The Real Reason You Should Take A Short Break From Makeup

Makeup is magic. It can hide blemishes, enhance your favorite features, or, if applied improperly, unintentionally age you. But makeup aficionados may want to consider giving up their beauty routines — at least for a short while — and for good reasons.

While makeup can transform the way you look, it can also impact your skin, especially if you wear any products that contain sunscreen (via StyleCaster). Allowing your skin to breathe might be particularly helpful, even if it's just for a short span of time. Products that have SPF regularly clog pores and prevent air from properly circulating around the skin, ultimately resulting in breakouts (via NBC's "Today"). Board-certified dermatologist Robert Anolik told NBC that he advises patients, "Any product that you put on across the majority of the face, especially sunscreen, should be non-comedogenic, which is just language for saying it won't clog pores."

Congested pores aren't the only reason to forego your daily face. In fact, periodically saying no to makeup may be the best way to maintain skin health over time.

Going barefaced can restore the luster of your skin

All of the powders and foundations you wear throughout the week can not only cause congestion in your pores, they can also make your skin look dried out, flat, and mottled (via Ideal Image). Additionally, the more coverage your foundation has, the more likely it is to have this impact on your skin over time. But "by avoiding application of foundation and blush," dermatologist Nadia Kihiczak told Women's Health, "The skin is allowed to return to its natural oil balance and hydration."

In addition to the buildup that makeup can cause, taking your makeup off creates its own set of problems. Dr. Kihiczak added, "Without wearing makeup, the typical daily use of toner or over-washing the skin to remove the makeup, which can strip the skin of its natural oil balance, can be minimized further, allowing the skin to recalibrate." It doesn't take that long, either: founder of Just Good Skincare Lena Sgambati told StyleCaster that you only need to skip the foundation two out of seven days to see a significant shift in your skin's hue.

Your eyelashes need a break, too

Just like foundation application and removal can irritate the skin, coating your lashes with mascara and then taking it off can cause similar problems, according to Ideal Image. All that weight from mascara buildup — plus all the chafing from daily cleaning — can result in lashes that look even thinner, exactly the opposite of the intention of mascara. When you leave the wand on the counter every once in a while, it can actually strengthen your lashes, skincare line Skin Owl founder Annie Tevelin told StyleCaster.

Plus, let's all admit it, mascara can be frustrating. If it's not dripping onto your cheekbone, it's clotting up or smearing across your face... in an unflattering way. And you've still got to put it on and take it off every time in a self-fulfilling prophecy of dry, dull skin and fine, wispy eyelashes. A much welcomed break for your face allows your lashes to recover at the same time.

Your makeup products will last longer

An added bonus of skipping makeup? You won't go through your products as quickly because you're using fewer of them. When you do return to using makeup, your skin will have had time to rejuvenate. Your pores will have cleared up and gotten smaller, creating a smooth canvas for applying makeup. Your refreshed skin, notes Annie Tevelin to StyleCaster, then shines through and requires less color correction. "Less is sometimes more in the long run!" she added. "By removing bronzer, blush, and highlighter for a few days, skin can breathe and oxygen doesn't have to worry about finding its way through all of the layers," she said.

The benefits just keep rolling in: using less makeup can also save you some hard earned cash. Byrdie reports that the average American woman spends $3,756 every year on beauty, part of which includes makeup. By some estimates, that adds up to more than $225,000 spent on appearance-based products alone throughout a woman's lifetime. Reducing your makeup usage by just two days a week could reduce your overall makeup spending by a whopping figure — a truly win-win-win-win-win situation. 

You'll have more time for other passions

Did you know that women in New York take more time to apply their morning makeup than women in any other state? This wild fact emerged from a survey conducted by SkinStore. The e-tailer asked 3,000 women nationwide about their beauty habits. Clocking it at around 21 minutes, New Yorkers triple the national average of seven minutes. Imagine what you could do with that time if you passed on makeup just twice a week. Duolingo, anyone?

More than that, when you look at the amount of time spent in the mirror over the course of a lifetime, it's pretty shocking. Cosmopolitan reported in 2012 that the average British woman spends over 90 hours a year putting on makeup. A 2014 survey from TODAY/AOL found that American women spent a cumulative two weeks per year just getting ready to leave the house. You don't have to do a lot of math to realize that this time adds up. Life is short — and it certainly doesn't have to be lived in makeup.

There's more to skincare than just makeup

With all the money and time you've saved skipping makeup for just a couple of days a week, you can redirect it into another form of pampering for your skin. Spend your savings on the occasional facial or stay frugal and give yourself an at-home exfoliation or moisture treatment. All of these practices can help your skin maintain its dewy, youthful glimmer — without using highlighter, bronzer, or foundation.

Take skincare advice from the no-makeup queen herself, Alicia Keys. From album covers to red carpets, Keys has lived makeup-free since 2016 (via Women's Health). Her flawless complexion, she told Women's Health, is the result of her skincare regimen (which happens to include products from her skincare line, Keys SoulCare). And a regimen it is: Keys sets the scene with candles and incense, sipping water through a straw while applying her facial products, which, among other things, include a detox cleanser, a purifying cleanser, toner, and loads of moisturizer. She also spot treats any acne issues, telling Women's Health, "We all struggle with keeping skin clear, and I am very familiar with that struggle." The result of her diligence? Picture perfect skin sans makeup.