Ask An Expert: Can Wearing Makeup Age You?
We know it sounds like an old wives tale or one of those things your mom used to tell you to scare you away from wearing makeup when you were younger. But could there actually be some truth to it? That's why we went to out skin care experts to find out if makeup can actually speed up the aging process.
“Makeup can cause premature aging of the skin if people rely on it as their means for sun protection,” says San Antonio dermatologist Vivian Bucay, MD. “If a woman uses an SPF 15 makeup, she needs to apply 2 teaspoons to achieve the SPF 15 protection.” That means that if the individual is relying on the makeup for sun protection, then a one ounce bottle should last only three days.
Also, “SPF” only refers to protection from UVB rays and not UVA rays. It's the UVA rays that age the skin and can lead to skin cancer. Dr. Bucay says to use a mineral makeup that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide because they offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Rancho Mirage, CA, dermatologist Wendy E. Roberts, MD, agrees, adding, "Mineral makeup foundation is a smart way to obtain facial skin coverage as well as achieve sun protection.”
It's also a good idea to avoid talc-based makeup because it can dry your skin out. Dryness tends to accentuate fine lines and pores, giving the skin an aged appearance. Dr. Bucay also cautions against going overboard on makeup as you age. “Women sometimes forget that less is more as we age. Makeup should enhance our skin, not mask it. Too much makeup emphasizes fine lines, wrinkles, and pores.” For tips on how to look younger with makeup without overdoing it, watch this video.
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