How to Cover Eczema with Makeup? Step-by-Step Guide & Tips

I have a seasonal itch. I don’t mean the tickle in my nose when the air fills with pollen. I’m talking about the little patch of Eczema on my right hand that starts to prickle when the seasons change. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have your groundhog-like abilities (I’ve even learned to embrace it over the years), but if you’ve also been a long-time sufferer of atopic or contact dermatitis, aka Eczema, you know it isn’t fun. How to Cover Eczema with Makeup?

Sometimes the smallest of patches are the most uncomfortable to deal with. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been woken up by the tiny, two-inch area on my ring finger itching and throbbing in the middle of the night.

I have it on my face and the back of my neck, too. Every time I test out a new skincare or makeup product, I pray it doesn’t irritate the Eczema on my left cheek. Let’s find out everything about Eczema.

What is Eczema | How to Cover Eczema With Makeup?

Eczema is a condition where certain areas of skin flare up and often show signs of dryness and redness, causing itchiness and skin flaking. So if you have eczema-prone skin, certain precautions must be taken when applying makeup.

Luckily, that area doesn’t flare up often, but my self-confidence tends to plummet when it does. We all know that makeup is all fun and games until you have an eczema flare-up. Yes, that eye makeup look is beautiful, and you sure want your base makeup to be flawless.

Still, if you don’t consider how to apply makeup on Eczema prone skin, you might have to deal with uncomfortable itchiness that is just not worth it.

After all, you should always put your skin first. In this guide, I will tell you how I can apply makeup on my eczema skin, the worst effects of Eczema, and some tips regarding this. These tips will help you navigate through the process.

You can also read: How to cover a Bruise without Makeup?

How to apply makeup on Eczema?

Here are some interesting tips that are beneficial for applying makeup on eczema skin. These are as follows:

  • First, Calm the Area

For applying makeup on my eczema skin, I first calm down my skin area with a cool compress to help reduce inflammation. An oatmeal soak is another quick, at-home remedy if I’m in a pinch. I mix some oatmeal in water and put gauze in it. Then I apply the soaked piece of gauze to the inflamed area.

  • Keep the Makeup Minimal

To be truthful, it is generally not advisable to put any makeup over actively inflamed skin, but if I do, it should be minimal. Dermatologists also recommend looking for products with hypoallergenic and fragrance-free phrases on their labels. 

Tidbit: Hypoallergenic is a term used when about cosmetics, meaning the products and ingredients are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Using hypoallergenic or fragrance-free products is essential for those with sensitive or eczema-prone skin.

  • Apply a Barrier

Having Eczema means my skin barrier is compromised, which could lead to redness, flaking, and irritation. Before starting with foundation and concealers, I use a thick barrier cream or a makeup primer to protect my skin. Petroleum jelly is one excellent barrier product that will lock in moisture so that my skin doesn’t get dry, and it also protects the skin from makeup. Hydrating primers are also a great option. 

  • Skip the Powder Products

Cream-based products are the way to go for eczema-prone skin. Powders add texture. I find cream blush and bronzer that can be gentler on my skin, though.

Liquid foundations or anything with a dry-down tends to dry out, cling, and exacerbate Eczema’s texture. Sticks and creams do not compromise the skin underneath them.

  • Use Skin-friendly Brands

Skin-friendly brands such as Dermablend and Colorescience for non-irritating base makeup. The Dermablend Flawless Creator foundation is an Allure favorite — it won a Best of Beauty Award in 2018. For the on-the-go, Colorescience Loose Mineral Foundation Brush SPF 20 is great for touch-ups.

  • Use Your Fingers

When it comes to application, minimizing friction is critical. So firm brushstrokes and too much blending can increase eczema symptoms, such as flaking. I pat on skincare and makeup. After that, I use gentle brushes or sponges with as minor rubbing as possible. It will also help prevent caking.

  • Look for Color-Correcting Product

For lighter coverage, I suggest using a color-correcting product, like L.A. Girl High-Definition Concealer. The more product on dry skin, the flakier and cakier the result. I use yellow or green for redness if I have a golden undertone. I use peach or orange for darker tones and blue for fairer skin.

  • Cream Is the Answer

Avoid powders and turn to cream-based products instead. The powder will only dry skin and make it prone to an eczema flare-up. I choose cream foundations over powder or even liquid ones as they eventually dry up to set into my skin.

I tried a cream-based stick highlighter and bronzer instead of powder for my highlight and contour. Cream formulas are balmy and don’t dry up my skin.

  • Finger Blending

I try using my fingers instead of makeup brushes and sponge tools. Brushes and sponges tend to cause friction and can irritate eczema-prone skin. Patting on base makeup with my fingers will give me much better results, and if I like, I can very lightly tap a brush or sponge for a light blending effect.

  • You can always Distract

It’s OK to leave my skin alone and forget makeup altogether. Sometimes covering up may be doing more harm than good. When I have an eczema flare, I try to cover it with makeup which may exacerbate it. I would generally recommend against it while acutely inflamed and itchy.

  • Cleanse and Replenish
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As soon as I have done wearing makeup for any event, it’s essential to wash it off right away after I come back home. The quicker I get my makeup off, the sooner I can apply any treatments to help calm and nourish my skin.

Again, I avoid friction and tugging on the skin when washing, especially when removing makeup. I recommend using a gentle cleanser, like Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser, with warm water only when cleansing (as opposed to hot).

Effects of Eczema

Eczema also called atopic dermatitis, is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes dryness, itchiness, rashes, and blisters. Living with facial Eczema requires some special considerations when buying beauty and skin care products, which I might already know.

