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Your Skin & The Effect of Not Wearing Make up

Ellie Taylor
Reading Time
6 min read

Take your make up off. Take a seat. And give this a read…. Dr’s orders!

We asked our Group Clinic Director, Dr Toni Philips about the effect of not wearing make up on our skin….

Why is makeup bad for the skin and which products are the most damaging?

Even the quality brands of makeup contain additives, chemicals and preservatives. These can include parabens, artificial fragrances or perfumes, sodium lauryl sulphite/sulphate, phthalates, formaldehyde and oxybenzone. These are all commonly used in the manufacture of makeup, and are all equally damaging. They are used to make the product look and feel nice to use, also for longer shelf life and anti-bacterial reasons.

What kinds of skin issues can regularly wearing makeup cause?

The main problem with wearing makeup is congestion, especially for combination or oily skin types. Even on normal to dry skin types, make up can interfere with the function of the skin barrier. For example, parabens or phthalates block the water balance in our skin barrier, therefore eventually causing more dryness.

Of course, with a good, daily skin care routine, especially cleansing in the evening, it is safe to wear make-up daily, but I would always advise as many ‘make up free’ days as possible to give the skin a break.

What happens to the skin when we give it a long break from makeup? Is a week enough to see a difference?

Our skin is a living organ, which has a complex, ongoing cycle of regeneration and restoration. Healthy skin is naturally resilient, but it can be quite easily damaged by over exposure to many things such as UV and anything we apply topically, especially makeup. Even if you have a good skin care routine and cleanse properly at the end of each day, your skin still has to work hard to regain its natural balance, so that the cells can breathe and restore themselves each night.

Make-up free days take the pressure of your skin and also off your skin care routine. The skin will be much happier in its natural function when nothing is applied to disrupt the skin barrier (surface layer). After a week of so going make-up free, you will likely notice more glow, and a peachier tone to your skin. This is because your skin care products are supporting the skin optimally and your skin will respond more effectively.

What skincare tips would you recommend to support your skin while you’re laying off the makeup?

> Don’t stop the skin care routine, in fact, now that we all have plenty of time, be more consistent.

> If you don’t already do this, make a commitment to do your skin care routine morning and evening. After a few weeks, it will become a normal habit and you will definitely see a difference in the way your skin looks and feels.

“Invest in a quality tinted SPF30+ or SPF50 will help you feel less naked.”

> Have a good look at your natural skin. If there is anything you are not happy about, for example, brown patches, redness, fine lines/wrinkles, plan a trip to a good aesthetic clinic for some professional advice and treatments. Great skin is possible for everyone.

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