There is a global trend spreading like wildfire and just so very conveniently so is adult acne. It involves a trend called the cushion compact that originated in Korea. A cushion compact looks like a regular powder compact only there’s liquid inside covered by a urethane foam cushion that looks similar to a ink stamp pad cushion. The advantage of the cushion is it’s supposed to help disperse the liquid so that it’s not applied as thick as BB cream might straight out of the tube.

I first saw the cushions at the packaging trade shows years ago, but I officially began to see them on the market in some local Korean stores here in NYC a while back. I never thought they would become as big as they have just because the compacts can be bulky (then again so have our cell phones). Even though forecasting is one of my specialties I also never thought BB cream would take off the way they did either. According to my Korean contacts when a trend takes off it becomes viral because everyone is doing it, NOT necessarily because it’s the best product on the market.

All BB and CC cream formulas tend to break me out. I find most of them too thick or chalky as well. Men I’m close to would always comment that they could see my foundation when I would wear a BB cream no matter how thinly I applied it. The original BB cream Illuminare that launched over 15 years ago never did that to me and is probably why I have such high expectations out of the other BB creams on the market. The coverage and glow I got from Illuminare (thus the name) is also hard to compete with (and it never made me break out if I washed my skin correctly).

Back to cushion compacts. The reason I dislike them so much is because it’s easy to harbor sweat, pollution and bacteria in those cushions! Once you touch your face with a brush or sponge you’re putting the bacteria back on to the cushion. Yech! In my opinion this is just asking for acne.

 The Face Shop supposedly has a patented “screen cell” that is different than the other cushions. It is made of a net that is 99.9% antibacterial. My guess is they are probably better (and more fun), but being trained and licensed in bacteriology none of them sit well with me.

Many customers like the glow they get from the cushion compact formulations, but for consumers and with oily skin they have reported having oilier skin than they do with the traditional BB and CC creams. This is why customers with dry skin really like this compact.

Another old invention that poses some of the same issues is the Mineral Powder dispensing brush. It holds your powder, bronzer or blush in a chamber and disperses it as you swipe across your face.

Given that makeup brushes should be cleaned ALL of the time (especially if you are prone to breakouts) you probably should steer clear from this tool. It’s not really sanitary. If you are a makeup artist and using this dispensing brush on other models or customers you deserve a time out. I believe in most states it would actually be against the law to use these brushes because it’s almost impossible to clean them properly.

If you are prone to acne then you should avoid these brushes all together. Again bacteria, sweat and debris sit in these guys. Even though the powder itself does not harbor the bacteria, the brush does.

If you’re still not deterred by bacteria and the potential risk of acne like the 75% of Koreans who use cushion products (according to PBN) then I suggest using a cosmetic sanitizer. Beauty So Clean claims not to alter the formula of your makeup and I personally have models that carry it around on their photo shoots that no longer have the breakout issues they once did before they started bringing the sanitizer to photo shoots!

The moral of the story is if the product can’t be cleaned and disinfected and you’re prone to breakouts then you probably shouldn’t purchase it. 

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