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Acne: How to Conceal Blemishes

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When to Pay a Beauty Pro

It happens when you least expect it. You wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and discover a very visible pimple. Ouch! It not only hurts, it looks painful, too.

Don’t fret. There are several quick and easy beauty products that will help you hide breakouts so that you can go about your day without feeling self-conscious. Of course, serious acne needs treatment, but whether you’re waiting for it to take effect or just have to deal with the occasional zit, camouflage is as close as your foundation, concealer, and a face powder.

Shopping for Concealers: Best Advice

“Be careful in choosing your makeup,” advises Scott Gerrish, MD, a nonsurgical skincare specialist with offices in Virginia and Maryland. “Some makeup contains oil or other ingredients that can make your acne worse. Make sure that you select quality makeup and consult an esthetician or dermatologist when in doubt.” Foundation can be a workhorse beauty product for you; read labels and look for formulas that provide blemish-fighting ingredients and offer better coverage.

  • Buy foundation concealer, and face powder that are meant to work together. All three should be in the right shade to match your complexion; test the color at your jawline. You don’t want to draw more attention to your flaw by wearing a shade that’s too dark or too light for you.
  • Test the foundation and concealer on a hidden spot on your face or neck to be sure there is no allergic reaction.
  • Carefully wash with your usual face cleanser, gently pat dry, and apply any acne medication that you may be using.
  • Use a concealer first and apply with a makeup brush or sponge — don’t use your fingers, as they can transmit oil and germs that could lead to more acne. “Gently dab a small amount of concealer directly onto an acne spot and then carefully blend it with a small makeup sponge,” says Helga Surratt, president of About Faces Day Spa & Salon in Towson, Md. Let it dry thoroughly.
  • Next, use a makeup sponge to gently dab on your foundation; this technique keeps you from disturbing the concealer. If you wear foundation all over your face, apply it and take a step back to see if you need an extra dab right on the pimple. If so, blend it in very carefully at the edges. If you’re wearing foundation just to camouflage the zit, fan out the edges to avoid leaving any demarcation lines.
  • Use a large makeup brush, says Pam Messy of Mary Kay Cosmetics in Maryland, to lightly apply an oil-free powder to set the makeup and remove any traces of shine from the foundation.
  • Clean brushes thoroughly and toss the sponges or carefully clean them to avoid transferring oil and germs.

What to Do When Acne Is Severe

Special products are available for camouflaging severe acne. These products contain silicone and other ingredients to help hide redness and scars. Consult your dermatologist for advice on the best beauty products to use in conjunction with the acne medications and/or topicals you’re using to combat severe acne. You want to make sure that your beauty products are enhancing, not taking away from, the effectiveness of your treatments.

The next time you have a blemish or two on your face, don’t think you have to pull down the shades and hide at home. Instead, reach for your beauty-product arsenal, and perform your best vanishing act.






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