Five Surprising Skin Benefits Of Not Wearing Makeup For One Month

Aside from getting dolled up for a Zoom team meeting here and there, it’s likely that you aren’t wearing makeup (or maybe just less) while social distancing these days. It would make sense in theory that giving skin a little break from the blush and bronzer is beneficial every once in a while, but how, exactly, can it help your skin? Ahead, we ask the pros about different ways going makeup-free can help clear up your complexion.

“Often, a barrier of makeup increases oil production, so not wearing makeup can decrease oiliness, clogged pores and pimples,” explains Hadley King, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. She warns, however, that these benefits could potentially come with an adjustment period.

While your skin is recalibrating and getting used to the new normal of going makeup-free, it could be temporarily affecting your sebum production, which could lead to clogged pores and breakouts, according to Dr. King. “If this is happening, keep the other parts of your skincare routine gentle—a gentle cleanser and soothing moisturizer,” she says. “Consider adding in an active ingredient like a retinoid or salicylic acid. Although these ingredients can cause skin purging, they will ultimately lead to a clearer complexion.” Here are the other benefits you could see when you go makeup free:

Your skin’s surface willbecome balanced again.

“By avoidingapplication of foundation and blush, the skin is allowed to return to itsnatural oil balance and hydration,” explains Nadia Kihiczak, MD, adermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology in New York City. “Additionally, without wearing makeup, the typical dailyuse of toner or over-washing the skin to remove the makeup, which canstrip the skin of its natural oil balance, can be minimized further,allowing the skin to recalibrate.”

Your acne might beless likely to flare up.

“Unlike manyskincare product ingredients, which penetrate into your skin, makeup sitson top of your skin—this coverage may affect your skin’s sebum productionand its natural hydrators because skin behaves differently depending onexternal factors like humidity,” says Dr. King. “Often, a barrier of makeup increases oilproduction, so not wearing makeup can decrease oiliness, clogged pores, andpimples.”

You’re exposingyour skin to less bacteria.

“Bynot wearing makeup, you are not unnecessarily exposing your delicatefacial skin to bacteria which thrive in the application brushes and makeuppalettes that you use day after day,” says Dr. Kihiczak. “Even if you’rewashing your brushes regularly, the bacteria can remain in them and in themakeup itself, even if they have added preservatives.”

Additionally, most folks apply their makeup in the bathroom, exposing their products to other types of bacteria, which can contaminate the makeup. “In particular, mascara and eyeliners applied repeatedly to the skin of the eyes and eyelid margins can introduce bacteria to this very delicate skin possibly leading to eye infections,” says Dr. Kihiczak.

Your fine lines will be less prominent.

“Makeup, especially powder makeup,can rest in fine lines and wrinkles and can actually make them appear morepronounced, especially around the eyes,” says Dr. Kihiczak. “Then, theprocess of removing the makeup nightly can result in tugging and pullingthe skin on a regular basis which can affect the elasticity of the skinand, therefore, accelerate aging.”

Your lashes will look fuller.

“If you were wearing enough mascarato be causing breakage, or sleeping in it, or not removing it gentlyenough, and causing breakage that way, you may notice that your lashesseem longer or fuller due to lack of breakage,” explains Dr. King.

Dr. Kihiczak agrees, stating that if you forego mascara for a month, you’ll be stopping the irritation and rubbing, where less lashes will fall out and the density of the lashes can normalize—your lashes will appear to be thicker.

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