How to do your makeup when you have acne

Being able to cover your acne successfully is really important for your self esteem, whether you have one spot or suffer from cystic acne. I had terrible cystic acne for 2 years and learnt a few tips and tricks to cover it up and boost my confidence. Keep scrolling to find out more!

Use a colour corrector

To tone down redness, colour correction is your best friend! Green concealer will neutralise any redness on your skin and your acne will be much easier to cover – it is the best way to create a perfect base. My favourite one was by MUA and only cost £2 from Superdrug, but pretty much every brand sell colour correctors. The key is to use it sparingly. While you do want to neutralise the redness, you don’t want to look like Shrek. Apply it sparingly on all of your areas of redness and blend it out well. It will make your skin look a little ashy and devoid of life, but you’ll add the colour back into your skin with foundation. If you apply too much (like I did with the LA girl one – which was far too bright a green) you will look like an alien, and you won’t be able to cover up such an intense green colour with your usual foundation.

Layer your products

Instead of caking on a thick layer of foundation, and then continuing with full coverage concealer and a foundation powder, do thin layers to build up the coverage. Yes, we want to cover everything up, but too much coverage in thick layers can actually draw attention to your acne. Layer things up! Colour correcting before you apply foundation will already help to reduce the visibility of the redness, and a smooth base will help to disguise any bumpiness. Thinner layers will avoid a caked look and will make things appear more natural.*

* As natural as you can with the amount of makeup you have on.

Set your makeup

To make sure that your makeup lasts all day, you need to set it into place. Otherwise it will slip and slide all over the place as the day goes on and reveal the redness underneath (AND SPOIL YOUR HARD WORK!) Also, if you have layered your products (as you should), you will have quite a wet face after. Depending on your skin tone, I would probably recommend using a translucent powder over a coloured powder to avoid a cakey, muddy look. Despite it saying ‘translucent’, it does leave a bit of a white cast on the skin. You can easily add colour back in with bronzer – but get that base set!

Beware of shimmer!

Everyone loves highlighter but if you have acne on your cheeks, be careful where you place it. Apply it higher on your cheek bones, rather than towards the apple or lower on the cheek as shimmer will emphasise any texture you might have – regardless how small. I’d recommend even avoiding a blush that has shimmer in it – it’ll draw attention where you don’t want it. This is about covering your acne, not highlighting it (literally).

Take your makeup off really well

Use products that are right for your skin. I think that cleansing balms are the best to remove every last bit of makeup. To remove the balm, I personally love using konjac sponges – I think they’re much gentler on the skin than muslin clothes and give your skin a lovely, gentle exfoliation. I found that for me, muslin clothes inflamed my acne and made my cystic spots worse, but just be sure to do what is right for your skin.

Let me emphasise that makeup is FINE to wear when you have acne prone skin. Do not let anyone tell you that wearing face makeup will worsen your skin, when it can be the only thing that can boost your confidence and make you feel better about yourself. While makeup can’t work miracles on your skin, it can work miracles on your self esteem.There are products that won’t agree with you – that is the same regardless of the type of skin you have – and these can cause breakouts. However, once you find the products that work for your skin, don’t feel afraid of using them! Remember that you are taking your self esteem into your own hands and doing something positive for YOU. 


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25 year old Beauty Writer Instagram - @smalltownbeautyaddict

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