How to Hide Acne with Makeup


Acne can take up time to heal from conventional treatments. The fastest would still take up days in order for the acne to be completely unnoticeable. On top of that, acne leaves scars that one needs to deal with.

If you are attending a gathering or is in dire need of a perfect looking skin amidst your acne, the best way for you to get that skin is to cover your acne with makeup. It’s plain and fast—get some pigment that resembles your skin tone, places it above your problem area and voila! Your skin would look perfect for the time being.

Choosing the makeup to hide your acne isn’t as easy as it appears, however. One needs to consider many factors first before coming up with the correct and safe product to use.

For one, acne prone skin is sensitive to lots of ingredients. A makeup may hide some breakout only to cause later on. Another is, acne-prone skin tends to have a condition that allows the pores to get easily clogged. Makeup is one of the things that could help clog the pores and cause acne.

How do you select the makeup to use, then? What are the correct methods of application, if there is any? How to hide your acne with makeup?

How to Choose the Right Makeup for Acne

Using the correct product, a makeup can do more than just hide one’s acne. It can improve self-esteem and self-confidence. Some products are designed for acne-prone skin.

These products, however, are tricky to find because they do not indicate their being friendly to the acne-prone skin on the labels. Here are some tips to guide you in choosing makeup for acne prone skin.

Lookout for some key labels

Makeup products that are friendly to acne prone skin are those that are labeled with non acnegenic, non comedogenic and oil-free.

Acne is caused by increased production of sebum that feeds acne bacteria and makes it easier to clog the pores. Using oil-based makeup makes this worse. Some makeup is oil free. Not only do they not contribute to acne, they also help absorb excess sebum which may even do your skin some favor.

Non-comedogenic products are those that do not clog the pores. Usually, these products are not oil-based and do not leave a residue on the skin that might clog the pores up.

Don’t focus on the brand name. If they have the labels mentioned above, they are good for acne prone skin. For extra effect, you might also want to use medicated makeup products.

These products contain ingredients that help fight off acne such as salicylic acid. Not only does it prevent acne from forming, it also fights off blemishes. Salicylic acid can irritate the skin and dries the skin up.

Buy products based on your desired coverage

Are you into light products that could hide some of the redness of your acne but feels as if it’s barely there? Mineral makeup might be good for you. Mousse foundations and cream-to-powder finishes might also do you some tricks.

If you don’t might heavy products, liquid foundations can hide your acne better. Creams and liquid foundations, however, feel heavy on the face but they are perfect for hiding skin discolorations and breakouts—even hyperpigmentation.

For a lighter feel, you can use loose powder. It might not hide the redness that well but it can smooth out the texture of your skin and reduce the oily shine. On top of that, the powder is the lightest of the makeup you can use.

If you’re not into makeup, or if none works for your skin, you can try a tinted moisturizer. It has perfect coverage and can help even the tone of your skin. For added concealing power, you can top with powder afterward. In selected tinted moisturizer, it is also important to select non-comedogenic and oil-free products.

Select the color that blends well with your skin

You want to hide your acne thus it’s important that your “hiding it” remains hidden as well.

The first step in selecting a color that literally disappears into your skin is to select three or four shades that very closely resembles the color and tone of your skin. Most people like to test the makeup on the back of their hands.

This is good for testing for skin reactions but not for shades and tone. You see, the back of the hand has a different color and texture than that of your face. Instead, test your product on your jawline. If the color looks like it “disappeared” on your skin, then that color is perfect for you.

Select color based on lighting conditions, as well. What makes look good on your skin indoors might not look the same in the sunlight. Thus, always test your makeup outdoors as well.

If you have oily skin, make sure that you wear the makeup first for a few minutes. Sebum or excess oil tends to darken the makeup. After wearing the makeup for a few minutes to an hour, check the color again. Does it still disappear in your skin? Has it changed its tone?

Use green concealer before your regular concealer

If you have very noticeable red pimples, the best way to neutralize and hide them is to use green concealer before the regular concealer. When buying your makeup, test out some of the green concealers, as well. Green concealer can hide redness from rosacea, zits or even ruddy complexion.

Applying the Makeup

For best results, here are some steps that you can take to hide your pesky acne with makeup.

#1 Clean and Moisturize

Before you apply some makeup, make sure that you clean your face first with a noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic cleanser and warm water. Warm water helps dilate the pores up and allow the cleaner to reach deeper into the pores and remove trapped dirt and bacteria.

Apply water-based (oil-free) and fragrance-free moisturizer afterward. You can also apply moisturizer-sunscreen for added protection.

In selecting a sunscreen, check for the ingredients and look for benzophenone and PABA. These two ingredients are known to cause acne. Select sunscreen without these two ingredients.

#2 Prepare your sponge or brush

Acne is partly caused by bacteria that thrive on the skin. It can also be introduced by the hand thus touching the face can make acne worse. In applying your makeup, it is best to avoid touching the face by using either a sponge or a brush.

These materials, however, can also hold and grow bacteria in them. To avoid bacterial growth, make sure that you wash your sponge and brushes at least twice a week to make sure that it stays clean enough not to cause more acne.

