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The Ultimate guide to skincare before and after makeup

The Ultimate guide to skincare before and after makeup

A beginner's skincare guide before and after use of makeup. Discover the importance of prepping your skin, use of right skincare products and a dermatologists' take on importance of removal of makeup and common mistakes that we all are guilty of.

Dr Amee
Dr Amee

Applying makeup makes you feel confident, beautiful. But if your skin acts funny right after removing makeup, it’s a clear sign that you’re not following the things you must do, before and after applying make-up.

Skincare before and after makeup

Layering makeup on your face that hasn’t been properly prepped may not be ideal. It not only gives an uneven makeup feel, but also harms your skin in many ways.

Like an artist prepares the canvas before creating the perfect art, you need to prepare your skin first before applying makeup.

A well-prepped skin before applying makeup not only makes the skin more smooth for the application of foundation, but it also helps the makeup to stay much longer than usual, giving you a perfect look!

The question is - How do you prep your skin without using up most of your precious morning time in skincare?

Listed down are some simple steps to follow before using makeup, which are easy to follow and time saving.

Steps To Prep Skin Before Applying Makeup

Following a step-by-step method will give you the desired results. In this section, we shall unravel the different steps to prep your skin before applying makeup.

  1. Cleansing and exfoliation

For starters, you must cleanse your skin. If there is any pollution, dirt, or dust settled deep within your skin, you must use a cleanser and remove all of it. So, always wash your face with lukewarm water.

Image:   Vitória Santos

Use a soft and mild cleanser, according to your skin type. This will further help to make the skin smoother. This also ensures that the makeup can glide in evenly, and stays put throughout the day. In case you have oily/combination skin or you have been outdoors a lot, you can add an exfoliator/scrub with the cleanser. This will give added benefit in clearing and smoothening out of the skin prior to applying makeup.

Image: Karolina

2. Rub ice on your face

Rubbing ice on the skin has several benefits, especially when used as a prep step to applying makeup. Once you’re done with washing your face, make sure to gently rub ice cubes on the face, for about 60/90 seconds.


Never directly apply the ice to the skin, instead wrap it in a soft muslin cloth. Rubbing ice helps to improve blood circulation in the skin, making your skin radiant. It will also soothe tired eyes and help to shrink the pores of your skin, temporarily. It works on all skin types and creates a smoother canvas for the foundation and concealer.

3. Moisturizer

Nobody likes cakey makeup. You cannot apply primer, foundation, and other layers without moisturizing your skin. Using a moisturizer before makeup is a crucial step. When you apply a good-quality moisturizer, the makeup sits comfortably on your skin through the day. This includes moisturizing your lips too. Use a simple lip balm made of plant based butters instead of wax/petroleum jelly.

4. Primer

One of the most important steps before applying makeup is to use a primer. Primers help to smoothen out the skin by filling in any crease or large pores. It reduces the appearance of any kind of blemishes, adding an extra layer of moisture to the skin. My recommendation of the best primers are oils/oil containing serums. These serums have therapeutic benefits due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the skin, promotion of wound healing and repair of skin barrier.


These serums also work as moisturizers reducing one step of your makeup routine.

Apply the serum under and over eye areas to avoid the need of any specific eye cream.

So, in just 4 simple, yet effective and inexpensive steps your skin is a ready canvas to accept the colors and forms of your makeup.

The Foolproof method of makeup removal


And anyone who wears makeup knows that removing it can be a tedious task. However, keeping this make-up on one’s face for a long period of time can be damaging to the skin. Removing makeup can seem like an uphill task when you’re exhausted and want to get your beauty sleep. However, when you sleep with makeup on, your skin is unable to breathe, which disturbs the oil and moisture balance, causing breakouts, irritation and inflammation. It can also make your skin aged and cause subsequent pigmentation.

How To Remove Makeup The Right Way:

While it is important to use the right products, it is also very critical to use them the right way. Here are some tips:

  • Wash your hands first, before washing the face.
  • Tie your hair in a bun or ponytail so that you can efficiently cleanse your face, including the hairline.
  • Always start with the lips and eye makeup removal. Soak the cotton pads or a soft muslin cloth in a cleanser or micellar water and place it on your lips. Wait for a few seconds and gently wipe it off. Do not rub your lips aggressively.
  • For eye makeup, apply a pea sized amount of aloe gel and let it soak.
  • Use the cleansing oil/balm containing cloth/cotton and remove the eye makeup with a single swipe. Avoid multiple strokes.
  • Take a coin sized amount of cleansing balm/few drops of facial oil and massage your face to deep clean the pores and remove any leftover makeup.
  • Wipe your face including your hairline, ears, neck and folds of the neck with a microfiber/muslin cloth or cotton pad.
  • Use gentle face wash to remove all the makeup residue, dirt and oil, and pat dry.
  • Do not use hot water to cleanse your face. Go for lukewarm or cold water instead.
  • Complete the skincare routine with an anti-oxidant serum (containing Vit E/Vit C) and a moisturizer.

Some frequently asked Questions:

  1. Is it OK to wear makeup everyday?
    If you are applying makeup on a regular basis remember to never leave it on your skin at night. There are chances that your skin pores get clogged. This does not let your skin breathe, making it prone to acne, bumps and other facial skin problems. Therefore the best way to use makeup daily is to prime the skin well before use, use good brands that suit your skin, check the expiry date of the product before use and remove it before you sleep!!

  2. Does makeup make your skin darker?
    Your face looks dark when your skin gets oxidized after makeup. Always apply primer on your face before using foundation. A primer acts as a barrier between your skin's natural oils and oils in foundation. Use foundations that have non-comedogenic ingredients. Do not forget to use sunscreen before your foundation. And most importantly, use an antioxidant serum at night which contains VitC/E to prevent inflammation and later pigmentation.

  3. What is the best age to wear makeup?
    How young is too young? Bobbi Brown says 13 is an appropriate age to start wearing makeup in small amounts. "Middle school is the time to start, not fifth grade," she says. But as a Dermatologist, I would recommend using makeup as needed when young, shorter the duration better for the skin. Also, use of a good, mineral based product will cause less dryness, and therefore preferred.

  4. Does makeup cause acne in adults?
    Acne is multifactorial and in adults could be due to hormonal changes. Do read our blog on hormonal acne, cause and treatment here: Cycle syncing your Skin care to cure Hormonal Acne: (

    Use of a good brand that suits your skin(always do a patch test before applying on your face) and opt for good skin creams to nourish and hydrate your skin.

  5. How do we choose our skincare and makeup brands?
    Let us be mindful about our skincare and makeup choices.

    Skin health begins with not just how your skin appears but how it feels. With the rush to comply with the superficial beauty standards, deluge of products and cumbersome homecare remedies it can be difficult to cut the noise and hear what your skin really needs. True skin health comes from connecting with your skin, feeling it and embracing a holistic approach towards skincare.

    Before you choose your skincare, as the following questions:
  • Do they have the right ingredients my skin needs?
  • Are they eco-friendly, and plant based?
  • Have they passed my patch test? (I encourage you to perform a small patch test by applying the new product behind your ear)
  • Is the manufacture/expiry date clearly mentioned?Keep it simple and effective!

As Bobbi Brown says, “All women are pretty without makeup but makeup is pretty powerful”. So go out there with confidence, with/without makeup, it's all about right choices and self love!!