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Ask The Makeup Diva
Welcome to Ask The Makeup Diva™! Our resident expert, The Makeup Diva, answers makeup and skin care questions sent in by readers just like you.

Q: HELP! I wash my face twice a day and I still get zits! Why is this and how can I prevent it?

A: There are several things that could be going on. First, you could be using the wrong products for your skin type. If your skin is dry but you think it's oily because you have breakouts, you could be drying out your skin to the point of making it irritated and reactive. Even if you have oily skin, if you are using products that are overly drying or contain ingredients that you are sensitive to, the problem could be getting worse.

Along the same line, if you are washing too frequently or scrubbing too hard, your skin could get irritated and react with a breakout.

Another possibility is that the products you are using, both skin care and makeup, contain ingredients that aggravate acne. You would be surprised at how many products carrying a "hypo-allergenic," "safe for sensitive skin," "dermatologist tested," or even "non-comedogenic" label have ingredients that can make some people break out. I check everything I use against a list of comedogenic ingredients at either of these sites:

If something rates a "3" or higher, I don't use it. Not everyone will experience a problem using these ingredients, but if your skin is anything like mine, you might just clear up most of those breakouts that seem to come from nowhere. A simple choice in moisturizer or concealer could make a big difference for your acne problem.

To help clear things up, you might also consider using a gentle salicylic acid cleanser on the affected areas once a day (my favorite is Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Cream Cleanser) or a gentle benzoyl peroxide medicine (preferably 2.5% or 5% concentration at the most). If you'd like to try both treatments, use one in the morning and one at night; both at the same time can be too drying. Try these suggestions for at least a month and hopefully you will see some results.

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