Shania Twain Shares How She Removes Her Makeup—and Dermatologists Have Thoughts

Shania Twain Shares How She Removes Her Makeup—and Dermatologists Have Thoughts featured image
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She’s recently graced the cover of Haute Living in-between gracing stages and coming out with another chart-topping album, and Shania Twain is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. She’s also not showing any signs of aging, and her recent “Go to Bed with Me” with Harper’s Bazaar, is proof in motion.

Featured Experts:

  • Doris Day, MD is a board certified dermatologist in New York
  • Jeanine Downie, MD is a board certified dermatologist in Montclair, NJ

Going to Bed with Shania Twain

In the video, she’s sporting her brand new blonde, a color she’s embraced since going grey and experimenting with color. Ever since going pastel pink for the People’s Choice Awards, she’s been exploring color. “It’s funny—the reason that I even experimented with [the pink] was because I’m going grey,” Twain told Haute Living. “And now I’m thinking that when I’m entirely grey, maybe I should just dye my hair at that point and rock the pink.”

Diving right in, Twain gives us the inside scoop on how she’s always taken her makeup off. And how she does it is a little surprising.

“Might nighttime routine is all about me,” Twain says with a grin.

Preferring to go to bed with a fresh, clean face, Twain says she would describe her skin as combination, but “now that I’m in menopause, I don’t get the flaky skin anymore. And I don’t get the breakouts,” she adds with a wink. “Ah, a benefit! There’s a positive side to menopause,” she whispers.

But if you’re thinking this is going to be just any skin-care video, you got another thing coming.

Twain’s Makeup-Removing Hack

Bringing a green bottle into view, Twain explains that she’s a fan of oil-based products to remove makeup and “flush out your pores,” she says. That’s why her go-to makeup remover is actually a pantry staple: olive oil.

While that might sound wild, olive oil is actually a much-loved skin-care ingredient for its penetrating power. “Olive oil is one of a few oils that actually penetrates deeper instead of just coating the face or hair,” says cosmetic chemist Ginger King. “It’s a great cosmetic ingredient.”

“And every hotel with a kitchen has olive oil,” Twain laughs. But it isn’t just straight olive oil Twain is using.

“First thing is I put olive oil and sugar in my hand,” she says, pouring over a tablespoon of sugar into her palm. “It’s quite a lot of sugar and I use just a few drops of olive oil. And then, I can just start rubbing it in.”

Twain says she doesn’t use a makeup remover, and instead just uses her home-brewed mixture to softly work makeup off her face. And she’s been doing it this way for a while.

“I would say I started the olive oil when I used to work in the bush as a teenager,” she says. “When you’re working outside in June, you can’t wear anything that’s fragrant, no deodorant, no shampoo, or you’ll get eaten alive by the black flies. Literally.”

What Dermatologists Think

With two pantry-staples as her skin care, Twain has made the olive oil and sugar combination work for her. But will it work for you?

“She looks like she has beautiful skin so it seems to be working for her,” says New York dermatologist Doris Day, MD. “In general, the olive oil is fine, and the sugar could be exfoliating. But it could also be irritating, and there are better, more reliable ways to remove makeup than that.”

These days, not many dermatologists would recommend using a physical exfoliant like sugar on your face, though it isn’t a bad idea for other areas of your body.

“No one should remove their make up with sugar and olive oil,” says Montclair, NJ dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD. “Though quite frankly, if you want a light exfoliation, you can do that on your feet or your elbows on your knees.”

The concern for using this combination on your delicate facial skin comes from sugar’s rough texture.

“Sugar scrubbing like that on your face can cause microtears in your epidermis and then going out in the sun without proper sunscreen, can lead to rosacea, melasma and significant hyperpigmentation,” Dr. Downie says. “I would not recommend this technique to anyone ever.”

While Twain insists she keeps her touch very gentle when using this combination, there’s still a risk of causing irritation that can be avoided with mild chemical exfoliation.

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