Psoriasis is a common skin disease that can affect different parts of your body, including your face. It causes red, scaly patches that may be worse for a few weeks or months or sometimes less noticeable.
Some people with this condition choose to cover their psoriasis with makeup. While some doctors suggest avoiding makeup during a flare, they also recognize that the condition is chronic, and you may prefer to cover up your psoriasis. Since the symptoms can cause skin flaking and sensitivity, it is important to follow certain steps if you choose to use makeup.
When you’re shopping for makeup, it’s best to look for hydrating products and avoid those that may dry out your skin. “I tend to advise my patients to stay away from powders or agents that may be more drying or may stick to flaky or flaky skin,” says Ashley Wentworth, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at the Mayo Clinic. “Try makeup products that may contain a cream or oil base to moisturize the skin.” Look for cosmetics that contain hydrating hyaluronic acid.
Wentworth also suggests avoiding products that contain essential oils, plant-based or organic ingredients, or all-natural ingredients. “Just as peanuts can cause allergies or poison ivy, which is normal, can cause rashes…all of those can irritate the skin,” she says. “Just because something is synthetic or man-made doesn’t make it more dangerous to the skin. In fact, it often means it’s better studied, tried and tested.”
But synthetic products with strong fragrances, dyes, or alcohols can also dry out and irritate your skin. Try to avoid makeup brands that contain long lists of these ingredients.
Once you find the right makeup products, prepare your skin before applying it. “If you have a prescription medication prescribed by your dermatologist, this should be continued first and absorbed into the skin for several minutes,” says Wentworth.
Next, you may want to apply an additional moisturizer, cream, or ointment to give your skin extra hydration. Wentworth says this will help scaly skin “camouflage better against the background of unaffected skin with psoriasis.”
If you’re going outside, you may also want to use extra protection, such as a broad-spectrum sunscreen. “We definitely encourage using sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on the face on a regular basis,” she says. “After using topical medicated products, and after that any type of moisturizer, it would be applying sunscreen.”
Without following these steps, your skin may become cakey after applying makeup to dry, flaky skin.
In order not to irritate psoriasis, it is best to stick to light and simple makeup. For foundation, you’ll want to start with a sheer base and then go back to building over the psoriasis-affected areas. Polish the edges at the base until well blended. You can do this with your fingers, a makeup sponge, or a foundation brush.
You may not need to use a concealer if you are able to build your foundation to your preferred coverage. But if you want to use a concealer, use a matte option. Apply it to your skin and allow it for one minute to thicken before blending it.
Using other products like mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow, and other types of makeup mostly depends on your preference. “It is not unsafe. It’s not likely to exacerbate psoriasis or spread psoriasis, Wentworth says. “However, when you have an active area of psoriasis, any type of product that was not intentionally used as a medication, can irritate the skin in that location and make the psoriasis look more prominent.”
It is wise to test the products first. Everyone’s skin will look different with makeup. Psoriasis may react well when using eye shadow. But someone else’s psoriasis may appear more fragile after using a particular product.
Wentworth suggests trying products before any major plans. “If you are getting married in a month and want to experiment with (a type of makeup), try it on before to see what works for you, your skin type and undertones. Then you will know what is best to choose on that day if you have active engagement areas.”
Be careful when you take off your makeup. “Extract with an unscented white bar of soap to create a foamy wash for your hands,” says Wentworth. “Gently massage it all over the face…then gently rinse it off. Then use a micellar-based makeup remover or facial cleanser to remove any leftover makeup that’s still there.”