Acne Cosmetica : Types, Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Women from a very young age use products to keep their hair conditioned and beautiful, all kinds of creams to keep the body hydrated and cared for, and also beauty products for the skin, from makeup to rejuvenating creams.

Some are aware of the ingredients, if they have parabens or not, if they are 100% natural, but sometimes they overlook what type of skin each beauty product is made for, one of the many reasons why the skin begins to react with pimples or excess fat mainly on the face.

If you have pimples, or your skin is a bit more oily , you may think it is due to the greasy food of the previous day, or you may think that you do not have proper hygiene and you will want to wash your face more, or you may blame the menstrual cycle, however acne can be caused by the cosmetics you are using.

And that is what I want to talk to you about in this article, whether you are a teenager or an adult woman, if you are presenting acne, it could be originating from comedogenic makeup, or the products you use for hair, which make fat run on your face and clog some pores, but let’s talk about that later.

Unfortunately if you ignore what is causing acne you can make it worse , because the last thing you would suspect is that makeup is the cause, in fact, to cover and hide each pimple or mud you will surely apply more makeup.

The consequences of this can be serious, because from a simple comedo you can go to a cyst and mark your face for life with those small scars that maybe, only maybe some laser therapy will eliminate. And if not, you may be psychologically affected.

To avoid that your skin becomes unsightly, and you can continue using beauty products that make you feel safe and pretty, it is better that you know what is cosmetic acne? I want to talk to you about this interesting topic, and give you some tips so that avoid suffering from cosmetic acne.

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What is cosmetic acne?

Cosmetic acne is a form of acne that is caused externally and not by internal factors such as hormones, stress or diet; This type of cosmetic acne is activated by using makeup that clogs pores on the surface of the skin.

Some make-ups are comedogenic, they have an element that causes the reaction and is manifested by outbreaks that develop in the areas where the make-up is applied, these products, as I mentioned, clog the pores, and within them the fat and the fat remain trapped. dead cells resulting in cosmetic acne.

This cosmetic acne is mild, and it can affect anyone, even if they have never had acne in their life, because cosmetic acne usually starts with using the wrong cleansing cream, oil foundation, or oily moisturizer.

Cosmetic acne, how is it detected? How to combat it?

The way to detect it in people with smooth skin is easy, since by using the wrong product or makeup over time you will begin to present cosmetic acne, and when you have pimples you can consult your dermatologist who will ask you a series of questions regarding to your diet, and if there was something that caused you any stress.

Once the stress, hormonal and food factors have been ruled out , being a person who has never had acne then the dermatologist will give you the diagnosis, which is that this new appearance of inflamed pustules, papules or blackheads is due to an adverse reaction caused by the use of a cosmetic , so it will be cosmetic acne.

If you are a person who has always had acne skin, and you use makeup to hide most pimples, but the condition worsens, it will be easy to detect that in addition to hormonal acne you have cosmetic acne, because in your case you should use products that indicate that they are not comedogenic.

To combat cosmetic acne on any skin type, the main recommendation is the one I just mentioned: do not use comedogenic cosmetics, and in case it is too late, you already have the outbreak, then you have to stop using the external factor which is causing the clogged pores.

Apart from avoiding the use of these products, and using non-comedogenic ones instead, you should also wash your face twice a day to remove excess oil, use moisturizing creams but without oils, dry the skin without rubbing it, try to the hair does not have as much contact with your face and use sunscreen without oils or fats.

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Characteristics of cosmetic acne

The characteristics of cosmetic acne are as follows:

  • They are an adverse reaction caused by the use of some cosmetics.
  • Pimples, blackheads or inflamed pustules usually appear in the area of ​​application with prolonged use of the product.
  • When you stop using the cosmetic that caused the acne, it disappears until it is completely cured.
  • It is much more common in adolescent girls and women in adulthood.
  • In addition to makeup, other beauty products such as dyes, shampoo and conditioners, some exfoliating soaps and creams cause this type of acne .
  • Compared to hormonal and bacterial acne, this cosmetic acne is mild and easy to prevent and treat.

