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Review: Can Bye Bye Breakout Concealer Really Treat and Cover Your Acne at the Same Time?

dr jaggi rao Reviewed by Dr. Jaggi Rao, MD, FRCPC, Double board-certified dermatologist

Bye Bye Breakout Concealer is a unique product that claims to both cover up acne and treat it at the same time. Makeup doesn’t cause acne on its own, but it can clog pores if applied heavily and frequently, leading to increased acne. Unfortunately, many people with acne use a lot of makeup, and if they’re using the wrong kind, it could create even more acne to cover up. It Cosmetics offers a solution by combining makeup and acne treatment in one product. We looked into the ingredients, reviews, and cost of Bye Bye Breakout Concealer, and found that it actually has a very good chance of doing exactly what it says it does, though not without some drawbacks.

Bye Bye Concealer in a bottle
Bye Bye Breakout Concealer functions as both makeup and acne treatment.

Summary:

  • Bye Bye Breakout Concealer contains tea tree oil, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and witch hazel to treat acne along with the regular ingredients used to conceal blemishes.
  • The formula also includes licorice extract, aloe vera extract, and cucumber extract to prevent the acne-fighting ingredients from drying out the skin too much.
  • Reviews reveal that Bye Bye Breakout Concealer has mixed results. It seems that it is best suited for those with especially oily skin.
  • One of the biggest drawbacks of this concealer is that it only comes in seven shades, only two of which are dark. This may not be the best concealer for people with dark skin.
  • Although the price isn’t outrageous, we wouldn’t call it affordable either.

Does Bye Bye Breakout Concealer Really Have the Ability to Reduce Acne?

Based on the ingredients included in this concealer, we think it’s very likely that it can actually help reduce your acne while covering it up. Bye Bye Breakouts Concealer contains not one, not two, but four acne-fighting ingredients that have been scientifically proven to reduce acne and improve the skin in their own unique ways.

Tea tree oil addresses all three of the main causes of acne: inflammation, bacteria, and excess oil. It contains powerful antioxidants that reduce pore-clogging inflammation, it can kill approximately 98% of p. acnes, the particular kind of bacteria associated with acne, and studies show that it can significantly reduce the amount of sebum (natural oil) our skin produces. Together, these properties make tea tree oil a natural acne-fighting machine, but it comes with a pitfall: it can also be very harsh.

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that reduces acne by gently, but thoroughly, exfoliating the skin. Unlike alpha-hydroxy acids which are water-soluble, beta-hydroxy acids are lipid-soluble, meaning they can penetrate through sebum’s fatty acids and exfoliate deeper.

Glycolic acid is a more traditional exfoliant of the alpha-hydroxy acid variety, but even though it can’t exfoliate as deeply as salicylic acid can, it’s still a great ingredient for acne treatment. Glycolic acid removes old dead skin cells to make room for new, healthy ones, which helps reduce clogged pores and improves overall skin tone.

Finally, witch hazel is a bit more of a wild card. We know for sure that it is astringent, meaning it absorbs excess moisture, which could help those with oily skin, and that it contains antioxidants, which could help protect the skin from irritation. However, it also seems to be too harsh for many people.

Will All These Acne-Fighting Ingredients Dry Out My Skin?

With this many powerful anti-acne ingredients, it makes sense to worry about Bye Bye Breakouts Concealer drying out your skin, but It Cosmetics thought of this problem and included several ingredients to help prevent that. In addition to all of the acne-fighting ingredients, this concealer also contains aloe vera, licorice extract, and cucumber extract, three ingredients that can help protect the skin.

Aloe vera is a popular ingredient in many skin care products because it helps protect the skin. If you’ve ever used it for a sunburn, you know aloe vera has powerful soothing powers, and this can come in handy for those of us with painful breakouts. Its gentle nature makes it the perfect balancing ingredient for all the powerful (but harsh) acne-fighting ingredients included in the Bye Bye Breakouts Concealer.

Aloe vera and wooden laddle
Aloe vera helps soothe and protect the skin, making it an ideal ingredient to balance out some of the acne-fighting ingredients in this concealer.

Licorice extract protects the skin by reducing oxidative stress, a phenomenon which leads to cell breakdown and the spread of acne. Basically, some oxygen cells randomly lose an electron over time, and this makes these molecules very aggressive and volatile as they attack random cells in their search for another electron. This is oxidative stress, and it leads to cell damage and cell death, which is definitely bad for acne. If skin cells get damaged or die prematurely, they can clog pores or break down and allow p. acnes bacteria to spread. Licorice extract and other ingredients containing powerful antioxidants helps prevent this by providing these volatile oxygen molecules with a spare electron.

If you’ve ever seen someone put cucumber slices over their eyes to get rid of puffy undereye bags, then you’ve seen the healing power of cucumber in action. Cucumber extract is the perfect ingredient to balance out all of the strong acne-fighting ingredients because it has gentle cooling properties and helps reduce inflammation.

What Do the Bye Bye Breakouts Concealer Reviews Have to Say?

Although investigating a product’s ingredient list is important, it can’t tell you everything. Once we determine that a product at least as the potential to successfully reduce acne, then we check out the reviews. Reviews are often polarized because the only people motivated enough to leave a review are typically those who had either a really good or really bad experience with a product, so they aren’t always very reliable. Still, reading reviews is the easiest way to determine how well a product works without having to buy it yourself. Based on several hundred Bye Bye Breakouts Concealer reviews, we have determined that it is best suited for those with oily skin rather than those with dry skin.

Many reviewers said the product worked exactly as it was supposed to: it blended in nicely with their skin and their other makeup, and when they washed their face at the end of the day, they found that their acne had reduced in size and/or severity. However, many other reviewers said it left their skin looking flaky and dry, and some even claimed that it actually made their acne worse.

We found that the most consistent difference between the reviews with low ratings and the reviews with high ratings was skin type. Although there were positive and negative reviews from all skin types, there were far more oily skin types among the positive reviews and far more dry skin types among the negative ones. Acne can appear in any skin type, but with all of the drying ingredients in Bye Bye Breakouts Concealer, it seems best suited for oily acne-prone skin.

Another Major Drawback: Not Ideal for Those with Dark Skin

Black woman confidently poses
Racism and colorism continue to permeate the beauty industry, and many products are not made with the beauty of dark skin in mind.

The beauty industry has a long history of completely ignoring the beauty of dark skin and refusing to make products that are suitable for it, and sadly, It Cosmetics is no exception. As with many other brands of concealer and foundation, Bye Bye Breakouts Concealer comes in seven shades, only two of which are somewhat dark, and neither of which is especially dark. To make matters worse, every shade includes zinc oxide, including the darker shades, which is not ideal for dark skin. Zinc oxide is extremely pale, and tends to give those with dark skin a gray or ashy complexion. Although this concealer may work for some people with dark skin, we recommend buying from a location that allows returns.

Is the Cost Worth It?

Although Bye Bye Breakouts Concealer only comes in a 0.35 ounce bottle, it costs nearly $30, making it one of the pricier options out there. Other popular medicated concealers run closer to $15 for the same amount, however, as we pointed out in the section about ingredients, this particular concealer contains some top-notch acne-fighting ingredients that could drive up the price. Overall, this price doesn’t seem outrageous for the quality of product you’re getting, but it may not be feasible for everyone. If you use a considerable amount of the concealer on a regular basis, you will likely go through it within a month or two, and an added monthly $30 expense just isn’t doable for everyone. If it fits into your skin care budget and you have relatively oily skin, then we believe the benefits of the Bye Bye Breakouts Concealer may outweigh the cost.

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