Beauty

How to Save Your Skin from Halloween Makeup

Planning an elaborate face paint situation? An esthetician helps you keep scary skin reactions at bay.

For once, you aren’t scrambling to put together a Halloween costume. You have your costume locked down (even the shoes), and have landed on the Instagram inspiration for a dramatic makeup look. You’ve thought of everything, right? Well, maybe. But there’s a good chance you’ve ignored a plan to protect your skin while piling on layers of pore clogging stage makeup or silicone.

I caught up with Natalie Burt, an esthetician at House of Preservation, to discuss how to make sure your elaborate Halloween look doesn’t result into scary breakouts.

Makeup ingredients to avoid

Reading the ingredients, especially on costume makeup, is key. Burt’s rule of thumb: if you can’t pronounce it, Google it before you apply it on your face.

She recommends staying away ingredients like talc and mineral oil because they’re comedogenic, which is a fancy way of saying that they clog your pores. Although you may be going for an after-death look this Halloween, formaldehyde (often used to preserve dead bodies for funerals) is an ingredient you’ll also want to avoid.

Normal skin can usually handle these ingredients for a night with the right prep, but those with sensitive or acne prone skin should definitely be weary, according to Burt. A spot test can be used as well to see how skin reacts to products.

skincare products available at House of Preservation
skincare products available at House of Preservation
Elizabeth Lavin

Prepping the Skin

For those who want to get a head start on prepping, they can begin by using a chemical exfoliant two to three times the week of their Halloween makeup application. But for the evening, Burt recommends three steps: double cleanse, moisturizer, and a barrier cream.

Double cleansing, a method of washing your face first with an oil-based cleanser preceded by a water-based cleanser, will ensure you’re not applying product on dirty skin. Follow with moisturizer and add a barrier cream or quality primer that contains silicone. Burt explains that the barrier cream is essential because it acts as a protective layer, so Halloween makeup can sit on top of the skin instead of seeping into pores.

Aftercare

A night of heavy makeup (and likely a couple of mixed drinks) will probably leave your skin feeling sensitive, tingly, and dehydrated. Prepare to have your nighttime routine take a little longer to ensure your skin is completely clean. Once again, start with a double cleanse. If you skipped the chemical exfoliant during the week, Burt says that it’s a good idea to start now. This will promote cell turnover in the skin. She recommends Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta skin pads. Follow that up with your favorite nighttime serum, such as Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier by Skinceuticals to promote moisture. Finish with a night cream.

If that’s all a bit much after a night out (fair!), Burt recommends at least doing the double cleanse. At the very least, you’ll have properly removed your makeup (no, a makeup wipe isn’t enough). If you wake up with dry or irritated skin, Burt advises a spritz of Fitish Beauty Cool Down, invented by Dallas radio personality Jenna Page Owens. The CBD-infused spray calms redness and inflammation.

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