10 Makeup Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Skin

September 2, 2015 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | beauty

It’s one thing to apply eyeliner incorrectly; it’s quite another to commit makeup sins that mess with your number one beauty asset, your skin. We’re always looking for new tricks and products that will make our complexion glow and combat wrinkles and fine lines, but in our quest, we may be simultaneously doing things during our daily makeup routine that thwart all of our best efforts. Dr. Gillian Palette, medical director and co-founder of SKYNgenuity, gives us 10 all-too-common makeup mistakes that will inevitably ruin your skin.

1.  Relying on CC or BB Cream for sun protection. “Many women believe that applying the latest CC or BB creams or a simple foundation with little (or no) SPF is enough and it is not,” Palette says. “Women need to apply their SPF separately prior to applying their makeup. While there may be seven things in these all-in-one creams, they are not necessarily seven of the best grade ingredients.  It’s best is to apply SPF on its own and if your moisturizer (or BB/CC cream) has SPF in it as well–great.”

2. Not cleansing your face properly. “If you are one of those women that falls asleep with your makeup on, please stop this now,” Palette says. “Going a full day with a face filled with SPF (hopefully 30 plus), moisturizer, facial oil/serums, then all of your makeup piled on top isn’t good for your skin.  Add in environmental factors (dust, pollen, exhaust, soot, etc.) and you are hitting the sheets with a face like a petri dish.”

3. Not cleaning makeup brushes/sponges. Not cleaning your makeup brushes/sponges regularly (every 2-4 weeks) allows them to harbor bacteria, according to Palette. And guess where all of that bacteria will eventually wind up? Yep, in your pores.

4. Not washing your hands. Not washing your hands well prior to applying skin care and makeup is like adding even more bacteria into the equation.

5.  Scrubbing too hard to remove makeup. While it’s important to clean your face and remove your makeup, you may be going at your skin with too much intensity, which will only lead to problems. “Not using the proper cleanser (too mild or too harsh), using products that are too high in acids, such as antibacterial cleansers and scrubs, and over-using skin cleansing brushes can dry out the skin prior to makeup application,” Palette says. “Sometimes using a very mild cleanser will not remove the makeup, oil, and pollutants from your day that can lead to unnecessary breakouts.”

6. Not reading makeup labels. “Most of us will benefit from non-comedogenic or ‘sensitive skin’ makeup/skin care because that usually means fewer ingredients to irritate your skin,” Palette says.

7. Forgetting that less can be more. “Caking on makeup and concealer can settle in pores and fine lines,” Palette says. “Overusing makeup and skincare is not a good idea. This can often make us look older and makes it more difficult to remove.”

8. Not giving your skin a makeup holiday or break. All actresses and models seem to abide by the same rule: when they aren’t on set, they give their skin some much-needed breathing room. That means not a stitch of foundation, blush, or concealer.

9. Being a makeup copycat. It’s one thing to get a cosmetics recommendation from a friend with flawless skin; it’s another to take advice without first considering whether you share the same skin type and needs. “Do not assume what works for your friends will work for you,” Palette says.

10. Whipping up too many home remedies. We all love a great homemade cosmetic or skincare recipe, but be careful about the ingredients you use and don’t go overboard. “Too many DIY treatments may not benefit your skin and can sometimes actually be to your detriment,” Palette says.

For more beauty tips, check out the reason you should sleep with an eye mask and 8 beauty products you shouldn’t use after college.


Lisa Fogarty is a lifestyle writer and reporter based in New York who covers health, wellness, relationships, sex, beauty, and parenting.

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