To conceal or not to conceal?


Because of my recent breakout due to a hormonal imbalance, I’ve been using quite a bit of concealer to cover up the acne spots and marks. However, I was told that I shouldn’t use such corrective makeup because it’ll only darken my acne marks.

When I first heard it, I thought it was quite an irony because concealers are what we rely upon to cover up the ugly marks. But apparently, like what I have written before about makeup absorbing more energy from the sun and possibly leading to color toxicity and pigmentation problems, concealers can lead to the same problem too. I also came across a source that state that sun exposure following some cosmetics can cause a phototoxic reaction where the chemical substance absorbs UV light.

Although this might hold some water, I’m still using my concealer. It’s quite hard to resist using it as some of the marks are really unsightly. I guess if I do not head out to the sun that much, it might not be a problem. Anyway, it’s not a good idea to expose acne marks to sun exposure as that’ll definitely cause more darkening.

So what do you think? Do you use a concealer to cover your acne or acne marks? And would you still use your concealer if it really leads to a phototoxic reaction?


  1. pf1123 says:

    I would use concealer!

    But I will also use whitening products in my skincare.

    Nowadays, I have high tolerance of imperfection of my skin. I hardly try to cover each and every mark. So, I will only use concealer on special occassions.

  2. heather says:

    i use my handy everyday minerals concealor everyday. helps to hide my acne scars (: judging from the ingredients in the concealor, I don’t think it will cause phototoxic reaction because i’ve been using it for very long and i don’t see my scars darkening.

  3. AtelierGal says:

    I usually dab on acne treatment before concealing.

  4. sesame says:

    Same here…I only conceal the major acne spots. Too many to cover up for me. Haha…

  5. sesame says:

    You’re right that the EM concealer is quite skin friendly. I was using it at one point but mainly for my dark circles. Now, I don’t use anymore undereye concealer cos my eye area has improved.

  6. sesame says:

    I do that too! ?

  7. stella says:

    i only get zits once a month and i don’t bother covering up, it’s too much work! plus i can’t justify buying a good concealer when i get so little use out of it.

    i do use a brightening concealer everyday around my eyes just to look less tired at work tho’

  8. Sherry says:

    my acne will turn dark even I not use concealer ?

  9. pf1123 says:

    Yes. Sherry is right. And it takes ages for it to go back to normal anyway.

    I even have a spot which my beautician says its acne which I left it untreated and it became a mole.

  10. Sparklewolfie says:

    do you have medicated concealer? One of my friends uses a medicated concealer so it heals acne while concealing ?

  11. Vanessa says:

    Yes, definitely use concealer. Everyone wants to look flawless and a little concealer wont hurt (: Use in moderation, and as Sparklewolfie has said, there are medicated concealers out there, such as BodyShop’s Tea Tree concealer!

  12. Joanna says:

    i would use concealer, as long as the concealer contains physical sunscreen ingredients, which i think is good as you shouldn’t expose scar/wound to direct sunlight

  13. Lucia says:

    I first use a base before coverage and concealer. I use a concealer my doctor suggests me. It has 15 Spf and I use it also for some little imperfection (but it is more useful for dark circles). In fact I was searchin’ a substitute ? Now I realle have to take a look around before choosing it! I don’t want to improve the risk of toxicity on my skin!

    I think the rule is using all the thing with moderation.
    Less is More!!

  14. sesame says:

    What you said is true! Concealers take forever to be used up!

  15. sesame says:

    Some would, some wouldn’t. Have you tried applying anything to reduce the darkening? These are what have worked for me to fade off the marks.

    – use of aloe vera
    – use of unrefined shea butter
    – use of nutmeg + honey to dab for 20 mins

  16. sesame says:

    I use a massage cream that contains amino acids and because it promotes cell regeneration, I find the marks heal faster.

  17. sesame says:

    I use the Lavera Blemish Stick which is to heal the acne plus double as a concealer. Not bad.

  18. sesame says:

    I agree…use in moderation and it shouldn’t hurt.

  19. sesame says:

    That’s what I thought so too but I was told some ingredients in the concealer could cause toxicity.

  20. sesame says:

    Oh interesting! A concealer with SPF. I can’t remember if I’ve come across anything similar.

  21. zhenling says:

    would using a primer under makeup prevent the toxicity from harming the skin?

  22. sesame says:

    I don’t think all concealers are bad. Anyway, primers contain mostly silicones and personally, I find them worse than using concealers cos they coat the skin.

  23. Suz says:

    These past two months…It’s like I just started puberty!!! I do not use concealer…even though I LOVE MAKEUP…I do not like having it on my face much…especially…foundations, powders, eye shadows..etc…too much time is needed…so I just leave my face the way it is…oh of course bb cream…is definitely one thing I love..I stopped using it for awhile thought maybe it was breaking me out but it wasnt…so I use that. But nothing else. On top of that I am not good at putting makeup on so if I use concealer…i think I’ll look worse ?

