[BEAUTY] Wearing Makeup when you have Acne

[BEAUTY] Wearing Makeup when you have Acne

 It’s really difficult for people with acne to not apply makeup or even apply makeup. It’s because people around us always say not to when we have acne. They all say the same thing and… I know. We know it’s not the best, but how can we not? – HANBYUL

Hanbyul’s words really hit home for me.

Having suffered from Moderate-Severe Acne throughout my teen years, I’ve often struggled with the idea of putting on makeup in fear of exacerbating my skin condition. Yet, the anxiety and fear of judgement that came from going barefaced often left me with no choice but to cake on layers of foundation to conceal my poor skin condition (and self-esteem).

The Golden Question: Does wearing Makeup worsen acne?

Now my answer is – it depends.
Generally speaking, if you were to opt for products which are safe for acne prone skin, it is unlikely that it would cause breakouts. Many K-beauty products nowadays promise skincare benefits on top of makeup functions but this claim is very well supported because many of these skincare ingredients are often found at the bottom of the ingredient list.

Imagine, a company releases a new line of BB creams formulated with a key ingredient (Vitamin C, Niacinamide, Centella Asiatica etc) that promises long-lasting skin brightening effects with just 2 weeks of usage. You scan through the ingredient list to find that the key ingredient is at the very bottom of the ingredient list. What this means is these key ingredients typically make up less than 1% of the product’s formulation and are unlikely to live to their hype.

While the leading causes of acne are often hormonal, hereditary, lifestyle, it is a common understanding that poor choice of makeup can further clog pores and contribute to further breakouts.

Today, I’ll be discussing about the use of Alcohols in skincare – a commonly debated issue among beauty enthusiasts!


Good Alcohols (aka Fatty Alcohols) are non-irritating and can even be beneficial for skin.

The irony of using drying alcohols is that it dissolves surface oil by drying out our skin. When skin is dried out by alcohol, the skin’s protective barrier is weakened and damaged; vital substance necessary for healthy skin is also depleted. This prompts the skin to overcompensate by producing even more oil in the long run.

K-BEAUTY SPOTLIGHT: COSRX Centella Alcohol-Free Toner

K-BEAUTY SPOTLIGHT: COSRX Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner


  • Ever heard of the saying – Too much of a good thing is bad? This applies for Alcohol as well.
  • Skincare ingredients are listed in order of their concentrations. The first five ingredients or so are typically considered main ingredients and make up the bulk of the formula (90-95%).
  • When Alcohol is not a main ingredient, its alcohol content is usually 5% or less. Hence, it will not damage the skin barrier as it evaporates completely when the product is applied to the skin. This eliminates the risk of over drying the skin which leads to more sebum being produced by the skin.

This concludes my first post regarding the complex relationship between Makeup and Acne. For those who have tried the COSRX toners, do let me know your experience with them in the comments below!

Stay tuned to future posts where I’ll be posting more tips on how to survive (and hopefully conquer?) acne.

Laura Tan

About Laura Tan

“1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men in Singapore will be affected by adult acne in their lifetime.” Hey everyone! I am Laura, a new writer at Japarang. My interest lies in sourcing out effective skincare to tackle your acne problems as well as testing suitable makeup products that will not exacerbate your acne. As an acne sufferer myself, I understand all your struggles and would hate to see you waste your money on gimmicks. Hence that’ll be nothing but honesty when it comes to sharing my recommendations or products that just didn’t cut it for me. I’m also a major foodie and fan of kpop so do join me in my quest for mouth-watering delicacies, comfort food, explosive vocals and power-packed dance moves!

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