Makeup: Junk Food for the Skin

When we are presented with skin issues in clinic, one of the first things we look at is our clients makeup habits - what, and how often. Think about the purpose of makeup is to 'correct', 'conceal' and bind to the skin for a 'lasting finish'.
Are they doing their job? 100%. Are they good for your skin health? No. 
And to make matters worse, we are wearing it younger and more often.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind when thinking about your relationship with makeup:


Skin isn't designed to wear makeup

The cosmetic chemistry doesn't align with our skin. When I say that makeup is made up of silicones, colours, fragrances, and emulsifiers (to start), it's pretty easy to see that those ingredients aren't natural for the skin. And yeah, not all of the specific ingredients without those families are bad, but the ones that get used are mostly comedogenic and irritating. Not obvious irritation, but irritation that accumulates over time. This is why I like to describe it as junk food for the skin. We can have some without detrimental consequences, but if we have too much, too often, there will be a negative consequence. The real problem is that many of us are wearing it daily. It's only been in recent history that it's been common place to wear it so often, as it was previously only worn for celebration, ritual and other special occasions. Something to think about hey? 



Think about how we apply it, and how we remove it. Firstly, it's common for people not to cleanse their brushes and sponges regularly - and this equals brushes that are filled with bacteria which just adds fuel to the fire. The other issue is removing it. The better the formulation is at binding to the skin, the more we have to work to get it off, causing even more skin issues. 



"Oh, but I got it at Mecca" you say. We hear this often. Because you bought a high profile brand, from a high profile retailer, you assume your makeup is better. And it probably is - if you only consider coverage, how long it lasts, and the way it feels on the skin. But that doesn't mean it's better for your skin health. 



Just because you can't see it immediately, skin is being irritated, and over time this causes inflammation. From here you can expect redness, skin not healing properly, and congestion. If your skin is at this point, you're probably wearing more than ever before and need some skin help from a professional to get out of the cycle. 



Foundations that are mineral, non-comedogenic, and contain no fragrance are going to be best for your skin. We have put together a list of some brands that try harder than the rest to be good to the skin (in no particular order):



  1. Go Foundation Free. Ultimately, not wearing it ever would be the holy grail, but that's a pretty big jump if you are currently wearing it to run errands. It all starts with one step - try not wearing it to work (we don't!), after work, weekends - whenever you can. This means embracing your skin, and not buying into the marketing rubbish from makeup brands trying to tell you what skin should look like. Do it. It's liberating.

  2. Find a Go-To Mineral Makeup STAT. It's true, they don't sit the same (because they aren't LOADED WITH SILICONE + + +), but they are still pretty good, are they are going to help save your skin. Plus once your skin starts to improve you won't need the coverage anyway. Whoot!

  3. If you need to hold on to your Silicone Sludge (we're so funny hey?!), save it for your Special Nights Out. We're realistic, and occasionally isn't always that bad (think, just like junk food).

  4. Remove your Makeup as soon as you get home, and do it properly and kindly. Whether it be from a big night out, or home from work, the less time on your skin is best. And while we're here, go fad free and skip the 'sonic' cleanser. It's an overpriced face washer with a bunch of misleading claims, and from our experience, isn't that gentle either. And ditch the makeup wipes. They do an ok job a best, and we find that people get lazy with them - emergencies only please.

  5. Be informed. Go to your cupboard, grab your makeup, and Google the ingredients. If you learn what it's made of, it may just help you make a change. A popular choice of clients (prior to our consultation of course), and one of my favourites to break down, is Estee Lauder Double Wear. It has 22 ingredients, and ingredients 2, 3, 4, 10 and 11 are all silicones. Yes, the ingredients are listed in order of weight. Also scary... I haven't even mentioned fragrance, PEGs or emulsifiers.


About our list of makeup brands: This is not a comprehensive list, they are in no particular order, and some are better for your skin that others - BUT, all are significantly better for your skin than other over the counter options. Find one you like and let us know what you think!

Jazmin Camilleri Skin Therapist


Skin Therapist + owner of Skinovations