Dermatologist Approved: How to Safely and Effectively Remove Makeup

Have you seen the 100 Layers of Foundation video making it's way around the internet? While most of us aren't as extreme with our makeup routines, it is still important to remove makeup safely without damaging the skin. Watch as Dr. Sherry Ingraham demonstrates the best practices for safely removing foundation, lipstick, mascara and more!


Beauty Blogger: Okay. What do you guys think? I have 100 layers of foundation on.

News Reporter: That video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. It's a beauty blogger applying 100 layers of foundation, as you just heard. We aren't really sure why, but she jokes about having too much free time.

News Reporter: But, for dermatologists, this is no joke. Dr. Sherry Ingraham with Advanced Dermatology is here to tell us why. Good morning to you.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: Good morning.

News Reporter: Well, obviously most people are not going to even have enough time to apply 100 layers, but a lot of people are kind of taking this and putting many more layers of foundation than they should. What's the problem with doing that?

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: Less is more. When it comes to makeup, you want to let the skin breathe. Every layer you're applying is going to be absorbed into the skin or sit on top of the skin. There's bacteria that you're basically locking onto the skin, and then the pores are not breathing. And so, eventually, you're going to have acne, rosacea, or possibly a skin infection or worse, even in some cases, an irritant or allergic dermatitis.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: So, you want to keep it simple. You also in these videos can find, sometimes they're blow drying the face to set the makeup. Blow dryers are not to be put on the skin. Now, if you're hot in the summertime and your skin sweats a lot, sometimes I'll say you can take a blow dryer on a cool setting just to cool yourself, but that's not what they're doing. They're actually baking it on, and that's not ideal. You can burn the skin.

News Reporter: And you brought in a lovely lady this morning.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: Yes, this is Samara, and Samara is going to demonstrate the proper way to remove makeup.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: So, what you want to do is take a little bit of cleanser, apply it with only your hands to your skin, and she's going to show you this. You don't want to use a washcloth to apply the cleanser, because you're going to irritate and kind of abrade the skin. After you rinse several times with water, then you're going to pat dry with a nice washcloth. You don't want to scrub. I think that's a misconception that people think, "Let's remove the-"

News Reporter: Exfoliate.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: Exactly.

News Reporter: But you don't want to do that.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: You don't want to do that. This is a nice, simple way to do that. And then-

News Reporter: So your fingers are really doing most of the work.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: You want your fingers to do the work.

News Reporter: So, wash your hands before, make sure you're not putting bacteria in your face, right?

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: Exactly, exactly. And then, another nice thing now are these Neutrogena-type wipes. Now, someone like Samara who's actually eczema prone, can't use these wipes. She'll tell you they burn her skin. But I do like them for removing lipstick. I think they're a nice way to remove lipstick, because you don't want to get lipstick on your towels. It doesn't come off easily. And then, for eye makeup, you want to use a specific eye makeup remover. And I usually recommend taking a cotton ball or a cotton pad and gently dabbing and wiping the eye makeup off. In these videos where they have a hundred layers of mascara on, you can only imagine how much eye irritation and loss of eyelashes you can get. There are cleansers that are for gentle cleansing that are ideal for acne prone skin but aren't too strong. And then, there's cleansers for rosacea prone skin.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: I also like toners where you can use a toner lightly on a cotton pad, swipe it across your face at night, and if you have heavier foundation on, you can do that first before you gently cleanse your skin.

News Reporter: All right, Dr. Ingraham, thank you for coming in. Excellent information. We need to carefully watch these and keep our faces clean.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: Yes. A hundred layers is not good.

News Reporter: Light and clean, Tom, that's the way we're going this summer.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: Light and clean.