Oil-based makeup worsens acne


March 08, 1994|By Dr. Modena Wilson and Dr. Alain Joffe | Dr. Modena Wilson and Dr. Alain Joffe,Special to The Sun

Q: My daughter insists on using makeup to cover her acne but I think it is making her acne worse. Who's right?

A: If the package labels on the products your daughter is using indicate that the makeup is oil-based, she should discontinue use. Frequent use will increase the number of blocked skin pores that lead to the skin lesions we call acne. On the other hand, if the labels indicate that the products are "oil free," "nonacnegenic" or "noncomedogenic," she can continue use without difficulty.

Makeup products are not the only culprit in exacerbating acne. Some young women (and some young men) may use hair oil or grease to style their hair. The oils often are transferred to the hairline and forehead, causing an exacerbation of acne in this area. Teen-agers who wish to continue using something on their hair should use a less oily gel on the ends of the hair.

Dr. Wilson is director of general pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center; Dr. Joffe is director of adolescent medicine.

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