Your Mom Was Right About Sharing Makeup
If you can’t beat breakouts, it might be time to break up with your makeup.
“Makeup can cause acne or allergies,” says Dermatologist Edidiong C. Kaminska, MD, Northwestern Medical Group. “That’s why a makeup hygiene routine is just as important as a skincare routine.”
Dr. Kaminska shares makeup do's and don’ts.
Don’t use oils.
“Oils can clog your pores and contribute to acne,” says Dr. Kaminska. “Liquid foundations, toners and moisturizers tend to have oils in them. Avoiding oils is as simple as turning around your product to check the ingredients on the back.”
Common oils in makeup products include liquid paraffin, petroleum, paraffin oil and mineral oil.
Dr. Kaminska also advises against putting essential oils — such as tea tree, primrose, coconut and rosehip — on your face. It’s okay to use these products on your body as long as you don’t experience allergic reaction.
Oils are common ingredients in makeup removers. You can use makeup remover solutions or wipes that contain oils so long as you wash your face and don’t allow the oils to seep into your skin.
“I like to use petroleum jelly on my face to remove makeup, but I follow it up with a gentle facewash to make sure my pores aren’t clogged,” says Dr. Kaminska.
Don’t use harmful chemicals.
“Some makeups and sunscreens contain oxybenzone and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA),” says Dr. Kaminska. “I advise people to avoid these products because they not only tend to cause allergic reactions, but also have a negative impact on the environment.”
Another allergen to avoid is propylene glycol, which is a preservative often found in over-the-counter creams or makeups.
Do use makeup to block the sun.
Sunscreen doesn’t have to be in lotion form. If you choose to use a lotion, Dr. Kaminska suggests a physical UV blocker instead of a chemical one.
As far as makeup is concerned, mineral powders may physically protect your skin from the sun.
“Skip the thick white goop and go for a mineral powder that physically blocks the sun’s rays,” says Dr. Kaminska. “That way you can reapply sun block without messing up your makeup.”
Do wash your face ― every night.
“Your skin has a natural flora — bacteria and yeast — that works for you to keep your pores clean and healthy,” says Dr. Kaminska. “Makeup contains chemicals that might interfere with the natural environment of your skin. It’s important to wash it off at the end of every day so that these chemicals don’t bake into your skin.”
Do clean your brushes.
To eradicate bacteria and product build-up, clean your:
- Powder brushes every three to four months
- Liquid brushes or blenders every two months
To clean your makeup brushes, simply use soap and water, or use your facewash. “I use salicylic acid acne facewash to clean my brushes because salicylic acid helps kill the bacteria that causes acne,” says Dr. Kaminska.
Replace brushes every one to two years. “If you’re using a brush and noticing breakouts, buy a new one to rule it out as the cause,” says Dr. Kaminska.
Don’t share makeup.
“Everyone has a different microorganism environment on their skin,” says Dr. Kaminska. “You don’t want to introduce someone else’s bacteria to your skin because it may not react well. You also don’t want to spread infection.”
Do get new mascara once a year.
Don’t use makeup if you have an active infection or allergies.
Just as you should avoid sharing makeup to avoid sharing bacteria, you should also avoid spreading infection to different areas of your face.
“It’s tough because if you have a cold sore, the first thing you want to do is cover it with makeup,” says Dr. Kaminska. “However, you don’t want to further irritate your skin or spread the virus to other parts of your face.”
Avoid using makeup if you have infections like pink eye, cold sores or staph. If you have skin sensitivities or eczema that’s flaring up, avoid makeup and consult your dermatologist.
Do consult your dermatologist.
If your skin seems to be reacting to makeup and you can’t figure out why, consult a dermatologist.