Is makeup bad for acne?

Acne-Fighting Makeup

If you're covering up your pimples, you might as well get the most out of what you're using to conceal them. Many cosmetics are taking the value-added approach by adding acne-fighting ingredients to their formulas. Good acne fighters include salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil and alpha-hydroxy acid [source: WebMD]. Topical retinoids, as opposed to oral retinoids like Accutane, also help treat acne [source: Cleveland Clinic]. Look for makeup containing these ingredients if you want to use your makeup as an acne fighter.

Before you run out and buy a large stock of medicated makeup, you should take a few facts into consideration. Many acne-fighting ingredients cite dryness as a side effect, so using too many acne-fighting products at the same time can dry out your skin [source: Monroe]. Overly dry skin will try to repair itself by making new oil, and the last thing you need is more oil clogging your pores [source: Syrett].

As an alternative to makeup with added acne-fighting ingredients, you might want to try mineral-based cosmetics. Mineral makeup products not only are noncomedogenic but also use titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the irritation associated with acne breakouts. However, you should be wary of products that contain bismuth oxychloride, because it can increase irritation and trigger cystic acne, a painful form of acne in which pus-filled cysts form on the surface of the skin [source: Bouchez].

Another alternative to acne-fighting makeup is tinted acne medication. Instead of using makeup to treat acne, you're using medicine to treat and cover up pimples and other blemishes. The medication provides the camouflage [source: American Academy of Dermatology].

No matter what type of makeup you choose, one of the more challenging aspects of makeup application comes with trying to cover acne scars. Keep reading to learn some ways to hide scars resulting from acne.