Does Blush Cause Acne? How Can You Avoid Breakouts?

LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

One of the most problematic skin issues is acne, particularly on the face. Acne breakouts can occur due to a variety of causes. If your skin is already acne-prone, then you should choose the products you use carefully. 

That would include makeup! The cheeks are a common site for acne so you might be asking “Does Blush Cause Acne?” Blushes can cause acne breakouts, but not all of them do. There are certain ingredients that you should watch out for. 

And the way you use the blush can also be the culprit in making your skin breakout.

No need to completely avoid blush if you have acne-prone skin. You just have to carefully select what to use and know how to properly apply them.

In this article, we’ll go over how to do that!


Acne-Prone Skin

Acne is a common skin condition although noot people have it. It mostly appears on the face but it can also affect other parts of the body such as the back, chest, neck and shoulders. 

Lots of us have had it. We’ve all been there.

You should also remember that acne isn’t just pimples. It could also be blackheads, cysts and whiteheads. These all affect the pores of the skin. 

With acne, the pores get blocked with dead skin cells, sebum, and buildup. When the bacteria get trapped with this block, it sells and turns into a pimple. 

Does Blush Cause Acne?

BareMinerals Blush

Blushes don’t necessarily cause you to have acne. It will depend on your skin and the interaction with the blush you choose. That’s why if you use the same blush as your friend, it is possible that you are the only one who had the acne breakout (isn’t that how it always works?!)

There are many other factors that could affect acne. However, lets keep our focus on how blushes can cause your skin to breakout.

Using blush can cause your skin to break out due to the ingredients they contain or the manner in which you apply them. 

What Ingredients Should You Avoid?

Ingredients that can cause you to have breakouts are generally called comedogenic ingredients. These substances, along with your skin’s sebum and dead skin cells, will block the pores and trap bacteria that cause those pimples. 

Here are some of the ingredients to avoid, not just for blushes, but for makeup in general. 


Blushes come in different forms. Some are powdered, others could be cream or tints. Those in powder forms are better for those with oily and acne-prone skin. 

Cream blushes often contain oils and emollients to achieve a creamy consistency. Certain oils like coconut oil, avocado oil, or almond oil are all-natural oils. However, they can still clog your pores. 

It is best to choose oil-free blushes to ensure you don’t clog your pores. 

The bareMinerals  is a good example of an oil-free blush that you can use. 

bareMinerals Gen Nude Powder Blush, Mineral-Based Pressed Powder Blush, All Day Wear, Buildable Coverage, Matte Soft Focus Finish, Talc-Free, Vegan
  • Easily portable pressed powder formula
  • Blurring mineral complex contains...
  • Oil-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free,...
  • Providing superior customizable coverage...


Fragrances can make your makeup experience better. We all like a nice smell!

However, they are not best for those with acne-prone skin. Fragrances like benzaldehyde can clog the pores.

It is best to select blushes that are fragrance-free . Apart from being able to cause acne breakouts, fragrances can also cause allergies, especially for those with sensitive skin.

Honest Beauty 2-in-1 Creme Cheek Blush + Lip Color | EWG Verified, Vegan + Cruelty Free | Peony Pink, .1 oz
  • 2-in-1 cream blush and lip color that...
  • Can be applied with fingertips for a...
  • EWG Certified; Dermatologist and...
  • Made with: Multi-fruit extract:...
  • Made without: Petrolatum, Paraffins,...


Silicone is another ingredient that you should watch out for. Although it is commonly used for makeup primers, there are still some blushes that are silicone-based.

These blushes are usually water-resistant in texture and appear smooth. But they can clog your pores. 

Some Red Dyes

In order to give you that flushed look, blushes need dyes. However, not all those that are used for blushes are safe for those with acne-prone skin. 

Some red dyes, which were derived from coal tar, can cause a lot of problems for those with acne-prone skin. These are known as the D & C red dyes.

These synthetic dyes usually come with a number. Typically 27 and 40 are worst for those prone to acne.


Lanolin is a great ingredient as an emollient and can help lock in moisture. However, this is not ideal for those with sensitive skin, allergies, or acne-prone skin. 

Apart from causing acne breakouts, lanolin could also cause contact dermatitis in people with sensitive skin. 

How Can Blush Application Cause Acne?

The way you apply your blush can also cause acne breakouts.

When applying makeup, it is best to always use clean hands or clean brushes. 

The brushes, especially those that are used for more liquid or cream formulas could harbor bacteria.

When you use them again, you’ll just end up spreading the bacteria all over your face. That can trigger, or re-trigger, your acne problems.

Additionally, you should always wash off your makeup at the end of the day. We understand that you can feel glamorous with makeup but letting that product stay on your face while you sleep could just help clog your pores. 

Micellar water is a rock star when it comes to acne-prone skin.

Wash your face and remove makeup completely before you sleep. That helps prevent your skin from prolonged exposure to whatever ingredients or chemicals your makeup or blush contains.

Also, after cleaning up your makeup, don’t forget to regularly apply skincare treatments for your acne. Treatment for acne will vary but with regular use, you can better control your breakouts. 

Final Thoughts

Acne can be stressful because even if you don’t have current breakouts, the acne can leave marks on your face. Many of us are affected by this condition. And people should be aware that there are multiple factors that can lead to acne breakouts. 

One of them is the blush that you use. Although you can still use blush even if you have acne-prone skin, it is important to carefully select the products you use. Powdered blushes are best for oily or acne-prone skin, but other formulations can also be used. 

Always check the ingredients list of your blush and other makeup products. It is best to avoid those that contain oils, fragrances, silicones, and some red dyes. These substances can block the pores and worsen your acne. 

See also:

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).