Spotted season after season from the runway to the red carpet, beautiful full arches is the must-try beauty trend that shows no sign of slowing, with women everywhere clamoring to shape, dye, grow, extend or fill their brows to Brooke Shields proportions. Grooming tips and makeup tricks used to achieve the look, while effective, can have one unwanted side effect, however—the increased amount of drawing, powering and plucking can commonly lead to blemishes and acne right on the very feature you’re trying to highlight.
Blemishes can crop up in and around your brows for a variety of reasons, but some of the more common triggers are oil or dead skin cells that are blocking the hair follicle, reactions to makeup or skin-care products, or ingrown hairs. Like other forms of facial acne, brow breakouts can be treated with prescription-strength or over-the-counter products. “A cream prescribed by your doctor, like clindamycin, is effective,” says Houston dermatologist Jennifer Segal, MD. “I recommend using it after waxing to minimize inflammation.” For an over-the-counter option, look for an antibacterial formula like Dr. Lin Skincare Acne Spot Corrector, which minimizes inflammation with 5% benzoyl peroxide without overdrying skin.
But as with any skin care treatment, the best cure is prevention. Andra Taksey, founder of Boca Brows in Boca Raton, FL, says that one commonly overlooked step—washing your brow tools when you wash your makeup brushes—can be key to helping prevent breakouts.