Your Makeup Habits Might Be Harming Your Skin


Your skin is a powerful organ. It protects your body on the outside and pushes out toxins on the inside. Despite its vital role in health and wellbeing, many people are brutally hard on their skin. Often a toxic cycle begins where a chemical product or makeup is used, which causes harm to the skin, and then further products are needed to cover up the impact of the harm. The following will explore several signs that your makeup habits are harming your skin.

Makeup Application Techniques

If used incorrectly, makeup can harm your skin. If too much force is used (say by dabbing concealer under your eyes), you can bruise the skin. Likewise, if you stretch the skin too much (by pulling your eyebrow up so you can apply a crease shadow, for example), you can tear the skin or create wrinkles. Moreover, data provided by explains that using dirty makeup brushes and sponges can result in you pushing acne-causing bacteria deep into your pores.

The solution is to be gentle with your skin when washing, putting on makeup, and taking it off. Clean your makeup application tools each time you use them, and don’t store them in the open in the bathroom (did you know that each time you flush the toilet, spirals of bacteria are pushed up into the air, where they float around and land on things in your bathroom?). Keep any towels you use on your face and any tools in a closed compartment or in another room to avoid this.

Makeup Ingredients

Here’s where things are going to get even scarier. It turns out that a lot of common makeup ingredients are toxic and terrible for your skin. Not only that, but they can cause serious skin problems as well as a plethora of other health concerns and chronic illnesses related to toxicity, including hormonal problems and cancer. 

Avoid all of the following ingredients:

  • 1,4 Dioxane. This chemical is created when common ingredients react within makeup, so you need to avoid: sodium Laureth sulfate and PEG compounds,  as well as chemicals that have xynol, ceteareth, and oleth in the name.
  • Acrylates
  • Benzophenones. These are commonly used in products with an SPF. This chemical might be listed as benzophenone, sulisobenzone sodium, BP# (like BP#4), sulisobenzone, or oxybenzone. While it’s claimed that this chemical protects the skin from UV damage, it has actually been shown to react with sunlight to produce cancer-causing toxins.
  • Formaldehyde. This chemical might be listed as quaternium-15, cadmium, diazolidinyl urea, chromium, imidazolidinyl urea, ethylene oxide, DMDM hydantoin, mineral oil, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol, benzene, or phenacetin.
  • Carbon black. It might be listed as Carbon black, thermal black, D & C Black No. 2, lamp black, acetylene black, furnace black, or channel black.
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) or butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).
  • Ethanolamines compounds (MEA, TEA & DEA).
  • Parabens.

This list of toxic ingredients is only the beginning. It’s important to note that there are many common makeup ingredients that a large percentage of the population is allergic to. Even if a product doesn’t have the above ingredients, it might still be causing skin irritation, so it’s a good idea to pay attention and stop using any product that produces red, itchy, sore, swollen, or flaky skin.

Keep A Skin Diary

Keep a skin diary if you need help isolating factors that have affected your skin. Simply write down how your skin was throughout the day (e.g. the look and feel of it) and note any products you used as well as any unusual foods you ate. You’ll quickly discover patterns and can better respond to your skin’s needs.

The above information should have made it clear that makeup needs to be taken seriously. Without knowing it, you might be harming your skin. Proper application technique, tool hygiene, and ingredient awareness are needed to keep your skin healthy.

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.