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What Happens to Your Skin When You Stop Wearing Makeup?

What Happens to Your Skin When You Stop Wearing Makeup?

Unless you’re a beauty YouTuber, your makeup collection is probably collecting dust these days—or at least it’s getting way less (literal) face time. Whether that hiatus is permanent or temporary, you might be wondering how it’s affecting your skin. The short answer: positively. The long answer? Your skin needs to breathe and regenerate. Here’s what happens when you take a break.

What’s Inside Your Makeup?

According to a survey by the Environmental Working Group (EWG)1, on a daily basis, American women use an average of twelve personal care products that contain 168 different chemicals. And because most (if not all) of these products go directly onto the skin, those same ingredients can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. 

Researchers have found an array of nasty ingredients in products like asbestos, parabens, phthalates, lead, and formaldehyde. While those are especially questionable and definitely harmful, there are other ingredients that appear frequently in products reassuringly labeled “simple” or “natural.” (Spoiler: They aren’t.) Even the label “organic” can be confusing, because synthetic chemicals or petrochemicals—those that are obtained from petroleum—can still be in these products. To further complicate things, the cosmetics industry in the United States is not regulated as strictly as it is in Europe, where more than a thousand chemicals have been banned for use.

What Does Makeup Do to Your Skin, Anyway?

The cosmetics industry wouldn’t exist if it told you you were beautiful in your natural state. Brands count on your feelings of inadequacy to line their pockets. Constantly changing trends, impossibly attractive models, and unattainable beauty standards ensure customers keep coming back.

Pushing you to buy potentially toxic products (billed as “natural”) isn’t just dishonest, it could be legitimately harmful. Reactions to makeup are common, and range from clogged pores to hives. There’s even a kind of acne—acne cosmetica—that results from makeup, and can affect those who don’t usually get blemishes. Thought to be caused by the reaction of oils in your skin with the oils in makeup, it can trap you in an endless cycle of trying to cover up blemishes with the very products that are causing them. 

And it’s not just the makeup itself that messes with your skin. Brushes, jars, wands, and palettes can play host to all sorts of bacteria that clog and irritate your face. If you’re taking a break from your daily makeup, you’re giving your skin the chance to take a deep, clean breath. (Not to mention, you’re also saving time in your daily routine!)

But most importantly, there is serious power in going makeup free: Seeing your face sans bronzer, foundation, and highlighter means revealing all the uniquely beautiful spots, scars, freckles, and lines that make you you. Getting comfortable with yourself, exactly as you are, can be better than any new makeup haul. Really.

Reactions to makeup are common, and range from clogged pores to hives. Have you ever wondered what happens to your skin when you go makeup-free? | Ever wondered what happens to your skin when you go makeup-free? Pin now to see just how easy a natural glow can be.

Makeup-Free Skincare

Now that you’ve decided to give your skin a breather, it’s the perfect time to step up your skincare routine, ensuring every product you use has your complexion’s best interest at heart.

Start with a soothing double cleanse.  If you’ve never done this two-step process, it’s easy! Start with a cleansing oil to remove anything heavy—makeup, pollutants, sunscreen. Massage the oil into your face before wiping it away with a wet cloth. Next, use a  water-based cleanser to get anything you missed, before washing everything off and gently drying. This method is great for deeply cleansing your skin—allowing what you apply next to sink in and get to work. 

Follow-up with a pure, botanical serum. We recommend our gentle Vitamin C Serum to brighten your complexion, while Vitamin B3 Serum packs a hydrating, restorative punch to assist in supporting a healthy skin barrier. If you’re looking for radiance, Vitamin E Serum blends pure vitamin E from non-GMO sunflowers with other botanical oils for fresher, smoother skin. The combination of our Hyaluronic Acid Serum with your favorite natural moisturizer guarantees supple skin and a glow to boot.

And while your mascara and brow pencil are unused, it’s the perfect time to encourage longer, fuller, and thicker eyelashes and brows with Valentia Lash & Brow Serum

Now that you know how your skin can survive (and thrive!) without makeup, why not give it a try? 


1. (n.d.). The Toxic Twelve Chemicals and Contaminants in ... - EWG. Retrieved July 13, 2020,

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