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Causes of cosmetic acne

Cosmetic acne is caused by the use of beauty and skin care products , which unfortunately have the opposite effect to the desired one, as women plan to beautify themselves and can unknowingly cause cosmetic acne and make common acne worse.

These products cause chemical irritation of the hair follicle and comedogenesis due to some ingredients that interrupt the flow of oxygen to the pores and this lack of oxygen causes bacteria to multiply rapidly and light comedones appear.

Oxygen is responsible for regulating the bacterial flora within the skin follicles and as the pores become clogged, inflammatory lesions begin to appear that worsen with each application of the product or makeup and is even more serious in acneic skin.

It is for this reason that it is recommended to use non-comedogenic products , that is, those that, when identified as such, can be applied to oily, asphyctic and acneic skin because it does not produce comedones.

And avoid at all costs comedogenic products that cause imperfections in the area applied by hyperkeratosis, where the follicle is obstructed and gives rise to open and closed spots and papules or pustules. These comedgenic products can be: wheat germ oil (Wheat Germ Oil), surfactant and emulsifier (Laureth 4), Isopropyl Isostearate, Isopropyl Myristate, Isocetyl Stearate, Cetyl alcohol, Octyl Stearate and emollients.

Symptoms of cosmetic acne

The symptoms that people with cosmetic acne present are much milder than the symptoms of hormonal acne , these generally do not cause scars, and they usually present themselves as follows:

  • Light lifting of the skin because acne breakouts are mild.
  • Cysts or nodules do not occur if you have not had acne before.
  • They may be scabbed with rashes.
  • There is redness around the rashes.
  • Red bumps and blackheads in the area where the cosmetic is applied.

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Cosmetic acne pathologies

Cosmetic acne is a reaction that does not present pathologies if it is detected in time and the use of the product that is causing it is suspended, however when the condition worsens it can present a complication that will lead the person to have spots on the skin , scars, until psychologically affected.

Cosmetic acne lesions may begin with a mild comedo, and can worsen over time, especially if the person has a family history of acne, oily skin and hormonal changes, or stress and poor diet.

If the person manipulates the lesions and does not maintain good hygiene, their face and affected areas may present depigmented or hyperpigmented areas and also papules or pustules that in turn leave scars when they become nodules, cysts or accesses.

The scars can be hypertrophic, punctate, fibrotic and soft, keloids can also occur when acne vulgaris is worsened with cosmetic products, the lesion becomes chronic and the scars in the affected area can be difficult to treat.

Other pathologies that are a consequence of cosmetic acne and the aforementioned are the direct impact on social life and psychological alterations that result in low self-esteem and in the worst case, anxiety and depression.

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Areas of the body where cosmetic acne can appear

Cosmetic acne breakouts usually appear in the areas that women use the most makeup to hide the imperfections of the face, this is why it is common for this type of acne to appear on the forehead and hairline because the fats and the products that are used for hair sweat sweat these areas clogging the pores around the eyebrows .

Also the nose, cheekbones, cheeks, jaw and chin or chin are areas that are affected by cosmetic acne due to the oil-based or compact powders, which women usually use there to eliminate excess oil there may be, but without knowing it, they are clogging the pores and preventing oxygen from entering them.

The places where cosmetic acne almost does not appear are the ears, neck, shoulders and back , this is because the products that affect the skin are usually used mainly on the face.

Levels of cosmetic acne

Like acne vulgaris and hormonal, cosmetic acne can also be classified into levels distinguishing inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions , that is, closed and open comedones, and papules and pustules that depending on the severity, the consequences can be scars that are difficult to hide and even more to eliminate, and they differentiate between mild, moderate and severe cosmetic acne.


