How to Use Concealer to Hide Acne
Concealing acne requires two products, not just one. You will need at least one small jar of concealer, and you will also need a brush to put it on your face. You may also need other cosmetics to smooth out the matte of your skin and to tint the concealer to match your natural flesh tones.
- When you can’t get rid of acne, you can usually hide it with concealer2.
- Ideally, you need both concealer and a feather brush to apply it.
- Green cancels the red in pimples, but yellow, brown, or dark brown concealer can also cover up pimples, and you can use the concealer skin problems other than acne, such as circles under the eyes.
- A light touch is essential in applying concealer. You only want to use just enough to make the pimple less visible.
- You must remove concealer completely every night so pimples can heal3.
- Remove blackheads with a clarifying lotion.
- If you absolutely have no money to conceal pimples, you might get cosmetic improvement with a familiar household remedy known by its acronym MOM.
- The best way to deal with blemishes is to get rid of them for good and keep them from coming back with an acne treatment system like Exposed Skin Care.
Choosing the Right Concealer
There are concealers for many skin issues besides acne. There are concealers for fine lines and wrinkles4, for circles under the eyes, and for red and pink marks caused by acne. The concealer needs to set to a satin finish without flaking, cracking, or streaking, and it should not make fine lines more prominent, especially around the eyes. Liquid concealer works well on most of your face, but a creamier concealer is needed where your makes lots of lines, such as around your mouth and around your eyes.
A concealer does not conceal anything unless it matches your skin color and skin tones. You can’t put a pink concealer on black skin or a black concealer on fair skin and expect nobody to notice.
Also, a single layer of concealer usually won’t work. You need a treatment you apply directly to the blemish and usually also a layer of foundation in your natural skin tone. A concealer in your skin tone, however, will not cancel out redness in a pimple.
The best way to cover up a red pimple is with green concealer. If you don’t have a palette of different concealers at home and you just can’t afford to buy green concealer (it’s usually about US $10 per jar), then you can start with:
- Gold-toned concealer if you have Asian skin or
- Beige-toned concealer if you have fair or brown skin or
- A dark brown concealer close to your natural skin tone if you have black skin.
Choosing the Right Brush
When you conceal a pimple, you don’t want it to break out more. That is why concealer is best applied with a brush. A brush needs to be thin enough that you could use it to apply makeup at the corner of your eyes, and firm enough that it will not cake makeup all over your face. It’s easy to lose brushes, and best to keep them in a bag.
How to Apply Concealer
Wash and dry your hands, and then take a tiny lump of concealer out of the jar, about the size of a pea, about 1 or 2 grams. Place the lump of concealer on the back of your non-dominant hand, the one you do not use to hold the brush, and run the brush back and forth through the concealer to coat the brush. You don’t want any lumps or granules of concealer on the brush.
If you don’t have a brush, you can use your fingers, but you need to be extra-careful not to smear too much concealer on the blemish, and not to puncture the blemish with your fingernails.
Put just enough concealer on a pimple to cover up the redness. Then to conceal your concealer, place a thin layer of foundation makeup (which you have chosen to match your natural skin tone), or use a second layer of beige, brown, or yellow concealer to make the blemish less noticeable. If the pimple is still somewhat visible after applying the rest of your makeup, add just a dot of concealer over it as the last step in making your face.
It is important to remember that making blemishes less noticeable is the purpose of using concealer. Using just green concealer without a second layer hides acne, but then you might find yourself needing to explain how it is that you have green spots. Using a single layer of concealer that is very different from your natural skin tone can leave your skin looking worse rather than better.
Green Concealer Is Not Universally Accepted
Some cosmetics experts insist that concealer should never be any tone that does not naturally exist in healthy skin. Green, orange, pink, purple, rose, or ash concealer is a no-no, some cosmetics cops insist. There is general agreement, however, that concealer should thicker under the eyes and thinner over the rest of your face. A matte finish product is best for oily skin, but there is no guarantee than any kind of concealer you use to hide acne will not also cause new breakouts.
What About Medicated Concealers?
For a medicated concealer to work5, it would have to contain both an exfoliant, which loosens dead skin around and over clogged pores, and a disinfectant that kills acne bacteria without irritating the skin. Medicated concealers are a good idea, but there are no products on the market that both loosen dead skin and kill acne bacteria while they cover up pimples.
What About Whiteheads and Blackheads?
Concealer is not necessary for hiding whiteheads and blackheads. You can cover them up with your foundation makeup. Removing all your makeup every night6, however, is essential to for clearing up your skin. Blackhead remover strips such as the Biore product, however, can give you a red mark next to the blackhead that does not come out, requiring the use of concealer. At night you can use a product like Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion that gets the “black” out of blackheads overnight and that removes the entire blackhead in a few days.
The Bargain Basement of Acne Concealers
If you have simply no money for acne concealers, but you can afford a bottle of milk of magnesia (MOM), you can use a dot of MOM on blemishes to make the (it is to be hoped) less noticeable. Milk of magnesia is anti-inflammatory and will reduce the redness of pimples. It can also obscure blackheads, if you have the right skin color and tone. MOM is water-soluble, however, so the first time you perspire heavily or wash your face, your “concealer” is gone. But your pimple won’t be quite as red.
A Better Way
It’s better to treat acne than it is to conceal acne, and it’s better to prevent acne than it is to treat it. One of the best ways to treat acne and keep it from coming back it to use the very affordable set of products available from Exposed Skin Care.
- Monfrecola G, Cacciapuoti S, Capasso C, Delfino M, Fabbrocini G. Tolerability and camouflaging effect of corrective makeup for acne: results of a clinical study of a novel face compact cream. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016 Oct 11;9:307-313.
- Seité S, Deshayes P, Dréno B, Misery L, Reygagne P, Saiag P, Stengel F, Roguedas-Contios A, Rougier A. Interest of corrective makeup in the management of patients in dermatology. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 5:123-8.
- I have acne! Is it okay to wear makeup? American Academy of Dermatology. Aad.org. 2019.
- Roberts WE, Jiang LI, Herndon JH Jr. Facial primer provides immediate and long-term improvements in mild-to-moderate facial hyperpigmentation and fine lines associated with photoaging. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015 Sep 2;8:471-7.
- Korting HC1, Borelli C, Schöllmann C. Acne vulgaris. Role of cosmetics. Hautarzt. 2010 Feb;61(2):126-31.
- Del Rosso JQ. The role of skin care as an integral component in the management of acne vulgaris: part 1: the importance of cleanser and moisturizer ingredients, design, and product selection. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2013 Dec;6(12):19-27.
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