We’re slowly coming out of lockdown and getting ready for a new normal. Many of us will have taken a break from wearing makeup; not necessarily a conscious decision but one of not needing to put a face on for the rest of the world. For us, it’s been a good thing taking a break from wearing makeup as it has afforded our skin more time to breathe and reset, functioning optimally and gaining the full benefits of the skincare products we use. Our skin has had more of an opportunity to absorb nutrients, retain and take in moisture, secrete oils and lipids (returning to its natural oil balance) and enable us to cleanse our face fully. Also as a result of allowing the skin to be free of makeup and having more time to work in each product as part of our routine, more oxygen will have circulated leaving it looking healthy and radiant; the skin’s temperature will have been regulated; the skin will have repaired itself of any short-term damage and collagen and elastin will have regenerated making it strong and supple. But how can we keep our skin from breaking out once we start wearing makeup again?
HOW TO START WEARING MAKEUP AGAIN WITHOUT BREAKING OUT
- If you have been sick or suffered from symptoms of COVID-19, then you should throw away all cosmetics that have been used. It’s not fully clear how long the virus can live on or in cosmetic products but it has been suggested that the virus can live on some surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours. So, plastic makeup tubes, bottles and compacts may transmit the virus. It’s essential that you don’t share your makeup or makeup tools with other people or use theirs too as makeup can harbour viruses and bacteria making it the perfect breeding ground. If you haven’t been unwell, then instead take the time to thoroughly clean the outer packaging of your products and store all cosmetics in an airtight drawer as opposed to sitting on a dressing table, or in the bathroom. This prevents exposing products to potentially harmful bacteria.
- Check your makeup isn’t out of date. Look for a little open jar symbol on the label. The number inside it indicates how many months you have to use the product safely from the time the product is opened. Expired makeup can also harbour bacteria causing breakouts, infections and swelling. We recommend labelling your products or keeping a note in your journal/on your phone so you don’t lose track of when they were first unsealed.
- Wash your makeup brushes, applicators and tools. After thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water, take each brush individually and hold it downwards under warm running water, gently massaging the bristles with some gentle shampoo. Let the water run through it until it is clear. Squeeze out any excess water, lay each brush flat to dry with the bristles hanging over the edge of the surface. This will allow the air to circulate all around the brush and dry fully. Once it’s dry, reshape the bristles and store separately from your makeup.
- If you are buying new products, opt for ‘clean’ makeup. Pay attention to the ingredients in your makeup products and try to avoid comedogenic ingredients. Alcohol, artificial fragrances, dyes, parabens, silicones, phthalates, acrylic, bismuth oxychloride, mica, silica and talc are all linked to clogging pores and many dry out the skin too, causing irritation. It’s not only important to look at what’s in the products but to choose the right products for your skin type. Remember, your skin type may have changed over the past few months so you may need to invest in a new, natural foundation or skin tint for example. It’s also beginning to get warmer, so generally, less will need to be applied. Light makeup may be just what you need after having such a long break from wearing makeup. Always apply your makeup to a cleansed face and use clean fingers if you aren’t using brushes/sponges.
- Accept that your skin may breakout. What you see in the mirror is not the same as others see. Firstly ask yourself whether it could be your hormones causing the breakout rather than the makeup as an imbalance of progesterone, estrogen and testosterone can affect the levels of oil and water in the skin. Alternatively, it may be that your diet has been full of oleic acid (found in foods such as cheese, pasta, avocados, nuts, eggs and meat) and not enough linoleic acid (found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) causing it. If you do breakout, avoid using harsh products; instead, cleanse gently, hydrate and massage your face to get lymph moving, and let the breakout pass. Don’t try to cover it with layers of foundation and/or concealer.
- Refrain from touching your face. Every time you touch your face, you could be transferring impurities (dirt, oil and bacteria) to your skin which could clog your pores and trigger a breakout. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds and carry hand sanitiser with you. If you do have a breakout, do not pick or squeeze spots/pimples as this can cause scarring and can spread bacteria to other pores, causing more blemishes.
- Do not wear makeup while exercising. Makeup, combined with sweat and other impurities such as a build-up of dirt, dead skin cells and sebum can negatively impact our skin causing breakouts. Check out our skincare tips for exercisers for more info and tips on this.
- Cleanse your face thoroughly at the end of the day, ideally as soon as you get home to remove grime and allow your skin to breathe. If this is not possible then ensure that you do it before going to bed. While we are asleep our skin goes through a process where it is repairing itself and regenerating. It can only do this if our skin is clean and our pores are unclogged. Don’t forget that face wipes aren’t only unsustainable, they also don’t deeply cleanse the skin so instead, why not try one of the Best Natural Makeup Removers And Face Cleansers?
- If you wear glasses, a build-up of makeup under your glasses can also contribute to breakouts so that is another reason why you should remove your makeup at the end of the day. Both the frames and lenses of your glasses should be cleaned regularly as putting on dirty glasses each day will also aggravate future breakouts. If you are also wearing a reusable face mask to protect yourself and others from spreading COVID-19, regularly wash this on a high temperature to prevent bacteria and make-up mixing.
- As with everything, preparation is key. Having a consistent skincare routine suited to the needs of your skin will help keep breakouts at bay. If you can’t go for a facial just yet, give yourself one at home. Cleanse your face twice per day, exfoliate twice per week and seal in moisture with a face oil as a minimum. Also try to continue to give your skin a break from makeup at least once a week, perhaps at a weekend to reap the benefits we shared at the beginning of this post.
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HAVE YOU RECENTLY STARTED WEARING MAKEUP AGAIN?
We’d love for you to tell us about your experience and tips in a comment below!