Mild cosmetic acne is characterized by reddish lesions at first that later turn into closed comedones due to increased sebum that traps bacteria and dead cells, and white pellets are seen at the tip of the bump.

Open comedones are also considered mild cosmetic acne , these are blackheads, open pores that oxidize by sebum and keratin and present that color when exposed to air and sun.


Cosmetic acne, when moderate , appears in the affected area as papules , that is, as hard pimples that can be painful to the touch and forms when an open or closed comedo is irritated. Likewise, the pustules are also moderate cosmetic acne , these are pimples that contain pus in the center while in the pustules there is no presence of pus.


When cosmetic acne is severe then the lesions are called cysts, and they are much more difficult to remove because they are very painful soft purulent subcutaneous pockets that leave scars, like nodules, that do not have pus. These are generally the consequence of cosmetic acne that was not treated in time and that the product that caused it was used without moderation even when it should have been discontinued.

Severe cosmetic acne leaves residual lesions such as: hyperpigmented lesions, scars, and keloids that can be difficult to treat if not fought in time, the first thing to do is to abandon the comedogenic cosmetic and then keep the face and affected area clean. The creams and medicines will be prescribed by the dermatologist.

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Can adult women suffer from cosmetic acne?

It is normal to associate acne with adolescence since it is at puberty where women begin to have pimples, greatly influencing skin type, diet and hygiene, however when they reach adulthood it is not known why they appear these grains and by investigating a little you find out that it is due to the use of makeup and other beauty products.

This is the reason why adult women can suffer from cosmetic acne regardless of whether they are going through a hormonal process or not, or if they have never had this problem, simply when cosmetic acne appears, the cause is evident.

In fact, in adult women it is much easier to diagnose cosmetic acne because it is very common at this stage, adult women use all kinds of creams and makeup for the face and therefore it is very common for them to have an obstruction. of pores.

Once possible causes such as menopause or stress are ruled out, the dermatologist will tell you that the acne is being caused by a cosmetic, and the way to counteract it is by abandoning its use and cleaning the affected area with products that do benefit you.

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Do contraceptives cause cosmetic acne?

When women use contraceptive methods, their body reacts in some way and in many women, contraceptive pills favor the development of acne due to the increase in globulin in the blood and depending on the woman’s body lipid index and the way in which the component is metabolized. they could cause acne in the first few months.

Some adverse effects of contraceptive pills for the previous explanation are the appearance of acne, but this is due to the entire internal hormonal process that the person who starts using contraceptives is going through, therefore, cosmetic acne does not it is caused by these since it really originates it are external factors.

Do adult men suffer from cosmetic acne?

Adult men have acne due to multiple factors, among which are the lack of hygiene, bad habits, constant stress, and exposure to the sun and environmental pollution. The percentage of men who use beauty cosmetics is low , however it is possible that men suffer from cosmetic acne because when using comedogenic products they will also clog the pores of their skin and this type of acne will break out.

In adolescents, is cosmetic acne normal?

In adolescence, the changes caused by puberty usually cause acne, but if we talk about cosmetic acne as hormonal acne is perfectly normal, this is because teenagers use makeup and all kinds of cosmetics without paying attention to their ingredients and much less your skin type.

This uncontrolled use of makeup, which is even usually performed among a group of friends, undoubtedly causes cosmetic acne , and it is detected late because the parents and the affected women blame the ¨adolescence¨ stage and continue to worsen it with the excessive use of makeup. to cover these pimples.

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During pregnancy you can have cosmetic acne, why?

During the first trimester of pregnancy, most women have acne , even though they had never had this problem, this is due to the sudden change in hormones; But when estrogen levels increase, acne will disappear.

All women who are pregnant or do not always want to stay beautiful, and the use of cosmetics at this stage can cause this type of acne that has nothing to do with hormones such as: human chorionic gonadotropin, progesterone, lactogen, and They cause estrogen, since this hormonal acne is another symptom of pregnancy, but it can be complicated by the use of beauty products.

