11 Things You're Probably Doing Wrong With Your Makeup & How To Fix The Problem

Makeup isn't all that big a deal in the scheme of things. But if you're like me and you go to the trouble of applying it on a fairly regular basis, you want to make sure you're not doing things wrong. Otherwise, what's the point?

And when I say, "wrong," I'm not referring to techniques that go against some sort of vague makeup application "wisdom," like the old, "Go heavy on the eyes or the lips, but never both!" rule. At the end of the day, I think everyone should just do what makes them feel great when it comes to aesthetics, regardless of whether it's technically a "makeup don't." If you love your neon purple lipstick and hot pink eye liner, go for it and more power to you!

What I'm specifically getting at are things many of us do with our makeup that could be actively harming our skin or causing long term damage. Because I don't think the majority of us would keep making these mistakes if we knew what they were doing to our complexions.

So if you're a regular makeup user, and skin health is important to you, take a look at the below 11 mistakes a ton of us make that can actually be causing damage.

1. You Rely Too Heavily On Built-In SPF

'Sun' Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Face Cream, $21.50, Nordstrom.com

According to a piece in Reader's Digest, many makeup users think they're being proactive by using foundations and BB creams with built-in SPF protection. However, dermatologists note that most people don't use enough makeup product to actually get the full benefits of the SPF, and also often miss their ears and necks. Instead, they stressed the importance of applying an actual sunscreen before applying any kind of makeup — regardless of if the makeup contains sun protection. It's the only true way to be sure you're protected.

2. You Sleep In Your Makeup

In that same Reader's Digest piece, Harold Lancer, MD, a Beverly Hills dermatologist, said to never go to bed with makeup on. “Without cleansing, cosmetics get into pores, which can lead to congestion.” I personally keep face wipes by my bed for days when I'm just too tired to wash my face over a sink.

3. You Scrub Too Vigorously When Removing Makeup

In a piece for The Wall Street Journal, Susan Taylor, medical director at Society Hill Dermatology in Philadelphia, noted that a lot of people seem to think that the harder you scrub, the better. However, she noted that facial washes have chemical components designed to break down dirt without scrubbing, and doing so will only irritate the skin and strip it of healthy natural oils.

4. You're Not Prepping Your Skin

'Photo Finish' Light Foundation Primer, $16, Norstrom.com

According to Cosmopolitan, "prepping your skin" — AKA applying moisturizer and primer — isn't just about making your makeup look better and last longer. They noted that it literally helps create a barrier between your skin and the makeup, helping to prevent clogged pores. So don't forget to prep!

5. You Don't Let Your Foundation Dry

Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation, $5.99, Drugstore.com

OK, this tip from Cosmopolitan isn't actually about skin health, but it's something so often overlooked that I couldn't help but mention it. Most people don't realize that liquid foundation — no matter what the brand — takes a few minutes to set and dry. Wait a minute or two before moving on to the next step in your routine for best result.

6. You Test Too Many Products

If you're a makeup lover, it can be totally tempting to test out every sample and product the second you get it home. However, Good Housekeeping noted that our skin is delicate and should not be a considered a testing ground. Instead, test out a sample size on your arm to avoid unexpected negative reactions on your face.

7. You Forget About Your Lips

The same Good Housekeeping compilation piece reminded us not to forget about our lips when it comes to exfoliating, moisturizing, and especially sun protection. My personal recommendation is to invest in some lip balms with SPF protection and reapply it regularly.

8. You Wear Makeup All The Time

According to Karen Hammerman, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologist in a piece for Women's Health, "Taking a [makeup] break allows the skin to replenish its natural moisture level without having layers of makeup occluding it." So if your skin is breaking out or looking congested, consider letting it breath for a day or two.

9. You Don't Wash Your Makeup Brushes Regularly

A compilation piece for The Loop's Style section reminded us to wash our makeup brushes regularly. You'd never apply makeup with your hands without washing them, right? So don't make the same mistake with your brushes. This is a super easy way to avoid unnecessary breakouts.

10. You Wear Expired Makeup

In a piece for The Tribune, beautician Shahnaz Kamran noted that the area around our eyes are extremely sensitive, and therefore eye makeup can be especially bad for us once it's past it's usage date. She also said to always be extra careful when applying anything to the eye area in general, including lotions and creams.

11. You Wear More Foundation Than You Need

OK, this last foundation-related tip also isn't necessarily about skin health, but I thought it was worth mentioning. On her YouTube channel, celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge noted that she often finds that her clients think they need 80 percent or full coverage when it comes to their foundation, when really only about 20 percent of their skin needs evening out. Remember, less can be more, especially if you're going for a more natural and fresh-faced aesthetic.

Makeup is designed to help us feel great about the way we look, so the last thing we want is for it to actually be harming our skin. The good news is, the more informed we are, the better we are at making healthy decisions when it comes to makeup and our bodies. So don't fret — just be conscious of what you put on your skin!

Images: Pexels (9); Bustle