Acne cosmetica is characterized by persistent mild breakouts usually on the face, neck, and scalp. And as you can guess, the cause is due to the use of cosmetics. The bad breakouts we picture when we think of acne, the swollen inflamed and irritated spots, are not present. Instead, small bumps called comedones (better known as blackheads, but are actually dilated hair follicles) will appear making the skins surface look rough and feel uneven to the touch. The skin may have papules – solid bumps in the skin with no fluid – and pustules (a bump in the skin containing pus), but these symptoms are not as common.
Comedogenic hair and skin care products and makeup are the cause of acne cosmetica. Comedogenic simply means a product that aggravates or causes acne in the skin. These types of cosmetics build-up in the follicle and block the pore. When the pore is blocked, skin oil builds up and a comedone appears on the skin.
Makeup & Acne Cosmetica
If the breakouts are along the hairline, it is possible a new shampoo, conditioner, or hair product is the cause. But if the cheeks, forehead, chin, neck or most of the surface of the face are breaking it out it is likely caused by makeup. It is important to immediately discontinue use of the comedogenic product and replace with a non-comedogenic makeup in order to improve the skin’s condition.
That’s where mineral makeup comes in. First, mineral makeup is formulated without parabens, talc and Bismuth Oxychloride which is known to irritate the skin (always check label to be sure these are not included). Next, some staple ingredients that are included in mineral makeup formulations are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Clinical studies have shown both minerals have medicinal purposes including reducing bacteria and limiting inflammation in the skin. Zinc oxide can have a drying effect on the skin while absorbing excess secretion of oil in the skin. So, essentially mineral makeup can not only cover up blemishes, it can also work to combat them.
When using any makeup product, it is essential to thoroughly remove it at the end of the day (preferably with a creamy cleanser followed with a treatment cleanser). If you continue to suffer from blemishes even after switching to non-comedogenic mineral makeup, halting the use of former irritants, and following a skin care regime to treat acne cosmetic, visit your dermatologist or skin care technician to further investigate the skins condition. Keep in mind that regular exfoliation can help reduce acne cosmetica at a faster rate, however do not expect immediate improvements in the skin. Stick it out for at least six to eight weeks for optimal results.