Babies have cosmetic acne, why?

Some babies have white spots on their faces in the first weeks of life , this is caused by the obstruction of the sebaceous glands that usually occur in the area of ​​the baby’s nose, cheeks and chins. This is actually a rash that these little ones get in hot seasons like summer due to the heat. ‘

This explained above clears the question as to whether or not babies can suffer from cosmetic acne? The answer is clear, no, they do not have cosmetic acne . Although they have this reaction to heat and are clogged pores, it is not related to the use of makeup or creams, because they are babies who do not use these comedogenic products.

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During and after breastfeeding you have cosmetic acne, why?

When you are breastfeeding, the same hormones that stimulate the secretion of the sebaceous glands in pregnancy also cause acne during breastfeeding, but these tend to disappear over the months.

Once you have your baby in your arms, family and friends usually go to meet him, and for this reason you make yourself presentable to them, and use makeup and creams that change the appearance of a woman just given birth.

This use of makeup during breastfeeding can cause cosmetic acne , and for this reason the acne breakout during this stage is aggravated, and it is perfectly normal, adding to that the stress of insomnia and caring for the baby.

Also due to dehydration caused by breastfeeding, many mothers forget to stay hydrated and the consequences are suffered by their skin because it favors the appearance of acne. These factors plus makeup and other beauty products cause this skin reaction in women during lactation .

Is there cosmetic cystic acne? What is it?

Cystic cosmetic acne exists , and this is the one that is generated when it is not treated on time in its initial stage , that is, it goes through the levels of mild, moderate to severe over time, due to a lack of adequate treatment that it had Than to have cured it before it got worse.

Cosmetic acne is generally mild, and easy to combat, the problem is when it becomes cystic because it is capable of altering the natural features of the face and gives it an unsightly appearance , and the chances of scarring the entire face. life are high.

Cystic cosmetic acne is a disease that begins with a few simple comedones caused by a cosmetic but that when not treated becomes a deep acne that was initially superficial. The sebaceous glands produce much more oil and by clogging the pore and breaking its plug, dead cells are introduced which, added to bacteria and fat, result in the nodule known as a cyst.

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Menopause and cosmetic acne

When a woman is going through the menopause stage, she begins to suffer different symptoms, and among them is the appearance of acne due to hormonal changes; These changes are very noticeable in the skin of menopausal women and are increased by stress and poor diet.

In order to hide these acne breakouts, adult women use all kinds of makeup, and in addition to them the use of anti-wrinkle creams that they begin to use after they turn 35, unknowingly cause the pores of their face to clog and They end up blaming menopause.

Taking care of the skin in this stage that women go through is very important for them, and sometimes they tend to take care of themselves excessively , that is why cosmetic acne appears in menopause along with other symptoms and acne that is produced by hormonal change .

Stress can cause cosmetic acne. How? Why?

The skin is very sensitive to products that you apply topically , it has to be those that are manufactured for your specific skin type, that is, if it is for oily skin, or for normal skin, or if it is for dry skin. This sensitivity is also shown by the skin depending on how you feel, that is, when you are relaxed and happy your skin will look beautiful and radiant but if you are stressed your skin will look dull and dry.

This indicates that stress has a power over your skin, because when you are stressed, the pores tighten and become blocked, preventing the oil that is under the skin from coming out and as it accumulates, acne due to stress appears.

What happens then that every woman cannot avoid doing, is trying to hide the outbreak of pimples with cosmetics that disguise these bumps, and stress acne ends up getting worse and turning into cosmetic acne.

The good thing about cosmetic acne that appears along with acne caused by stress is that they tend to disappear when you are relaxed, when you are no longer stressed and of course, when you change the cosmetic that is doing you badly or stop using it . So if you find yourself in a difficult time, I recommend that you do yoga.

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How does isotretinoin help against cosmetic acne?

Isotretinoin is an oral retinoid, that is, they are capsules derived from vitamin A used to treat acne, it is the most effective treatment if you want to fight any type of acne.

