5 Tips for Applying Makeup on Acne-Prone Skin

Treating acne takes time, so we perfectly understand using makeup as cover-up. However, applying a ton of concealer, foundation, bb cream and what have you, delays the healing of acne and may even make it worse. Nobody wants that. Thus, we round up several tips on how to protect acne-prone skin from becoming the latest victim of makeup. With these tips, your cosmetics won’t be standing in the way of skin healing.

1) Check What’s in the Make

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Studies have shown that certain ingredients worsen pre-existing acne. Therefore, it’s always important to check for allergens and harsh chemicals to avoid ruining your delicate skin.

“Makeup that contain chemical ingredients such as phthalates, paraffin wax and mineral oil can be occlusive on skin. For individuals prone to breakouts, these substances can clog pores and eventually cause an infection,” says Dr Michelle Lim, Aesthetic Consultant at SW1 Clinic.

Instead, look out for words like non-comedogenic and oil-free which mean the products do not clog pores, she adds. Switching to makeup using natural ingredients whenever possible also allows skin to stand a better chance against breakouts.

2) Prep Skin Well

Gentle exfoliation once a week and ample moisturising is important in uncovering a radiant, smooth and healthy-looking complexion. We like Herbivore Botanicals Pink Clay Exfoliating Mask for its repairing and anti-inflammatory properties.


A non-irritating and nourishing cleanse with chai Lemon Quartz Ultra Soft Facial Cleansing Oil which relies on camellia oil that is naturally sourced, melts away impurities and replenishes with skin-loving vitamins and omegas. Complete your skincare regime and makeup look with a spritz of chai Detox Balancing Facial Mist to set your makeup while delivering a dose of skin soothing, acne protection.

Read More: Must-haves: Skincare from Under the Sea

3) Choose Matte over Dewy

matte vs dewy

Dewy skin may be all the rage in Asia (thanks Korea!) but for acne-prone women, it’s best not to follow the trend. According to Dr Michelle, oily skin is not only shiny and dull-coloured, it is also acne-prone. Therefore, by using beauty products that add excess lubrication can easily cause a breakout as skin becomes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

The key here is to go light with the powder to prevent clogging up pores.

Alternatively, opt for products that are “oil-free” and offer a “matte” or “semi-matte” finish as opposed to “dewy” or “satin”. Ditch the liquid foundation for mineral foundations which are often free of fragrances, parabens and preservatives and no less effective on coverage.

4) Scotch Tapes are Handy

There’s another side effect of acne: dry, flakey skin. And it’s no surprise, flakes and foundation don’t mix. “Here’s an industry tip: try patting skin with scotch tape,” says Jon Parker, a celebrity makeup artist in Singapore. “The tape gently removes the flakes without damaging skin. Then apply a dab of moisturiser over the dry patch and wait for a couple of minutes before reapplying your makeup.”

Read More: 3 Ways to Prevent Blue Light from Ageing Your Skin

5) Let Skin Breathe


“This may be difficult for some but finding at least one day a week to allow skin to just take a breather without piling on the foundation, powder and concealer, is beneficial for skin,” encourages Dr Michelle. On these makeup-free days, pamper skin with a DIY home facial or book yourself in for a luxe facial.

Deep Deep Clean by SW1 Spa combines microdermabrasion, a fruit acid wash, ultrasonic deep cleansing and targeted facial wrap to keep breakouts at bay. Clear Blue Facial which is designed around I-Clear blue light therapy to soothe, clarify and refine skin is also well-loved for imparting a clean and clear complexion.



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