To Make-up or Break-up (with Make-up)

By Dr. Coreen Copuyoc-Sampedro

Does wearing make-up ruin your skin? Back in the day, dermatologists were known to be against make-up or any form of cosmetic camouflage since many products then—think 80’s to early nineties —would cause a slew of unwanted effects such as acne, contact dermatitis, and hyperpigmentation. Instead, we would promote healthy natural looking skin sans any cosmetic product. However, the beauty and skincare market has grown exponentially and this preconception no longer applies. This not only means that the variety and number of products increased, but that many formulations have also gotten more sophisticated and safe. Going all-natural with just sunscreen on your face is definitely still a good way to go, but wearing make-up can actually work well with your skin if you know how to choose the right ones for your skin type. Aside from that, cosmetics actually help a lot of people as a confidence booster and as part of self-care. In fact, I am one such dermatologist that loves make-up almost (almost!) as much as skin care.

So how do you choose the right cosmetics for you? This is best figured out on a case to case basis but basically depends, first and foremost, on your skin type and the environment you’re in. If you have normal skin, almost any product may work well on you so just use the weather as your guide. Wearing oilier formulations may not work as well in a hot & humid environment such as in Manila for example, but these may be best for cold, breezy weather such as in Baguio. For those with oily skin, lightly formulated water-based foundations and medium-coverage powders may work best, provided that the skin is still hydrated. And for those with dry skin, oil-based formulas work best to camouflage anything but again, diligent hydration everyday is really the best way to ensure that make-up applies nicely. Combination skin is quite tricky because you will need to mix and match the products you use per area on your face. Creams or oil-based products applied on dry parts while lighter, more water-based products on the oily parts. Then lastly, the most difficult skin type to choose products for, is sensitive skin. The primary concern for sensitive skin would be avoidance of irritating or allergenic ingredients in make-up such as fragrances and parabens, while also choosing formulations that work well with your base skin type between oily, dry, or combination skin. I personally have sensitive, combination skin and have discovered that I like mousse or cream-gel formulations best, with light finishing powder on areas that are a bit oily.

At the end of the day, all of these are simply general guidelines and choosing your cosmetics will still depend on which ones are accessible to you and work well with your lifestyle and environment. Keep in mind though that the best foundation for make-up is still healthy, luminous skin. So I recommend allocating more time and budget for skin care and always remember to remove your make-up right when you get home. So, does wearing make-up ruin your skin? Well, the correct ones shouldn’t, and that’s the tea.