Cosmetic Acne, or acne cosmetica, is yet another form of mild acne – this one caused by cosmetics. For the sake of clarification, the term ‘cosmetics’ is not restricted to makeup, it means any type of cream, lotion, potion or powder applied to the skin, for whatever reason.
Given that, cosmetic acne is quite common, in fact, it is the second largest contributing factor for acne in adult women and men.
Cosmetic Acne appears as small, rash-like, pink bumps on the cheeks, chin and forehead. It can develop over the course of a few weeks or months and may persist for as long as the ‘offending product’ is used. Unfortunately not many people make the connection between their acne and the products they are using (unless the outbreak is immediate – in which case it is probably defined as an adverse, or allergic, reaction).
Cause of Cosmetic Acne
There are several factors that can cause cosmetic acne, but the primary reason is when the products you are using include comedogenic ingredients – substances known to clog pores, resulting in follicle irritation, the start of all acne conditions – in this case, Cosmetic Acne.
THE MOST COMMON, HARMFUL INGREDIENTS INCLUDE:
Oils – Not all oils are harmful – oils such as mineral oil, petroleum oil, and sunflower oil do not penetrate the skin, so they are less harmful than those that do. One of the most common oily substances in cosmetics, is Lanolin, a substance found in a wide variety of sunscreens and lotions. Lanolin is a fatty acid produced from sheep’s wool. It is thought to promote smooth skin, but its penetrating qualities make it the prime suspect in many cases of cosmetic acne.
Another skin-penetrating oil product that can cause cosmetic acne is Isopropyl Myristate, used to help make the skin smooth, and a key ingredient in many foundations. However, Isopropyl Myristate is such an aggressive penetrator, it is also used to clear drains and remove rust.
Selecting products labeled ‘non-comedogenic’ and/or ‘oil-free’ is the safest solution for those with acne prone skin or those seeking to avoid an outbreak of cosmetic acne. Non-comedogenic and oil-free products do not clog the pores, they allow the skin to breathe.
Minerals – Minerals (usually mica particles) are often found in eye shadows, blush and some face powders. They add sparkle and shimmer to these products but they also cause irritation and/or clogged pores. Again seek out products labeled ‘non-comedogenic’.
Red Dyes – There are two common red dyes – D and C. These are dyes used in cosmetics that are derived from coal tar and are known to cause, or worsen, acne conditions because of their pore-clogging nature. Instead, check labels for blushes that use Carmine, a natural, healthy cosmetic colorant used since the time of the Aztecs. Also, cream blushes are more likely to have comedogenic ingredients, so stick to mineral-free powder or gel blushes if you are prone to acne.
Fragrances – Strong fragrances in cosmetics can induce, or worsen acne. Fragrance is a major cause of allergic reactions and irritation on the face. All cosmetic fragrances, even those that claim to be ‘unscented’ may include fragrances to mask the smell of other ingredients. The most common acne-causing fragrances are ambrette, bergamot, cinnamate, and those in the musk family of fragrances. Stick with products labeled as ‘fragrance-free’ or ‘hypo-allergenic’.
Pay Attention to all Cosmetic Products
Remember, the term ‘cosmetic’ is not limited to makeup products alone, it includes all beauty products that touch the skin – shampoos, hairspray, body wash, cleansing milk, face wash, moisturizer, night cream, sunscreen, and so on. So, if you do appear to have cosmetic-induced acne, stop using the product or products you think are causing the problem; check all your products for harmful ingredients; keep a healthy skin-cleansing regimen; wash your makeup brushes and applicators often; and avoid pore-clogging ingredients.
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