To help against cosmetic acne, what isotretinoin does is reduce the production of the sebaceous glands , very effective in oily skin that tend to suffer more from cosmetic acne, this treatment progressively thins the skin and its anti-medonial, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial prevents and prevents you from suffering from cosmetic acne.

It is so effective to combat cosmetic acne that in 4 or 6 weeks you will have your complexion radiantly beautiful, and you should take it for several months and with food, there are some dermatologists who recommend that you take it only a few days a week and not daily It will depend on the severity of cosmetic acne you have.

Menstruation and cosmetic acne

When you are about to menstruate, the hormones act at the peripheral level, this means that the hormones act directly on the skin and this hormonal alteration causes pimples to appear in various parts of your body such as on the cheeks and back, and even more if you are a teenager because in this stage the hormonal change is due to puberty.

Acne usually appears in many women when they are in their days , others have other symptoms such as breast tenderness or swelling, and each of these menstrual symptoms is caused by hormones.

This acne in menstruation is hormonal , but as you already know that cosmetic acne is common in women, you should try to avoid the use of oily cosmetics in the days before the arrival of your menstruation because otherwise these acne breakouts will be complicated. both hormonal and cosmetic acne.

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Cosmetic acne vs bacterial acne

Cosmetic acne, as I have been explaining to you from the beginning, is caused by the use of comedogenic products, and these are characterized by being slight lifting of the skin in the affected area with very small whiteheads, and these can grow to the point of being red pimples.

The most common places where cosmetic acne appears are the forehead, cheeks and chin, but they can appear in any area where you get used to makeup and the pore becomes clogged, that is, anywhere on the face.

Before moving on to bacterial acne, it is worth mentioning that cosmetic acne is usually alleviated simply by stopping using the greasy product that is causing it, while propionibacterial or bacterial acne must be eliminated by taking antibiotics or other medications such as benzoyl peroxide.

Bacterial acne is the cause of a dermal infection , it is present in most people and feeds on the fatty acids secreted by the pores, when it becomes clogged the bacteria proliferate secreting a chemical substance that breaks the pore wall and causes a spread of bacteria causing acne in large quantities.

That said, the difference between cosmetic acne and bacterial acne is the level at which each occurs, since cosmetic acne is generally mild and does not produce scars, and bacterial acne is moderate and even severe.

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What to eat if you have cosmetic acne

If you are a woman who is presenting cosmetic acne at this time, you should know that there are factors that influence the complication of this pathology, and one of them is diet, it can worsen your acne or it can control it and help improve and cure it .

For your diet to help fight and improve cosmetic acne, you should start by including foods that are rich in vitamin A in your daily diet , this means that you are going to eat fresh vegetables such as carrots, red and orange peppers, and fruits such as mango , melon, papaya and peaches.

Prepare salads or juices that have raw onion and garlic, you can also have lemon, eat apples, celery, broccoli and red tomato. Likewise, you should include fish and foods rich in Omega 3 in your diet, preferably cold-pressed vegetable oils , and vegetable milks are also a good option so that you do not suffer from cosmetic acne.

It will also help you to drink at least two liters of water daily , it is very important that you stay hydrated, and at the same time you should avoid pasta, dressings such as mustard or mayonnaise and capsus.

And if you really want to see an improvement in cosmetic acne then eliminate those foods rich in harmful cholesterol such as: fatty meats, cheese, sausages, dairy and butter, and those derived from white sugar are also harmful and can cause more outbreaks of cosmetic acne as they are: cookies, candy and soft drinks.

Do not eat fried foods and no junk food , or processed, I recommend that every morning on an empty stomach you drink a squeezed lemon juice, at breakfast fruit such as bananas, mangoes or papayas, at lunch eat fish or some stew along with a delicious salad, and at dinner a yogurt with cereals.

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Cosmetic acne, does it have a cure? What is it?

