Does Bare Minerals cause acne?

Does Bare Minerals Cause Acne? Share Your Experience, Please!

I just received a question on Instagram from a follower who has been using Bare Minerals for years (on my recommendation!) but has recently been breaking out. She writes:

Have you done a recent post about your skincare/makeup routine? I used Bare Minerals for years upon your recommendation but lately it’s been making me breakout. Would love your suggestions!

Another one of my followers then piped up:

That explains my lack of love for Bare Minerals these days. I have slight acne and need some affordable makeup that won’t worsen my skin.

Does Bare Minerals cause acne?

It made me think: Bare Escentuals was bought by Shiseido a few years ago (for more than one BIIIIILLION dollars…no, really). Typically, when an indie brand is acquired by a huge conglomerate, the New Mommy changes the formulations to increase production and decrease costs, with the end result being that quality inevitably declines.

I’ve been Bare Minerals’ number one fan for years, but even before the merger, I’d get occasional emails from people saying that Bare Minerals clogged their pores, settled into fine lines and looked cakey (especially for those with dry skin), or gave them rashes (for those with Bismuth Oxychloride or Mica sensitivities). The launch of Matte Bare Minerals seemed to help: that formulation didn’t have Bismuth Oxychloride (which diffuses light and is what gives Bare Minerals Original its skin-glowing sheen), but there were still many people who didn’t like the new Matte version and preferred the Original. Six of one, half-dozen of another, I suppose.

So, back to the question at hand: does Bare Minerals cause acne?

From the beginning, I’ve never had anything but great experiences with Bare Minerals. When I started using it, my skin frequently broke out from liquid foundations; after hopping on the BE bandwagon, my skin improved and I’ve never looked back. But that doesn’t mean other people’s negative reactions aren’t very real: I’m curious to know your own experiences with Bare Minerals.

Have you seen a decrease in quality over the past few years? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Read more about my struggle with adult acne here.

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35 Comments

  1. Allison

    My skin looks beautiful with Bare Minerals. I have suffered with acne since I was 11 years old. Everything I put on my face breaks me out, with the exception of Bare Minerals! I will never stray!

  2. I’ve been using BE since January 2008 (again, based on your rave reviews) and I’ve never deviated or been tempted to try anything else. When something works so well, why mess with a good thing? I haven’t noticed anything different, either with my skin or the product. I didn’t know they had changed hands until I read this. I hope that stays the case.

  3. Mary Helen

    I have never had a break out with Bare Minerals. This may be a silly question, but are the brushes being cleaned regularly? Sometimes that bacteria can build up quick!

  4. Zahra

    I have never had a problem with bare minerals breaking me out. On the contrary, I have heard people say that it has healed their acne. As others have mentioned, not cleaning your brushes can cause breakouts from bacteria growth.
    Therefore, I still love my bare minerals.

  5. I wonder the same thing Mary Helen….. I wash my brushes weekly and worry if this may not be frequent enough. I know some ppl probably never wash theirs.

  6. Breeza

    I used it for a couple years and noticed I was breaking out. It was irritation too–a lot of bumps and redness. And I cleaned my brushes a lot. I think everyone’s skin is different and my just reacts better to liquid foundation. But I did love BE when I used it, until I realized my skin didn’t!

  7. I started using Bare Minerals in 2005 and switched from the original to the Matte formulation when it came out. Both worked great with my acne-prone skin (even when – shh – I’d fall into bed at the end of a busy day on occasion without washing my makeup off first). The ONLY reason I started looking away from Bare Minerals in the last year is that I found myself wanting a bit more coverage. I spent a stupid amount of money trying out tinted moisturizers and BB creams under my Bare Minerals and finally caved and went back to traditional foundation. If Bare Minerals would make a tinted moisturizer or BB cream up to their standards, I’d be back in a flash!

  8. Annie H

    I have ben using BE for years and LOVE the matte version. Earlier this year I accidently purchased the original and hated the way it looked. It was cakey, powdery, heavy, and even though I have minimal wrinkles, it made me look so old and that I had wrinkles! It definitely was different that the formulations before when I used original prior to the matte version launch. I will never stray from my matte BE and now always double check the packaging.

