What Is Acne Cosmetica?

Acne cosmetica is a form of acne caused by the use of cosmetics. It can occur anywhere on the body but is most common on the face, neck, hairline and scalp.

In this article we will explain exactly what acne cosmetica is and how to treat it.

Lady with Acne

Identifying Acne Cosmetica

Acne cosmetica is a break out of small pimple-like bumps on the face or any other skin area as a result of pore-clogging from using cosmetics. Acne cosmetica pimples are under the skin and are accompanied by uneven texture and roughness. Unlike acne, there is barely any inflammation.

How To Treat Acne Cosmetica

The good news is, these bumps are super treatable once you know what you’re looking at. They can be healed without even becoming a visible, red breakout.

What to do:

  • Cleanse! Keep cleansing twice a day and after any activity where you will build up a sweat. Make sure you check the label on your cleanser which should read “non-comedogenic”. This means the product has been formulated to help us avoid pore skin blockages. We recommend DermaQuest Essential Daily Cleanser.
  • Identify the culprit! We know this can be difficult to figure out which product is the issue but again checking labels on your make-up products is probably the best solution, or doing small skin patch tests. It would be even better if you can go make-up free until you figure it out but that may not be possible for everyone, (trust us, we know the struggle) but trying to gradually not use certain items may help get to the bottom of it quicker.
  • Keep things clean! Make-up brushes, pillowcases, hands, all need to be kept clean in order to keep your face clean and bacteria free. Clean make-up brushes once-twice a week and ALWAYS remove make-up before bed.
  • Don’t pick! We know it’s tempting to pick your spots, however acne cosmetica should most definitely not be messed with. In doing so, you may bring on a skin infection and inflammation, which would not be friendly!

Is It Bad To Put Make-up On Acne?

No, it’s not bad, you can still wear make-up, but you will need to choose it carefully. Some cosmetics can cause acne to women who never usually suffer from it. This is acne cosmetica.

You will need to choose products that are non-comedogenic and oil-free. And as said above, keep make-up brushes clean.

Acne cosmetica can take time to appear, it can be anything from a few days to 6 months which is why it can be difficult to identify what exactly is causing it. However, sticking to the right products should help prevent it from starting.

Using a Salicylic Acid or a cleanser containing salicylic acid is helpful in treating acne. Salicylic acid is a BHA agent that penetrates the follicle, breaking through built-up oils whilst encouraging the shedding of dead skin cells from within the follicle, keeping the pores clear. Always important with acid usage to get advice, to make sure you use the correct products to not cause harm to the skin.

Lady applying a GlowBay product to her face

If acne persists and you are unsure of what to do, you can book an online skin consultation with our skincare experts and they can advise you further on the issues you are having and how to combat them with the right products.

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