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Does Makeup & Skincare Cause Acne & Rosacea?

If you’ve heard opposing opinions on whether synthetic-based makeup and skincare cause acne, rosacea, and sensitive skin, we understand your frustration. The amount of voices on the subject coming from bloggers, beauty magazines, aestheticians, and cosmetic companies is dizzying because they are in the market of selling not caring.

On one hand, we’re told that synthetic-based makeup causes pimples/rosacea and is the source of our skincare woes, while in the next moment, we read promising claims of ingredients destined to clear our complexion.

In short - Yes, wearing makeup and using skincare does cause acne and other skin issues, but this doesn't apply to all cosmetic products. Pay attention to the ingredients in your cosmetics, as some may clog pores which can worsen acne breakouts. However, it's important to note that your beauty routine could just be one of them.

We’re here to explain the complex relationship between cosmetics and sensitive skin and detail the ways in which one can lead to the other. This will describe how and why the very makeup you use to conceal blemishes might actually be the source of those blemishes in the first place. We’ll explain what you can do to avoid acne caused by makeup and skincare, which ingredients to steer clear of, and how to fix any complexion concerns you might currently have.

First of all, what is acne?

To understand the ways in which makeup causes acne, we first need to become familiar with what acne actually is. Those pimples, blackheads, and inflamed bumps you hate so much are actually clogged hair follicles. When pores – or tiny little openings at the top of hair of our hair follicles – get plugged with sebum (oil) and dead skin, they become red, inflamed, filled with pus, or infected. When the dead skin cells and oil that form the plug don’t become inflamed, the lesion is called a “closed comedones” or whitehead. An “open comedones,” or blackhead, appears when the clogged pore remains open, and the tip of the plug darkens as it’s exposed to oxygen in the environment. Pressure on the surrounding cells increases as the buildup continues to grow, and with enough pressure, the sides of the pore can rupture. As the contents of the pore leak into the surrounding cells and spread bacteria, the affected skin becomes infected, creating that red bump we know as a pimple or “inflammatory papule”. Acne appears in many different shapes and sizes, but the root of its cause is a clogged hair follicle.

Most people experience acne due to makeup and skincare products and/or inheriting a condition of the pores.

Whereas healthy pores shed approximately one layer of dead skin per day, acne-prone pores shed up to five layers of dead skin cells in an average day. The body can’t expel the cells (corneocytes) as quickly as it produces them, leading to accelerated blockages.

The number of dead skin cells becomes increasingly sticky as they remain trapped in the shaft of the hair follicle and form a plug that blocks the pore’s opening.

The sebaceous gland continues to produce sebum, and the trapped oil provides a nutrient for the bacteria P. Acnes, which is how acne becomes infected. In addition to genetics and makeup, hormones are a common cause of acne.

Hormonal flare-ups can kick the sebaceous gland into overdrive, leading to excessive oil production. Changes in hormones account for the acne typically experienced during puberty and pregnancy.

While the leading causes of acne are physiological, lifestyle factors – such as the use of synthetic makeup and skincare – can contribute to breakouts, as well.

Any non-natural product applied to the skin has the potential to clog and outbalance your pores, whether it's makeup, sunscreen, or even the dirt on your hands.

This type of acne caused by synthetic-based products on the skin is referred to as “acne cosmetica”. Acne cosmetica generally appears rash-like in the form of tiny red or pink bumps. The oil-prone areas of your complexion – such as the forehead, chin, and nose – are especially susceptible to acne cosmetica - as they are more irritated by the additional synthetics provided by makeup or skincare. The bumps may or may not be filled with pus, and have the potential to itch or create a rough appearance.

Makeup and skincare vary tremendously between brands in terms of quality and ingredients, but using the wrong product (or failing to properly take the product off!) can certainly aggravate breakouts and rosacea.

Our sincere recommendation: use Vooqo Anti-Aging Skincare Routine PLUS and Vooqo Makeup and your skin will thrive.

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