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Halloween makeup removal

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

Halloween makeup tends to be heavy and somewhat thicker to allow for full coverage. Read more...
 

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Photo: Wix

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What are the best methods to physically wash your face?


For daily face washing, I personally recommend that my patients avoid the use of loofahs and washcloths. It’s best to just wash our hands.

Loofahs have been well-documented reservoirs of bacteria. They have been shown to grow Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, and more. If you couple the fact that the bacteria are trapped in the fibers of the loofah and that these sponges are used to exfoliate the skin, the risk of infection is much higher.

Towels are considered to be a ‘fomite’ that can transmit disease as well. Not only can they hold bacteria, but viruses are also known to be transmitted by contact as well. Molluscum is a type of virus that can cause small papules on the skin and last for over a year in some cases. Its spread amongst families has been linked to shared towel use in some cases.



Our hands can be easily cleaned. I recommend avoiding devices for our skin as the ability to effectively clean these after each use is limited. If you are seeking some exfoliation that these can provide, try using scrubs that rinse down the drain. Sugar scrubs, apricot scrubs, or any kind of gritty cleanser can achieve the same results. The benefit is that these are not reused as they rinse down the drain!
Loofahs and washcloths are commonly used to clean and exfoliate the skin. Many people love the ‘polished’ feel of their skin after use. I can completely understand this! Especially if you struggle with dry flaky skin or conversely excessively oily skin. If you are determined to use a loofah or washcloth, then some measures should be taken to keep these clean. Washing loofahs routinely is important to do. I also recommend placing a hook in the shower to hang your loofah up to allow it to dry completely after use.



Is an abrasive product such as a loofah or washcloth essential to remove heavier products such as Halloween makeup?


Halloween makeup tends to be heavy and somewhat thicker to allow for full coverage. There is a misconception that because of the quality of the product heavy-duty abrasive products are needed for removal. Using knowledge of chemistry to your advantage, there is a better way to achieve removal without tearing apart your skin.


How is it best to remove Halloween makeup?



Makeup products tend to fall under the categories of hydrophilic or hydrophobic. Some aspects are easily removed with soap and water while others may require an oil-based cleanser to remove.

Initially wash the face with your hands using soap and water then gently blot with a washcloth.

Mineral oil, mineral oil-based cleansers, coconut oil-based cleansers, or even petroleum jelly applied to a cotton round or cotton ball to gently rub across the skin where makeup needs to be removed will gently remove makeup and leave minimal amounts of mineral oil behind. This will help remove residual oil-based components of your makeup.

 


 


Doesn't mineral oil clog pores (i.e., comedogenic)?



A study from 2005 actually demonstrated that mineral oil itself is actually not comedogenic. Although true that anecdotally some will find that their acne can worsen with use, it has not been confirmed by studies. That being said, using mineral oil to remove makeup versus using mineral oil for skin hydration are two separate uses. Mineral oil applied to a cotton round or cotton ball to gently rub across the skin where makeup needs to be removed will gently remove makeup and leave minimal amounts of mineral oil behind. This is very different from applying mineral oil liberally over the skin.

Isn't coconut oil comedogenic?



Coconut oil has been shown to be comedogenic. However, it also has anti-inflammatory effects. Given that for removal of Halloween makeup the use will be minimal and temporary it is not likely to contribute to significant acne flares. The key to remember is that when using these as makeup removers, much of the product will remain on the cotton round and is wiped away with the makeup as opposed to being left behind.



After washing my face and trying to use water-based and oil-based cleansers, I still feel like there is residual product and pigments left behind. What should I do?



It is true that some Halloween makeup use pigments and other components that can still feel like there is residual product left over. This can be followed by gently removing the further product by moistening the washcloth and rubbing the skin using a circular motion. For the purposes of removing Halloween makeup as a temporary need, a washcloth may not be unreasonable to help trap and remove excess product and pigment.
When using a washcloth, circular motions tend to be recommended as they reduce the shearing forces against the skin that can risk bruising or excess irritation.

 


 

Are there any wash clothes you would recommend for the face?

If your skin tends to be sensitive, a silk washcloth may be ideal. These are soft against the skin and less likely to irritate overall. Bamboo-based and microfiber washcloths also have a soft feel and can be washed and reused numerous times. Cotton is probably the most common to find. These are reasonable however some blends and weaves can have a rough texture or feel. Most washcloths will work to wipe away makeup. The use of a product on the washcloth can only enhance the ability of the washcloth to work recognizing that the washcloth can only accomplish the task of makeup removal through physical exfoliation of the products.

When wiping the face with micellar, what’s the best material to use? A cotton round or Q-tip?


Microfiber towels tend to work well with micellar water. This is likely due to the absorbency of microfiber that holds the micellar water well so that it can get to work on the skin. Cotton rounds are also very reasonable to use and Qtips are for smaller areas.



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