Unfortunately, acne is hereditary in my family. What's worse is that cystic acne is the primary acne my family members struggle with. So from the age of about 13, I also struggled with the pain and embarrassment of cystic acne. Often I would only have one or two problem spots or blemishes, but as you probably know, cystic acne is deeply painful and can be very noticeable.
I am lucky to be artistic and interested in all things artistic like makeup. So as I approached my teen years I experimented with makeup more and more. I learned ways to conceal my acne. I was so good with cystic acne concealing, that if you ask my friends, they probably wouldn't even remember that I suffered from acne at all. I feel blessed that I learned the proper way to conceal my acne. I saved myself so much embarrassment, once I learned the keys to proper acne concealing.
I do remember a few days, before I learned the best tricks, that I stayed home from school because I was so humiliated with my blemish. I don't want anyone to have that experience. I sincerely know what it feels like to be embarrassed of your skin. You avoid eye contact at all costs, you avoid basketball games and school dances, because your face is just "out of control".
I want to share with you a few of my time-tested tricks.
The first trick, is not a trick at all. And you've probably heard it before: Don't pick. I'll be candid - most acne sufferers tend to pick their acne. It's gross and difficult to talk about but I want to point it out. Once I stopped touching, prodding and squeezing at my skin, my blemishes cleared up incredibly fast. Especially with cystic acne, picking a cyst does not help. The only way for a cyst to go away is for the swelling to go down. So the better fix would be:
Take an ibuprofen. This one really works. Ibuprofen helps to reduce swelling all over the body and really truly will make a difference with an acne cyst.
Place a hot wash cloth or heat pack on the cyst. In the same way ibuprofen helps to reduce swelling, heat really helps a cyst to calm.
Get a Zeno. The Zeno Acne clearing device is a targeted heat device that is medically safe and effective especially for cystic acne. I know it's expensive. I really do, but I absolutely recommend it. It's going to save you scarring and embarrassment. It makes your acne cyst disappear in half the time any other method would. I would not recommend this if it did not work. I've been duped into so many quick fix acne treatments because I was vulnerable and wanted help. This is something I truly stand behind - I personally own one. I've also heard from so many young women I work with as a makeup artist that it works.
Now here's the top makeup products for concealing acne cysts.
Stick Concealer, the concealer that looks like a lipstick. It has the perfect consistency because it's a little thicker than most concealers. It will last longer which is key for cystic acne sufferers. The concealer needs to really bind to the inflamed skin, otherwise it will slide off and you will be red and noticeable. CoverGirl and Almay have good brands of lipstick-shaped concealer. Try those.
Powder foundation - not translucent or mineral makeup. Powder foundation like Lancome's Dual Finish powder or Clinique's Double Face matte makeup are great. The reason a powder foundation is necessary is to seal in the concealer on top of your acne spot. Put the concealer on and then pat powder foundation over the top with a sponge. I don't recommend using a brush to apply the powder. The patting motion will help bind the texture of the concealer to the powder. This means your makeup will stay put and you know you will be concealed for the whole day. Knowing that your face is smooth and your acne is invisible is such a confidence boost! The best powder foundation, in my opinion is Nars Powder Foundation. Nars wins many of the annual Allure awards and is one of my personal favorite brands.
A simple combo of thick concealer stick and powder foundation will really save you from a red, swollen acne cyst. Make sure you get a concealer brush. I am not one of those people who thinks you have to have a makeup brush. But when you're working with acne, you want to be as hygienic as possible. Instead of using your bacteria-laden fingers, use a clean makeup brush. Your acne will heal much faster if you don't flare it with dirt, oil and bacteria. My favorite is the Afterglow Vegan Concealer brush. But I'm honestly not here to push products or make you buy expensive makeup. You can very easily buy a concealer brush from Target, from Sonia Kashuk.
I hope that this is helpful. Trust me, I know what you're going through, and I hope that you understand that you don't have to live in embarrassment. Little tricks and learning to take care of your skin can go a long way to managing your acne.Makeup Tips and Tricks For Cystic Acne Sufferers
Brynn Andre is a renowned makeup artist of Brynn Andre Beauty Brynn, a former acne sufferer herself, helps young women manage their acne through makeup techniques and behavioral changes. She also writes Smart Bride Blog