Boo! Are you ready to serve up a festive Halloween look? Many of us love Halloween for the opportunity it gives us to experiment with spooky costume makeup. But you know what’s actually spooky? Layering on that heavy makeup without a plan to take it off. But never fear – once you know how to remove Halloween makeup, it doesn’t have to be frightening.
Read on for some of the best tips to remove Halloween makeup without the drama.
First, Be Choosy About Your Halloween Makeup
Make no (skeleton) bones about it: one night is not going to make or break your skin. So, if you want to wear costume makeup and you have limited makeup options, feel free to relax and join the holiday. That said, many of the costume makeup palettes from the Halloween stores and drugstores are notoriously low-quality. They can be nightmarish for your skin.1
Comedogenic ingredients (pore clogging) aren’t even the biggest worry here. Testing of some drugstore Halloween makeup has uncovered traces of worrisome chemicals, like:
- Ethoxylated ingredients
Other palettes contain heavy-duty makeup that uses silicone, dimethicone, and waxes, which can clog pores and leave you with blemishes.3
Check Your Product Labels
Does this mean you should run the other way, screaming, when it comes to Halloween makeup? Not at all. By all means, feel free to craft the kitty cat or vampire queen look you’ve been planning. Just approach Halloween makeup and face paint with a bit of caution, i.e.: read the product labels.
If you can, try to avoid:
- Comedogenic ingredients like acetylated lanolin, D&C red, and octyl stearate
- Heavy metals, like lead, cadmium, mercury, and nickel
- Occlusives, like petroleum and mineral oil4
Better yet: use your own everyday makeup. Your own makeup kit probably has better-quality makeup than what you’d find in a Halloween store. So, feel free to raid your own eyeshadow palettes, eyeliners, and lipsticks if it suits your intended look.
Prep To Perfection
Prepping your skin before you apply your Halloween makeup is a great way to avoid any breakouts or reactions. Here’s how to create a fresh “canvas” for your makeup.
Start With A Gentle Cleanser
Grab your favorite gentle cleanser to remove any dirt, impurities, makeup residue, extra oil, and dead skin cells. This will give you a fresh start. It will also help prevent costume makeup from settling down into your pores — which could lead to irritation, redness, and breakouts.
Hydrating cleansers may support your skin’s moisture barrier and help avoid irritation.
Slather On Extra Moisturizer
Once your skin is beautifully clean and purified, it’s time for your favorite moisturizer. To prepare your face for costume makeup, slather on more cream than you typically would on a normal night. (Not just a little more. Go for DOUBLE the amount).
A high-quality moisturizer, like Deep Regenerating Stem Cell Moisturizer, can support essential skin hydration — which can help combat the drying-effects of Halloween makeup. Your moisturizer can also help create a barrier between your skin and any thick, heavy products you apply to your face. This is key for protecting your complexion from any unsavory ingredients that may be hiding in your makeup.
Don’t Go To Bed Looking Spooky
You’ve had a spooky-ooky good time, and the night is over. Don’t even think about letting your head hit that pillow without removing that makeup first. Sleeping with your Halloween makeup on is a pretty big no-no, no matter how tired you are. Heavy pigments, thick consistency, and products that are new to your skin could all spell irritation.
Remove Rhinestones And Other Embellishments
If you rocked rhinestones, glitter, sequins, fake eyelashes, or anything else that required glue, you’ll want to remove those first. If you try to go straight in with face wash over your whole face, you may end up with a sticky, clumpy mess. So be strategic, and carefully remove these bits one by one.
For glitter, try a lint roller to gently lift it off. If you used a latex-based glue to attach embellishments, like rhinestones or sequins, you may be able to gently peel them off. If you used stronger adhesive glues, you may need to use a facial glue remover to get them off. If you’re in that situation, soak a cotton swab in the remover, and gently swipe it around the edges until they come off.5
Apply A Facial Oil
Many Halloween makeup formulas contain a high percentage of oil. The very thing that helped your face makeup stay on all night may be the reason why it’s so hard to remove. As you likely know, oil and water don’t mix. This means you’ll need more than water and your typical cleanser to remove your makeup.
Before you go in with your cream cleanser, use an oil-based cleanser or a facial oil, like Brighten + Tighten Restorative Facial Oil first. Dispense the oil into your hands, and rub it onto your dry face before you splash it with any water. Use your fingertips to rub the oil all over your eyes, lips, and cheeks. Rinse with water.6
Cleanse Your Face
After you’ve softened your makeup with facial oil, it’s time to wash with your favorite cleanser. Using a high quality, moisturizing cleanser is key here, as you may need to cleanse your face a few times to remove everything. You don’t want to dry your skin out or further irritate it.
Gently splash your face with warm water, and massage your cleanser into your skin. Pay special attention to the areas with heavier makeup, like your eyes and lips.
Tackle Your Eye Area Gently
Heavy eye makeup from a Halloween costume can be tough to remove. Resist the urge to tug or aggressively scrub. The skin here is so fragile. To tackle stubborn eye makeup, squeeze a drop of cleanser on a washcloth, cotton pad, or cotton ball, and hold it over your closed eye. Allow it to soak there until the makeup softens and your skin releases it.7
You can also use this method for any other hard-to-remove makeup – like splotches of fake blood or a deep lipstick that just won’t budge.
Apply An Exfoliant
Once you’re feeling fresh-faced and clear of any evidence of spooky stage makeup, go ahead and finish your nightly skincare routine. For many, this means using a chemical exfoliant, like glycolic acid or fruit enzymes, to gently clear out your pores from any lingering makeup.
Finish Your Night Off With A Nourishing Cream Moisturizer
Finish off your face cleansing routine with a high quality cream moisturizer to help replenish the moisture your skin might have lost throughout the night. Simply scoop out a cream, like Deep Regenerating Stem Cell Moisturizer, to give yourself a boost of hydration and help protect your moisture barrier.
You’ve prepped your face, applied your makeup, and partied the night away (or cozied up at home) with your costume on. Once you’ve removed your Halloween makeup, all that’s left to do is Trick or Treat yourself to some serious zzz’s. You can think of that as part of your skincare routine, too. Turns out, sleep is also great for your skin.8
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