Breakouts...learn how to treat, hide and prevent!

Breakouts.  They can happen at any age, and usually at the worst possible moments....big interview, first date...even wedding day.  So, what should you do?  First off, I have to give a disclaimer:  I am NOT a dermatologist or esthetician.  I AM a pro makeup artist who is incredibly scrupulous and dedicated to great skin care and I'm fairly educated on the basic principles of skin and how it reacts in various situations. If you are having major  or ongoing skin problems, please visit a derm or licensed esthetician for help.  If you're not really having major issues, but just want to know how to deal with the occasional zit...these tips are for you!


1. CLEANSE GENTLY- Be VERY gentle with an active breakout!  You might feel like you want to scrub your face or use a lot of toner or pack on every product you can lay your hands on, but this can....and usually will make your breakout worse. Keep it simple and just use a gentle cleanser and don't forget to use an oil-free moisturizer.  If your skin gets too dry, it'll produce more oil to compensate...NOT what you need right now.  Acne can rear it's ugly head (probably my grossest pun EVER!) as the result of many factors, but the last thing you should do is irritate and dry out your already inflamed skin!

2. HANDS OFF - This is common sense and easier said that done, but here it is.. don't pick.  Just like your
mom always told you, it spreads germs and bacteria and makes your breakout worse.  Plain and simple, it's MUCH easier to cover a little red bump than dry, crusty skin!  If it's your wedding or bridal portrait day and I'm doing your makeup?  Don't touch your breakout...seriously, it's SO much easier for me to cover a zit that's been left alone versus one that well...hasn't been.  Cleanse as usual, apply acne medication just to the bump and then hands off.  If  it's too late and you already picked, try applying an anti-bacterial gel like Neosporin to speed healing and prevent infection.

3. PRIME -  If you're trying to cover the breakout yourself, you'll need to use a good primer.  Primer doesn't clog your pores and doesn't impart oil into your sits on top and gives your skin a supple, slightly more plump appearance that is crucial to covering any bumpy texture.  Primer will
help your foundation glide on top of your skin as well as help it adhere and give you the coverage you need right now.  Try WhipHand's Set the Stage of my favorites!

4. COVER - Use a color correcting foundation, I like IT Cosmetics Bye Bye has just a touch of green that totally cancels out the redness from a breakout but blends into most skin tones beautifully.  Sponge on lightly using a dampened beauty blender (don't pack it on!) until the redness is gone. If your spot needs a bit more
coverage, then use a tiny concealer brush (I love these from ELF...bonus, they're only $1 at Target!)to dot a little extra foundation and carefully blend the edges. DON'T make the mistake of trying to cover pimples with concealer, especially a lighter, brightening one for use in your undereye area!  The lighter color will make your zit more obvious...cover with foundation or concealer that matches your skin as closely as possible.  Set with a a light dusting of finishing powder applied with a big fluffy brush to set.  Don't cake on powder!  A light dusting is all you need.

5. KEEP IT CLEAN - Keep your tools and makeup scrupulously clean...wash your hands before and after applying makeup, cleanse your brushes regularly, wash out sponges with anti-bacterial soap after each use.  You should do this all the time, but it's especially important if you're having an active breakout.  Borrow a pro trick and use a small spatula (like this) and a palette...scrape out a bit of foundation, primer or blush from
the container and use from the palette.  The main container always stays pristine this way!  It's much more sanitary, and you'll get better results from your products as well.  Sanitize palette and tools with alcohol after each use.

True story:  I had a client who kept getting pimples on her nose and chin and was super frustrated.  She came to me for advice on what makeup to choose, she was convinced her makeup was the culprit....she was at her wit's end and fortunately had already made an appointment with the dermatologist the following week.  When I was doing her makeup, I talked her through her makeup and skin care routine and guess what? She had in NEVER once washed her brushes or makeup sponges! Literally years of dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells going back on her face every time she applied her makeup....a much more likely cause of acne than her non-comedogenic foundation.  She mistakenly thought that since she wasn't sharing her tools or products that all the cleaning and sanitizing wasn't necessary, but she couldn't be more wrong.  Keeping everything that touches your face...your hands, your tools, brushes and cosmetics super clean can prevent a wide variety of skin issues.  The routine is easy once you get used to it, and it's way cheaper to keep your stuff clean that pay for a dermatologist visit!

These are my tips to manage and conquer the occasional breakout or random pimple that all of us experience from time to time, but please note, if you're experiencing acne often or with a degree of severity, please be sure to make an appointment with your dermatologist for a long-term solution!!  There are many medications and courses of treatment that your doctor can prescribe if your skin issues are more severe.  For the rest of us, follow these tips and when that random zit shows up, you'll know exactly what to do.   If your skin looks great, you'll feel looks fabulous and so do you!  What tricks have you tried to cover breakouts?  What worked...and didn't?  Share in the comments below.....

11/19/2014 - UPDATE: I just found out that the popular Beauty Blog "Beauty High" used some of my tips in their recent post on preventing breakouts!  Check out the full article here to read my tips plus tips from other beauty pros!

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