Six Tips for Acne Prone Skin to Prevent Halloween Nightmares!

It’s that scary time of the year. When else can you go all-out with your makeup, masks, costumes, and still get free candy from strangers? Halloween brings out the ghostly ghouls, the scary beasts, the wicked witches, and… the terrifying rash the day after Halloween!

Halloween makeup requires strong-colors and typically a thicker consistency to give that striking effect. But these heavy oil-based products can do havoc to your skin: acne pimples, blotches, redness, allergies, and more! So what can we do to avoid worsening acne or developing rash from Halloween makeup?

Here are some of my tips to help you stay in the spirit of Halloween and help to avoid worsening your skin.

1. Do a trial run of makeup on the back of your hand before the real day. It’s better to make sure you will not have an allergic reaction on a small area on your hand instead of slathering it all over your face and have a terrible reaction. I highly recommend doing a “spot test” of the makeup you plan to use a few days before Halloween. Place a small amount on the back of your hand and observe if any reaction occurs – if not, you should be ok for the real thing on Halloween.

2. Prep your skin before applying any Halloween makeup. Putting makeup on dirty skin is simply a bad idea – clean it up. Use sensitive skin cleansers to hydrate your skin and remove impurities before even applying makeup. A solid skin care foundation goes a long way to preventing skin irritation and rashes. I recommend Cetaphil facial cleanser followed by La Roche-Posay Effaclar Wipes. And then be sure to apply a gentle-skin moisturizer to further hydrate and prevent rashes. My go-to moisturizer for sensitive skin is CeraVe cream.

3. Be sure to only buy higher quality makeup. Select “Theatrical Makeup” and avoid “Halloween costume makeup”. Theatrical makeup is typically gentler on skin and often is non-comedogenic. Halloween stores sell “Halloween makeup” which is a thick and paste-like heavy oil-based makeup. While this makeup applies easily and looks great, your skin will instantly get clogged pores which can worsen acne. Also, these makeups are notorious for causing allergic reactions from the color additives and fragrances.

4. Look for the words, “non-comedogenic” and “fragrance-free”– this means that the makeup does not clog pores and that it avoids the common allergic reaction.

5. Do not reuse makeup from last year! Bacteria is a real concern and old makeup can be a hotbed for bacterial growth. This makeup typically is a dark bottle, not kept in the refrigerator, and most Halloween makeup does not have preservatives. The old makeup could cause more problems that can be avoided with a new makeup purchase. Look for makeup that has “Parabens” in the ingredients – this helps prevent any bacterial overgrowth. Without parabens in makeup, you are putting yourself at risk for bacterial overgrowth, and eventually breakouts, rashes, itching, and irritation. Here are some examples for common parabens: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben, or BHT (butylated hydroxtoluene). However, parabens can also cause irritation and allergies in the long-run…. Often the benefits outweighs the risk for a day of Halloween celebrating.

6. Clean your face and remove the makeup ASAP and before going to bed. Limit the amount of time that your skin is in contact with the Halloween makeup. Triple cleanse your skin with the same gentle cleanser and Effaclar wipes in order to maintain healthy (and clean) skin. Be sure all residues are removed so that November 1st can come without that flare-up of your skin.

So go enjoy a festive celebration – but be careful what you apply to your skin.