Don’t Let Your Skin Get Spooked This Halloween

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine…

pumpkinsHalloween is a time where adults, teens and children go all out to achieve the perfect costume. One of the best ways to get into character includes putting on makeup and painting your face to look like a vampire, zombie, ghost and most popular this year, the Joker.

While it is fun and thrilling to transform into another character, a dermatology expert from Baylor College of Medicine warns that wearing heavy Halloween makeup can cause side effects like acne breakouts and allergic reactions. 

Applying Halloween makeup

Dr. Rajani Katta, dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at Baylor, offers tips on how to keep your skin from turning into a nightmare this Halloween:

  • Use water-based instead of oil-based makeup or face paint.
  • Properly clean your face at night.
  • Test makeup on a patch of skin before applying it to the entire face.
  • Consider using your own makeup instead of trying new products.
  • Remember sensitive skin when shopping for costumes.

“Sometimes the wrong kinds of makeup can make your skin break out more, and if you have sensitive skin some of the ingredients can even irritate your skin or trigger allergic reactions,” Katta said. “When we see allergic reactions to makeup it is usually from ingredients such as fragrance additives or preservatives that are used in the makeup.”

Katta advises those with sensitive skin to apply a small amount of the makeup to their forearm for one week before applying it on the face. She warns that common allergic reactions like contact dermatitis will not show up immediately but instead may occur a few days after wearing a new product.

“Some people think they will put on a lipstick and it will start burning immediately if they are having an allergic reaction, but contact dermatitis usually shows up about two to three days later,” Katta said.

For those who are prone to acne breakouts, Katta advises purchasing makeup labeled as non-comedogenic because it reduces the chance of clogging the pores.  

“Some of the makeup at costume stores or big retailers may be oil-based, and that can clog your pores and make your acne worse,” Katta said.

Removing Halloween makeup

An essential way to avoid further breakouts, skin irritation or an allergy is to immediately wash the Halloween makeup off your face when the night is over. Katta recommends using a “double cleansing” method by using a makeup remover followed by a face wash that is suitable for your skin type.

“A lot of Halloween makeup is a heavier kind of makeup and regular soap and water may not take it all off,” Katta said. “Oil-based or waterproof makeup can stay put and is harder to remove, so you’re going to need something that is specifically formulated to remove makeup.”

pumpkinUsing a water-based face paint or makeup will be easier to remove than products that are oil-based, she said. If you choose to use oil-based makeup, she recommends using an oil- or cream-based makeup remover to help dissolve the product.

It is not always easy to know what product or ingredient will irritate your skin. If you have a history of allergic reactions or acne breakouts on your face, Katta recommends using makeup you are used to instead of experimenting with new makeup for Halloween.

“Consider not experimenting with different kinds or brands of makeup by sticking with your own products and using them in a different way,” Katta said. “The key is to be careful about any new products you are using, especially if you have sensitive skin.”