What happens when you wear too much makeup


How do you know if you’re
wearing too much makeup? And does it matter? These are the questions I set out
to answer when I researched and spoke with dermatologists and beauty experts
about our relationship with the stuff we put on our faces.
What I learned is that
“too much” makeup is pretty subjective. Our definitions will be
different. However, there are some risks and possible complications that come
from caking on the blush and foundation. The more makeup you wear, the more
likely it is that you’ll experience one of these results.
Say hello to clogged pores

Makeup covers our pores, so
the more we put on the harder it is for our pores to breathe. When the pores on
our faces are covered up, it can lead to skin irritation and breakouts.
“The most likely outcome
of wearing too much makeup is clogged pores and irritated skin,” Diane
Elizabeth, beauty expert and founder of Skin Care Ox, told me. “Many of
the ingredients in makeup products, from natural ingredients like coconut oil
to synthetic silicones and petrochemicals, are highly comedogenic or pore
clogging. Highly comedogenic ingredients get trapped in our pores, along with
dirt and bacteria, and cause blackheads and breakouts.”
If you do enjoy playing around
with a lot of makeup, make sure to wash your face well each and every night to
give your pores some free time.
You’ll be at risk for

Your face isn’t the only thing
you should be cleaning. How clean is your makeup bag? Our makeup can start to
grow bacteria after just one use. Makeup tools that go near your eyes, like
mascara wands, are especially vulnerable to developing harmful bacteria. So
much of our makeup touches entrances to our bodies, like the eyes and mouth, so
we can ingest that bacteria and become sick. The more makeup you use, the more
chances you have to become infected.
To prevent this, make sure to
toss any old makeup and never share products or tools with friends.
Your wrinkles could look worse

The more we touch our skin and
apply makeup, the more at risk we are for wrinkles. “Rubbing and pulling
on the delicate skin around your eyes causes eyelids to lose elasticity and
become more wrinkled,” Dermatologist Jessica Weiser told Glamour.
So as you put on more and more
makeup, that delicate skin around your eyes is getting pulled and tugged,
leading to more wrinkles. “The skin there is much finer than the rest of
the face, so tugging can really damage collagen and break capillaries,”
Isabelle Bellis, holistic facialist, told Glamour. When it comes to applying
makeup around your eyes, less is more.

You could be at risk for side

Many of us are so concerned
about cleaning up our diets and replacing conventionally-grown food with
organic, but what about our makeup products? Depending on what products you
use, you’re exposing your skin and body to toxins every morning. The more
makeup you use, the more toxins you’re exposed to.
“As a dermatologist, we
live and breathe cosmetics and personal care products,” Dermatologist
Steve Xu told Time. “I get asked every day, ‘What is safe to use?'”
Dr. Xu and his colleagues
studied the makeup-related complaints reported to the Food and Drug
Administration. During the 12-year period they studied, there were 5,144 health
complaints from cosmetic products! Make sure to do your research and don’t
overdo it.
You will need more makeup

When you wear a lot of makeup,
you need more remover to wash it off every night. However, your cleanser could
be leaving harmful residue on your face. Not all makeup removers are
created equal, so make sure to read about the ingredients in that bottle before
using it every night. 
“Although quick and easy
to apply, many makeup removers contain active cleansing ingredients, which may
remain on the skin unless washed off,” Dermatologist Susan Stuart told the
Huffington Post. “If they remain, the residue from them may expose the
skin to excess amounts of various chemicals including emulsifiers and
surfactants. These can dry the skin and also irritate it. Some of them also
contain various preservatives including formaldehyde, which can be an
allergenic, as well as fragrances.” 
Start by using less makeup, so
you don’t need too much cleanser.
You may feel more

Makeup can help you feel fun
and beautiful, but once we start relying on it to feel good, we’ve just crossed
into unhealthy territory. If you find yourself using a lot of makeup just to
feel okay enough to leave the house, it’s time to really examine your
relationship with it.
According to a study from the
Society for Personality and Social Psychology, women who feel self-conscious
and more concerned with their appearance tend to wear more makeup than those
who rate higher in self-esteem. If you’re concerned that you may be using
makeup for your self-confidence, slowly start weaning yourself off and see how
you feel.
Or you could feel more