Of course it has a cure, in fact it is acne that can be cured the fastest and even more prevented ; The cosmetic acne cure is mainly avoiding comedogenic products , this is the key because products that are not hypoallergenic contain ingredients like oil that clog pores with each application.

You have to look at the label of the products you are going to buy, it is preferable that they do not contain lanolin and isopropyl myristate , or that they contain fragrances, dyes or oils, it is better that they are without perfumes and that they specify that they are not comedogenic.

Another measure to take to cure cosmetic acne is hygiene, you can wash your face regularly, not leave makeup residue and make sure your pores are clean, also make sure to periodically change the sponge because it can accumulate bacteria.

Medical treatments against cosmetic acne

Treating cosmetic acne will depend on many influencing factors, the main one being age, since if you are a teenager your dermatologist will prescribe mild medications since acne can be a normal alteration of puberty.

In adult women, cosmetic acne is more frequent, however, in the same way , the hormonal status and the characteristics of your skin are studied , because your skin may be normal, oily, dry or mixed and this factor is very important at the time to use medical treatments.

Other important factors that are taken into account is the level of cosmetic acne, remember that I mentioned that they can be mild, moderate, or severe and for each level there is a different treatment, but you cannot prescribe one without before knowing the quality of life of the person and their genetic background.

Once all this has been determined, the most used treatments are usually combined, this means that topical treatments are prescribed together with oral ones , and in most cases the oral one is usually isotretinoin.

There are other medications that specialists recommend such as: topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, clindamycin, nadifloxacin; none can be self-medicating as there is a high probability that you will aggravate cosmetic acne rather than cure it.

There are other treatments that are used to treat cosmetic acne, microdermabrasion is one of the most effective exfoliating treatments, also phototherapy, which is a light treatment that reduces pimples, and finally there is the laser surgery treatment that is for reduce the scars caused by acne be it cosmetic, hormonal or bacterial.

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Homeopathic treatment

Homeopathic treatment is one of the most effective against acne, it is based on the law of similarity that consists in provoking the symptoms in a healthy person but in small amounts to cure the same or similar symptoms when they are sick.

Homeopathic treatment considers the set of symptoms that each person presents in a particular way, their physical and psychological state are very important as well as their medical and life history .

These homeopathic medicines of animal, vegetable or chemical origin through dilution, or dynamization, are used to treat comedones, the most commonly used are: sulfur, selenium, calcareous picrata, bromine derivatives such as: kali Bromatum.

Natural treatment to relieve cosmetic acne

Just as there are medical treatments for cosmetic acne, there are also natural ones, although this type of acne is easy to treat, you should always take into account the type of acne lesion you have to start with natural treatments.

One of the most effective treatments is acupuncture , since the Chinese say that acne is caused by body heat, and acupuncture is special to treat the face area by balancing excess heat in the body, Let’s dive a little deeper into this excellent natural cosmetic acne treatment.

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Acupuncture uses very fine needles that disrupt the tense energy within your body to bring it into balance by spreading balanced chi; There are three different acupuncture treatments available to combat cosmetic acne.

  1. Regular acupuncture: Needles are strategically placed in every hot spot on the body to stimulate the nerves, and energy is the main technique in regular acupuncture.
  2. Electroacupuncture : here electrical current is applied to the needles that are inserted into the skin and in this way stimulate the movement of energy in the body.
  3. Auricular acupuncture : applied to the ear as many pressure points are in the ear help to stimulate blood flow and energy balance to all parts of the body.

These three different types of acupuncture to combat cosmetic acne have their main points such as: the stomach, the large intestine and the lungs, when stimulated they produce a kind of natural cooling that stops the activating heat of cosmetic acne.

The improvements of this acupuncture treatment can be seen from the first session, but you should have approximately six sessions for the results to be more optimal, in addition to these benefits for your face, acupuncture also relaxes you so the calming effect it will renew your physical and spiritual beauty.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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