There are big things that make us happy (such as Instagram-worthy beach vacations and priceyВ spa treatments), but it's the small thingsВ that keep us sane and smiling on a daily basis. We're partnering withВ CliniqueВ on a new series to helpВ you look and feel your best every day. Check back eachВ week for ways to take your life from good to great, whether that means finding a foundation that boosts your confidence (try Clinique's Even Better Glowв„ў Light Reflecting Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15) or learning how to eat more mindfully. This week, we're sharing how to have a better makeup routine when breaking out.В
Yes, there are plenty of things in life that are worse than having a pimple. But if we're strictly talking beauty emergencies, breakouts are code red. From waking up with a cluster of bumps to having just one large, inflamed blemish, acne of any kind can make anyone panic. But before you start slathering on every skincare product in sight (who, us?) and following up with layers of makeup (guilty again), save your energy and focus on the real issue: Your routine in times of stress might be causing you more harm than good.
вЂњApplying multiple formulas with different active ingredients can increase the risk of irritation,вЂќ says Melissa Levin, MD, board-certified New York City-based dermatologist and clinical instructor at Mount Sinai. вЂњWhile each ingredient can be effective and gentle on the skin, mixing them incorrectly can cause irritation, burning, redness, and swelling.вЂќ The same philosophy holds true for makeup: Be aware of what ingredients you're slathering onto your face and how much you're using. Layering too much of any product will result in a caked-on texture, which never looks good.
Don't get confused: There's no universal cure for acne, just ways to manage your breakouts better. So we tapped top skincare and beauty experts to break down all the need-to-know details.
вЂњPrepping skin is important because it creates a canvas for your application,вЂќ says celebrity makeup artist Afton Williams. вЂњWithout it, you may have dry patches or areas where makeup settles unevenly.вЂќ And you don't need a dozen products. A bare essential routine includes a cleanser to wash away dirt and grime, a toner to remove anything left lingering and to balance your skin's pH, and a moisturizer to hydrate.
вЂњThe idea of moisturizing often strikes fear into my patients with acne-prone skin because they believe that moisturizer will contribute to breakouts,вЂќ explains Diana Antonovich, MD, assistant professor at the Medical University of South Carolina. вЂњThat's just not true. Moisturizing can calm inflamed skin and smooth out the texture, as well as combat dryness." Plus, skipping moisturizer will only cause your makeup to build up on flaky, dry skin.
If you're dealing with one particular pimple, вЂњgently dab a spot treatment like a topical steroid onto the areaВ with a cotton swab and let it absorb,вЂќ says board-certified cosmetic medical dermatologist Margarita Lolis, MD. Moisturize the area, then start on your makeup application.
вЂњI like to use a foundation before trying to conceal breakouts,вЂќ explains Williams. вЂњThis way, you won't end up going overboard with the amount of product you use.вЂќ Think about it: Foundation conceals a lot of imperfections on its own which cuts down how much you have to go back and spot-conceal. Right now, we're all about Clinique's Even Better Glowв„ў Light Reflecting Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 ($29) for its subtle luminous pigments. Infused with vitamin C, this moisturizing foundation will give your complexion instant radiance while improving your natural glow over time. Having trouble getting your makeup to cover acne? Williams recommends applying it with a sponge because you can really press it into the skin. вЂњWith breakouts, makeup never seems to really stick, so it's important to dab and press product on, rather than swipe,вЂќ she says.
Williams admits that the most difficult part about covering up breakouts is texture. One way to smooth blemishes and get a product to stick is to prime the spot before applying concealer, just like you would your eyelids before applying a smoky eye look. An eye primer makes the skin's texture velvety which allows the concealer to stick. And if concealer alone won't cut it, turn to color correctors. вЂњColor-correct your red spots with a green-tinted concealer. Then go in and use your regular concealer (not a shade lighter) and blend,вЂќ Williams advises.
After you cleanse, apply your base, conceal, and set your makeup to ensure that all the work you've put into getting your look just right actually stays put. Dip a brush into setting powder, tap any excess off, and press and roll the brush into your skin. This will ensure that you're not moving any of your foundation or concealer around. Once you're finished, Williams has one more piece of advice: вЂњLeave your face alone-the more you touch your skin, the harder it'll be to keep spots concealed.вЂќ
Ready to make your life even better? Check back next week for more tips-and in the meantime, shop the Clinique products that'll improve your makeup routine every time.Clinique Acne Solutionsв„ў Cleansing Foam $21ShopClinique Acne Solutionsв„ў Clarifying Lotion $17ShopClinique Acne Solutionsв„ў Clinical Clearing Gel $27ShopClinique Even Better Glowв„ў Light Reflecting Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 $28ShopClinique Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer Camouflage + 24-Hour Wear $20ShopClinique Blended Face Powder and Brush $27Shop