About a year or so ago, I was visiting one of my favorite facialists (Hey, Dakota Katt!) at one of my favorite facial spots in L.A. (Hey, VH Skincare!) when I had an epiphany. Or rather, my facialist, Katt, simply enlightened me to the enigmatic trigger that had been exacerbating my acne-prone skin for years. (Cue the ominous drumroll.) From the outside looking in, I was doing everything “right.” I wasn’t falling asleep with my makeup on, I was washing my face before and after workouts, I was eating a clean, well-balanced diet, I had a strict, esthetician-approved skincare protocol… But no matter how I tinkered or tweaked, the bumps kept on coming and coming and coming. So when Katt asked me mid-extraction, “Wait… What foundation do you wear?” you can imagine the flood of facepalm and mind-blown emojis that overtook my brain.
Even though I obsessively curate my skincare routine in an effort to keep my pores as clear as possible, I had somehow managed to forget about my makeup and foundation. I knew enough to avoid products with lots of natural and botanical ingredients like essential oils, but after doing some research, I learned that almost all of my favorite foundations contained comedogenic (i.e. pore-clogging) ingredients—things like coconut oil, talc, shea butter, plankton, algae… The list is a mile long. Sure enough, when I switched over to the foundation that Katt recommended (Armani Beauty’s Luminous Silk Oil-Free Foundation, $64, if you’re curious), my breakouts began to slow and eventually slammed the brakes altogether.