Is Makeup Bad for Your Skin? 4 Things to Know

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is makeup bad for your skin?Most of us know that what we eat can affect the health of our skin. When eating well, you might notice your skin is looking clearer and taking on a healthy glow. But what we put on our skin matters, too, which might lead you to wonder, “is makeup bad for your skin?”

It’s true that unhealthy makeup habits can be detrimental to your skin. That doesn’t mean you need to give up makeup completely to be healthy, but you should know the following information.

1. It’s Best to Avoid Certain Ingredients

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average woman uses around a dozen products every day that, combined, have over 150 different ingredients. That’s a lot of components touching the surface of your skin—and many contain chemicals that penetrate that surface.

Some ingredients in cosmetics have been shown to enter the body through the skin. Those include:

  • Phthalates
  • Parabens
  • And fragrance ingredients like musk xylene

Although more research is needed on adults, several studies have shown a link between some phthalates and metabolic changes and endocrine disruption in children. To be safe, it’s best to avoid these types of ingredients whenever possible.

The EWG also advises avoiding alpha and beta hydroxy acids, which are found in some anti-aging products. The use of products containing these acids has been linked to twice the damage from UV ray exposure.

Also, be careful with products that simply include “fragrance” on their ingredient list. Companies are not legally required to mention which chemicals they use in fragrance mixtures. Fragrances may contain allergens and hormone disruptors without the public ever knowing. It’s best to reach for products that list their fragrance ingredients on their labels.

2. Sleeping in Makeup is a Big No-No

Always make sure you remove your makeup and wash your face before going to bed at night. Sleeping with makeup on can cause:

  • Acne
  • Clogged pores
  • Premature aging
  • Wrinkles
  • Age spots
  • Eye irritation
  • And more

While the question of whether makeup is bad for your skin is not straightforward, leaving your makeup on overnight is surely a bad decision.

3. You Should Clean Your Brushes Once a Month

Makeup brushes can carry harmful bacteria from dead skin and sweat on your face. When you reuse brushes that have not been cleaned regularly, the bacteria is reapplied to your face every time you do your makeup.

To stay safe and protect your skin, clean your makeup brushes once a month, and replace them every three months. If they start to smell odd, take on a strange color, or shed bristles, you should replace them sooner.

4. You’ll Need to Find the Right Makeup for Your Skin

Just as each person’s body can respond differently to certain foods, how skin reacts to products is largely individual, too. Pay close attention to how different makeup products affect your skin. If a product makes your skin more oily or dries it out, discontinue use and find something else that works.

If a lot of makeup products are rough on your skin, you might consider a mineral-based makeup that can be easier on your sensitive epidermis.

Remember to Support Your Skin in Other Ways

It’s good to question if makeup is bad for your skin, as it helps you to adjust your current routine. Besides your makeup, though, it’s important to maintain healthy skin habits all year long. Those include eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking enough water, sleeping more, reducing stress, and staying safe in the sun.

Michael Schwartz, NMD

Michael Schwartz, NMD
President and Founder
Michael’s® Naturopathic Programs

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