The icky truth about wearing makeup in hot weather

The scorching summer sun and a flawless face of makeup don’t always go hand in hand. It’s a combination that strikes fear into the hearts of makeup lovers everywhere!

There are some harsh truths about wearing makeup in hot weather. reveal what happens when you wear makeup in heatwave and how to keep your skin healthy when wearing makeup is an absolute must.

According to recent surveys 39% of women said they wear makeup daily. For those that do, skin care in the summer should be a balance of preventative and post procedures.

Studies show that the effect of temperature on the skin results in increased sweat production, increased water loss reduced skin pH, and more sebum production. This can be increased when wearing makeup.

Four things that happen when you wear makeup in hot weather

So why is wearing makeup in warm weather so bad for your skin? Let’s look at four things that happen when you do.

1) You increase the likelihood of acne breakouts

Acne is a skin condition that happens when hair follicles under the skin become clogged. Excessive heat and humidity when wearing makeup can be a recipe for disaster. Pores play a vital role in expelling oil and sweat from the skin.

With sweltering heat and occlusive makeup combined they increase the chance of pour blockage with sweat, oil, bacteria, and dead skin, resulting in the emergence of acne and breakouts. To avoid pore blockage, opt for makeup products labelled as ‘non-comedogenic’. These products contain ingredients that don’t clog the pores in your skin.

2) You risk getting an eye infection

Eye infections from come from bacteria, fungi (plural of fungus), parasites and viruses entering the eye environment. In extreme levels of heat, 40c and above certain makeup products can melt or smear easily on the surface on your skin.

Contact throughout the day to your face and eyes with loosely adhering makeup could potentially lead to eye irritation or an infection. Contact lens wearers must exercise additional caution to keep their eyes safe when using older mascara as bacteria can grow in warmer temperatures. Throw it away after six months use to protect yourself.

3) You decrease the moisture levels in your skin

When it’s hot, the heat sucks the moisture out of your skin, just like a sponge dries out in the sun. Makeup also acts as a cover on your face that holds in the oils and sweat. Wearing heavy makeup makes this even worse, as it stops your skin from absorbing the moisture in the air. This can leave your skin feeling very dry.

Typically, dry skin poses no significant harm. However, neglecting proper care for dry skin can potentially contribute to the onset of certain conditions such as atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema. Excessive dryness can trigger the activation of this condition, resulting in the development of a rash and the skin becoming cracked.

4) You risk photosensitive skin discolouration

Sun exposure can lead to skin discolouration (dark spots). This effect can be enhanced by certain ingredients in makeup that react with the sun’s UV rays. These phototoxic ingredients include citrus oils that contain a compound called furanocoumarin, retinoids made from vitamin A and AHAs (Alpha-Hydroxy-Acids.

All these ingredients can increase the photosensitivity of your skin leading to more discolouration. Extended sun exposure can damage the deeper layers of skin and lead to enhanced wrinkles and lines and increase the risk of skin cancer.

How to safely wear makeup in a heatwave

So how can you continue to look good without harming your skin in hot weather? Here’s how to safely wear makeup in a heatwave.

Apply SPF

SPF (Sun protection factor) is non-negotiable, even for the cloudiest days. Opt for a makeup base with high SPF or apply a good layer before your makeup. This important step offers protection against harmful UV rays and reduces the chance of premature ageing.

Use a lip balm with SPF before applying lipstick to keep your lips hydrated and protected from harmful UV rays. Reapply every 2 hours as sweat can bead the SPF away. 

On average it takes around 15 minutes before your skin starts to take damage from the sun. The number attached to the SPF tells you how much longer the damage would occur. So, SPF 30 means it would take 30 times longer to damage skin than the normal 15 minutes.  The higher the number the longer the protection. 

Wear less product

A good heatwave makeup mantra: Less is more. A heavy foundation can feel suffocating in the heat, so switch to a lightweight BB or CC cream instead. These creams are not only lighter, but they also often come with added SPF and moisturising benefits. This will help your skin breath and regulate moisture levels.

Avoid highlighters

Shimmering highlighters can amplify the appearance of sweat, making you look oilier in the heat. Try substituting your highlighter with a matte bronzer to give your face a sun-kissed glow – without the unwanted shine.

Use setting spray

A good setting spray is a lifesaver in a heatwave. It helps to keep your makeup in place despite the heat, providing a fresh and flawless look all day long. Apply a thin mist once you’ve applied your makeup, and you’ll be good to go. These sprays typically contain hydrating ingredients called Humectants. These ingredients prevent moisture loss by holding on to moisture for longer meaning your skin won’t dry out in higher heat levels.

Use waterproof and oil-free products

By using waterproof products, you can help ensure your makeup stays put, reducing the risk of clogged pores or eye irritations caused by running makeup.

It’s also wise to opt for oil-free foundations and concealers to prevent your skin from becoming excessively shiny or greasy. These products can help control the additional oil your skin might produce due to the heat.

Take breaks

If possible, consider having makeup-free days to allow your skin to breathe and recover from any potential damage. If you can’t go completely without, even just lightening your makeup load will help. Some studies show that damaged facial skin can take over 72 hours to repair from sun damage.

If you have worn thicker amounts of makeup during high heat days a good measure is to deeply cleanse your face after to make sure your pores are clear and free of any build-up of oil, sweat, dirt and makeup.

Photo by freestocks