Woman putting on mascara

Makeup Mistakes That Are Bad For Your Skin

One of the most commonly asked questions estheticians hear from clients goes a little something like this: “Is makeup bad for skin or is it clogging my pores?”

You do all the right things to care for your skin, but it still doesn't seem to be helping! From increased breakouts to redness or irritation, your skin woes might not be entirely related to your skin care routine at all but, in fact, might have plenty to do with your makeup routine. After all, when makeup sits on the skin for hours at a time, it makes sense that it would potentially affect the look and radiance of your skin! 

Is makeup bad for your skin? That answer really depends on whether or not you’re making these six makeup mistakes. 

Eminence Organics Makeup Mistakes Infographic

Makeup Mistakes You Want To Avoid

It happens to the best of us - some days we’re really good about taking care of our skin and others take a lot more effort. If you notice increased breakouts, exacerbated dryness or other signs of irritated skin, it might be due to any one of these common makeup mistakes:

1. Wearing Makeup To Bed

After a long day or night out, remembering to wash your makeup off before you head to bed sometimes feels like an insurmountable chore, but it must be done. Why?

Your skin produces oil and sebum naturally throughout the day. When it combines with makeup that’s been sitting in pores for hours at a time (not to mention any bacteria that’s come into contact with skin through touching the face or environmental pollution), there’s a major potential for breakouts. Clogged pores, dull complexion and increased blackheads are just some of the concerns you might experience when you go to bed without washing your face.

The best way to avoid these skin concerns is to do a double cleanse before calling it a night. An oil-based cleanser is best for breaking up and removing makeup, followed by a second cleansing using your favorite formula which goes to work deep within pores to eliminate impurities and any trace remnants of makeup after the initial cleansing.

Eminence Organics Rice Milk 3 In 1 Cleansing Water

2. Exercising In Makeup

Exercising is actually great for skin, but doing so with a full face of makeup can set you up for breakouts and irritation!

When sweat, oil and makeup combine, there’s an increased risk of clogged pores, dull complexion and uneven texture. Before heading to the cardio machine, give your skin a quick cleanse using a gentle yet effective formula like our Neroli Age Corrective Hydrating Mist which hydrates and moisturizes skin while cleansing and removing makeup.

3. Skipping An SPF Moisturizer

You know that sunscreen is essential for protecting skin against harmful UV rays, but did you know using a moisturizer with sunscreen gives your skin double the benefit? When skin is dry, makeup doesn’t apply well and it often dries skin out even further, leading to a dull complexion as well as increasingly visible fine lines and wrinkles.

Firm and hydrate skin with an SPF cream before applying makeup – especially using a formula that addresses specific skin concerns, such as a protective or corrective moisturizer.  

4. Using Expired Products 

You might have spent a pretty penny on that foundation or absolutely love the color of your favorite lip gloss, but if you’ve been using the products for six months to a year, chances are you’re using expired makeup.

It’s important to pay attention to expiration dates on cosmetics for a few reasons. First, aged or expired makeup doesn’t work as effectively due to the change in consistency or breakdown of active ingredients, such as SPF. Second, your skin could react to compromised ingredients. Irritation, inflammation, redness, bumps and even blisters have been known to crop up on skin when using expired cosmetics.

Bacteria growth is much likelier with expired products and, when applied to skin, could increase the risk of developing infections or swelling around the eyes, lips and skin. Always observe expiration dates on cosmetics and toss when they start to look a little suspect!

Woman applying lipstick

5. Applying Makeup On Dry Skin

Have you ever tried to apply lipstick to dry, flaky lips? You know the results are less than stellar.

Aside from the appearance, lipstick doesn’t apply as well to dry lips and, depending on the formula, could zap any traces of remaining moisture. The best way to keep lips plump and healthy is to use a hydrating balm before applying lipstick.

Dry lips can crack or become irritated, so always use a vitamin and antioxidant-rich lip balm that deeply replenishes moisture while also boosting collagen production.

6. Not properly cleaning tools 

When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes and tools? If it’s been longer than a month, then your breakouts or dull complexion could be the result of using dirty brushes.

Makeup brushes and sponges absorb oils, dirt and bacteria from the skin with each use – imagine going weeks or months without giving them a proper cleanse! Dirty makeup brushes have the potential to introduce bacteria and buildup to pores, jeopardizing the overall health of skin. Wash all makeup brushes and reusable sponges monthly – weekly if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Our Lead Skin Care Trainer, Natalie Pergar, tells us all about these makeup blunders, plus more, in her In The Mix video below: 



These are some of the most common makeup mistakes ruining skin – have we missed any? What are your tips for keeping your skin healthy and radiant? Share with us in the comments below or on social media.