Makeup may be considered as essential for the festive season, but they have also been known to cause rashes, bumps, breakouts, and burning or itchy sensations.
What can we do to minimise the chances of skin allergies and breakouts from makeup?
1. Do a patch test
If you are using a new makeup product for the first time, it is recommended to do a patch test to ensure that the product does not cause an allergic reaction.
Apply the makeup to a small area that can be easily hidden, such as the skin behind the ear, and wait for at least 20 minutes. If there is no rash, itch, or other adverse reaction, you can then use the product.
If you are planning to use it for an upcoming event, you can even perform the patch test a few days before the event.
2. Choose a suitable formulation for your skin type
Some ingredients are comedogenic – meaning, they are likely to occlude pores and worsen acne. As everyone’s skin is different, the same product may work wonderfully for some people but cause breakouts in others.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, choose an oil-free foundation or BB cream which are less likely to cause acne breakouts. If you have sensitive skin, look for products which are formulated for sensitive skin.
3. Proper makeup removal and skin cleansing
It is good practice to remove makeup thoroughly at the end of the day. You can use an oil-based cleanser or makeup remover to dissolve makeup and follow up with a second cleanser to cleanse the skin. Waterproof eye makeup and mascara may require a dedicated cleanser to wash it off thoroughly, to prevent risk of eye and eyelid infections.
4. Wash makeup sponges and brushes regularly
Similarly, makeup sponges and brushes should be washed between every few uses or at least once a week, as they accumulate dirt and germs which can then cause irritation or infections when swiped on the skin.
5. Throw away expired makeup
Many of us probably have makeup items that have been left unused for many months or even years. If they have already been opened, it may be better to discard them as they may have expired. Most makeup products will have a symbol with a number on the inside, which represents how long they are good for after opening.
Here is a general guide to when you should replace your makeup products:
Foundation, concealer, blush, eyeshadow – 1 year after opening
Lip products – 6 months after opening
Eyeliner and mascara – 3 months after opening
An easy way to remember the date of opening is to write the month and year on a small sticker, and fix it to the makeup compact or tube.
If the cosmetic product appears lumpy, foul smelling, or has changes in texture or colour even before the expiry date, it is best to get rid of them, rather than risk an adverse reaction to your skin.
If you do experience redness, itch, or skin irritation after using makeup, wash the makeup off immediately. Avoid wearing makeup for at least a few days to let the skin recover. If in doubt, it is best to see a doctor for prompt and proper treatment.