Is Wearing Makeup Everyday Bad For Your Skin?

I’m getting a lot of questions from our readers asking – is wearing makeup everyday bad for your skin or not?

Generally no, it’s not bad.

There is no study showing that applying makeup on your skin every day is bad. You can apply makeup every day and your skin will still be okay. Sometimes it can even have positive benefits on your skin.

But there are exceptions. If you use makeup that contains harmful ingredients or doesn’t ‘agree’ with your skin then of course it’s bad for your skin. It could cause skin reactions or damage your skin over time.

The safety of makeup depends a lot on your ability to choose the best type of makeup with the right ingredients for your skin.

Choosing the best makeup for your skin

So while makeup is generally alright to use every day, its effect on your skin depends on you choosing the right products.

The most important thing to consider is your skin type. This is especially so if you have problematic skin that is prone to breakouts (i.e. oily skin) or reactions (i.e. sensitive skin).

The first thing you should always do when shopping for makeup or makeup airbrush kits is to check the ingredients list. Make sure it does not contain known harmful ingredients like mineral oil, parabens and certain types of alcohol such as benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol and methanol.

Also check that it doesn’t contain anything that could react with your skin or cause a problem. For instance if you have oily skin it’s best to avoid makeup products that have mineral oil.

Mineral oil, which is derived from petroleum, tends to clog your skin pores and can cause or worsen breakouts on oily skin.

It’s also a good idea to avoid oil-based foundations, serums and moisturisers if you have oily skin. Instead, you should consider mineral or water-based makeup products. They don’t clog pores and can even help with acne and other breakouts.

If you have dry sensitive skin look for makeup products labelled specifically as ideal for sensitive skin. There are plenty of them today.

These products will often contain no artificial fragrance or colour. You can also shop for organic or natural makeup products to reduce the risk of sensitivity.

Cleansing your skin

Wearing makeup everyday may not be bad for your skin but leaving makeup on your skin for too long is bad.

A rule of thumb when it comes to makeup is that you should never ever sleep in it. It’s not that your skin needs to breath as some people will say (the skin doesn’t breath, obviously), but it needs to shed old and dead skin cells.

Failing to remove makeup creates stifling layers of oils, dirt and old makeup that clog your pores and causes a build-up of dead skin cells. By morning your skin will feel heavy and look dull. It can also cause rashes and breakouts.

You pillow and bedding will also get dirty and unhygienic with old makeup and dirt. This is also not good for your skin as it could attract skin-damaging bacteria.

Every evening when you come home spend some time removing your makeup. Gently exfoliate your skin (2-3 times a week) and then use a good quality cleanser to get the makeup off your skin. Before you go to sleep, apply a light moisturising lotion, serum or night cream.

Do not just cleanse your skin; it’s also essential to keep your makeup brushes clean. Accumulated dirt on your brushes can harbour bacteria that can harm your skin. Spray them with a spray cleanser at least once a week and wash them with a brush shampoo once a month.

Take a break

There is no harm in taking a break from makeup. As long as you are still applying a good moisturiser and wearing sunscreen when you go out, feel free to go makeup-free during certain times like the holiday.

It’s also a good idea to take a break if you think your makeup is causing a reaction or breakouts. You can then re-introduce you makeup one product at a time until you find out which one is causing the problem. Do a patch test with each on a small area on your neck or arm before you apply it on your face.

If you can’t find out what’s causing the reaction see a dermatologist for diagnosis. There could be another underlying problem.