How to Apply Makeup With Seborrheic Dermatitis Prone Skin
If you spend a lot of time scratching your itchy scalp and you look in the mirror each day to see flakes in your eyebrows and along your hairline, chances are good that you have a condition called seborrheic dermatitis. This form of eczema is chronic, and for many sufferers, it is lifelong.
While seborrheic dermatitis is more commonly known as “dandruff,” most people who use the term dandruff are talking about an itchy, flaky scalp. If you are really lucky, you only have dandruff on your scalp. But a lot of people with seborrheic dermatitis also have that itchy, flaky skin elsewhere. And if you have it on your face, that can make it a real challenge to apply makeup. This begets a very natural questions; how to apply makeup with seborrheic dermatitis?
Where Can Seborrheic Dermatitis Occur On Your Face?
It is most common for seborrheic dermatitis to form around folds of skin. That means you may have it behind your ears for example, or around your nose. It is also common for it to show up in your eyebrows. Because it can form along your hairline, it may be visible on your forehead as well. In some cases, it may also spread from your nose to your cheeks.
That means that it can interfere with pretty much your entire makeup routine. You probably will not face too many challenges with lipstick or lip gloss, but putting on your foundation can be a challenge, as can applying blush, eye shadow, and eye highlighter.
What Unique Challenges Does Seborrheic Dermatitis Pose?
Most commonly, you will find that the areas of your skin which are affected by seborrheic dermatitis are oily and greasy. Sometimes, however, they may feel dry and scaly. You may even find elements of both textures in the same patches.
The same type of flaking that can happen on your scalp can happen all over your face. While you can wash the flakes away, they may recur later in the day.
Finally, one more issue you have to deal with is redness. Seborrheic dermatitis can closely resemble rosacea, producing skin which looks just as irritated as it feels. Acne may also spring up because of the greasiness.
How to Treat and Prevent Seborrheic Dermatitis
First things first. I am going to provide you with tips on how to apply makeup with seborrheic dermatitis, but if at all possible, you want to try and treat your condition and prevent flare-ups. That way applying your makeup is going to be a lot easier! If you are diligent and your condition is responsive, you may be able to greatly reduce all of the problems above just by adjusting your lifestyle and using the right products.
Here are some suggestions:
- Get adequate sleep every night.
- Remove unnecessary stressors from your life and make time to relax.
- Treat any underlying anxiety or depression which may worsen your dermatitis.
- Wash your face and your hair on a regular basis.
- Eat a healthy diet and lose weight if you are obese.
- Cut back on sugar.
- Spend more time outdoors in the sun.
- Start using antifungal creams, medicated shampoos, or other treatments. You can find a very informative table here.
If you visit the link above, you will notice that there are different products which are suitable for the face, body and scalp. Some products which work well on the scalp are too harsh for the sensitive skin on your face. You may find that you need to buy one product for your face and another for your scalp. In some situations though, if you can just get your scalp under control, you can prevent flare-ups on your face as well.
If you do a good enough job with prevention, you won’t have to ask yourself “how to apply makeup with seborrheic dermatitis”. As direct result, little to no adjustments will get in the way of your routine.
How Often to Wash Your Face
You need to make sure you are washing your face at least once a day if you have seborrheic dermatitis. Be careful not to overdo it; if you wash your face too many times during the day, you may actually dry out your skin, worsening your situation.
Another thing to be mindful of is how hard you are scrubbing at the flakes, especially around your eyebrows. You need to take care removing the flakes, or you will pull out a lot of eyebrow hairs in the process.
How to Apply Makeup With Seborrheic Dermatitis & Products to Avoid
Check the lotions and other skincare products you are applying to your face. Do any of them contain alcohol? The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that alcohol-based lotions can worsen seborrheic dermatitis. Watch out for this in astringents such as witch hazel while treating acne as well.
How to Exfoliate Flaky Skin
So let’s say you have taken all the steps above and you still are dealing with oily, flaky skin on your face. Before you start applying your makeup, you will need to try and remove the flakes.
Start by gently washing your face using a mild shampoo (T-Gel for example). If you are going to exfoliate (you may actually want to skip it—many people say they have the best results bypassing it altogether), be extra mild about it. If you are overly harsh about it, you will make the irritation and redness worse. Just use a washcloth and scrub gently.
How a Moisturizer Can Help
After you have washed your face and carefully removed as many flakes as possible, immediately apply your moisturizer. You must do this on damp skin, as moisturizer acts as a barrier, sealing moisture in or out. If you apply it on dry skin, you will seal the moisture out, making your skin drier.
As a quick note on this, you may wonder why you would ever use a moisturizer on oily skin. The reason is that skin is often oily in part because it is dry underneath. Your oil glands overcompensate, and you get that greasy coating on top.
That is not always the case, so you should experiment. See if a moisturizer helps you. If it does, make it part of your routine. If it does not, that probably is not part of your issue, and you may be able to skip it.
How to Apply Foundations and Concealers to Skin with Seborrheic Dermatitis
First of all, if your skin is particularly irritated after washing, let it rest and heal a bit before you try to figure out how to apply makeup with seborrheic dermatitis.
Make sure that the makeup you are using does not contain harsh ingredients which could make your dermatitis worse.
If you can, apply your foundation right after your moisturizer. Why? The main challenge with foundation and seborrheic dermatitis is to prevent it from sticking to the dry, flaky skin. The moisturizer creates a smooth layer between the two. If you want, you can try a makeup primer instead. This does the exact same thing, allowing for a smooth, even application of your foundation.
You can even apply a primer which is designed to cover up redness—or a concealer which does the same thing (consider L’Oreal Paris Anti-Redness Primer).
Thinking of using powder? If you have managed to tame your flakes, you can get away with it. But if your skin is still really flaky, powder will only emphasize the flakes. With blush, be mindful of the colors you choose. Some colors may emphasize your ruddy complexion, while others may help to disguise or conceal it.
On that note, think carefully about lipstick and lip gloss colors as well. You probably will not have much of a problem actually applying either, but if you go with colors that have strong red undertones, you may again emphasize your red, irritated skin.
How to Apply Eye Makeup to Skin with Seborrheic Dermatitis
Ready to apply makeup to your eyes? Start by checking your eyebrows again to make sure that the flakes are relatively inconspicuous, especially right underneath where you might be planning on applying your highlighter.
If the flakes are out of the way, you should be able to apply your eye makeup more or less as usual. Be thoughtful about the colors you choose. You might think green for example would help to balance out redness, but it may actually do the opposite. On your eyelids, it may contrast starkly with the redness in your eyebrows, bringing it out.
A neutral highlighter may be your best bet for concealing the redness around your eyebrows. You can then go with a color for your eye shadow which will draw attention back to your eyes.
Conclusion: How to Apply Makeup With Seborrheic Dermatitis Isn’t Easy, But The Right Routine Can Help to Mask Your Condition
If you have seborrheic dermatitis, expect to spend a lot of extra time in front of the mirror every day picking away flakes and working to conceal your redness. But it is well worth it to spend that extra time washing, exfoliating, moisturizing and applying makeup. The wrong makeup routine can actually make your dermatitis worse, but the right routine can help to conceal it for a fresh, clear complexion.