Estheticians Agree: These Makeup Ingredients Are Causing Your Breakouts

Amanda Montell
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Urban Outfitters

Diagnosing breakouts is not just our hobby—it's not just our job—it's our obsession. Whenever we experience an acne flare-up, we love nothing more than to analyze every little skincare ingredient, environmental factor, and dietary change that might be to blame.

What we often overlook, however, is how the ingredients in our makeup can affect our skin. "There are more potential problematic ingredients in skincare than there are in makeup products," explains esthetician Renée Rouleau. "They’ve come a long way with makeup formulas." That said, there do exist several breakout-causing ingredients that the makeup industry hasn't yet phased out of its formulas, and estheticians say to beware.

"Make sure your products are noncomedogenic, which means it was developed not to clog pores or cause breakouts," advises Bella Schneider, CEO and founder of Bella Schneider Beauty. When choosing foundation, look for water-based formulas, acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, and mineral makeup that protects the skin against free radicals and UV exposure, adds Erin Wassum, esthetician at the Obagi Skin Health Institute.  

Esthetician-approved makeup brands include Jane Iredale and GloMinerals, which are formulated with skin-loving ingredients like vitamins and antioxidants. As for what to avoid, that's where this list comes in. Keep scrolling to find nine sneaky makeup ingredients that might be breaking you out!

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