Does makeup age your skin

Does Makeup Age Your Skin?

You might have heard it several times that wearing regular makeup causes premature aging of the skin, you get more wrinkles and your skin will be seriously damaged. Is that true though?

Does makeup age your skin?

Makeup or foundation doesn’t age your skin but if you wear it in excess and never let your skin breathe, it can make it worse. A thick layer of a foundation prevents oxygen from getting to your skin and may cause various skin problems. But it is all much more about how you take care of your skin on a regular basis if you nourish it well. If you don’t, makeup can contribute to the harm with its part.

What Harm Can Makeup Cause

Wearing a heavy layer of foundation, especially if it’s not suitable for your skin type, may damage your skin, causing the following:


Having an oily layer on your face is not the same as having a healthy and youthful glow. It’s better to avoid oil-based foundations and go for water-based foundations, BB creams or CC creams. If you have oily skin then avoiding an oil-based foundation is a must. If your skin is dry, using oily makeup still doesn’t help. Your skin needs hydration so light moisturizing foundation combined with good cleansing helps you to achieve healthy-looking glowing skin.


In some cases, a foundation or powder may dry out your skin and make it look flaky and dull. Such skin products may also cause fine lines and wrinkles in your skin, explains the American Academy of Dermatology, which could cause an infection to develop. Dryness can also make your skin itchy. To solve this issue, apply a moisturizer a few minutes before the foundation or powder. A moisturizing foundation or powder will also help.


Foundation or makeup may or may not cause pimples or clogged pores, depending on your skin. Some people who wear makeup don’t have any problems. I have been wearing a light foundation on a daily basis for many years and haven’t noticed any problems caused by that.

However, a foundation or makeup can make your skin worse if you already have blemishes. Your pores might get clogged causing pimples. To prevent that, avoid oil-based foundations and makeups and go for non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic products that won’t clog your pores.

Does makeup make your skin older?

Heavy makeup may make your skin look older but it very much depends on the overall skincare and many other factors.

Wearing the right make-up actually protects the skin. If you use organic brands like Hauschka or mineral-based make-up like Reflectives, your skin gets nourished and protected and you don’t have to be worried about any negative side effects.

However, you must always remove your makeup before going to bed. Sleeping in makeup definitely does age the skin because the skin is supposed to regenerate at night and not the opposite.

Does Makeup Cause Aging - girl with makeup on

How much does sleeping in makeup age your skin?

Wearing the right make-up and skincare products protects the skin more than it damages it. I mostly use organic brands like Hauschka or mineral-based make-up like Reflectives.

What happens when you sleeping in makeup?

When you sleep in makeup, skin looks duller the next day because it couldn’t shed/exfoliate properly at night. That can also lead to dull rough skin, clogged pores, and small red bumps!

Do years of wearing makeup ruin your skin?

No, wearing makeup doesn’t ruin your skin if you use the right products suitable for your skin type and take care of your skin properly.

Modern cosmetics with high-quality ingredients can actually improve the skin and protect it from photoaging. Light foundations like BB and CC creams that contain sunscreen and ingredients that moisturize dry skin or control oily skin provide good skincare and on the skin that needs that type of help. Protecting your skin from sun exposure and keeping it hydrated are the most important factors that prevent your skin from having fine lines and wrinkles.

Having started using light foundations in my twenties, I haven’t experienced any damage or more pimples on my skin because of that.

My skin has a more even tone and makes a healthier look with the foundation on but it looks good without makeup too. I do have laugh lines around my eyes and two lines between my eyebrows but there’s no connection with makeup whatsoever.

There’s another question related to the regular use of makeup and it is a question you might be interested in as well.

Does makeup cause cancer?

There is no real evidence but some studies suggest phthalates contained in makeup may be related to breast cancer as they may disturb the endocrine system.

But there are also other chemicals to be avoided. Here’s a list of the potentially harmful ingredients you should try to stay away from:

  • Parabens
  • Petrolatum
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Siloxanes
  • PEG compounds
  • Dibutyl phthalate
  • Formaldehyde-releasing preservative
  • BHA and BHT
  • Coal tar dyes
  • Perfume
  • DEA-related ingredients
  • Triclosan

Here is a great website where you can check any of the ingredients in your cosmetic products to be sure it doesn’t contain any harmful substances:


How To Stop Wearing Foundation

If you want to stop wearing foundation and are concerned about how your bare skin looks, you can try tinted sunscreen, BB cream, or CC cream. They provide the same service i.e. they even out the color of your skin but aren’t heavy and often contain nourishing and anti-aging ingredients.

What Is The Difference Between BB Cream And CC Cream

BB cream (BB stands for beauty balm) is thicker and more oily. It is a tinted moisturizer that provides light coverage and often contains some anti-aging ingredients.

BB cream focuses more on maintenance and protection.

CC cream (CC stands for color correcting) is lighter in texture and less oily. It’s an improved version of BB cream, provides more coverage of age spots.

How to choose – BB cream or CC cream?

If you have oily skin and sensitive skin, it is recommended to use CC cream.

For dry to normal skin, it’s probably better to go for BB cream.

If you want to have a healthy glow, BB cream is better.

However, everyone is different and you have to find which one works best for you, trying it out.

And, there is also DD cream!

DD stands for daily defense and it’s supposed to provide both coverage and protection as well as some anti-aging ingredients. DD creams do not really cover, they rather even out the skin providing sheer coverage. They are like high-tech among foundations and primers.

So let’s get back to the initial question: does makeup age your skin or not?

In my experience, it doesn’t. Wearing a light foundation and natural-looking makeup for about 30 years, I have never noticed any signs of premature aging. I do have some fine lines around the eyes but they are natural in my age.

I have never applied foundation around my eyes and haven’t been using mascara so the wrinkles cannot be attributed to makeup.

Using light foundations, BB creams, or CC creams – or even DD creams – can actually help you protect your skin and provide some extra nourishment during the day.

2 thoughts on “Does Makeup Age Your Skin?

  1. Hi Sophie,

    Thank you for this excellent article, I really needed this. I am looking for a cream for my sensitive dry skin. The BB cream seems to be what I need. I will try it out. Just would like to know If I need to apply it after taking off my makeup or before putting my makeup? It sounds funny, but I’ve never used any cream. Just soap and water:)  

    Thank you again and looking forward to your response.

    1. Hi Daniella, 
      your skin must be very dry if you don’t use any cream at all! I can’t imagine that, I always use either a cream or oil at night when I clean my skin. 
      The BB cream is a tinted cream that can be used instead of makeup, it’s not as heavy as makeup and gives you a bit of glow. However, if you are not used to wearing makeup, you can just use a good moisturizing cream. I love Matrixyl 3000 cream that has great moisturizing properties.

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