Is makeup bad for your skin?

Every woman wants to look her best. That's why we use makeup not even questioning its possible harmful effects.


If you live close to nature and walk in the fresh air every day, then your makeup creates a "mask" that prevents skin contact with the warm wind and scattered solar rays. In this case, the danger of makeup is hard to dispute. No matter how good your makeup products are, it disrupts the circulation of air on the surface of the skin and therefore prevents it from regenerating, and most importantly, breathing. On the other hand, if you live in a densely populated city with all its smog and dust, or if it's wintertime and the wind is icy than makeup is not harmful to the skin. It’s even incredibly useful. That’s why, in some cases, decorative cosmetics bring benefits, and in other cases, bring harm.

What exactly is the harm of makeup for the skin? Besides the violation of the microcirculation of the air, cosmetics can cause damage in two ways: first, negatively influence your skin with harmful ingredients, and secondly, negatively influence your skin because of wrong application.

appying makeup

READ ALSO: Can makeup cause acne?

Harmful components of decorative cosmetics.

Advertising tries to convince us that modern cosmetology uses the highest technology that is completely harmless to skin because of some particles that create "unearthly" radiance of the skin while not clogging the pores. Is it true?

In fact, the production of decorative cosmetics still use components that are either moderately harmful to the skin or potentially harmful to the whole body with continued use. Some of these components are not replaceable, and some can be replaced only with very expensive components. Cosmetics production develops progressively: harmful or ineffective components are gradually being replaced by more neutral, environmentally friendly, hypoallergenic. So, what harmful components can be found in the composition of decorative cosmetics?

Mineral oil. In general, the substance obtained in the refining process of petroleum products can clog the pores and cause irritation of the skin, even leading to the formation of acne.

Polyethylene glycol. It’s a hydrating polymer which can contain carcinogens.

Benzophenone. On the one hand, protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation, on the other hand, it can cause skin irritations.

Phenoxyethanol. It’s a preservative that can adversely influence the reproductive and especially the nervous system of the body. Makeup usually contains it in small quantities, but it’s quite common.

Petrolatum. A substance derived from petroleum may contain carcinogens.

Thimerosal. It is usually found in foundations. It can be an allergen and have a negative impact on the human nervous system.

Triclosan. An antibacterial substance which can be found in every third makeup product. During the reaction with chlorinated water and decomposition of triclosan, it can produce carcinogens.

Methylparaben. A preservative, which can have a negative impact on the hormonal background of a person.

makeup products

This is not a complete list of questionable makeup ingredients. Kaolin excessively dries the skin and contains some pigments that influence the development of cancer. The bentonite contained in the foundations and mousses clogs the pores, etc.

Proper makeup use and skincare

To minimize the dangers of using cosmetics, you need to properly apply, remove and take care of the skin. Just follow a few simple rules:

  • Before applying makeup prepare the skin thoroughly: wipe it with toner, apply moisturizer and let it soak (apply eye cream on the eyelids and lip balm on the lips). Moisturizer will create a very thin protective film on the surface of the skin, which will serve as a barrier between your skin and decorative cosmetics.
  • Use suitable makeup. During summer you can choose creams and powders with SPF. In winter, don't forget about nourishing creams. During the heat, use light products that will not create the effect of a steam bath on the skin.
  • Always remove makeup with a special milk or tonic before going to bed, or even as soon as came back home. The skin needs a break from makeup, or it will be chronically congested and lack oxygen.
  • Before using a new cosmetic product make an allergic test. Apply a small amount on the inner bend of the elbow and observe the reactions. If cosmetic products cause even minimal burning, feeling of dryness, tightness, discomfort, it is better not to use it.

colorful makeup

Fasting days for the skin

You've probably heard about the 5:2 diet. Five days a week you eat as always, and the other two create a dieting plan. The same thing can work for skin and makeup. A break from makeup for at least 24 hours (preferably 36) will help the skin to regain a healthy glow. It’s like a kind of detox of the skin.

During such days (for example, during the weekend), it is better to minimize any effects on the skin, even the procedures with water. Because even moisturizers use makes the skin lazy and incapable of natural moisture, because the skin "knows" that the makeup products will do all of the work. For the same reason, these days it is better not to apply the masks, even if they consist entirely of natural ingredients. Same goes about scrubs and peels.

Rihanna's makeup


We can't say that cosmetics are harmful. It can be harmful to skin and health if it has certain components if you're using it wrong or not taking caring of the skin. But if you use quality makeup, properly care for the skin, don’t wear makeup all day long (limited "wearing makeup" to 5-9 hours per day), you won’t do any harm.

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