I have to confess I love dressing up for Halloween. One year I was the Wicked Witch complete with green foundation. Another year I painted my face like a tiger as in the poem by Yeats ( Tyger, tyger burning bright). My least successful Halloween look was a clown costume complete with blue circles around my eyes and a bright red nose. While all three were very different looks they shared a common characteristic– they left my skin a train wreck. The next day my eyes were tearing and my skin was red and blotchy. Then it only got worse with breakouts and bumps that lasted for weeks.
What Causes Halloween Skin Hangover?
How could one night of fright make-up linger on? Easy! The greasy pigmented base gets trapped in the pores and sets up home. Irritation from the fragrance and pigments tigger a flood of inflammatory compounds to the scene. Add the sugar and chocolate from the Halloween haul and we’re lucky to have any skin at all.
Preventing and Treating Halloween Skin
You want to throughly take off the make-up before you go to sleep– and you’re going to need more than a swipe of a washcloth. Start by taking off the make-up on and around the eye with non-oily eye make-up remover pads. Use several until the pads remain clean when you move them around the eye area. Wet a microfiber cloth and start removing the make-up on the rest of the face. You don’t need to use additional soap at this point since the microfiber works just with water. This will avoid using heavy cold creams which just add to the problem. Keep turning the cloth until no more make-up appears on the fabric. Then apply a dab of cleansing gel on a microdermabrasion brush ( eg Clarisonic) to clear out the make-up that that is still stuck in the pores. Rinse throughly with lukewarm water. Dry gently and avoid using anything else that night. Your skin needs to rest and breathe.
One last thought: Toss out the rest of your Halloween make-up and buy fresh products every year. Once opened, make-up stays fresh for 3-6 months and the next Halloween night is 12 months away.