Yikes, noooo! What to do when your face cream causes you to break out

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So that pricey pot of fancy face cream you blew your bonus on is giving you pimples. #SadSmiley.

What now? Don’t toss it, for one. Want to stretch your beauty dollar? You’ve stumbled upon the right page. Let’s go!

Give the pimple-producing product time to sort itself out

Testing out beauty stuff is precisely like sussing out a prospective date. They both deserve the benefit of a ‘grace period’ – but anything beyond that and it’s sayonara, sucker.

What’s an acceptable acclimatisation interval? I’d say give it two weeks, tops, which is a wee bit more generous than the one week stipulated by take-no-prisoners cosmetic cop Paula Begoun.

If the offender continues to cause chafing or itching past the two-week mark, the problem may not be transient and there’s really something in it that’s not sitting well with your skin. Time to proceed to the tips below:


Use it as a power-packed pre-cleanser

Most rinse-off products are meant to shock and awe your skin into submission without leaving behind any potentially pore-clogging dregs. If you suspect a cream is too rich for all-night use, slap it onto your ‘dirty’ makeup before cleansing, let sit for five minutes, then take it all off. Beauty bonus: You’ll find that your warpaint washes off that much easier too, thanks to the slip and slide afforded by the extra lubrication.

Just neck it

My frazzled face is perpetually subject to the vagaries of the latest skincare samples, which means I’ve had to learn the hard way how best to go about managing these many “admirers” vying for space on my mien.

My solution? I’m loathe to disclose the trade secrets you’re about to gain access to, but here goes. I apply all newbies at my neck; if they don’t roil up any boils after two weeks of use, they get promoted to my jaw; another week and they get bumped up to my cheek.

What happens if, for reasons only known to my pores, something that worked for my jaw causes spots to sprout on my forehead? Easy: Back down the ladder the product goes. Anything that doesn’t pass muster eventually gets relegated to the relatively unreactive neck and decolletage – which is just as well since said regions need as much rich lovin’ as they can get.

diy lip balm

Use it to mix your very own lip balm

Your neck’s less susceptible to spots because it has fewer oil-producing sebaceous glands; your lips have none whatsoever. Translation: Even if the product in question were greasy as ghee, your lips simply can’t break out by virtue of biology alone.

Here’s my super quick and super dirty recipe to transform any comedogenic cream into a lip-loving lotion: Dump equal parts cream and Vaseline jelly into clean mixing bowl, give it a good stir, then stash the slurry into an airtight jar. Tadah! Your very own pucker-pampering treatment.

By the same token, use it on your hair

This hack is such a cinch to pull off. Simply run it through the ends of your tresses as an on-the-go conditioner. No-brainer, right?

Right, then. Bookmark this page for easy reference the next time a new purchase (touch wood!) breaks you out. Good luck either way!