Derm DMs: Does Wearing Makeup to the Beach Cause Acne?
If you’re anything like us, rising temps and socially-distant summer activities (like a safe trip to the beach) make us pumped to break out our favorite primers and foundations with SPF and waterproof mascara. But are mixing these makeup products with sweat and excess oil a recipe for breakouts? Ahead, we chatted with NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Hadley King and makeup artist Jenny Patinkin about whether that’s really the case. Here’s what they had to say.
Is It OK Skin-Wise to Wear Makeup to the Beach?
According to the Derm...
According to Dr. King, it depends. “Sweat, oil and makeup can lead to clogged pores and set up an environment where bacteria can thrive,” she explains. “It is OK to wear foundation, but look for a non-comedogenic, oil-free option — and be sure to apply a thin layer.” She also recommends trying a tinted moisturizer instead of foundation whenever possible and to always touch up with SPF throughout your time in the sun. Our editors like to apply L’Oréal’s NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Tinted Moisturizer after their sunscreen for beach days.
According to the Makeup Artist…
Patinkin says that it may be OK to wear makeup to the beach, but it depends on the ingredients in your products. “ Ingredients like mineral oil when mixed with dirt and sweat can clog pores.” That means it's probably best to stay away from makeup products that are oil-based including foundations, highlighters, cheek or lip colors and more.
Makeup to Wear to the Beach
If you’re staying within the ingredient guidelines listed above, Patinkin says wearing most makeup to the beach is A-OK, but she does recommend staying away from setting powder. “Powders can turn into a very cakey texture in heat very quickly,” she says. Instead, you may want to try a lightweight, thin layer of one with SPF, like the Supergoop! 100% Mineral Invincible Setting Powder.
Makeup that is designed to be sweat-proof should be good, so you can easily apply your favorite waterproof mascara or liner with ease. For lips, try a simple balm with SPF that will keep your lips moisturized and protected.
In Tandem With Your Makeup, Choose Sunscreens That Won’t Break You Out
In addition to a lighter makeup choice, Dr. King suggests looking for sunscreens that are non-comedogenic because ones that aren’t might be an additional culprit contributing to breakouts. “Two things can cause sunscreen-related breakouts: occlusion of the pores by comedogenic materials, or a sensitivity reaction to chemical UV-blocking ingredients.” She notes that it’s possible to break out from emollients, fragrances, preservatives or other ingredients in the sunscreen, not only the active sunscreen ingredients. “Your best bet is to look for “non-comedogenic” on the label. We recommend the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 60 or the SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen, both from our parent company, L’Oréal.