Do you really need to give your skin a "break" from makeup?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably assumed it’s a good idea to give your skin a ‘holiday’ from makeup.

Often I’ll go bare-faced on weekends, figuring my skin might prefer a bit of breathing time after being covered in BB cream, blush and so on for the past five days. It’s just something that seemed logical (and gave me an excuse to sleep in a little longer before Sunday brunch).

It seems some experts agree with this line of thinking. Earlier this year, a handful of dermatologists recommended women adopt a so-called “5:2 skin diet” by limiting their makeup use to five days of the week.

“I think it’s best to give the skin regular breaks – with the accumulation of all the make-up in our pores, no matter how rigorously we clean the skin, there will always be some make-up left behind,” one dermatologist, Dr Noor Almaani, told The Daily Mail.

However, Associate Professor Greg Goodman of the Dermatology Institute of Victoria doesn’t believe this approach is necessary for every cosmetics lover. As long as your makeup is the right base — it’s not too oily or drying for the skin — and doesn’t contain ingredients that aggravate the skin, such as pore-blocking materials, you should be in the clear.

In fact, Professor Goodman argues “well-designed” makeup is actually beneficial for the health of your skin.

“For too many years I think make up has been a ‘lazy’ product. It’s a perfect opportunity to help deliver sun protection and possibly supply actives to your skin,” he tells The Glow. (Post continues after gallery.)


“Makeup should double as an active participant in skin care. We are starting to see this, especially with sun protection.”

Professor Goodman says going makeup-free for a day or two a week would only make a difference for someone who was really packing it on and developing blocked skin as a result. “I would probably like these people to use less, or at least use makeup with no pore-clogging ingredients,” he adds.

Gisele Bunchen loves sharing her makeup-free face on social media.


Of course, if you're experiencing any reactions or aggravation from your makeup, stop using that product and seek advice from a dermatologist, because there's probably a better option out there.

However, if you're the kind of person who would eat a box of toenails before giving up your daily makeup routine, and your complexion isn't being negatively affected, don't feel obliged to go cold turkey just for your skin's sake.

That said, Professor Goodman advises embracing "as light a makeup as possible". (Post continues after gallery.)

"Use one that protects your skin, if possible. You could use a CC cream or similar if you needed better ability to combine actives with a makeup," he says.

So no: you don't need to give your skin a makeup-free break.

However, experts will always advise you to take it all off (your makeup, that is — but hey, why not your clothes too?) before you to go bed. Your face and your pillowcases will thank you.

Do you ever go makeup-free for your skin's sake?