Acne Control Face Powder

Powder with acne-fighting ingredients can help clear skin.

Photo: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Are your makeup products working against you? Using the wrong kinds of makeup for your acne-prone skin can give you a condition called “acne cosmetica,” in which makeup clogs your pores and causes breakouts. Acne cosmetica doesn’t have to happen to you, and you can even find face powders that help you fight acne as they work to conceal it.

Active Ingredients

To keep pores clear, makeup manufacturers have started adding acne-fighting ingredients into their products. Examples include adding salicylic acid to powders. Salicylic acid penetrates your pores and helps to break up the oil plugs that can form when you have acne. While the percentage of acne-fighting ingredients may not be as strong as a spot treatment product, the extra help may aid in the fight to keep pores clear.


Powders labeled “oil-absorbing” or “mattifying” can also help control your acne. These powders act like a sponge, soaking up the oils that can otherwise clog your pores. Other key words to look for are “oil-free” or “non-comedogenic,” which means the powder doesn't contain oils that can clog your pores.

Mineral Makeup

Many acne sufferers find relief and acne control in the form of mineral makeup. These makeup types contain natural ingredients such as mica and titanium dioxide, a natural sunblock. Mineral makeup ingredients are gentle enough to reduce skin sensitivity and don’t contain chemicals known to clog pores. You may see the ingredient “mineral oil” on your mineral makeup powder -- but don’t worry, this isn’t the kind of makeup oil that will clog your pores.

What Can Clog

Not all face powders will be beneficial for your skin. When looking for a powder that helps you control acne, avoid ingredients such as lanolin and isopropyl myristate, which can plug pores. Also, avoid applying so much powder to your face that the texture appears thick or cakey. Your pores need air, too, and layering too much makeup on can prevent them from releasing skin-softening oil onto your skin. When the oil stays inside your pores, you can get pimples, whiteheads or blackheads.

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