Major DON’Ts for the Acne-Prone

Using Face Scrubs

First, I will say that those with ONLY blackheads can use a scrub or physical exfoliant and be all right (although you should go easy!). Those of you with whiteheads, however, should stay far away from scrubs. Your whiteheads are tiny little surface infections, and you don’t want harsh grit tugging and tearing at this inflamed, sensitive skin. Sorry, but you’re going to have to put the Fresh Sugar Face Polish down.

Using Products with Mineral Oil

Mineral oil, also known paraffinum liquidum, and petroleum jelly are occlusives. Occlusives in skincare are ingredients that form an impenetrable layer on skin. While this can be helpful for trapping in moisture, it also traps in oil and doesn’t let skin breathe. These are typically the kiss of death for those prone to acne (some can get away with it, but I’m telling you, be super cautious). Be careful to check all ingredient labels and make sure your skin cream doesn’t contain even a drop of either of these guys!

Using Alcohols

No, not that kind.


Many acne products contain alcohol, because alcohol dries quickly and makes the skin look a little more matte. Sounds great, right? Wrong. Alcohols degrade away at the junctions between your healthy and unhealthy cells. This creates dry flakes and itching. This is especially bad if your skin is inflamed and sensitive from acne. I’ve read magazine articles telling those with oily and acne-prone skin to purposely use alcohol on their skin! This is because they’re not considering the long term problems using alcohol can cause. Don’t risk your long-term skin health for a brief moment of matte-ness. Stay far away!

Using Any Concealer on a Blemish

Not all concealers are created equal. Some concealers have luminizers in them to help brighten dark undereye circles. You don’t want these kinds of illuminators going on your pimple, because they will reflect light and draw the eye to your zit (aka the exact OPPOSITE of what you want it to do). Make sure your concealer is matte and does not mention that it’s specifically formulated for the undereye area.

You also probably use a concealer for your undereyes that’s a shade lighter than your actual skin tone. This is also NOT what you want for a blemish. You want your blemish to be covered up and blend into your skin, not stand out. So you need a concealer that’s the same color as your skin (and your foundation, if you use it). Finally, if your zit is inflamed and red, put a tiny bit of green, color-correcting concealer on it BEFORE you put your flesh-toned concealer on. It will help cancel out the redness of your pimple [Read more about why that is here]. Don’t forget to finish off with a little powder to set your concealer.

Loading Up on Silicones

Again. No, not that kind.

Silicones help smooth skin and diffuse light, which is why they’re used in a lot of primers out there. They also give skin a more matte, less greasy look. Just what those oily and acne-prone want, right? WRONGO. Silicones all fine and dandy, but if you load on way too many of these different silicones, your skin will feel super slick and greasy, plus your makeup will slide off almost immediately. So, if you’re using a moisturizer, sunscreen, and primer that each contain loads of silicone, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Keep an eye out for ingredients that end in “-cone,” like dimethicone. If they’re one of the first ingredients listed, then be careful that the other products in your routine don’t also contain a buttload of the stuff.

I feel you my fellow, pimple-face friends. I feel you. Don’t worry, one day we shall be blessed with clear, beautiful, effortless skin. Until that day comes, just own your problems and learn how to deal with them properly. Everyone’s got their issues.

2 thoughts on “Major DON’Ts for the Acne-Prone

  1. LOVE this! Especially the part about facial scrubs. When I hear people say they need to “exfoliate” their acne to clear it up, I want to scream! Great job spreading helpful advice.


    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate that. Acne is so hard, and it doesn’t need to be made harder with incorrect advice being distributed by magazines and advertisers who don’t entirely know what they’re talking about. Fight on!

      Liked by 1 person

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