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Is Wearing Makeup Bad For Your Skin?

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For many people, makeup offers a boost of confidence. It can also be a lot of fun! A little foundation and eyeliner can perk you right up. But does this come at a cost?

You might be wondering if wearing makeup is bad for your skin. You might also be worried about acne and other hidden dangers.

In reality, it comes down to how you use it. When used incorrectly, makeup can be bad in these five ways.

1. Acne

wearing makeup bad for skin acne breakouts

Makeup can patch up blemishes, but it’s also bad for acne. Sometimes, it can even be the cause of those pesky pimples.

Our skin naturally produces sebum, but if you have extra oily skin, greasy makeup is bad news. It’ll clog up your pores and pave the way for breakouts.

To avoid pimples, reach for oil-free or “non-comedogenic” products. Regularly remove your makeup at the end of the day or after exercising. Otherwise, these unhealthy habits will increase the risk for acne.1

Failing to remove makeup will create the perfect environment for acne–causing bacteria which live on our skin to flourish.2

And don’t forget about your tools! Every time a brush or sponge touches your skin, it picks up bacteria and brings it back to the product. To avoid acne, regularly wash your tools and never, ever share makeup.3

2. Infections

wearing makeup bad for skin irritation

Cosmetics can cause more than just acne. For example, eye makeup may cause viral conjunctivitis and pink eye, two painful infections.

Like the skin, eyelashes have bacteria on them. Using brushes on the eyelids and eyelashes can transfer bacteria into makeup. Eventually, bacteria will build up and increase your risk for infection. Symptoms can range from swelling and discharge. In more serious cases, temporary or permanent blindness may develop. Yikes!

Again, avoid sharing makeup. It’s also a good idea to switch out products every 3 to 4 months, even if you’ve barely used it. Old makeup can damage your skin, eyes, and lips if you keep using it.4

3. Chemicals

wearing makeup bad for skin chemicals

Every makeup product is a cocktail of chemicals. Unsurprisingly, most can be dangerous for the body and skin.

For instance, eye colors may contain harmful color additives.5 Certain products may have phthalates, a chemical that has a hormonal influence in your body.6 Additionally, formaldehyde is a carcinogen that can cause skin irritation, wheezing, nausea, and wheezing. It’s been used in both beauty and home products.7

Using too many chemicals can damage your skin and overall health. Luckily, many brands have been switching over to more natural ingredients. Always check the packaging before purchasing.

4. Allergic Reactions

wearing makeup bad for skin allergy

Makeup is a foreign product. Using it on your face poses the risk for irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.

The chances increase if you use too many at once. Certain chemicals, like formaldehyde, are notorious for causing reactions. In some cases, makeup can end up in your eyes and cause irritation.8

In fact, most cases of allergic contact dermatitis are caused by fragrances in makeup.9 You can also be allergic to the ingredients, or a specific combination of ingredients.

Always do a patch test when using a new product. Wait a day or two to make sure that you don’t develop a rash. If so, stop using it immediately.

5. Weakened Skin

wearing makeup bad for skin rashes

All of these problems can stress out your skin. The more you use, the more damaged your skin will be.

This is even worse if you’re dealing with breakouts, irritation, and allergic reactions. Your skin won’t have time to heal! It’ll weaken your skin, making it look older than it really is.

If your skin isn’t in good shape, let it breathe. Covering up problems will just make it worse.
So, is makeup bad for your skin? Ultimately, no. Only bad habits are. Use makeup responsibly and choose natural products when possible. Finally, make skincare – not makeup – a priority.

References   [ + ]

1. Duarte, Ida, and Ana Carolina Campos Lage. “Frequency of dermatoses associated with cosmetics.” Contact dermatitis 56, no. 4 (2007): 211-213.
2. Holland, Keith T., and Richard A. Bojar. “Cosmetics.” American journal of clinical dermatology 3, no. 7 (2002): 445-449.
3. Makeup. girlshealth.gov.
4. Old Makeup Can Cause Serious Eye Infections. University of Rochester Medical Center.
5, 8. Eye Cosmetic Safety. U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
6. Makeup. GirlsHealth.gov.
7. Formaldehyde and Cancer Risk. National Cancer Institute.
9. Skin Care & Cosmetics. National Rosacea Society.
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