We’ve all asked ourselves this question, or at least a variation of it. Is makeup going to worsen my skin, especially my pimples, acne or spots? Should I be wearing makeup everyday? Is there makeup out there that is actually good for my skin?
Board certified dermatologist, Dr Appiah specialises in cosmetics and surgical dermatology and has been helping and healing all kinds of skin conditions for over two decades (We know! She barely looks two decades old! Testament to her skills, wouldn't you say?). We were honoured to have her join our co-founder Ego Iwegbu on an instagram live recently to talk about what the most common skin concerns are, how to look after our skin better and what choices we should make around makeup.
Question : What are the most common skin concerns?
Dr Appiah : "Acne and dark spots! Unfortunately the majority of people are going to suffer from, if not chronically, at some point in life, acne and/or the dark spots they create. These are the two most common conditions people present me with. Otherwise there are the more medical conditions like eczema. People with eczema generally can be treated and they get better. I have had eczema all my life so I know what it's like and how to treat it. Acne on the other hand has wide and varied causes, so apart from medical treatment you also want to avoid applying products that clog your pores, irritate your skin and cause further inflammation on top of the acne you already have. So it's a constant monitoring of ingredients in your skincare, your makeup and food. Basically, always trying to figure out how to be less prone to breaking out and subsequently having dark marks.
Question : But here is the catch 22 with acne and makeup - on the one hand I knew the makeup was bad for my skin but on the other hand I needed the coverage for a confidence boost! There were so many cosmetic products that caused me itchiness and discomfort after use but I was going on a date and wanted to look my best. Tell us, do your patients ask you - Can I wear makeup?
Dr Appiah : As a dermatologist you have to be very practical about what your patient is going to do and what they’re not going to do. When patients come in with acne and dark spots, they don’t want to go out looking like they have breakouts all the time, they don’t want to go out with patchy looking skin, of course they want to use makeup. All the time people ask me what kind of makeup do you use for your skin, how come you don’t have any breakouts?
People think I don't like makeup because I usually don't wear makeup. But that’s not it, I love makeup! But traditional makeup has always broken me out. I had eczema as a child and I have very sensitive skin now. Whatever I put on my skin, I would end up with swellings! So I constantly have to be aware of what I am putting on my skin.
Ultimately we must aim to eliminate the things that could be worsening acne and make sure we stick with things that don’t clog pores and have sunscreen.
It is important to wear makeup that is going to protect your skin, that is going to sit lightly on the surface of your skin and not clog your pores. That doesn’t contain fragrance, oils, waxes or preservatives. This is why I love mineral makeup (especially The Good Mineral Loves-You-Back 3in1 Powder Foundation)
I have always recommend mineral makeup for my patients, particularly those with acne, rosacea, dark marks, eczema - because those people tend to have sensitive skin and definitely don’t need any further clogging of their pores.
The beauty of mineral makeup - Most loose powder formulations are made without water therefore do not require any preservatives to prevent bacterial growth - No fragrance required either to camouflage smells as mineral ingredients are low odour - No oils or waxes to clog pores.
Dr Appiah goes on to say : Traditional makeup would just sit on my skin and find every crevasse to accentuate and make me look like I'm 80! That's another reason why I stay away from conventional makeup. Every time I went to a makeup artist, I'd come out looking like a corpse. Too much 'makeup'. Then I found mineral makeup, it fits, it’s light, it’s airy and it doesn't stay on your skin forever. But you still have to remove it though (Yes... to you asking if it's so great can I just sleep in it?) No every thing has to be removed at night. Even the moisturizer that was good for you in the morning has to be washed off your face at night!
Question : Now on to the topic of SPF! I know this is your obsession Dr! I see your instagram with reel after reel on the topic of sunscreen and how important it is to skin health. I grew up in a time when sunscreen was not a thing, in-fact quite the opposite! We use to baste ourselves in tropical oils to tan as much as possible at every possible occasion! Now things are different but it seems still not enough? Tell us more about sunscreen and what you think of the built in SPF of mineral makeup.
Dr Appiah : Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and the iron oxide are all mineral ingredients that we use to block, deflect the sun’s rays from getting into the skin. Whilst The Good Mineral may have all of these ingredients they must be present in certain quantities to provide effective protection. As you haven't had this officially tested you can't specify how much SPF the makeup provides. But even with other mineral makeup brands that claim SPF 35+ I still recommend the following :
- Use a base sunscreen in the morning that gives you full coverage, preferably mineral - most people don't apply enough!
- Use your mineral makeup powders after and then continue to boost SPF coverage during the day by lightly applying powder touch ups.
I've seen your instagram videos and reel where you’re showing people how to put the makeup on and you’re actually dabbing the powder down rather than brushing it on and off ; I like that because you get a nice foundation on the skin that is going to give more protection.
Mineral makeup does have sunscreen benefits but you still have to make sure to be putting on a base sunscreen in the morning! Mineral sunscreens do have a chalky finish on my skin tone but I just take my Good Mineral powder in Coco 1 and all chalkiness is gone! It is actually the perfect match for me!
Well! That was an insightful chat and definitely affirmed all of The Good Mineral's brand goals - We are passionate about makeup that supports skin and skincare routines. As sufferers of sensitive skin issues from acne to dark marks and scars we knew our formulations were just right on so many levels - non irritating, protecting, gentle to apply and full of pigment that gives glowing coverage!
Here are some extra added comments from Dr Appiah that had us blushing with pride!
"To have makeup that is woman owned is one thing, to have makeup that is skin of color owned is another thing, but to have makeup that is African woman owned!!! That is wow!!
I am asked to do lives with brands all the time but I will not recommend things that I don't like, but The Good Mineral! I absolutely LOVE. I am wearing more and more makeup, the colors are fantastic for every shade. I’ve recommended to many people and they have always written back to me saying OMG I really love this makeup, where has it been all my life, it’s so light, it’s so airy.
When I say perfect, it is a perfect match!"
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PS - Dr Appiah agrees with our dab dab dab method! She says it's the best way to apply makeup for sensitive skins.