This is what happens when you stop wearing makeup

There are plenty of reasons to love make up. It can help bring out our favorite features, hide flaws,
and make us feel more confident. And if we’re being honest, makeup is blast to play around with (hello, smokey eye YouTube tutorials). But as much as makeup can be a girl’s best friend, it may not be the healthiest thing to slather all over our faces on a daily basis.

This is what happens when you stop wearing makeup 1

Your pores will look smaller

Foundation, blush and bronzer might look nice, but underneath the surface, these tiny makeup particles accumulate in our pores with each wear. Along with all the air pollutants our skin is exposed to each day, dirt builds up, causing pores to become clogged and appear enlarged over time. Although there’s nothing you can do to actually change the size of your pores, going makeup free (and regular
facial cleansing) minimizes buildup inside the pores, making them appear smaller and giving your complexion a smoother finish.

You’ll experience fewer breakouts

The more makeup we use, the more toxins we’re putting on our faces – not to mention all the gross stuff that builds up on our makeup brushes that we know we’re not cleaning on a regular basis like we’re supposed to. All these germs not only clog pores, but they cause inflammation, which leads to more breakouts that we end up desperately trying to cover up with more makeup. “Makeup is the root cause of acne or skin problems for over 30 percent of my female patients,” dermatologist Dr. Ijaz Ahmed said in an interview with Tribune.

Fewer eye infections

Mascara will do way more than just make your lashes look longer. Unfortunately, most eye makeup contains preservatives that can cause conjunctivitis (a.k.a. pink eye), as well as other eye allergies that come with a slew of uncomfortable symptoms like redness, swelling, dryness and itching. Germs can also spread by sharing makeup.

Goodbye to dry skin

Makeup messes with our skin’s natural cell renewal process, which can wreak havoc on the skin, especially on those nights when we’re too tired to wash the makeup up off our faces. “One of the most basic problems that occurs when you don’t clean your face before bedtime is that natural skin sloughing, where dead skin is replaced with new cells, is impeded,” dermatologist Dr. Rachel Nazarian told Marie Claire. “Dead skin cells accumulate, leading to dull, dry skin.”

Fewer allergic reactions

Parabens, sulfates, and metals are all things that can be found in everyday makeup and skin care products. Unfortunately, they’re also part of the 3,700 substances known to cause skin allergies.

Reduce wrinkles

Although it may sound counterintuitive, the same makeup that you’re using to cover up wrinkles and blemishes may be making them worse, says dermatologist Dr. Robin Evans. Over time, makeup tends to settle into fine lines and wrinkles, which essentially just shines a spotlight on the very signs of aging you’re trying to hide. It’s like a telltale heart that gets louder the longer you try to cover it up. Everyone ages, so rather than trying to bury your age under layers of foundation, embrace your true face — you might be surprised at how much younger you actually look.

More sun damage

While rocking a naked face has some advantages, makeup isn’t always a sinister villain. For some women, the SPF in their foundation is the only source of sun protection they use on their face. In that case, Dr. Fayne Frey told me that going without makeup may increase their risk of sun damage. However, she adds that most women don’t apply their makeup thick enough or frequently enough to get the full SPF coverage advertised on their foundation. So makeup or no makeup, everyone should be using an additional sun-blocking moisturizer daily in order to actually ward off the harsh effects of the sun.

A renewed sense of power

Frye told me she tells her patients that makeup is actually fairly neutral. It’s something that’s fun to play around with to add color to your style palette, but the biggest benefit of not wearing makeup is more psychological than physiological. As a society, women are told that we need makeup, fillers or Botox, and that signs of aging are a bad thing. So instead of looking in the mirror and seeing ourselves, most of us look in the mirror and see our flaws. But the empowerment that comes from being able to look in the mirror and see the beauty in a naked face that is void of the paint that society tells us we need is the greatest benefit of all.

Your skin will stay younger

A lot of people think they need makeup to look younger, but you might actually be prematurely aging your skin by trying to cover up those wrinkles. The skin around your eyes is very sensitive, so you have to be careful when applying makeup or any other face products. “Rubbing and pulling on the delicate skin around your eyes causes eyelids to lose elasticity and become more wrinkled,” dermatologist Jessica Weiser told Glamour. Epidermologist Isabelle Bellis added, “The skin there is much finer than the rest of the face, so tugging can really damage collagen and break capillaries.”

You’ll have less bacteria on your face

If you’ve got a squeamish stomach, you might want to cut back on the makeup when you hear just how much bacteria is crawling around on it. Bacteria is, of course, all around us, but there’s a big difference between knowing it’s lurking under your toilet seat and deliberately smearing it all over your face. That’s pretty much what you’re doing every single time that makeup brush hits your skin.

You might lower your risk of cancer

Not to alarm you, but there’s a chance that makeup could actually cause cancer. “There are concerns with beauty products that contain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs),” Lorenzo Cohen, a professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center said in a post on the center’s website. “These chemicals may interfere with your hormonal system. While a direct link between EDCs and cancer is not yet definitive, certain cancers are hormonally-driven. Even a low dose should cause concern, especially if you use the product every day.”

Bye bye headaches

We tend to think of allergic reactions caused by makeup as being limited to skin breakouts and rashes, but adverse reactions can actually be a lot more varied. Since many beauty products are scented, the fragrances in them can trigger all sorts of unpleasant symptoms that you might not link back to your makeup.

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