Makeup No-Nos for Eczemaby Zainab Danjuma Patient Advocate
We live in an age of Snapchat filters and Insta perfection. Unfortunately, living with eczema means sometimes it’s a struggle to feel beautiful. With the itchy skin, flare ups, and scars often a cute doggy filter isn’t enough to lift our spirits.
Luckily, for us females (and males too, we don’t discriminate here!) there is this magical thing called makeup. We use it to enhance our features and disguise our perfect imperfections. Don’t let eczema stop you from being flawless!
To make the most of your products, here are five makeup no-nos you should avoid when dealing with eczema-prone skin:
1. Not starting with a smooth base
Exfoliating and moisturizing your skin is key to having gorgeous makeup, especially when you have eczema. Whether you use a face scrub or a washcloth, gently removing any dry or flakey skin on the surface should give you a smooth canvas to work with.
Your moisturizer should be soothing and keep your skin moist throughout the day. Be wary of face creams that are too thick or oily as they can sit on the skin instead of being absorbed and may not mix well with your foundation, leaving it looking streaky or sliding off through the day.
2. Using the wrong application technique
Some ways of applying makeup will just aggravate your skin even more. A few years ago, one of the most popular ways to apply foundation was to buff it into the skin. Taking a flat-top brush, you would use circular motions to blend. For those of us with sensitive skin, this method can be too harsh. Sometimes it can make the skin red due to friction, even with the softest of brushes. People with flakey skin (raises hand) would see patches of skin being lifted up, making the dryness even more noticeable.
Today, the beauty blender is top-of-the-list for foundation application. It’s unbelievably soft, causing minimal disturbance to the skin. Using it damp helps with maintaining moisture and bouncing the sponge over the face means less friction and therefore fewer flakey patches! Win-win!
3. Not color matching your foundation
It’s common knowledge to match your foundation to your jawline/neck. With eczema that might not be so simple. If you’re like me, your eczema has left you with a lot of discoloration and scarring so matching to your neck might not be the best option.
For me, my face is the lightest part of my body, followed by my chest, then my neck being the darkest in complexion shades. I choose a foundation shade that falls between my neck and face, so it balances out my overall appearance.
Makeup counters are always happy to offer advice on foundations, also giving out samples. Take as many samples as you need before you commit to buying. Pay close attention to the formula and how it wears throughout the day and also note how the shade looks in different lighting.
Irritated skin can also appear a lot redder. Use foundations or concealers with a warmer or more yellow tint to counteract the redness.
4. Choosing the wrong products for your skin type
Let’s face it, there are a lot of products out there catered to “sensitive” skin but not necessarily for eczema-prone skin. You and I are not just sensitive, we are hypersensitive and a lot of everyday things can irritate us. Alcohol and fragrances are some ingredients that are hard to avoid in many products.
Matte foundations and lipsticks are not very forgiving on dry skin, so aim for a demi-matte or satin finish for added moisture.
5. Being afraid to experiment
With everything I’ve said, it may seem like there’s no point even trying with makeup in fear of causing a flare up, but I’m telling you the complete opposite!
Experiment. Find things that work for you. If you don’t try you will never find the best products out there for you. Just be cautious — have a routine in place that allows you to care for and protect your skin while wearing makeup. Exfoliate, moisturize, remove, and moisturize again when the day is over.
Take advantage of samples and testers. Try new products on days when you’re not going out and see how your body reacts to them. If it’s not for you, try something else.
Now go forth! Contour, highlight, and flutter those falsies to your heart’s content!