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.

Related Links:
Makeup Artists' Secrets for Aging Lips
Anti-Aging Haircut and Color Makeover

7 Comments
  • Posted on

    The fact is not that makeup is aging you - The purpose of makeup is not an anti-aging treatment nor SPF - Most makeups contain a form of SPF - which should be treated as icing on the cake but NOT your only source of SPF - The proper way to start you day is using proper skincare to begin with followed by your makeup to finish the look. There are great ways to incorporate easy to apply makeup - Those also can be great as touch up or just reapplying the make in the middle of the day especially as we approach warmer days. Do not be fooled into thinking that because your foundation has SPF that you are fully protected - As always follow @SKINCAREXPERT for tips and information on all thats hot in Skincare,Makeup, and the world of plastic surgery!

  • Jackie
    Posted on

    I tried to click on the video at the end of this interview/report but I could not get the video "on how to apply makeup correctly"? Did anyone else have any luck with the link to the video?

  • Felicia
    Posted on

    Rely on a good licensed aesthetician when purchasing makeup. They will tell you about the ingredients, and hopefully if they are good at thier job they will suggest a mineral based makeup line that contain mineral physical sun blocks and have skin-loving ingredients as well! I like Jane Iredale myself. --I'm an aesthetician ;)

  • deedee
    Posted on

    there's just so many new makeup products that come out nowadays that tell you this and tell you that..they make foundations more in the light consistency and not the very heavy consistency like in the old days..so it just matters if one seriously takes care of their skin when very young and it stays the same over time..then the makeup they use won;t matter cause they have taken care of their skin that won't show aging..

  • Susan
    Posted on

    In other words no. Make doesn't age you the sun does. If you don't wear sun protection even when you're not wearing make up you get the same result.

  • Vincent
    Posted on

    Skin care is very important for me, this is great advice.

  • Maribel
    Posted on

    Skin care is very important for me so I try not to wear makeup everyday. This article made great points. Thanks

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