What natural effects wearing makeup has on your face may depend on the type of products you use. In fact, the key to protecting your skin may lie in understanding the various cosmetic brands, the quality of their products, and what ingredients within the preparations are being soaked up by your pores.

Many of us now want to switch to so called ‘natural’ or organic brands, thinking that they may offer a better, kinder alternative for our skin. There is certainly a degree of truth that the fewer ingredients we put on our skin, the better it is for us. However, everything, natural or not, is a chemical and has the potential to cause irritation or cause a host of skin problems.

Just because a product is marketed as organic, doesn’t mean we won’t react to it. In some instances, the lack of preservatives in these organic products can mean they deteriorate quickly and then have the potential to breed bacteria faster, thus causing skin concerns.

For instance, oil-based makeups can cause or worsen such problems as acne scars on young adults, because of the bacteria and contamination oil attracts as it settles into your skin. For this reason, prevention requires daily cleansing using products designed to break up oily residue while restoring moisture and also regular cleaning and washing of any tools you might use to apply make up such as brushes, sponges or application puffs.


Dryness, caused by foundation, may produce tiny wrinkles which leads to possible infection and the appearance of premature aging. Makeup can age your skin in a number of other ways as well. Wearing too much foundation, powder or blusher on a continual basis, can prevent skin from tanning properly, which may cause areas of your face to appear slightly bleached, or have a mottled effect. However, this goes back to making sure you choose the right products for your skin age/type.

Bismuth Oxychloride, which is marketed as a natural ingredient in mineral cosmetics, has been under some scrutiny because of the complex series of processes it undergoes in order to become applicable to the face.

The concern, especially for women who have sensitive skin, is that it irritates, clogs pores, and leads to peeling. If you’re opting to choose mineral based brands of makeup, check the ingredient label before you buy, to ensure there is no Bismuth in it.

The same goes for products that contain talc. Whilst this can dry the skin, making it look aged and lined, there are also concerns about the health effects of breathing it in during the application process.


Although regulations have been established to ensure the safety of cosmetic products, many people have raised concerns about the rigidness of FDA standards. Demonizing all makeup would be overkill, since there are many people have worn it their entire lives with no negative effects to show.

On the other hand, plenty of reports have demonstrated the dangerous side effects of various cosmetics, especially when applied incorrectly to certain types of skin. Keep in mind chemicals, like formaldehyde and methylparaben, which are used in some cosmetics, have been linked to cancer and allergy problems. Lots of people have used these ingredients without issue, but some may be more sensitive than others. Concerns about parabens have been in the news more often in recent years, but removal of them from products has been problematical, with issues arising over the safeness and stability of cosmetics. Parabens are used to keep makeup products safe and bacteria free for as long as possible, and their removal may mean that cosmetics ‘go off’ much quicker, or cause skin problems.


Wearing makeup only occasionally and washing and moisturizing can go a surprisingly long way, as can making sure that cosmetics are removed thoroughly at the end of every day with a safe, mild cleanser, soap or face wash. The same goes for making sure makeup brushes are kept clean. Once a fortnight they should be washed in warm water with mild detergent and left to air dry overnight.

The movement to ditch makeup for good has been slowly gaining momentum over the past few years, thanks to the recent boost from well-known celebrities. Although no one can guarantee that makeup will have adverse effects, going without it is likely to promote healthier, cleaner skin.