There is nothing wrong with
feeling good about getting dressed up and doing your makeup. Wearing a lot of
makeup can give you a temporary confidence boost. This could be helpful before
a first date or work presentation, when you may be feeling a little nervous.
The trick is to enjoy these good feelings without becoming dependent on your
A study in the Journal of
Social Psychology studied the body image ratings of female college students
with and without their makeup. They found that the study participants felt
better about themselves when they wore makeup. Interestingly, the more makeup they
wore, the larger the contrast in their body images between their two looks. In
other words, the more makeup they wore, the better they felt about themselves,
but without the makeup, they felt that much worse.
You’ll feel more grownup

Learning to do your own makeup
is a rite of passage for us women. Who among us doesn’t remember standing in
front of a crowded mirror in the girls’ bathroom in sixth grade, smearing on
way too much eye shadow and Lip Smackers?
So what happens when you wear
too much as an adolescent? A study in the Journal of Consumer Behavior found
that it actually helps you separate from your childhood and start to transition
to adulthood! So if your daughter’s heavy blue eyeshadow and sparkly lip gloss
is driving you crazy, just remember she’s going through an important milestone.
You could be ovulating

If you find yourself putting
on more makeup than usual, check the calendar. A study in The Psychological
Record found a link between women’s menstrual cycles and their makeup use.
According to researchers, women use the most makeup around the time of
ovulation. Perhaps this is nature’s way of helping you feel more attractive
during your most fertile time.
People may judge you

Makeup can be a hot button
issue. When a model posted her before and after makeup looks on Reddit,
the commenters went a little crazy, even going so far as to call women
“deceitful” for wearing too much makeup. When you wear too much makeup,
you can start to look like a completely different person. It’s your face, so
you should embrace any makeup techniques you like, but remember to play up your
natural beauty, rather than covering it up.
“Any time I am doing a
makeover, I always have this idea in my mind: ‘When wearing makeup you should
look like you at your most beautiful.’ Emphasis on looking like YOU,”
Makeup Artist Courtney Marzilli told Bustle. “That being said, makeup
should be fun and used as an outlet for people to get creative, do something
daring. Who are we as makeup artists to gauge what is too much or too little
for someone?”
Maybe nothing happens

When it comes down to it,
wearing too much makeup may put you at higher risks for some of these
complications, but at the end of the day, it may not be a big deal.
“There aren’t really any
lasting effects from wearing too much makeup,” Dermatologist Alan Parks
told me. “If you wear a lot of makeup, or if you don’t take your makeup
off at night, it could lead to acne problems, because the makeup could clog
your pores. You should also make sure you wash your makeup brushes and throw
away old makeup, as this could lead to skin irritation or acne as
Bottom line? Do what feels
good to you. If you do end up with issues, they can be repaired.
How to repair your skin

So if you’ve decided that you
like the heavy makeup look, rock on. Just make sure to care for your skin in
the process. “Removing makeup is the first step to clear skin. From the
best skin, you get the best makeup,” Owner of MG Beauty Mindy Green told
me. “At night you should be applying eye cream and anti aging serums, and
you can’t with makeup on.”
When you wear any amount of
makeup, it is crucial to the health of your skin that you completely remove it
every night. “The best way to remedy this is to wash off your makeup at
night,” said Green. “If you’re too tired to go to the sink, have
makeup remover wipes by your nightstand.”
Once you’re in the habit of
washing your face every night, start to incorporate weekly exfoliation to
really help your skin shine. “The key is to gently exfoliate your skin
weekly. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, unclogs pores, and clears away any
remaining makeup residue,” explained Elizabeth. “Clay masks are the best
exfoliation method for most skin types because they are non-abrasive, great at
pulling out gunk from clogged pores, and don’t contain harsh chemicals. Try a
simple DIY clay mask of Bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar, and pure aloe. The
aloe helps to kill bacteria and soothe irritated skin which is perfect for
acne-prone skin types.” Care for you skin, then wear as much or as little
makeup as you like!

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.