Acne makeup mission

A concealer with an acne trigger sounds like an evil marketing marriage

Image Skincare, I Conceal Flawless Foundation has no place in my Acne Clinic. Maybe it is a sly marketing move, I mean a concealer that has an acne irritant in it.

I was ashamed of myself for only recently discovering a certain Image Skincare products contains a particular ingredient. How could this be? How could I not have noticed this until now?

For a start, Image Skincare failed to mention it to us to date. Furthermore, when I further inquired to clarify this ingredient, it did take a little coaxing, to establish that yes, in fact, bismuth oxychloride is an ingredient in Image Skincare, I Conceal Flawless Foundation.

Acne Treatment Clinic SwordsI mentioned this to other therapists and owners within the industry, to discover they too were unaware. While it was slightly temporarily comforting to me, it was no more comforting to know that I now have no make up suitable for my acne prone clients.

Bismuth Oxychloride to many is not an issue. With this in mind, if you are not acne prone you are lucky enough to be able to continue using this product. I say lucky enough as it’s a beautiful foundation. It sits beautifully on the skin and lasts well throughout the day.

However, bismuth oxychloride to an acne prone skin like mine is a trigger that can and often does aggravate acne, causing larger cystic acne. It’s not a given that it will for all, but it is a given that it is a risk. For me, that is enough to cease usage and investigate further.

As you probably know by now, I only use and recommend treatments and products that work and have the skins interest as a number one priority. I care less for fluffy packaging and marketing and more for results and facts. I don’t like to be a sheep in the industry. I often don’t take training to be 100% accurate and thus pushes me to investigate further.

I am now on a mission to find a suitable makeup for acne prone skin, this, in fact, is harder than you may think. First of all, I look at the list of ingredients. It’s galling to me to discover the amount of clinical makeup brands that contain ingredients such as bismuth oxychloride, amongst others.

Often they may tick some boxes, but not all. For example, they may have appealing packaging, they may have high-profit margins, they may have next day delivery, but ingredients override all of the above. For me, if a product delivers results, without any side effects or compromises, it’s is instantly a more favourable product to offer to my clients, than one which has a higher profit margin.

I stand by my word when I say that, results drive me. Results speak for themselves and, in turn, promote growth within a business.

Failing to have much luck with my investigative work online, I decided to take it to the streets, pounding the streets of Dublin, on a secret mission to discuss foundations and most importantly ingredients.

Traveling from makeup and department stores to pharmacies alike, I politely interrogated each makeup artist and shop assistant, probing to discover more about their brand on offer in the hope to find a solution.

What struck me the most was the lack of knowledge of ingredients in the brands that they were selling. Most had never heard of bismuth oxychloride and most said there was not fragrance or perfume yet were awkwardly stunned when I, in fact, pointed it out by looking at the list of ingredients on the back of their product. My intention was never to be nasty or think that I was superior. I do not doubt for a second their talent as makeup artists. I for one can stand up and say I am yet to master liquid eyeliner and tend to stick to ‘safe colours’ when it comes to eyeshadows and lipsticks.

When I questioned their products they all echoed phrases like ‘ long lasting’, ‘full coverage’ and the most amusing to me, ‘‘pore eliminators’. Inside I was screaming ‘ you can’t eliminate pores, only reduce the appearance of them’ yet this was not the main objection of the day, so I bit my tongue.

They talked about primers and building layers. While it was interesting to understand makeup from a different perspective, I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘ what about the skin itself?’ My priority is skin health; I tend to prefer, the less is more approach, and I absolutely favour results.

Makeup artistry is an art form. It’s amazing what a good makeup artist can attain with just a few products. It is a great talent, and I am not here to take away from someone talent as I could not even contemplate the work that some perform. One aspect of makeup artistry I am very intrigued in is camouflaging. Those with scars or skin concerns can feel more self-confident and disguise something on their face or body with the use of a proper camouflaging makeup. However, for the most part, I believe makeup should enhance the natural beauty, and a good blank canvas is imperative.

Overall my day of pounding the pavement was much less successful than I had hoped. I learned that many harmful ingredients were in many top brands. I learned that marketing and advertising had a lot to answer. For example, words and phrases such as ‘matte’ ‘ alcohol-free’ and ‘for sensitive skin’ all become irrelevant when the same product contains alcohol, talc, bismuth oxychloride or perfume.

So where does this leave me as both a business owner and as an acne prone individual? As as business owner, the hunt continues. I refuse to drop standards or ethics. I will find what is most suitable for acne prone clients. I will continue to recommend Image I Conceal Flawless Foundation as it is a fantastic product that sits beautifully on the skin, just not acne prone skin.

As an individual, I expect my skin to break out over the weeks while I try and test multiple brands. It is undesirable but to be expected, and all in the name of client care. I plan to experiment on my skin and allow it to take a step back, in the hope to find my clients a solution.

Watch this space ladies and gentlemen of Zest.

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