Acne Cosmetica: Could This Be Causing Your Facial Pimples?

Acne Cosmetica: Could This Be Causing Your Facial Pimples?

What is Cosmetic Acne (Acne Cosmetica) 

Cosmetic acne occurs when makeup such as makeup primers, cream brushes and bronzers, and liquid foundation can cause clogging in the pores which results in further bacteria growth that can lead to big bag breakouts. Cosmetic acne can be further irritated and exacerbated during the summer due to increased oil production caused by heat and humidity. 

A Tale of Cosmetic Acne 

Throughout the years, we're sure that you or your family or friends have had a skin emergency of some kind that has resulted in rash-like bumps, redness, and whiteheads. If you're faced with this condition, you can ask yourself a few questions to truly understand what it is and what could be causing it. 

1. When did it start occurring or has it consistently been like this? 

If the answer is that it only happens when you come back from a particular place, use a specific product whether that's cleaning supplies, makeup, or skincare product of any kind, then keep a note of that! If it seems like it's been like this or forever or you can't pinpoint a related trigger to it, keep thinking on it. 

2. Have you introduced anything new to your skin lately? 

Have you introduced a new cleanser, moisturizer, exfoliant, or any other items like clothing detergent, shampoos, and conditioners into your routine lately? Any of these items could be causing a reaction and irritation in your skin but if you haven't introduced anything new lately, keep moving down the list. 

3. Is It affecting any other areas of your face? 

Take notice of whether your condition is only effecting one area or is appearing in other spaces. Remember the severity of each area it is occupying, for instance, is it worse or better on one side of your face versus the other? 

4. Is it itchy? 

Gauge whether the condition is itchy or not. 

5. Does this happen more often when you work out or sweat? 

Do you notice that you get this irritation after working out or during times you're sweating? Or is it further bothered when exercising or sweating? Make note of this as well. 

6. Are you wearing a lot of foundation makeup, if so, is it liquid or powder? Also, do you wear powder blush or cream blush? Especially during times, you've noticed it flare up? 

If the answer is yes, that you've been or were wearing heavy makeup for long periods of time and you are primarily using liquid foundation and blush, then we just figured it out! It's likely that you have acne cosmetica. 

Of course, if you notice that this condition appeared after a trip to Miami, you can imagine it's probably connected in some way to the weather. If this happens every day in your regular habitat, then you may need to look further into what could be causing the issue along with your cosmetics. 

Acne Cosmetica is essentially comedones, pustules, and papules caused by a blockage in the pores resulting in bacteria growth. It’s a combination of your foundation makeup, cream blush and increased oil secretion from the heat and humidity. This is simply not a good combination for your or anyone's skin type really. 

Hormonal breakouts are more pustular or cystic, whereas with Acne Cosmetica they are smaller bumps and definitely not hormone-related. Why do you have them more on one side of the face than the other? It's likely because you're using more foundation or blush on one side than the other side. This can be easy to do by accident depending on which of your hands is the dominant one and you're using that hand to squeeze out the product for the left side of your face. Be wary of how you apply your cosmetics, and even application is important. 

We recommend only using a powder blush since creams can easily be problematic and also start experimenting with other brands of the liquid foundation since the one you're currently using is clearly not the right one for you.  


So there you have it. we hope this saved you from going down a long, and often expensive road of trying to figure out the cause of your unique breakouts. Have you suffered from Acne Cosmetica or have an experience or treatment you would like to share? Drop us a line, we love to hear from our fellow beauty cadets. 


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