The Best Concealers for Covering Up Cystic Acne
No matter how big or small, covering up blemishes can be tough. But cystic acne is in a category all its own. Using concealer without it caking or settling can seem nearly impossible—especially if it's the wrong formula.
"Cystic acne can be hard to cover up because the pimples can be quite dark and red. The wrong products will only accentuate them," explains Chiao Li, makeup artist at Streeters. "You also don't want your concealer to look like a clumpy, dry mess on top of the pimple."
When choosing a concealer to cover cystic acne, makeup artist Courtney Perkins says to choose a formula that isn't too creamy. "Creamy concealers will just melt off," she says.
As for actually concealing the blemishes, Li says to, "cover only the pimple and the surrounding red area. Don't use too much product because we don't want a cakey look." The best way to do this is to use a small brush, like a lip or concealer brush, and a tiny amount of product for each pimple.
The following seven concealers mask cystic acne so well, you'll almost forget about your bad breakout.
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Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer
Part foundation, part concealer, this beloved Kevyn Aucoin formula almost makes you forget you have pimples once it's on. It conceals and corrects, plus it's hydrating so it won't stick to skin that's dry and flaky from acne treatments.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Full-Coverage Concealer
What's better than a concealer that covers large cystic pimples with a natural finish? One that heals breakouts, too. IT Cosmetics Full-Coverage formula is spiked with a tea tree and sulfur, two blemish-drying ingredients commonly used in some of the most effective spot treatments out there.
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer
This cult-favorite concealer's tacky texture is exactly what makes it so great at covering cystic zits. Its two shades can be customized to your skin tone and whatever pimple you're hiding. After applying foundation, warm and mix the shades on the back of your hand until you get the right match, and use a flat brush to paint it on.
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Concealer
A pea-size amount of this concealer is all you need to cover multiple blemishes. Although it has an opaque, pigmented finish, it doesn't cake or settle into cystic blemishes.
NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer
Don't underestimate this tiny NARS pot. It offers complete coverage that softly blurs over blemishes. The oil-free formula has a velvety, matte finish that doesn't leave skin looking dull and flat, while hyaluronic acid keeps it from getting cakey.
Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
An oil-free concealer like Make Up For Ever's full coverage one won't further clog pores. It's specifically formulated to cover tough imperfections like scars, hyperpigmentation, burns, tattoos, and of course, cystic acne. Although this concealer goes on creamy, it's highly-pigmented and stays put once applied.
L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer
No, that's not a typo. This L.A. Girl Concealer is really only $5—no wonder the Internet is obsessed with it. The formula is full-coverage and dries into a smooth finish, which makes it perfect for covering up large, red, cystic bumps.