We all want to look our best, but did you know that how you use makeup could actually be making your skin worse?
Knowing what skincare and makeup products have the best ingredients that are most compatible with your skin can be trial and error, and it’s not surprising, so many of us get it wrong.
Part of the reason I founded Qyral was to increase transparency in the skincare industry and help educate people about the ingredients they use. Check out these top makeup mistakes to find out if your routine needs a makeover.
1. Sleeping in your makeup
We’ve all done it — at the end of a long day, sometimes you’re too tired (or tipsy!) to bother taking your makeup off. However, sleeping in your makeup is one mistake that can cost you when it comes to outbreaks and even signs of premature aging.
Your skin needs time to replenish, and while you’re sleeping, your cells are busy renewing themselves as part of the cellular turnover cycle. When they’re covered by makeup, they can’t do that. Old, dead skin hangs around longer, making your complexion dry and dull — and worse.
The accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface can cause the underlying collagen structures to sag and collapse, leading to lines, wrinkles, and folds.
Sleeping in your makeup also leads to clogged pores. Pores are vital for the production of skin oil and sweat, but if dead skin and makeup don’t get washed away, they can end up blocked, which causes them to expand and look unsightly.
Removing your makeup and cleansing your skin each night ensures that your skin is free from irritants that can cause breakouts and supports your cellular turnover cycle, leading to clearer, younger looking skin.
Related: Best Face Wash for Oily Skin
2. Applying the wrong products
Is your skin dry, sensitive, oily, combination, or normal? Let’s face it; your skin probably doesn’t fit neatly into any of those categories all the time, for every brand.
One product can make your dry skin feel super soft, while a similar formulation can leave your face red and raw by the end of the day. That makes picking out the right makeup products for your skin a matter of trial and error.
My advice: Don’t rely on what the bottle says about who a product is for. Instead, look at the ingredients and how they work for you.
For example, if your skin is already dry, applying any alcohol-based formulations, such as some makeup removers, will only exacerbate that dryness, leading to tight, tender skin that feels sore and inflamed.
It’s also important to remember your skin has a natural balance it’s always trying to maintain in order to stay healthy. Products aimed at oily skin types will contain lots of ingredients designed to strip away excess oil, but your skin needs some oil in order to stay supple and hydrated.
Removing too much will have the unwanted effect of driving your skin to produce even more oil to compensate, exacerbating the problem instead of solving it. If you do not see the results you expect from a product, then it probably isn’t right for you.
While your skin does need time to adjust to new products before you see their full effects, if you’ve always been plagued by dry or oily skin, despite using makeup formulations designed to alleviate those problems, then it’s time to switch to something new.
3. Using products with toxic ingredients
We might be shocked to hear that people used to lighten their skin using lead-based makeup, but many of us might be accidentally dosing ourselves with toxic ingredients through our skincare products.
Cosmetics are not FDA approved, and the legal responsibility to ensure the safety of products on the market is left to the manufacturers themselves.
That’s a problem because our skin is incredibly absorbent, and much of what it absorbs ends up in our bloodstream. Just because something is safe to get on your skin doesn’t mean you want it circulating through your internal organs.
Known carcinogens — cancer-causing chemicals — are frequently used in beauty and skincare products, from formaldehyde in nail polish to paraffin (aka mineral oil) in everything from lip gloss to cleansers.
Hormone disruptors are also common: phthalates, used in scented products, and parabens (preservatives), have both been associated with serious side-effects such as early puberty, decreased (male) fertility, and breast cancer.
That’s why I made transparency a cornerstone of Qyral’s philosophy. As well as avoiding harmful ingredients, we’re always open about what is in your skincare formulation and what purpose those ingredients serve.
It’s not just our bodies we’re harming with cosmetic products, either. Microplastics, such as the tiny beads found in exfoliants and shimmering or glossy products, are having a catastrophic effect on marine ecology, and those hormone disruptors and other chemicals don’t only affect humans.
That’s why it’s important to know what ingredients are in all your skincare products and what effect they have on your body and the wider world.
4. Not getting enough sun protection
According to experts, UV damage from sunlight can contribute as much as 80 percent of the premature aging symptoms on your skin, yet most foundations still don’t contain SPF. Even if you are using makeup with SPF, you’re probably overlooking your neck, chest, arms, and hands. You should use sunscreen on all your exposed skin, applying it at least 30 minutes before exposure, and reapplying periodically throughout the day.
Getting into the habit of regularly applying sunscreen will protect your skin from a host of unwanted damage, such as wrinkles, dryness, discoloration, redness, and roughness. It may even protect you from developing skin cancer in the future.
That makes applying sunscreen a simple but effective way of keeping your skin looking younger and actually staying healthier.
Even if you live in cooler climates, it’s still important to use sunscreen because UV light can still reach us, even through clouds. When choosing the right sunscreen for your skin, pay attention to the SPF factor.
The number refers to how much longer you can stay in the sun than if your skin wasn’t protected. Using SPF 15 (the FDA’s minimum recommended strength) means you can stay outside for 15 times longer than normal before you’re at risk of sunburn. That means if you have sensitive skin that burns in just 10 minutes, with SPF 15, you can remain outside for around two hours.
5. Skipping a primer
No matter how good your skincare and makeup routine, if you’re missing a primer, then you’re not getting the best results.
Primers are typically gels or creams that prepare your skin to receive makeup by filling all the tiny cracks, pores, wrinkles, and creases and covering imperfections like flaky skin and acne. The smooth surface primers create, holds makeup really well, without highlighting or exacerbating flaws.
Related: Best Primer for Oily Skin
Makeup doesn’t just look better with a primer underneath; it also lasts longer. Say goodbye to running, smearing, or cracking.
Primers are usually silicone-based or water-based and correct for a number of common skin complaints, such as dryness, oiliness, or redness. Silicone primers leave your skin feeling super smooth and soft, while water-based primers will hydrate your skin, leaving it dewy and reducing shine.
Related: Best Primer for Dry Skin
You can even use primer without the top coat of makeup if you want the skin-smoothing benefits with a more natural look. Just remember to always wash your face in the evening!
Whatever your makeup routine, it’s worth learning how the products you’re using affect your skin in order to look great without accidentally causing more breakouts and flare-ups.
At Qyral, we believe in nourishing your skin at a cellular level, and knowing how to keep your cells happy will keep your whole complexion looking youthful, vibrant, and healthy.