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Does Concealer Cause Acne

People with acne-prone skin must be careful about what they apply to their face. One wrong ingredient on acne-prone skin can instantly result in clogged pores and acne breakouts. It’s a common belief that makeup can cause acne, especially on this skin type. It makes sense that people think this because we jam makeup down into our pores, and certain products tend to cause breakouts instantly, but does concealer cause acne or is this another myth? We’ll cover everything you need to know. 

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Does Concealer Cause Acne?

In general, concealer does not cause acne. However, some concealers with comedogenic ingredients will make your skin break out because they clog your pores. Non-comedogenic products are carefully formulated so they do not cause breakouts. If you experience an acne flare-up after using makeup, it’s more than likely the concealer you’re using, not the fact that you’re wearing makeup products. 

Why Does My Concealer Make Acne Worse

Concealer and other makeup can make your acne worse for various reasons. Wearing too much makeup on oily skin clogs pores, which can lead to pimples. Concealers that are not non-comedogenic are more likely to clog pores, too. Oil-based makeup on acne-prone skin can wreak havoc on your skin. These are the most common reasons you’ll experience a breakout when wearing a certain concealer. 

What To Look For In A Concealer For Acne-Prone Skin

People that are prone to breakouts need to purchase specific makeup products that are designed for acne-prone skin. When you take the time to purchase the right concealers, you won’t have to worry about concealer making acne worse. 

Gentle Formulas

Concealers designed for sensitive skin are a must-have in your makeup routine. This applies to all of your makeup. Acne-prone skin is more likely to get irritated and inflamed, especially if makeup products have harsh ingredients. Opt for gentle formulas, such as mineral makeup. 


It’s common for makeup, especially liquid makeup, to have a little oil. However, you want to ensure that the makeup is not oil-based. Pick up oil-free concealers to ensure you’re not accidentally using oil-based makeup. 


Non-comedogenic products are makeup products that have been formulated to make them unlikely to clog pores and cause breakouts. You can find non-comedogenic products in every beauty category, including cleansers, concealers, foundation, and more!

Formulated For Acne-Prone Skin

Individuals with acne-prone skin need beauty products specifically designed for their skin type. Resist the urge to rush out and buy the latest TikTok trend. Instead, take the time to read the fine print regarding products. Concealers formulated for acne-prone skin typically have ingredients that help reduce breakouts while soothing skin, like sodium lauryl sulfate and hyaluronic acid. 

Lightweight Formula

A lightweight formula is a must-have for anyone with acne-prone skin. Your skin needs to be able to breathe to heal, making this a necessity for anyone experiencing a breakout. Heavy makeup products can make you more likely to experience breakouts, too. 

Cover Care Full-Coverage Concealer By Dermablend ($28)


Why You’ll Love It

  • Lightweight so your skin can still breathe
  • Amazing coverage
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Long-lasting
  • Waterproof, transfer-resistant, vegan

Shop here!

Common Makeup Mistakes That Cause Breakouts

Wearing concealer might worsen breakouts, but it’s not the only culprit for clogging pores. Quite a few things have been linked to causing breakouts, hence the myth that makeup causes acne. These are some of the most common mistakes that are giving you pimples. 

Not Cleansing

Cleansing is always essential, especially if you wear makeup. Without wearing makeup, you should cleanse at least in the morning and at night. When wearing makeup, it’s important to double-cleanse. The first cleanse should involve washing away makeup with makeup removers. The second cleanse is to wash away the rest of the dirt and impurities on your face. 

LHA Cleansing Gel ($42)

LHA Cleansing Gel: Our Best Cleanser for Acne Prone Skin

Why You’ll Love It

  • Specially formulated for oily and acne-prone skin
  • Decongests pores
  • Alcohol-free
  • Doesn’t dry out skin
  • Brightening

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Zero Skincare

It’s common to throw on some concealer to cover a blemish without putting a lot of thought into your skincare routine. However, your skincare routine is especially important when you have acne-prone skin. Cleansers and moisturizers specially formulated for acne-prone skin are a must-have. 