  9. Seems200

    That was my question on instagram! I actually switched to a Korres foundation and that made me break out even worse!! I’ve always had problematic skin until I went on accutane like 10 years ago and then had flawless skin for a decade. It’s only recently that I started breaking out again and could only link it to the BM. Even with brand new brushes my skin is still freaking out on me. Think it’s time to go back to the dermatologist!

  10. Irene

    I used to wear bare minerals matte version and it would always break me around my chin! It was sooooo frustrating because everywhere else was fine, no white heads on my cheeks! I don’t understand it…wish there was an alternative. My skin is acne prone and oily:(((

  11. Keana

    I’m dealing with alot of acne around my mouth/chin area and have been frequenting my doctor, as i’ve never had any skin problem. she asked me to think back to when this first started. after switching shampoos, soaps, detergents, etc., basically the only other change i had went through was buying the matte version of my BM. i will be switching to Physician’s Formaula Talc-free foundation.

  12. Jennifer

    I have been using BE for several years and just started breaking out within the last few months. I wash my brushes, used scrubs/masks etc to try to clear it up and just recently noticed that it gets better on the weekends when I don’t wear as much makeup and worse during the week when I’m wearing it again. I love BE but may need to switch my foundation :(

  13. Thia

    I have only used BE for about two years though I used other mineral makeup prior. I thought the bismuth would bother my sensitive skin…it doesnt! I actually beeak out and itch with matte and cant use it. But the original is perfect. Nothing works for everyone though. I have only had less breakouts with BE. I do wish it had a little more coverage but I just changed my skincare so hopefully that will help. Oh and I use BE skin care now too.

  14. Lida

    I came across this article because I am almost positive that the original bare minerals is the culprit for my clogged pores and occasional cystic acne along my jawline. I am very aseptic towards anything that touches my face. I wash my brushes every week and use a disinfectant spritz/cleaner on them daily. Also, bare minerals was the only change-up to my skin and diet routine. Since my first time using it was only 6 months ago, I can’t compare for any changes that the buyout may have caused. It’s such a shame that it gives me bumps and breakouts though because I finally found a perfect color match!! I am yellow-olive and the golden medium looks flawless! It does oxidize and makes me oily throughout the day, especially without primer and setting powder, but that’s besides the point. I used it for about 6 weeks, thinking my skin would adjust, but it didn’t. I stopped using it, switched to smashbox halo, and my skin cleared up a lot within a week. Weird?! I have also used pur minerals for a year before I used bare minerals and I would have to say that their product had the same results on me, I just thought it was my hormones. Maybe some of us just can’t use mineral foundations…. Helpful article! Thanks everyone for sharing.

  15. nat

    I started using Bare minerals a month ago after I heard it is good for your skin compared to other brands. However it has caused itchiness, some acne like spots and loads of tiny bumps!! my skin looks terrible, I havn’t had skin like this since my teen years. I do have sensitive skin but after some research online it seems other people have had this problem too!

  16. Sherr1

    Even time I use Bare Minerals powder foundation, I break out. It’s very frustrating as I do like the look it gives me. But, every time I use it, I do break out. I’ve never had the problem with any other foundations I’ve used.

  17. Katy

    My coworker told me bare minerals clogged her pores when I told her I’d recently switched to it. However, I realized that I’ve developed unusual acne on my forehead and jawline recently, too. I plan to switch to clinique, as I think bm is to blame. My skin frequently encounters acne, but never in these areas.