  24. coco says:

    i can’t stand having marks on my face, so yes, i’ll use concealer regardless it’s going to be bad! but concealer is just the ‘outside’. you still need to take care of the ‘inside’.
    i always have tea tree oil standing by. they are acne / pimple killers – if you’re not allergic to tea tree oil.

  25. Kaith says:

    Gosh, I haven’t heard about this. Thank you for sharing. I use a concealer to lighten undereye circles and also to cover say, a growing pimple. I am interested in concealers with spf. Let me look for them. It might help, even just a little.
    – Kaith

  26. jolie says:

    i find that suntanning is the best way for me to erase all my acne scars. i think blogger xiaxue mentioned it somewhere before too. i know its not supposed to be good. but its really effective and i personally find it to be my long term solution, weird as it sounds!

  27. sesame says:

    Your theory is not weird. Suntanning can even out your skin tone because it causes darkening overall. The problem is, the UVA damage does not appear immediately – usually years later. And depending on your skin type, pigmentation could be a problem later. I know I cannot suntan…I’m living the damage now.

  28. sesame says:

    It might be good to use one with SPF if you can find it.

    Kaith, I wish you’ll put your name down in the comment box rather than using your SEO name. I usually delete those away.

  29. sesame says:

    You’re right about taking care of the inside. My problem is more internal than external at this stage. But it’ll be good to combine both. ?

    I use tea tree oil too…it helps to a certain extent.

  30. sesame says:

    It might be a good idea that you do not use makeup and even if you do, just use something light. Some ingredients in some makeup may cause toxicity and more problems later.

  31. BlovetBeauty says:

    certain smaller zits I don’t bother cover up cause they just get worse but with those long term zits that have left post pigmentation scarring, I do cover up. The area is dark enough and with more sunlight I’m afraid it will only get worse.

  32. Ms. Blacklace says:

    I use Lumiemre products for concealing. I do what is call “spot Makeup application”. I just apply a little loose finishing powder on the acne [silk powder in sand], then the Healing concealer in light [if it’s red. if it’s brown, i’ll use medium], then tap a tiny amount of loose powder to set it [not really needed but depend on how kiasu you are]. And if the area is still reddish, i’ll use their loose correcting powder in mint.

  33. Ms. Blacklace says:

    I absolutely love Lumiere healing concealer. Totally awesome. For me, I’m lucky enough to have a skin tone that concealers and hide in. So i won’t have to do a whole face makeup. Sunblock can hide acne too. I think. When I apply my Garnier sunblock, some of my pms spots are hidden.

  34. sesame says:

    I usually cover up for the newer ones that look awful. With the older ones, I usually just let them be and hope they’ll fade out quicker.

  35. sesame says:

    Yes, I recently purchase a tinted sunscreen and it works well enough not to use loose powder if I don’t want to. But still need to conceal the bigger spots.

    I’ll have a look at Lumiere’s…have been awhile since I ordered anything from them.

  36. everbluec says:

    I heard about that once before many many yrs ago (One of my friends told me that) … I didn’t know whether it’s true anot.. cos I hardly use concealer to cover my many acnes scars.

    I just use a more green tone foundation(I use everyday mineral light almond)… the only concealer I use is for my under eyes dark circle.

  37. sesame says:

    I use a purple base to even out my skin tone.

  38. fwy says:

    I only use foundation. I had tried concealer from the brand Make Up Store but it irritates my eye area, so I had to stop.

  39. sesame says:

    If you’re happy with using foundation, then there’s no need to conceal. The concealer you used probably contained something that wasn’t agreeable for the eye area.

  40. nora says:

    I am using Body Shop tea tree concealer
    at the moment. It does help to clear mmy acne but its a bit cakey. Its best to use the liquid concealer as it blends better. I bought another concealer just in case I get frustrated using the stick concealer.
    I use concealer only when I get lazy to wear make up.

  41. sesame says:

    Haven’t noticed they have a liquid one…but I wonder what’s the ingredients like.

  42. Dia says:

    I don’t use concealer because the bump becomes more obvious when I add another layer (the concealer)…it’s just cakey. Though, i’ve been told to put correctors at least under the eyes to look brighter and glowing!

  43. sesame says:

    Yes, you’re right. Sometimes the concealer can make our skin looks cakey. I try to dab and blend whenever possible.

  44. Jyoan says:

    No conceal for me… I don’t own any form of concealers right now. Cos I feel that if the pimple mark is popping out, it is still very visible no matter how it is concealed.

    I also somehow believe that letting it heal naturally is faster, and doesn’t leaves scar, since our skin will renew.

  45. sesame says:

    Your skin is so good you don’t need it.

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