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A dermatologist explains how makeup can affect your skin – and why a good cleanser is key

Many months in isolation and working from home have meant that many of us took a break from makeup. As for me, I ditched  things like foundation a few years before that after I realised how improved my complexion could be sans the occlusion of makeup. It took me until my mid 20s to realise going makeup-free can have many benefits for certain skin types. And based on the beauty buying habits during the height of the pandemic, it seems many others came to the same realisation.

But now that some of us are heading back into the office and parties are back on, how can hold on to our happy and healthy skin whilst also wearing foundation again?

On behalf of Nude by Nature skin and makeup, we spoke to Dr Annika Smith who gave us all her best skincare tips. She says that your moisturiser and prep - like Nude by Nature's Daily Moisturising Lotion - shouldn't have to change. But mindful cleansing, and working with your skin type are keys to a balanced complexion. Below, see her advice.



Does your skincare routine need to change if and when you're wearing makeup?

No, the staples of a good moisturiser, antioxidant preparation and sunscreen should remain regardless of whether you are wearing makeup or not during the day. Avoid excess layering of products which can lead to “piling” and affect application and adherence of makeup and also lead to skin irritancy and other issues.


What sorts of skincare products and habits should we pay more attention to when wearing makeup regularly?

I think incorporating a good cleanser is key if you are wearing makeup regularly.

Cleansing (particularly in the evening), serves the purpose of removing makeup, dirt, oil and grime accumulated throughout the day and provides a clean palette for overnight skin preparations and actives to work upon. A gentle morning cleanse comes down to personal preference, but can assist in priming the skin for the day, removing any residual product from overnight and providing a clean palette for the AM preparations.

The frequency of cleansing depends on your skin type, condition and activity throughout the day. Once a day is generally suffice, but this comes down to personal preference. Avoid over zealous cleansing, which in any skin type can lead to irritancy and dryness.


I personally find that when I wear makeup every day I breakout a lot more. Why is this?

Breakouts can occur due to a number of reasons including skin type, hormonal factors, occlusive factors (i.e. masks, makeup), underlying medical conditions, medications and also formulations and/or ingredients in skincare/makeup products may contribute. Often these issues are multifactorial and it is best to see a medical professional or dermatologist to better explore what may be driving one’s breakouts and how best to remedy this. There is no one size fits all approach to skincare. Always trial a new ingredient or product on your forearm for several days in a row to see if it agrees with your skin.


What can we do to prevent makeup-related breakouts?

If you are prone to breakouts, acne or have an oily skin type, choosing skin care and makeup products that are oil-free and noncomedogenic is key, as is avoiding known contact allergens or irritants if you have had prior issues with certain skincare ingredients. Again it is best to seek professional guidance on this front, to work out what may be best for your own individual set of circumstances.


Many of us over lockdown got used to not wearing makeup, how can we ease back into it while preserving our skin?

I am a strong proponent for keeping one’s skincare regime simple, including makeup. I agree with easing your skin back into it- opt for lightweight makeup formulations, cleanse the skin well with a formulation that best suits your skin type and give your skin some “makeup free” days. Lockdown and the pandemic may have forced us to pare down our skin-care and makeup routines which ultimately I think is a good thing.


Are there any makeup products that you would universally recommend avoiding?

I would always recommend avoiding known allergens or irritants if you have had prior issues with them previously and I would encourage consumers to scrutinise the ingredients list on skincare and makeup products so you know exactly what is going on your skin and the active ingredients at play. I am a strong proponent for keeping the skincare regime, including makeup, simple. If you are not sure about the compatibility of a product with your skin or are having issues with your skin, always seek professional medical advice.


What's the skincare question that you are asked all the time?

What’s the best anti-ageing addition to the skin care regime? And my response is always sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen…SPF 50+ broad spectrum, your skin will thank you for it!


What's your best piece of summer beauty advice?

Sunscreen and all the other key components of sun-protection: hats, sunglasses, sun-protective clothing and seeking shade.

And along with sunscreen, stick to your skincare staples of a good moisturiser and use of an antioxidant preparation in order to protect from external environmental aggressors such as UV radiation.


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