  18. Sydney

    I really think the bareminerals matte formula breaks me out! When I first started using the foundation my skin was fine, but maybe 2 months after wearing it almost every day my forehead broke out in little bumps and I also had stubborn little white heads around my mouth. I blamed it on mare minerals, but months later I thought I’d give it another try… And the same thing has happened! It’s fine at first, then bumps on my forehead and tiny whiteheads appear randomly around my mouth! Ugh! I’m so frustrated

  19. Stephanie

    I’ve used Bare Minerals for years, but in the last 6-9 months I’ve noticed that I’ve been breaking out a ton more than I used to. I’m not getting cystic acne, but my pores are definitely getting clogged. I tried switching face wash, but I noticed that my skin clears up when I’m not wearing any makeup. When I am wearing makeup, I’ll start to get a bunch of bumps and clogged pores. I’m starting to think BM is to blame. :(

  20. carly

    Ive been using bare minerals since christmas. I spent over 100 pounds on products as i had been reading how good it was for acne prone skin and even helping to minimise it. This is not the case. My skin is much worse, more frequent breakouts and as some people have said, exaggerates the smallest wrinkles. Im stuck with it until ive used it, i dont like wasting money, but i wont buy it anymore. Also it only lasts until lunch time before it starts looking caked, awful! Back to the drawing board.

  21. Stacy

    Yes!!! BARE MINERALS MADE ME BREAK OUT TERRIBLY. I went from having a little zit here and there to full blown forehead acne action. And I got it to prevent breaking out while still using foundation. I wish I could get my money back. :(

  22. porchia

    I have been using BM for about 8 months off and on. Im not a person who where’s make up everyday but when i do wear it it breaks my forehead out very badly. I would wake up with 2 -3 knots on my forehead.. Its the bare minerals for sure. Need a new foundation that makes me look just as good

  23. Heather

    I used bare minerals for years!! From like 2008 to 2013.. Loved it and never had a problem. For 6 months I switched to It! Foundation powder to try something new. When I ran out I switched back to Bare Minerals with brand new brushes and my face has been breaking out since. With deep red pimples!!! So frustrating and I’ve not acne prone. I’ve defi noticed a change in their makeup.

  24. shauna

    I’ve recently bought the BM loose powder foundation and have been using it for about a month. My skin has always been clear but I use foundation for the redness in my checks. About a week ago my skin had broken out so bad. Not just 1 pimple but loads! Also not your regular pimple but cysts deep in my skin. Pimples on my checks, forehead, near my nose and on my chin. Its awful and I would never ever recommend this brand to anyone.

  25. Diana

    I just got the foundation 4 days ago and never in my life did it ever break out and i been noticing my skin with a lot of break outs. My skin is totally not liking the minerals :(

  26. Marie

    I started using bare minerals about two months now. The first purchase I made was the pressed powder. After applying the pressed powder I realized I didn’t like the smell, following the smell the pressed powder made my face feel funny, not like numbing or anything, but just a feeling that I knew I didn’t like it. I returned the pressed powder and exchanged it for the loose powder. I absolutely love the loose powder, but I’ve noticed that I’ve been breaking out more. Nothing in my personal routine has changed except my makeup. I do use Bare minerals: skin combination, butter drench and night treatment. All those products are amazing. They leave my skin soft and glowing. I have no issues with the skincare, it’s the makeup that is causing breakouts. I think I might switch my powders and just keep bare minerals skincare.

  27. Liss

    I loved bare minerals been using it at least 5 years now and this last year ive noticed its not the same at all it is cakey or wears off doesnt cover like it use to and when i kiss my boyfriend he gets my makeup on his face so gross ready to move on and leave bare minerals in the past. ….the original was suppose to say on even in water and now im leaving my bf with make on his nose not cute very disappointed in the poor quality im paying $30+ for

  28. BB

    I have been using BM since 2008. But since they changed their skincare, I noticed bumps on my cheeks. I agree that foundation even the original formula has changed coz when I used the original foundation I purchased during the holidays i started getting even more red bumps all over my cheeks. I didn’t even know the brand was bought but one thing I know now is the quality of their products is not the same. I am thinking to try honest beauty products. Hopefully that works for my skin

  29. Anna

    Bare Minerals clogs my pores and gives me breakouts. I love it, and use it when I am not very tan (my skin feels uneven when I am not tan). However, I can only use it for a few weeks and then have to stop, it is pretty amazing how quickly my skin clears back up after. I tried attributing it to not cleaning my face properly, the foods I was eating, working out more–but I couldn’t fix my blackheads/breakouts until I stopped using Bare Minerals.

