Look for products labeled as “non-comedogenic,” “non-acnegenic,” or “oil-free.” These products are formulated without ingredients known to clog pores. They’re also typically void of fragrances and harsh ingredients that could irritate the skin and cause breakouts.

2. Wash your brushes and applicators often

Bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells are easily transferred to makeup brushes and applicators and build up after each use. Never share your makeup brushes with anyone else, and set a weekly reminder to wash your brushes with an appropriate brush cleanser. If a disposable applicator is used, then it should be replaced once a week.

3. Establish a consistent skincare routine

Whether or not you use makeup, establishing a consistent skincare routine is essential for fighting breakouts and preventing new ones from forming. An example of an easy skincare routine for acne-prone skin is as follows:

Step 1: Remove your makeup

If you choose to wear makeup, then it’s so important to remove it at the end of the day. Are you looking for some makeup removal tips? Check out our past blog here.

Step 2: Use a gentle cleanser

Acne causes a disruption of the skin barrier, so it’s essential to treat acne-prone skin with kindness. Use a gentle cleanser to remove excess oil, left behind makeup, and debris without stripping your skin dry and causing irritation.

Step 3: Apply an acne treatment

If you are trying to get rid of breakouts, then using an acne treatment every day is a must! Even if you aren’t experiencing current breakouts, using a gentle acne treatment as part of your daily skincare routine will help prevent new pimples from popping up. Not sure what acne treatment is a good fit for your skin? Take the Dermala Skin quiz to see which strength of your acne treatment is right for you.

Step 4: Moisturize

Healthy skin starts with a healthy skin barrier. Moisturizers hydrate and strengthen the skin. This not only makes the skin supple and soft but helps your skin better tolerate acne treatments to reduce irritation and speed healing. To prevent breakouts, look for moisturizers labeled as “non-comedogenic,” “non-acnegenic,” or as “oil-free.”


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