How to Choose Makeup, Moisturizer, and Sunscreen

Many acne patients are surprised to learn that they can wear makeup. They are often even more surprised to learn that moisturizer and sunscreen are okay to use while treating acne. Here’s what dermatologists tell their patients who want to use these products while treating acne:

Choose oil-free products.
The label may say “oil-free,” “noncomedogenic” or “won’t clog pores.”

It is important to know that even when a product says “oil-free,” it may not prevent breakouts. You may have to experiment with different oil-free products before you find one that works for you.

Apply acne medication first.
Here is the order that dermatologists recommend:

  1. Gently wash your face.

  2. Apply acne medication. If the medication stings or burns your skin, wait 5 to 15 minutes after washing your skin before applying the acne medication.

  3. Apply moisturizer/sunscreen.

  4. Apply makeup. If you have trouble finding makeup that can be used with acne medication, consult a dermatologist.

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Page last updated 4/14/10

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