Applying Concealer With Fingers Can Cause Acne

Blending concealer with your fingers seems like an easy thing to do, but it’s a no-no for anyone prone to blemishes. The oil on your fingers and skin can get into your concealer and work its way deep inside your pores. Instead, use a clean brush or beauty blender. 

Not Cleaning Makeup Brushes Leads To Breakouts

Makeup brushes are a haven for gross bacteria and dirt. They provide a nice, moist environment that bacteria can thrive in. When you don’t take the time to clean them after each use, bacteria build up on the bristles. Then, when you spread your makeup across your face, you’re spreading bacteria along with it. Instead, pick up several makeup brushes to ensure you always have a clean one. Set aside one day per week to clean your brushes. 

Using The Wrong Type Of Makeup

Using the wrong types of makeup can instantly coss breakouts. This is one of the most common causes behind breakouts with makeup. Oil-based ingredients in makeup can lead to pimples and comedogenic products will lead to zits with makeup. Instead, pay special attention to the ingredient list on your makeup products before purchasing them. Only purchase beauty products formulated for oily or acne-prone skin. 

Not Removing Makeup Before Bed

Wearing makeup throughout the day often leads to makeup and possibly oil working it’s way deep into your pores. When you wash away makeup, it gives your skin a chance to breathe all night long. Your skin also repairs itself at night time while you sleep. Your pores don’t stand a chance when you don’t take off makeup before heading to bed. 

If removing makeup before bed is a hassle, consider using a Makeup Eraser cloth or makeup remover wipes. These alternatives should not replace cleansing but are better than sleeping in makeup. 

The Original Makeup Eraser Cloth ($20)

Why You’ll Love It

  • Re-usable and washable
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Removes all makeup, including waterproof makeup, with just warm water
  • It lasts 3-5 years

Shop here!

Expired Cosmetics Cause Breakouts

Most makeup products don’t come with a best-by date on the bottle. They come with a picture of a little jar and a time frame, such as 18M, which stands for 18 months. That means a product must be used within 18 months after being opened. If you notice that it’s been a few years since you replaced your concealer, that could be why it’s giving you breakouts. 

Not Exfoliating

You need to be exfoliating your face 1-2 times weekly. As cells complete the turnover process, dead skin cells build up on the skin. These dead skin cells create the appearance of dull skin. When not removed, they sit on top of pores, trapping dirt and impurities, leading to breakouts. Exfoliating removes the layer of dead skin cells to promote healthy skin. 

Wearing Makeup Every Day Can Lead To Pimples

Wearing makeup daily on oily or acne-prone skin provides little opportunities for your skin to heal. This can both cause breakouts and make existing breakouts worse. People that can’t stand the thought of leaving the house without a little concealer should opt for products designed for sensitive, acne-prone skin and lightweight formulas instead of heavy layers of makeup. 

Wearing Heavy Makeup

Heavy layers of makeup make you more likely to experience breakouts than not wearing makeup. Liquid makeup, in particular, can lead to acne flare-ups. That’s because liquid makeup can easily make it’s way down into your pores. We love the skin-like finish that jamming makeup into our pores gives us, but it’s not good for your skin. It can prevent your skin from healing itself, and the ingredients in makeup can cause further irritation and breakouts. Instead, go for the less is more approach to favor your skin. 

Is It Okay To Wear Makeup If You Have Acne

Yes, wearing makeup while you have acne is perfectly acceptable. It can help you cover a breakout and instantly boost your confidence. Ensure you have a solid skincare routine; always start with clean skin. Then, use oil-free, non-comedogenic makeup products specially designed for acne-prone skin to ensure your makeup doesn’t worsen your breakout. 

What Is Non-Comedogenic Makeup

Non-comedogenic makeup is any product designed to ensure it doesn’t clog pores. These makeup products are more likely to be oil-free and not include things like mineral oil because it’s easy for oil in makeup to lead to pimples. Some are designed for individuals with acne and may contain ingredients to help soothe breakouts or prevent future ones. 

Final Thoughts

Does concealer cause acne? It depends on the concealer you’re using. Some will make you more likely to develop pimples compared to others. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, ensure makeup products are designed for your skin type. Then, follow the rest of the tips and tricks to ensure you’re not accidentally the cause behind your breakouts. Check out the rest of the site for more need-to-know information. 

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