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Diagnosing breakoutsВ is not just our hobby-it's not just our job-it's our obsession. Whenever we experience an acne flare-up, we love nothing more than to analyze every little skincare ingredient, environmental factor, and dietary change that might be to blame.
What we often overlook, however, is how the ingredients in our makeup can affect our skin. "There areВ more potential problematic ingredients in skincare than there are in makeup products," explains esthetician RenГ©e Rouleau. "They've come a long way with makeup formulas." That said, there do exist several breakout-causing ingredients that the makeup industry hasn't yet phased out of its formulas, and estheticians say to beware.
"Make sure your products are noncomedogenic, which means it was developed not to clog pores or cause breakouts,"В advises Bella Schneider, CEO and founder of Bella Schneider Beauty. When choosing foundation, look for water-based formulas, acne-fighting ingredientsВ like salicylic acid, and mineral makeup thatВ protects the skin against free radicals and UV exposure, adds Erin Wassum, esthetician at the Obagi Skin Health Institute.В
Esthetician-approved makeup brands include Jane IredaleВ and GloMinerals,В which are formulated with skin-loving ingredients like vitamins and antioxidants. As for what to avoid, that's where this list comes in. Keep scrolling to find nine sneaky makeupВ ingredients that might be breaking you out!
Alcohols are often used in products like foundation and concealer to facilitate other ingredients' ability to sinkВ intoВ the skin, but they can be extremely drying and irritating. "Once alcohol dries on the skin, it forms a thin coating that can clog pores and create blackheads and whiteheads," says Schneider.В Look for alcohol-free foundation and concealers, like RMS's Un Cover-Up ($36).
AcrylicsВ help ingredientsВ stickВ together, but "it's the same as putting plasticВ on your skin," says Schneider. "Anything underneath will get trapped and clog yourВ pores." Avoid the negative effects with 14e Cosmetics'sВ Aloe Nourish Foundation ($44), which is 100% natural and formulated specifically for breakout-prone skin.
This chemical gives powders their shimmery, lacquered finish, but it has been linked to cystic acne.В So if you see these two words on a product's ingredient list, proceed with caution. Instead, choose Alima Pure's skin-benefiting Pressed Foundation with Rosehip Antioxidant ComplexВ ($34).
Our estheticians agree that these light-reflecting particles, found in everything from foundation and powder to bronzer, can all cause irritation and dehydration, potentially leading to breakouts. These ingredients do give the skin a glowy, youthful appearance, but if you're acne-prone, they might not be your best bet.
Wassum and Schneider say this is one of the most harmful ingredients found in beauty products. (In fact, parabens are illegal in many other countries.) "They're usedВ as a preservative to extend the life of aВ product, but research has widely shownВ parabens to be toxic and can even mess with one's hormones," says Schneider. Always make sure to look for products that are paraben-free, like those from W3ll People, which is one of our favorite natural makeup brands (and is available at Target)!
Artificial fragrances and colors certainly help make a product look andВ smellВ appealing, but our experts agree they can be extremely irritating, exacerbating skin sensitivity and clogging pores. Instead go the natural route with 100% Pure's Fruit Dyed Makeup, whichВ looksВ and smells delicious, all thanks to plant-based ingredients.
"Better known as paraffin wax, mineral oil, and petrolatum,В these chemicals are used in makeup as a preservative and to lock in moisture," says Schneider. "But they just clog pores and help other bad ingredients to seepВ deepВ into your skin to wreck havoc as well."
Another toxic chemical that's banned overseas, these additives are used to give makeup products a soft, flexible texture. But likeВ parabens, they can mess with your hormones and lead to acne flare-ups. Go phthalate-free with makeup by Juice Beauty, another of our favorite natural and organic brands.
Our estheticians acknowledge that silicones make products like primers and foundations feelВ silky and smooth (and they can have the same effect on the skin). But on certain skin types, silicones can be dehydrating and clog pores. Opt for a silicone-free primer and foundation instead, like Ish's Face Primer ($26) and Oxygenetix's Oxygenating FoundationВ ($50).Jane Iredale Smooth Affair for Oily Skin Facial Primer & Brightener $48ShopBareMinerals Blemish Remedy Foundation $28ShopZO Skin Health Offects Correct & Conceal $29ShopGloMinerals Concealer Under Eye $32ShopOxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation $66 $50Shop
Next:В don't miss more unexpected reasons why you might be breaking out.