Does Setting Spray Cause Acne?

Does Setting Spray Cause Acne?

This post was most recently updated on November 17th, 2023

Setting spray has become a staple in many makeup routines, promising to keep your carefully crafted look intact throughout the day. However, concerns about its impact on the skin, particularly in relation to acne, have left many beauty enthusiasts wondering whether this beloved product might be causing unwanted breakouts. In this article, we’ll explore the relationship between setting spray and acne, separating fact from fiction to help you make informed choices for your skincare and makeup routine.

Understanding Setting Spray:

Before diving into the acne debate, let’s first understand what setting spray does. This cosmetic product is designed to lock in your makeup, preventing it from smudging, fading, or melting off during the day. It usually contains ingredients that create a protective barrier over your makeup, helping it stay in place.

Common Ingredients:

To determine whether setting spray can cause acne, it’s essential to examine its ingredients. Many setting sprays contain hydrating elements such as glycerin or essential oils, which are generally safe for the skin. However, some formulations may include alcohol, which can be drying and potentially irritating for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin.

The Acne Connection:

The primary concern with setting spray and acne is the potential for pore-clogging ingredients. If a setting spray contains comedogenic substances, it could contribute to the development of acne. Comedogenic ingredients are known to block pores, trapping oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria beneath the surface, ultimately leading to breakouts.

Choosing the Right Setting Spray:

  1. Check the Ingredients:

    • Opt for setting sprays labeled as “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free.”
    • Avoid products with high alcohol content, as they can strip the skin of its natural oils and cause irritation.
  2. Skin Type Consideration:

  3. Patch Test:

    • Before applying a setting spray to your entire face, perform a patch test on a small area to ensure it doesn’t cause irritation or breakouts.

Maintaining a Healthy Skincare Routine:

While setting spray is a valuable tool in makeup application, it’s crucial to remember that a clear complexion starts with a solid skincare routine. Regularly cleanse your face, use non-comedogenic moisturizers, and choose makeup products that are gentle on the skin.


In conclusion, setting spray itself may not be the sole cause of acne, but certain formulations and ingredients can contribute to breakouts, especially for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. By being mindful of the products you choose and understanding your skin’s needs, you can enjoy the benefits of setting spray without compromising your skin’s health. Always prioritize products that enhance your beauty routine while maintaining the overall well-being of your skin.