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Acne and makeup: Is there a connection?

Hanan Mohammed

Saudi women spend a huge amount of money on creams, scrubs, concealers, and a drawer-full of other cosmetics that claim to keep their skin spotless, smooth and youthful. Dermatologists claim these products women depend on to keep their skin looking its best could be damaging to your facial pores. "Always make sure to use high quality and medically tested creams and cosmetics because using the wrong makeup or cream could actually accentuate the pimples you're trying so hard to hide or even worse, give you a bad reaction and convert those pimples to scars," said dermatologist Dr. Suhair Abubakr. Women with acne-prone skin should carefully choose their makeup and skincare products. According to Dr. Abubakr, for women to not clog their pores, they need to follow simple and easy steps: Moisturizers are a very important part of the acne skincare routine. "Almost all acne treatments dermatologists usually prescribe and recommend contain extremely drying components such as benzoyl peroxide, which can extract the moisture out of the skin and leave it irritated and reddish," said Dr. Abubaker. "The moisturizer you should be looking for is lightweight, oil free and labeled as non-comedogenic (will not clog pores). You need to avoid heavy, greasy products that contain pimple-producing ingredients such as cocoa butter, mineral oil, or cold cream," she added. Many women have the urge to cover up their blemishes and acne. "Applying layer after layer of makeup to cover-up acne is not necessarily the best approach. Even though makeup can be a very good tool to help hide pimples, it can also highlight zits if you use the wrong kind of concealer or slather it on too thickly," said makeup artist Fatima Azzahra. "The redness many acne treatments leave behind can look even worse when smeared with thick makeup. Women with acne should look for oil free makeup and ensure it contains water," she added. "Mineral-based cosmetics contain added ingredients like silica, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide, both of which absorb oil and hide redness without irritating the skin and causing pimples. Another ingredient to look for is dimethicone, which also conceals redness while smoothing out uneven skin," said Abubaker. When it comes to using makeup to cover skin flaws, pick a makeup color that compliments your skin tone. "Use some foundation, blend it well using the right brush or sponge for it to looks flawless and not caky," said the makeup artist. "Use a good concealer to cover up the acne spots and maybe a corrector to cover up the redness and discoloration," she added. Sunburned, red and bronzed skin might temporarily hide pimples and acne spots but getting too much sun might leave one with premature lines and wrinkles. "It is recommended to never leave the house without applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that protects against both UVA and UVB light. Feel free to choose any kind of sunscreen whether it is water-based, light liquid-based gel or spray-on sunscreen," said Abubakr. "When buying makeup, make sure your foundation has SPF and always make sure to apply sunscreen before you apply your makeup in the morning. Make sure to not use it if you are planning to take selfies using flash lights because SPF will make you look grey," she added. Brushes and sponges also play a major role. "Dirty brushes are a big cause of pimples, they are a natural habitat of bacteria when they are not cleaned properly," said Abubakr. "Applying makeup with dirty brushes will cause the bacteria to harm the skin cells. Make sure to spot clean the brushes after every use and shampoo them once a week. Don't forget to dry them well," she added. Using makeup to hide blemishes improves your self-esteem and makes women feel better about themselves. "There are studies that calculate the improvements in self-esteem and quality of life in women with skin problems who start using makeup," she said. "Covering and concealing blemishes with makeup is the fastest and most reliable way for women to feel better about themselves when they are all over the place," she added. Dermatologists often tell patients they shouldn't use makeup as it can aggravate skin problems. "Make sure to have a healthy and stable skincare routine for both morning and night. Eating healthy, doing exercise and drinking plenty of water will surely help improve the skin," said Abubakr. "Never go to sleep with your makeup on, always make sure to remove everything before bedtime because that's when the skin is opening up to breathe," she added. - Email: [emailprotected]

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Sep 2, 2015
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