    I currently am using a blush from Bare Minerals only, and have noticed that I am now getting blackheads/breakouts in those areas.

  30. Rosemary

    I first started using BM years ago. My sister loved it and had been using it and she put me on. I loved it!! I never been a makeup wearer at all before this and I loved how it made me look flawless but still natural. After awhile my sister got bad acne. Really bad. She couldn’t use anything because everything irritated her face. My face was just fine. I didn’t think anything of it. Then about a year later I started getting acne. Bad acne on one side of my face. Those big pimples that are inside the skin and hurt to touch. I didn’t use makeup unless I was going out and was embarrassed to look like I was a teenager going through puberty. Sad to say I still didn’t think that BM did it to me or that my sister went through the same. I just couldn’t link the 2 until I seen a post about it. Someone had gone through the same thing as me on BM, then it all made sense! I’ve tried countless skin products including proactive but sad to say my skin hasn’t been the same since. I have constant breakouts on my cheek and around my mouth and chin. I hate it but I can’t find a better foundation that will make me look like the BM did. I’m on my way to see a dermatologist next month because something’s gotta give.

  31. Taiizaa

    I think this has finally shed some light on the skin problems I have been suffering with for quite a while (despite never ever having a problem with me skin) clogged pores, red sore acne bumps, lumpy bumpy skin.

    I absolutely love bare minerals and have been using for many years… so I thought there was no way it could be the product. More likely it would be the brushes so, as well as changing many other things, I invested in more expensive brushe’s that were less abrasive on my sensitive skin. But it did not work.

    I have also experienced drier skin and caked powder build-up, particularly in the fine line’s under my eyes.

    It wasn’t until yesterday when I was taking to my friend, who is particularly lucky and has beautiful olive skin which is usually very clear, that she mentioned she was also stuholing with her skin, describing many of the same problems – mainly the sudden acne which we have never suffered with. We identified that we both use the same make-up and this could be the culprit, however we both said how much we love the product usually.

    I said that there’s a good chance they could have been bought out and made cheaper, as this is quite common so I decided to Google it and found your article.

    Safe to say I am now 100% convinced this is the reason as I have literally ruled out any other possibilities and been to the doctors on numerous occasions.

    I will no longer be using BareMinerals, which will hopefully solve my skin issues.

    Please let me know if you have any updates on this, as the aricle is quite old now.

    Thanks for sharing!

  32. Nicole

    I started using Bare Minerals for the first time a few months ago. I was using a liquid foundation but switched because I liked how light the Bare Minerals felt. I started getting breakouts a few days after switching. I consulted my mom who has been a Bare Minerals user for several years and she suggested that I stop using the primer. So I did, and the breakouts we’re not as bad but I was still getting them. I just bought the trial pack initally, so I ran out and was out for 5 days before I bought more. During that five-day period my acne was almost all cleared up and I broke out again after getting the new container of original Bare Minerals Foundation. I’m definitely going back to the liquid foundation I was using previously.

  33. Nancy

    I’ve use Bare Minerals for a few years with no problems but I’m starting to break out and couldn’t figure it out. I recently started using a new container of their foundation that I bought about a month ago. They must have changed some of their ingredients.

  34. Shannon

    Iv recently bought bare minerals original and Iv broke out, it’s awful it’s so shinyon my face it shows all my dry areas and it’s making my face worse Iv just paid out 200 pound to have my face deep cleaned and it looked perfect and I was told this was the best makeup and it’s just ruined my skin again I’m so heart broken I get married in August and I just want clear skin.

  35. Ericka

    Just found this article after about a week of horrible break outs that I have NEVER had before. I couldn’t determine what was happening?! I usjust d to use bare mineral back in high school so I thought that when I bought it a few weeks ago it would be like old times but no I’m 100% positive the baremineral caused my breakouts. And also, the formula is nothing like it was 10 years ago when it made my face look fawkess, it’s made my face look cakey and powdery. Thank goodness I found this article I’m going to stop using baremineral for good! Which sucks because I just bought the $50 kit maybe 2 weeks ago