Your Makeup Routine is Missing this 1 Skincare Step
We all want our makeup to look perfect. But most of the time, you’ll find it has less to do with the products themselves and more to do with how you prep your skin prior to makeup application.
Makeup sits best on clean, healthy skin. That’s why it’s important to follow a daily skincare routine that consists of a cleanser, toner, serum, and moisturizer (and SPF of course!). When your skin is smooth, hydrated, and healthy, your makeup will look that way too.
But there is a step you might be missing out on in your makeup routine...and it’s a step that could transform concealer and foundation application.
WHY YOUR MAKEUP ROUTINE NEEDS EXFOLIATION
That step we were just talking about? It’s exfoliation!
When dead skin cells accumulate on your skin’s surface, it can lead to dullness, clogged pores, breakouts, rough skin texture, and uneven skin tone. It also prevents your skin from properly absorbing skincare products.
Using a face scrub or exfoliating cleanser is a great way to keep your skin smooth and glowing, and allow makeup to glide seamlessly on. It’ll also make it last longer, too.
“I recommend that my clients gently exfoliate before makeup application,” says Los Angeles-based professional makeup artist Ruby Vo. She recommends exfoliating 2-3 times a week to buff away dirt, oil, and dead skin cells for skin that’s ready for makeup application. And, she says, all skin types benefit!
“If you have dry skin, exfoliating will help remove dry patches that you may have and if you have oily skin, exfoliating will help remove excess dead skin cells which tends to clog pores.” Exfoliation also offers brightening benefits, giving skin a natural radiance beneath your foundation, concealer, and blush.
Is your skincare regimen missing exfoliation? It’s never too late to start!
WHAT KIND OF EXFOLIATOR SHOULD YOU USE?
There are two kinds of exfoliators — physical and chemical. Physical exfoliators are products that manually remove dead skin cells, such as scrubs, loofas, and washcloths. Chemical exfoliators are products that rely on acids such as AHAs (glycolic acid, lactic acid) and BHAs (salicylic acid) to dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells.
Both can benefit the skin, but physical exfoliator is generally better preserved for the body rather than the face.
As Dr. Kelly Park of Lakeside Dermatology in Illinois puts it, “Physical exfoliants can be unnecessarily harsh and abrasive on the skin, leading to dryness and irritation.” Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, tend to be a little gentler on the skin.
“Over-the-counter [chemical exfoliants] are often gentle enough so there are minimal side effects, such as irritation and dryness, while still getting the benefits, whether it be smoother and brighter skin, or reduction in acne and discoloration,” says Park.
Whether you’ve got sensitive skin, oily skin, or acne-prone skin, you’re probably better off with a chemical exfoliant.
HOW TO EXFOLIATE YOUR SKIN BEFORE MAKEUP APPLICATION
Here’s a quick guide on how to exfoliate skin before putting on your makeup.
Step #1: Cleanse
Always start by cleansing your skin with a gentle face wash to remove dirt, oil, and impurities. You don’t want to layer makeup onto dirty skin, as this will only clog pores and trigger breakouts. For an intense clean, try double cleansing.
Step #2: Exfoliate
If you’re using an exfoliating cleanser, you can take out the first step. If you’re using an exfoliating toner, stay with the first step and then apply your toner using a cotton pad or ball. Prefer exfoliating serums? After cleansing, pat skin dry so that it’s only half-way dry and still a little damp (damp skin absorbs product better!). Then, massage your chosen serum into your skin, and let it absorb before applying any other products.
Step #3: Moisturize + Protect
Finish your skincare routine by applying a lightweight moisturizer or hydrating serum (with hyaluronic acid or niacinamide) followed by an oil-free sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. You can also apply an eye cream, retinoid, vitamin C serum, or face oil if they’re usually part of your routine or you’re currently dealing with puffiness.
WHAT ELSE CAN EXFOLIATION DO FOR YOU?
In addition to creating a perfect canvas for flawless makeup, exfoliation offers a slew of skincare benefits.
For starters, it can instantly brighten a dull complexion. By buffing away old, dull cells, you allow fresh, glowing skin underneath to unveil. Regular exfoliation can also treat dark spots and discoloration on the skin by removing pigmented cells and restoring your clearest skin.
There’s also research that proves certain exfoliating acids like glycolic and salicylic can be fundamental in the treatment of acne. And lastly, exfoliation also offers anti-aging benefits. By removing dead skin and promoting cell regeneration, exfoliation can help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, and prevent them from forming.
No matter what your skin concern may be, exfoliation can definitely help out.
BEST EXFOLIATING PRODUCTS TO ADD TO YOUR MAKEUP ROUTINE
Looking for the best exfoliator to prep your skin for flawless makeup application? Here are our favorites that you can shop now.
A resurfacing face + body mask made with glycolic acid and bakuchiol to brighten, smooth, and illuminate skin. While glycolic sweeps away dead skin and grime, antioxidant-rich bakuchiol stimulates collagen production and regenerates cells, promoting a smooth and even complexion.
An anti-aging formula that relies on active ingredients such as AHAs and red microalgae to resurface skin, blur wrinkles, and prep skin for a dewy makeup look.
A glossy gel mask formulated with glycolic acid and bakuchiol to brighten skin, lighten dark circles, and decongest pores. Bakuchiol is a gentle retinol alternative that provides just as many benefits without causing skin irritation or redness.
When it comes to prepping skin for foundation, always make sure you use your skincare products in the correct order and avoid applying thick lotions and creams, which only clog the pores and lead to blemishes. For best results, aim to exfoliate your skin 2-3 times per week. If you have sensitive skin, avoid exfoliating more than twice a week.
Skin needs regular exfoliation to look and feel its best, as any dermatologist will tell you. Start buffing your skin, start seeing better makeup results!