#3 Apply your primer

Before applying anything on your face, make sure that you allowed a few minutes for your skin to absorb the moisturizer that you applied on step 1. Afterward, use your sponge to apply your primer.

Primer allows your concealer to stick to your skin. If you don’t like applying primer all over your face, you can dab a small amount to the problem areas.

#4 Applying your concealer

If you are going to apply a green concealer, now is the time. Green concealers are best applied before your regular concealer. Never apply your green concealer after you applied your foundation. For a more subtle color correction, you might also want to try applying a yellow concealer.

#5 Applying your foundation

Let your concealer set first for few seconds before you apply your foundation. You may want to use your brush for this task. In applying your foundation, begin with as little as possible, first. If the initial application is not enough, add light layers until you get satisfied with the result.

Sometimes, you will notice areas where there are spots that you missed. Allow the foundation to set first for few minutes before you try to add concealer.

Finish your makeup with a setting powder. Using your brush, apply your powder on the skin in slow circular motion. After all, has been set, you can now begin to apply your makeup.

Removing Your Makeup

However effective the makeup is in concealing your acne, at the end of the day, if you have acne-prone skin, you want to remove them to avoid more breakouts. Just as there are steps that you should take in applying the makeup, removing it is equally challenging, as well.

The trick here is to remove all traces of makeup to prevent it from clogging the pores. In addition, you want to make the removal process as friendly to your skin as possible. Any irritation might worsen the acne that you’re hiding underneath the makeup.

#1 Never scrub

Scrubbing is our initial response to any dirt on our face. While it proves to be effective in day-to-day context, in removing makeup for acne prone skin, it might be a bit deleterious. Causing undue irritation to the skin can activate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum which will trap some of the makeup into the pores causing a breakout.

Instead, massage a cleanser gently into your face using the tip of your fingers. Use lukewarm water to help the pores dilate a bit so that trapped makeup can be washed out. Lukewarm water also makes it easier to remove makeup altogether.

#2 Use water if necessary

Another reason for selecting water-based makeup is that they are easier to remove with water alone compared to oil-based ones. As much as possible, try to remove your makeup with water alone—preferably lukewarm water. If lukewarm water can remove all traces of makeup, that would be ideal.

The reason is, any cleanser, however mild, will cause some form of irritation and dryness. Acne-prone skin is particularly sensitive to any form of irritation and will respond with more breakouts. With water, you don’t only prevent undue irritation, you also maintain moisture.

Of course, you are allowed to use cleansers. If washing your face to remove your makeup does not exceed your allowable number of washes in the day (one in the morning and one in the evening), then go on, use that cleanser.

#3 Cleanser with salicylic acid is preferred

Makeup introduces fine pigments that might get trapped in the pores especially if the skin turns around fast. Medicated cleansers, like one containing salicylic acid, helps remove clogs in the pores.

Washing with a cleanser that contains salicylic acid ensures that none of the fine components of your makeup gets into the pore to cause more breakout. If you’re using a cleanser with salicylic acid for the first time, you might notice some inflammation or irritation. As you use the cleanser more often, this reaction will eventually vanish.

#4 Use cleanser with Benzoyl Peroxide

Another alternative to salicylic acid is Benzoyl Peroxide. Like salicylic acid, Benzoyl Peroxide also helps in keeping dirt and makeup from clogging the pores. In addition, Benzoyl Peroxide is a potent antibacterial agent. It kills acne bacteria on contact leaving your skin free from acne-causing microbes.

Like salicylic acid, Benzoyl Peroxide can irritate the skin. You should begin with the lowest concentration first and work your way up. Aside from keeping the pores unclogged and killing acne bacteria, Benzoyl Peroxide can help control oil production.

#5 Tea tree oil: a natural alternative

An alternative to washing your face would be to use tea tree oil. What makes this oil perfect for acne-prone skin is it removes makeup well (just place an amount in a piece of cotton and remove the makeup with it), it has a moisturizing effect on the skin and has antibacterial properties. Tea tree oil is one of the natural remedies for acne that has been used for such a purpose for hundreds of years already.


If you need a great skin fast and your acne can’t heal up that fast yet, the best solution for you is to hide them with makeup. Although it seems simple, you can’t just use any makeup. For one, acne is caused by clogged up pores and makeup can effectively clog the pores up. Thus, it is important to take some time in selecting the best makeup for your skin first.

The ideal makeup for acne-prone skin is water-based and oil-free. Acne is primarily caused by an increase in the production of sebum. Adding oil to your face basically mimics this condition and promotes breakouts.

Hiding acne with makeup involves neutralizing the reddish color of the acne and to even out the tone. One of the ways to achieve this is to use green and yellow concealers in addition to foundation and makeup. Green primarily neutralizes the red color of the acne and the yellow concealer completes the process.

Aside from application, it is also important to adopt a process for removing makeup well. Not being able to completely remove the makeup in time might cause breakouts. Removing it incorrectly will also irritate the skin and cause a breakout.


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