How To: Prep The Skin Before Makeup Application

What IS Skin Prep?

Before applying any makeup - foundation, tinted moisturizers, BB creams, blush, contours, or highlight - you have to cleanse, moisturize and prime the face for the layers of makeup that will be applied

 Why Should We Skin Prep?
This step in your makeup routine is just as important, if not more important, than the actual makeup.  Cleansing the face removes the dirt and gives you a clean canvas to work with.  Moisturizing puts the moisture back into your face and helps keep the skin soft and supple. Depending on your skin's needs, this is when you use medicated creams or gels and or SPF sun protection.  Priming the face is supposed to fill in the fine lines to give you a smooth canvas to work with and it has properties that will help your makeup last for hours on end. 

 How Do I Prep My Skin?
Preparing the skin is an essential task; this is how I prep my skin:

Step 1: Cleanse. After I wash and or exfoliate my face in the shower, I follow up with a natural astringent: witch hazel. Now, you of course, can use whatever you wish. But, let's check out the healing properties of this natural product. Firstly, astringents are substances that can dry, tighten, and harden tissues. It will tighten pores and remove excess oil; this also promotes the longevity of your makeup.  The witch hazel plant is high in tannins, which gives this plant astringent properties. Witch hazel also contains procyanadins, resin, and flavonoids, all of which add to its soothing, anti-inflammatory properties (Brett, 2013).  Also, exfoliate the lips as a part of your cleansing regimen.  When preparing to wear makeup, we must prep our lips for hues.  You can use a toothbrush, a different one than the one you use to brush with, use a washcloth and scrub your lips or you can exfoliate your lips with a either a lip or face scrub.

Step 2: Moisturize. Before I use my moisturizers and medicated acne creams, I spritz water all over my face to reopen my pores. Remember, we just used astringent to help remove the excess oils, but it also tightens your pores.  To get the most out of your moisturizer, you want to apply it to dampened skin. I have been using this water method for about 5 years now.  I read about it in a Lucky Magazine article.  In doing research for this post, this is what I found. According to the article, Acne 102: Moisturizing Your Skin, Reducing Skin-Pore Clogging, and Treating Acne with Pure Water, by APEC Water System, water will open up the skin pores and moisturizer will seal water in your skin. "Moisturizers work by repairing the skin barrier, boosting the skin's water content, reducing the skin's water loss, and restoring the skin's natural ability to attract, hold, and redistribute water. It has been said that about 30% of the water in our outer skin layer (or the epidermis) will be affected by the conditions described here; the other two-thirds are influenced by hormonal levels, vitamin deficiency, a bad diet, toxins accumulation within the body and skin, certain drugs, and diseases" (Acne 102, n.d). You can really feel your medicated creams and gels work when you use a spritz of water to dampen your face. Moisturize your lips too.  Use a lip balm to keep the lips soft and to minimize the appearance of fine lines.

Step 3: Prime. There is only one rule: Use what works best with your skin type and skin needs.  In theory, primers can do many things from filling in fine lines, making large pores appear smaller, to the most important of them all, creating this barrier between your skin and foundation that contributes to longer wearing makeup.  I have tired 3 drug store primers and 3 high end primers for prolonged periods of time.  The best drugstore primer I have tried is by Neutrogena and the best high end primer is by LORAC.  

A general rule of thumb to get the best results from prepping the skin for makeup is to give your products wait time to absorb into the skin.  

Here is a list of products I use to prep my skin.   
Witch Hazel
Mary Kay Acne Gel Treatment
Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturizer
Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion   
Jouer Lip Enhancer 
EOS Lip Balm
LORAC Aquaprime (Discontinued!!!)
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Primer 

If you are interested in seeing how I prep my skin using these product, please watch the video. (NOT UPLOADED as of 3/27/1/3 2:04 pm) 

Brett, Jennifer, N.D., 2013. Witch Hazel - Herbal Remedies., Retrieved on March 27, 2013. 

Acne 102: Moisturizing Your Skin, Reducing Skin-Pore Clogging, and Treating Acne with Pure Water., Retrieved on March 27, 2013.



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