You might get your 8 hours of nightly shut-eye, drink plenty of fluids, eat a well-balanced diet and have the best genes in the world, but if your skin isn’t looking its best, the culprit might be inside your makeup bag. Yes, makeup can make you look like your best self and then some, but if what you’re putting on your face is low quality, expired, contaminated or just doesn’t agree with you, it has the ability to undermine the best lifestyle choices and skincare regimen. According to the experts, when it comes to makeup this is what you need to know so you don’t sabotage your skin:
LOOK AT THE PACKAGINGRamy Gafni, Creator of Ramy Cosmetics, “likes words like non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, anti-aging and anti-oxidant to let you know you are getting good quality makeup,” and stresses that there are plenty of options to choose from in both high end and mass market brands.
LET YOUR FACE FIND THE FORMULALori Nestore, licensed esthetician and co-president of the skincare brand Tu’el declares that clear and strong skin generally stays that way, regardless of the makeup you’re using on it, but most people cannot be that flexible in their makeup choices. “It is more the skin type or condition that responds to a formula than the other way around. If someone is blessed with non-reactive, perfect skin nothing bothers it. On the other hand, acne doesn’t love the heavier foundations, and more mature skin doesn’t show beautifully with mineral makeup. So, it is is important to match the type of makeup with the skin.” She does add that the hot makeup trend right now of complete coverage including contouring isn’t doing anyone’s skin any favors as it can add quite a few layers that add up to a very heavy application.
“What may work well for one person, may cause irritation in the next person due to allergies or other complexion sensitivities,” says Gafni. He also feels it’s important to know your skin type to avoid troublesome reactions. “If you have very sensitive skin, avoid Retin-A, which can be irritating. If you’re prone to redness, avoid Salicylic Acid, which can increase redness, though its great option for those looking to treat acne and fine lines.”
READ THE LIST OF INGREDIENTS
It’s important to know your own skin and what doesn’t work for you specifically since things change in the industry constantly. “One minute everyone wants everything to be oil-free and the next, we are washing our face with oil cleansers and applying oil as a moisturizer,” shares Gafni. But, you may want to steer clear of parabens, a preservative used in cosmetics for decades and now linked to cancer in lab rats when given in high doses.
DON’T LET PRICE DICTATE YOUR PURCHASE
“You can find wonderful formulas among high end makeup and inexpensive brands — Basically, the differences you’ll see is a higher percentage of active ingredients in the high end makeup,” says Gafni. For example both high and low end foundation may boast that it contains Vitamin A, but the high end foundation may contain 10% Vitamin A compared to 2% in the mass brand. There’s also a case to be made for high end products containing better quality ingredients than some of their lower-priced counterpoints giving them a smoother application and better finish.
It goes without saying that it’s crucial to remove every last bit of makeup before you go to bed. Nestore warns agains using alcohol wipes –even disguised in the form of witch hazel– as they can be hard on the skin. Instead, she recommends “a ph balanced oil as probably the best for protecting and nourishing the skin and lashes instead of an acidic or alkaline cleanser.”