So we were mindlessly scrolling Instagram (the way all good stories start now) when we saw about 15 different influencers posting things like: ‘Letting my skin chill until further notice’, ‘At least my make-up free face will be able to detox during quarantine’, and ‘The upside to isolation: not wearing make-up and giving my skin a break’.
We love the idea—but aren’t actually convinced if it is right. Listen, we know this is a pretty insignificant thing to think about in the midst of a pandemic. But here we are, and TBH, a lot of us are spending more time with our reflections than usual, stress is making us break out, and endless spare time is putting us into mask-applying overdrive. So it’s normal to wonder how our skin will change as a result of all this. We got the experts to give us a preview.
Bare Skin Doesn’t *Always* Mean Healthier Skin
First, this truth: most make-up isn’t intrinsically ‘bad’ for your skin. “So many foundations and even highlighters and blushes have skincare benefits now,” says NYC dermatologist Shari Marchbein, MD.
“Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E, niacinamide, SPF—some make-up ingredients can do wonders when it comes to hydrating and smoothing.”
“Make-up also forms a protective barrier on your face. Think of it like an insurance policy against pollution and dirt. And its iron oxides (the stuff that gives most tinted moisturisers and other products their colour) are one of the best ingredients out there for shielding skin from the inflammatory effects of blue light (aka the visible glow emitted from phones, tablets, and laptops)”, says Dr Shari. We know that sounds like a lot of...layers. And that you’re probs thinking, ‘But doesn’t my skin just need to breeeathe?’ Okay, but skin doesn’t actually ‘breathe’, and for the record, it doesn’t ‘detox’ either (that’s your liver’s job). It can get dry, congested, or irritated, which is why it is so important to use make-up that’s designed for your skin type and free of oils, fragrance, and formaldehyde, says New York-based dermatologist Morgan Rabach, MD.
So, if you’re wearing the right kind, make-up can actually help your skin—during the day, at least. The one time it is detrimental is at night. “That’s when skin renews and regenerates itself, and make-up impedes that critical process,” says Dr Morgan. So please remember to wash it off before bed. If you just can’t—we get it, we really do—then it’s true that for you, going bare is better.
Now About That ‘Staying Inside’ Part...
Theoretically, lounging in bed, binge-watching Netflix, is great for your face. “By staying inside, you’re limiting your exposure to UV rays
and pollution—two environmental aggressors that cause significant damage to skin,” says Dr Morgan.
But (you knew there was one coming) remember that blue light? All screens essentially shove it in your face. So, if you decide to go sans make-up and binge-watch (or just stay glued to your work computer), your skin could suffer with hyperpigmentation. If you don’t want to wear make-up, the best way to protect yourself is by layering on an antioxidant serum or mineral-based SPF, says Dr Shari. “That SPF will also defend your skin against any pesky UVA rays that may creep through your windows.”
The bad news is that going make-up free and staying inside isn’t a one-size-fits-all secret recipe for glowy skin.
The good news is that if you want to continue to live your best life in a full beat on your couch, go right ahead. And just remember to wash your face, give it some antioxidants and SPF, and...that’s it. Now you have one less thing to worry about during these wild times.
Make-Up That’s Good for You Stuff that will actually help your skin!
If your skin is dry,try...
Guerlain L’Essentiel Fluid Foundation, Rs 4,800
if your skin is oily,try...
The Body Shop Matte Clay Skin Clearing Foundation, Rs 1,295
If your skin is acne-prone, try...
Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup, Rs 2,650
If your skin is sensitive, try...
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF15, Rs 4,250