How to Conceal Acne - Tips & Tricks

Makeup & Beauty Tips on How to Conceal Acne

Share your best tips and tricks for concealing acne or post-acne marks! Feel free to share your experiences, how you mastered techniques, or what you struggle with.

My Tips

  1. I like using pencil concealers or more liquid-y concealers.  Pencil is great, because the tip makes it easy to be precise and can easily be carried with you on the go, while liquid ones can help to hydrate and minimize the look of dryness/flakiness on the affected area.
  2. My goal is always to minimize the look but concealing entirely sometimes just doesn’t work depending on the severity of the spot (and sometimes, how dry or flaky it is!).  I apply concealer in a thin layer initially, then apply a slightly thicker layer after that.  I like to use a flat, firm concealer brush for this initial application.
  3. Sometimes you need to do reverse contouring if it is a raised spot, so that it looks flatter and less raised.
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i’ve been fortunate never to have true acne, but I’ve had some killer individual zits. Like, Krakatoa, zitzilla, focal-point-of-your-face style ones. My tips are also for people who don’t (or can’t) wear foundation with any coverage itself.

My tips for concealing these (barefaced!) would be:

1. A dab of tea tree oil or your other favourite medication. Let this dry/sink in.
2. A bit of liquid concealer on your fingertip, patted very fast and light over hte whole thing ( patting to make it even, but light so you don’t irritate the spot!). Repeat until you’ve blurred it out/taken the edge off the redness, but not so much that you have a concealer cake! Make sure the edges of the concealing are fully blended out.
3. A light patting of powder just on the spot to take off any shine. A matte pimple is a less obvious pimple.
4. Vigilance – you’ll probably need to touch up a bit during the day!

The goal of my method is less to aurbrush remove a big spot (really difficult when you’re not wearing any other foundation/BB cream/anything), but rather to just minimse and ‘take the edge off’. I find people are generally pretty understanding about spots (almost everyone’s had something!), but the look more askance at obvious, cakey concealing!

I am fortunate to have pretty clear skin, but do get the occasional pimple. I apply a bit of tea tree oil *only* on the spot, and let it dry. Then, I apply a liquid bandage on the spot, allow to fully dry, then apply a concealer. The liquid bandage provides a smooth surface for the concealer to lay on, preventing a “ring” around the blemish.

For parricularly red, inflamed pimples, I use MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot before applying concealer, which is just more opaque than concealer alone, and has more “staying power”.

Unless I’m going somewhere “special”, I just forgo any product on my face (except a moisturizer with SPF), and the tea tree oil, and allow my skin to breathe.

Thanks for sharing your tips because I’ll definitely purchase liquid bandage to use it in the manner you do with the tea tree oil. From years of battling acne, I’ve learned to treat the red, inflamed pimples with care to prevent scarring. I was already using tea tree oil which has been a huge success for me. So, the liquid bandage would definitely offer more protection. Thanks again for this great tip.

My biggestion suggestion is to not go crazy with concealer and full coverage foundation. If your base isn’t perfect, that’s okay – sometimes the more you pile on, the more obvious it is that you’re covering something. Make sure it’s a buildable foundation, as some will really cake after awhile. My feeling is that your flaws are more obvious to you than they are to others, so keep that in mind when you’re covering up.

I generally have good skin, but when I break out, it’s very obvious on my features because I’m porcelain-fair. I usually take a dab of a heavily pigmented concealer and pat it on, using a fluffy brush like the MAC 217 to blend the corners into the skin tone. I’ll also generally skip foundation on those days, allowing my natural skin tone to come through, using a touch of concealer to cover up redness or dark circles in other areas. It makes any lingering redness less obvious because the rest of my face still has small touches of discoloration elsewhere.

My skin is generally well-behaved, but I am just recovering over 6 random HUGE pimples on my face, on my forehead, temples, T-zone, chin, so I thought I’d share the routine I used. It’s now been 3 weeks, and they are finally fading away without scarring. Usually, it’d take me a week to get over a pimple, but this recent episode has been particularly bad.

During the day, I use a a cream or liquid that dry to a powder finish. I recommend Dior or Nars concealers for the job. Then I use a dense buffing brush with a bit of foundation or powder. I like bareMinerals; both the loose and pressed version work quite well, whereas the loose does a more seamless job. It also has SPF, which is helpful if you plan to be outside. I keep the rest of my makeup minimal, just mascara and lip balm.

At night, I first cleanse and exfoliate my face with Lush Angels on Bare Skin or Buche de Noel (Christmas LE). These cleansers lean on the creamy side, so I would occasionally also switch Dark Angels into the mix for a more detoxifying effect. They are (gently!) exfoliating, and I use them in combination with my Clarisonic MIA for extra exfoliation.

Next, using a cotton swab, I dab on some intense acne treatment for 10-15 minutes, and rinse off. I like Kate Sommerville EradiKate Acne Spot Treatment, which has sulfur and salicylic acid. I then follow with a tea tree oil acne treatment. I use Lush Grease Lightning, of which I am on my second bottle. I also carry it with me and dab every few hours, if I am feeling particularly conscious.

As the above steps are quite harsh and drying, I wouldn’t suggest doing it every night and I try to use a sheet mask every week as well, specifically one that will replenish moisture and calm the skin, such as aloe. By the way, drinking plenty of water, eating leafy vegetables, and exercising won’t hurt either. I also take fish oil and argan oil supplements. Hope this helps!

When you contour, you apply a darker color underneath an area (like your cheekbone) that you want to stand out, to create the illusion of a shadow. If you applied a lighter color rather than a darker color, instead of adding the appearance of shadow you would take shadow away, making the area appear flatter. It’s possible to use a concealer slightly lighter than your skin tone on the lower part of a large blemish to make it appear flatter.
But, IMHO, this is only worth it if you have a really large blemish and/or a really important occasion where you need to look really flawless.

Acne is something I’ve struggled with for many years so I have an entire arsenal of concealers and foundations. I have sensitive/combination skin and what I’ve found works best for me is to use a liquid concealer because it’s more forgiving on flaky areas and gives me more time to blend with my fingers before it completely dries down. If I’m using a cream concealer (stick or pot form, both are usually drier than liquid), then I’ll apply it all over and make sure to go well over the boundary of the zit, then I’ll take my Sigma Precision Flat P80 brush and just blend the edges, leaving the concealer completely full-coverage on the zit. My main goal is to reduce the redness of the zits because my skin is light/medium and neutral so red spots really stand out. I’ve tried green concealers and colour correctors but I found them to be an unnecessary extra step that didn’t seem to help much.

I apply foundation, conceal the blemish, then use powder to set.
When I bronze and blush the blemish spot sticks out all over again or picks up the pigment,
Any suggestions?

I have that issue, too. Frankly, I haven’t figured anything out other than to switch up my routine. If, say, I have a blemish on the apple of my cheek, I’ll use a different look, applying blush to the backs of the cheeks. Or I might skip bronzer that day. Basically, I design my look so that I’m putting minimal product on top of the affected area.

My absolute must-have for my acne is hard candy Glamouflage Concealer. I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Good foundations are Revlon ColorStay and CoverGirl StayFabulous 3-in-1.

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