Taking a Break from Makeup-Is Detox Really a Thing?

The concept of letting your skin detox or breathe by not wearing makeup is a question people have been asking for years. There are things like makeup free selfies and such, but should you really be going barefaced more often than not?

The answer boils down to one thing:

Your makeup hygiene-both physically…and mentally.

To start, while actually wearing makeup isn’t necessarily bad for your skin, not taking it off properly definitely is. Be sure to use a point makeup remover in the evenings to remove stubborn mascara and lip color.Take care to not tug at your eyelashes or the skin in the delicate eye area. Soak a cotton pad in the remover and hold it to your eyes for 30 seconds or so-it should come off without a hitch after that!

Oil cleansing is the next step in properly removing makeup and other oil-based impurities. Gently massage it onto your face, giving it a minute or so to work before emulsifying it in water. If you are too lazy to use a point makeup remover, you can let the oil cleanser work on your mascara while you massage the rest of your face. By the time you come to the lash area, the oil cleanser will have already started working! Lastly, use a gentle and low pH cleanser to wash away water-based impurities like sweat.

An astonishing number of people I know are not absolutely religious about removing every last trace of makeup from their skin every night. This can lead to dryness, enlarged pores, breakouts, and more prominent fine lines and wrinkles.

Wearing makeup during the day, even if it is 7 days a week, isn’t bad for your skin if you are sure to take it off properly every night. It is only when it stays on for a prolonged period of time that makeup begins to cause problems.

Another thing to consider is the quality of your makeup. Be sure to look at ingredients lists and listen to your skin about what formulations and ingredients work best for you individually.

Over the last few years, there have been countless articles about people going weeks and months without wearing makeup-even beauty editors at magazines! And while, they say their skin maybe cleared up or looked better than it had in awhile a) were they diligent followers of an Asian skincare routine? b) what kind of makeup were they using exactly (a thick, pore-clogging foundation or BB cream or…?), and c) were they really truly properly cleansing their skin every.single.night?

I am by no means discrediting their skin-related gains. I’ve done my own makeup breaks as well and have seen improvements and lack thereof before. What I see commonly (and have experienced for myself) is one common theme: they discover why they wear makeup.

I think that for a lot of us, especially in the blogosphere, makeup is not only a habit but a hobby. I personally enjoy spending time playing with textures and looks and will gladly wake up earlier to start my day doing something I (freaking) love. But for a lot of these people who you can read about online in numerous articles, they realize they wear makeup for entirely different reasons than they thought.

People will say they wear makeup to “enhance natural beauty” which yes, is a totally valid point. Yet when they stop wearing makeup for x amount of time, they realize its more about a self-esteem problem: like somehow they will offend someone with their bare face or its common cultural courtesy to never let that chin-zit-friend see the light of day. After they complete their makeup free challenge, they often realize that they were putting humongous pressure on themselves from such a habitual routine (such scientific and official sounding adjective huh?). Many participants report that they had never gone sans makeup to work before and literally felt like they couldn’t. 

Most of these articles (and we’ve all read probably over one hundred in the past year and a half am I right?) end with the participants feeling more comfortable in their own skin, having proved to themselves that the world won’t end, or at least (most) people won’t comment on or even notice a bare face. The majority of the time it seems that naked skin gets all sorts of “glowing/radiant/natural/fresh” type compliments.

I honestly think that going makeup free is more of a mental-health detox than a physical one (provided your cleansing and makeup quality). Modern society and technology puts a lot of pressure and unrealistic expectations on people. I feel like people lose connection between each other and with themselves. They lose touch with how they are really feeling and just get lost in the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life to avoid confronting hard things. People start to hide behind makeup for acceptance, not from others, but from themselves.

Being in the trenches of “Purge-atory,” and on the brink of  graduation and a big career change (not to mention just being in my early twenties), I think I might need to take another break. While makeup is something that truly brings joy into my life, that isn’t to say on a bad breakout day, that full coverage foundation and 30 min of spot-concealing work is for my “purgey-pimples” alone. It might also be covering up some deeper emotional “zits” as well.

Ok, my corny self is back 😛

To put it simply, how many of us would go into a high-stakes, dream-job interview without a killer cat-eye and our favorite lipstick on? How much of our confidence is tied to a great skin day and spot-on contouring? How much of that coveted “me time” to put “your best face forward” is so much a thing done for sheer enjoyment in and of itself or something that generates your confidence to make you feel like you have your “best face forward.” Its a somewhat subtle distinction, but it makes you think…

Who might be down for a makeup free makeover? Have you ever done one of these breaks? What are your thoughts both on this topic and seeing this sort of post?

Stay beautiful and stay strong my lovelies. And may your brows be as bold as you are 🙂



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