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How To Apply Makeup To Acne Breakouts

Makeup,    Skincare

How To Apply Makeup To Acne Breakouts

Posted by LiveGlam on Mar 11, 2022

Breakouts, we all get them! These days, thanks to mask life, breakouts are even more likely to rear their annoying little heads. 

When a breakout is particularly nasty, applying makeup to it can be tricky and a little uncomfortable. Luckily, I am very experienced in the world of breakouts (hormonal acne in my 30s, woohoo!). Here are my tips for how to apply makeup to breakouts. 

Apply a calming treatment first 

If your breakouts are feeling red, angry, and sore, I suggest applying a topical treatment that calms and soothes. It helps if it contains some active ingredients that may help to dry the breakout and kill any bacteria. 

I love the Clinique anti-blemish solutions clearing gel ($19) as it provides a barrier between your skin and your makeup. It also helps to heal and reduce acne. 

Use an oil-controlling or acne-based primer 

For clear, “normal” skin, I usually say don’t bother with primer. However, both very dry and very oily/acne-prone skin can really benefit from a targeted product. This will add another barrier between your skin and your foundation, increasing the chance of a smooth, flawless-looking base. 

An oil-controlling primer will also help to absorb and reduce excess oil and keep things on the matte side. Look for ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, tea tree, and AHA’s. 

Use clean fingers to sparingly apply foundation

The last thing you want is to smear a dirty brush or sponge all over your breakout. This can add more bacteria and prolong the situation, eek. Of course, a squeaky-clean, just-washed tool is ideal. However, this isn’t always possible! I find that clean fingers are a great way to apply foundation without spreading bacteria. 

I like to use a tapping motion as opposed to a swiping motion, as this presses the product into the skin without transferring oils across the face. If you’re attached to your favorite brush or beauty blender, just be sure to wash and dry it after every use! 

A note on foundation: my tried-and-true approach is to use a sheer/natural foundation to even the skin tone, then let a full-coverage concealer do the heavy lifting. 

Use a tiny brush to pinpoint-conceal the breakouts

Instead of smearing a thick layer of concealer all over the blemished areas, take a more measured approach.  

Too much product can cause cakiness, oiliness, and a right pain in the ass to remove at the end of the day. Instead, take a full-coverage concealer on a tiny brush and press it onto your breakouts, focusing on the most red parts. 

Use your ring finger to tap the concealer until it is seamlessly blended. The result is a flawless finish you can barely detect. 

Use a teeny bit of translucent powder 

I find that when my breakouts are really raging, they feel itchy and sore, especially when caked in powder. However, a tiny dusting of translucent powder goes a long way to insure your hard concealing work and reduce shine. 

Take a clean, small brush or sponge loaded with a little powder and press onto the areas where you concealed. Take a fluffy, clean brush with no product on it and dust any excess powder away. 

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