How to Cover Up Body Acne

by Kay Ireland ; Updated July 18, 2017

Acne affects as many as 40 to 50 million Americans, notes the American Academy of Dermatology. Upon hearing the word "acne," most people picture the red spots common on the face. But if you suffer from body acne on the chest, back and shoulders, you know that it can be just as embarrassing as facial acne. One solution is to use makeup products to cover the acne so you can wear tank tops and bathing suits.

Clean the area around the acne you wish to cover. Oily acne can inhibit the makeup from staying on the skin, meaning it wears off faster. For the longest-wearing cover-up, choose a mattifying cleanser with salicylic acid to sop up the oil and give you a clean surface to work with. Apply your makeup in natural light so you can clearly see the acne, and apply only as much makeup as necessary to cover it.

Apply a small amount of concealer to a clean makeup sponge. Use a new makeup sponge or wash your sponges with antibacterial soap after each use to reduce the spread of germs and pore-clogging oil. You could make your body acne worse by using a dirty makeup sponge, warns the Cosmetic Skin and Surgery Center. Use the sponge to dab a layer of concealer over the acne, blending outwards for a natural look.

Dab your ring finger into your foundation, and gently pat it around the concealed acne. Real Beauty recommends using a thicker, mattifying formula that will stay put on the oily skin on your body. Use your ring finger, because it has a light touch. Too much foundation will look obvious and caked on.

Tap the entire area with a short-bristle brush covered in translucent powder. The short stippling bristles will give the makeup a more natural texture to match your skin, while the powder sets the makeup so your body acne stays covered longer.

Tuck a foundation-soaked makeup sponge into a plastic bag and bring along your translucent powder when going out. Check on your body makeup at times, and assess the need to reapply. If you've been sweating a lot or you are wearing tight clothes, the makeup may brush away or become diminished. Touch up as needed with the small kit that you've brought along. Note that swimming or getting wet will wash all makeup away, so you'll need to reapply from the beginning.

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About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.