Article 16

How makeup affects skin health

How your skin responds to make up is heavily dependent on the type of makeup you use and the ingredients which form your favourite products. Two of the key issues that arise for your skin when makeup is applied is the potential for pore clogging and dryness or dehydration. 

Pore clogging
As it is common for makeup products to contain a higher content of waxes and oils, there is more chance that pores will become clogged as the barrier that is created on the skin by these ingredients often interferes with the skin’s natural skin cell shedding process and sebum (oil) distribution. This can then lead to excess dead skin cells, sebum and make-up residue accumulating in the pores, which creates an optimal environment for P. acnes, a bacteria that’s a key factor in blemish formation, to thrive. Make up products which are more likely to cause pore clogging are full coverage foundations, cream-based products such as cream blushes, bronzers, and highlighters, silicone-based primers, and concealers. Formulations vary with each brand, and not all these types of products will contribute to breakouts, however, if you are struggling with more acne prone skin as a result of wearing more makeup, these are some of the products you might want to consider changing.

In contrast to the pore clogging potential of some make up products there is also a risk of skin dehydration when using make up products designed to achieve matte or long wearing goals. Dryness and dehydration in relation to make up stems from powder products and products which do not contain sufficient moisturising ingredients to maintain the skin's natural hydration levels. Powders are exceptional for achieving that smooth, non-shiny make up look as they are designed to absorb the skin’s excess oil, but sometimes their impact on the skin can overstep this line and tip the balance of oil absorption into drying territory. This leads to disruption in the skin’s hydration balance, causing a tight, dry, and sometimes irritated outcome.

“Two of the key issues that arise for your skin when makeup is applied is the potential for pore clogging and dryness or dehydration.”

How does sleeping in make-up affect the skin and its natural circadian rhythm?

During event season, at the end of the evening sometimes heading straight for your pillow can seem more attractive than carrying out your skincare routine. So, what is actually wrong with sleeping in our make up? It may be obvious, but sleeping in our makeup will amplify the issues previously mentioned; such as pore clogging and dryness, but it also interferes with our skin’s natural renewal process.

Every night our skin goes through a process where various biological processes are carried out to achieve skin cell turnover, repair, and increased collagen synthesis. This procedure is closely linked with the body’s circadian rhythm also known as the body’s internal clock. Swapping supportive skincare for makeup, not only extends the length of time that the skin is exposed to clogging and/or dehydrating factors but it means that we’re missing an opportunity to support our skin’s powerful overnight regenerative activity.

Illuminating Exfoliant


How do we combat this?

To combat the skin issues that can be associated with wearing makeup, it is important to have a strong foundation of knowledge around what issues can occur and get to know how your individual skin responds to what it’s exposed to. By understanding these aspects, it becomes easier to identify which product/s might be impacting your skin the most and what skincare is most restorative for you.

During event season, where wearing makeup is a more frequent occurrence and there is potential for prolonged wear, the most useful way to combat makeup associated skin issues is with a proper skincare routine. A consistent skincare routine will ensure you’re balancing challenges (ie. makeup wear) with support (ie. good skincare) during important times of skin rejuvenation, such as overnight.

Using products specifically designed for a deeper clean of the skin can also be useful as these will help cleanse the skin of any excess debris, but it is important to remember that the skin doesn’t need to feel stripped or raw to have been effectively cleaned. Our Illuminating Oil Cleanser is a perfect example of a cleanser that effectively and deeply cleanses without stripping the skin. Being an oil-based cleanser, and as oil dissolves oil, it is incredibly effective at removing makeup. Our Illuminating Exfoliant is also a wonderful product to have on hand during event season. By combining both the gentle physical exfoliant of smooth jojoba wax beads with the chemical exfoliants AHA and BHA, it effectively loosens dead skin cells and debris while gently buffing them these off the skin for a triple action exfoliation that doesn’t leave the skin feeling raw or irritated.

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