How To Hide Pimples for Men

How To Use Men's Cover Up Makeup To Hide Pimples

Examples of tinted moisturizers and concealers for men
Photo: Monica Rodriguez / Getty Images

When you're in the midst of a really bad breakout, the next-best thing to healing pimples is concealing them. Just because you're a guy doesn't mean you're out of luck. Here's a little secret: There are cosmetics on the market made especially for men to conceal pimples and other imperfections.

Wearing makeup probably isn't high on your to-do list. But before you completely discount the idea, think about all the male celebrities, actors, sports commentators and news anchors who wear makeup every day.

Cosmetic products will help tone down redness and camouflage breakouts without making you look "made-up." If hiding acne would help you feel more comfortable and confident, give cover up products a try. Done correctly, no one will know you're wearing it but you.

Camouflage Individual Pimples with Concealer

Concealer is the product used most often to hide pimples, under-eye circles, and other skin imperfections. Concealer comes in sticks, pots, tubes, and wands. It's dabbed onto individual pimples to camouflage the breakout.

Most concealer products are skin-toned. Some types of concealers, often called color correctors, come in a surprising shade of mint green. These green concealers are used specifically to counteract redness. When blended carefully into the skin, it tones down angry red zits and blends them into the skin while the green tone disappears.

Because you have to apply concealer to each pimple individually, it's most practical to use if you typically have just a few blemishes to cover up.

Need To Cover More Than Just a Zit or Two?

If acne and redness is more widespread, applying concealer to each and every pimple isn't an efficient way to camouflage them. It wouldn't look natural either. In this case, your better options are tinted moisturizers, BB creams, or CC creams.

Tinted moisturizers are hydrating lotions that have a bit of skin-toned color added to them.

If your acne treatment causes dryness, a moisturizer is a must anyway. Choose a tinted moisturizer, and you'll blend away acne redness and pimples with a quick application. It's light, natural looking, and easy to apply.

The "BB" in BB cream stands for blemish balm. BB creams are considered all-inclusive creams, acting as a moisturizer, SPF, primer (to even out skin tone), while also covering up breakouts. BB creams generally give more coverage than a tinted moisturizer, and often have other skin conditioning properties like anti-aging or brightening ingredients.

CC creams are also known as color correctors. They give the same benefits of a BB cream, except that CC creams are more heavily tinted so they give more coverage. These might be the best choice for you if you if you want a more powerful coverup.

You can buy all three of these products either online, at department or cosmetic shops, or at the drugstore. Check out the skin care aisle, where facial moisturizers are sold.

How to Choose the Right Product

No matter which product you choose you'll want to look natural, so starting off with the right color is key. The cosmetic should match your skin tone as closely as possible. This is especially important for concealer.

Don't worry about the color name on the product. You really don't need to know off-hand if your skin is beige, cappuccino, or bisque. Simply look at the product and match the color to your skin.

Not sure if the color is right for you? Rub a little on your skin (the face is the best place, but the back of your hand will work in a pinch.) If it looks like it virtually disappears, that's the right color for you. If it leaves an obvious streak, or you have to rub, and rub, and rub, in order for it to look even it's not the right color.

Before you buy, step outdoors and check the color if possible. Sunlight makes it easy to determine if the color is a good match for your skin.

Remember, it should blend naturally. If you can see where you applied the cosmetic, it's not a good match.

How To Apply Your Coverup and Keep It Looking Natural

The right application is key to getting good results. Luckily, learning to apply cosmetics is fairly easy. You may need to practice a bit to get a natural-looking coverage but it's not a difficult technique to perfect.

To apply tinted moisturizers, BB creams, and CC creams:

Put a small dab, about half the size of a dime, into your palm. Dot the product over your face, then use your fingers to lightly massage into the skin. Try not to rub too hard, or you may irritate breakouts and make redness worse. Pay special attention around the eyebrows, hairline, and beard area. Tinted products like to collect there so apply them sparingly in these areas. Take a final look over the skin to make sure the product is blended evenly over the entire face.

To apply concealers:

Using your finger, concealer stick, or wand that comes with the concealer (depending on the brand you're using) to place a very small amount on the area you'd like to conceal. Don't rub. Instead, tap it lightly with your finger until it blends and looks natural. If you need more coverage, repeat the process until you're happy with the results. With green concealers, apply just one light layer and use a flesh-toned concealer over the top if you need more coverage.

With all tinted products, the most common mistake is applying too much. Over-application will give that dreaded "made-up" look. Apply very lightly, just enough to tone down redness and blend away pimples.

One more caveat: Be careful if you apply a tinted product on the jawline or neck. It can easily rub onto your collar and leave a flesh-toned smudge.

Best Cover Up Brands Just for Men

The men's skin care and cosmetic industry is booming. You have lots of options that cater just to you. Some of brands you'll find:

  • The Men Pen
  • Menaji Camo Concealer and Tinted Moisturizer
  • Lab Series BB Tinted Moisturizer
  • Tom Ford Concealer

You don't have to limit yourself to these brands, though, or to any brand specifically marketed to men. Any concealer brand will work just fine, and as long as the shade matches your skin tone you're golden.

Stop by your local drugstore and pick up any concealer that you please. Drugstore brands are not likely to be marketed to guys, but on the plus side they are typically less expensive than the aforementioned dude-specific products.

For Long-Term Results, Get Acne Under Control

Everyone gets a random pimple or two every now and again, and not just teenagers. Adults get zits too. A dab of concealer can help hide blemishes until you can get those pimples healed. Whatever you do, though, don't squeeze or try to pop pimples. This will only make them worse and can damage your skin.

Concealing pimples is a good temporary solution, but ideally you'd like your skin to stay clear for the long term. If your acne is fairly mild, an over-the-counter acne treatment might do the trick.

But don't be disappointed if OTC products aren't working—sometimes they just don't, especially if your acne is very inflamed or more severe. In this case you'll need prescription acne medications to get these breakouts under control. Give your dermatologist a call.  He can help you kick acne breakouts for good.

A Word from Verywell

Blemish concealers are a good way to camouflage pimples, and even those dark spots pimples leave behind. There are so many options available to you, from products designed explicitly for men to more general drugstore brands. It doesn't matter which you choose so long as the product is a good match for your skin type.

A bit of cover up can make you feel more confident and less self-conscious. So don't be afraid to give it a try.

Source:

Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL, Schlosser BJ, Alikhan A, Baldwin HE, et. al. "Guidelines of Care for the Management of Acne Vulgaris." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2016; 74(5): 945-73.