If I have Eczema, it’s generally safe to wear makeup, except during a flare-up. When my skin is inflamed, I want to lay off the makeup until the symptoms subside. Not all makeup is well suited to eczema-prone skin. Some makeup, for instance, contains irritants that can trigger or worsen flare-ups. 

That’s why most dermatologists emphasize the importance of constantly checking ingredient labels before investing in a new foundation, blush, eyeshadow, or other makeup product. Most people with Eczema are more prone to skin sensitivity and allergies.

So, I try to choose brands and products for sensitive skin, which generally means they have minimal ingredients, no fragrance, and fewer chemicals.”

Tips on How to Choose Non-Irritating Eczema-friendly Makeup

What to consider when wearing makeup with Eczema:

1. As a general rule, make it a point to seek out makeup labeled as hypoallergenic or formulated for sensitive skin. These products tend to have fewer of the most common allergens that can worsen Eczema.

2. Also, I try to avoid gel-based products, as Link recommends. Their alcohol-based formulas can strip skin of all its moisture and potentially aggravate eczema symptoms like dryness and itchiness.

3. I might opt for cream and mousse formulas instead, as these tend to be much less drying to eczema-prone skin than powders. Makeup powders can worsen or draw attention to any texture issues.

4. If I have an allergy or sensitivity to a particular ingredient, makeup with that can worsen my eczema.

5. If I find my eczema flares up frequently on my cheeks, eyelids, or other areas where I apply makeup, a good next step involves connecting with a dermatologist. They can help me to identify which ingredients to avoid and offer more guidance on choosing eczema-friendly ingredients.

6. If you have Eczema, you need to check the ingredients on any products touching your skin. It includes:

  • Cleansers
  • Moisturizers and lotions.
  • Sunscreens.
  • Makeup.
  • Hair care products.

7. Some beneficial ingredients that could help soothe Eczema or at least prevent it from worsening include:

Hyaluronic acid: Many people with Eczema tend to have a low skin water content due to a weakened skin barrier. But hyaluronic acid can help keep your skin supple and hydrated by attracting moisture.

Glycerin: This natural compound can help your skin attract and retain moisture. These fatty acids can help promote a strong and healthy skin barrier and shield your skin from environmental stressors like pollution and dry air.

Application Tips

In addition to paying attention to the ingredients in my makeup products, the following tips may help to avoid eczema flare-ups.

Choose Right Tools

  • I use sponges, gentle brushes, or even my fingertips to apply makeup without irritating and inflaming the skin.
  • Always clean tools since bacteria on brushes or my hands may aggravate the skin. I wash my brushes with gentle shampoo and water every 7 to 10 days to kill harmful bacteria. 
  • Apply products gently, with as little friction and pressure as possible.
  • Layer carefully by using a primer before applying foundation may help to provide a buffer between my skin and the makeup.

Take Care of Your Eyes

As far as eye makeup is concerned, I advise staying away from the following:

False lashes

The adhesive glue can irritate dry or sensitive skin. Purple eyeliner. Carmine and manganese violet, the pigments used in the purple color liner, can sometimes cause contact dermatitis.

Waterproof eye makeup

Removing any waterproof makeup may require me to scrub my skin harder to wash it completely clean. Plus, some eye makeup removers contain harsh, irritating ingredients. Wood recommends adding water to a gentle, washable cloth to remove stubborn and removing alcohol-activated makeup.

Can you put makeup over Eczema?

When having an eczema flare, trying to cover it with makeup may exacerbate it. “I would generally recommend against it while acutely inflamed and itchy. For example, if eyelid eczema flares up, you should stop all makeup and focus on moisture to repair the skin barrier.

How can I cover up Eczema on my face?

Powdery concealer and blush can get stuck in the patches of dry skin on my face, making my Eczema more apparent. I switch to cream-based concealers for a smooth cover-up experience. When looking for concealer and blushes, I pick ones that include shea butter, glycerin, or lanolin.

How can I cover up eczema patches?

Integrating these four steps into your beauty routine will help you cover patches of atopic dermatitis safely and effectively.

1. Exfoliate gently with a moisturizer containing lactic acid or urea. 

2. Use a primer – you can also use vaseline as a primer.

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3. Use a redness neutralizer.

4. Avoid using matte foundations and powders.

How can I look pretty with Eczema?

I can look for a creamy formula that adds moisture, too. Then I use a flesh-tone concealer to hide the green tint. After that, I put on my makeup with a translucent powder. Skin with Eczema is sensitive, and makeup may irritate it.

What should you not put on Eczema?

8 skincare ingredients to avoid if you have Eczema, according to dermatologists:

1. Fragrances. 

2. Essential oils. 

3. Urea. 

4. Lanolin.

5. Retinoids.

6. Cocamidopropyl betaine. 

7. Propylene glycol. 

8. Ethanol.

Can you put Vaseline on Eczema?

Petroleum jelly is well tolerated and works well for sensitive skin, which makes it an ideal treatment for eczema flare-ups. Unlike some products that can sting and cause discomfort, petroleum jelly has moisturizing and soothing properties that alleviate irritation, redness, and discomfort.

Should you cover Eczema or let it breathe?

Wet wrapping to treat moderate to severe Eczema is generally well tolerated. However, there are a few potential risks and side effects to consider. Covering the skin increases the potency of topical treatments, which may make them more effective.

What causes eczema flare-ups on the face?

People with atopic dermatitis usually experience flare-ups, where the Eczema worsens over time. Triggers of flare-ups include low humidity, cold weather, and extreme temperature changes. Irritants, such as detergents, soaps, perfumes, and fragrances.

Why am I getting Eczema on my face?

While the cause is unknown, certain things like allergies, asthma, and a family history of Eczema may increase your risk of developing the condition. Eczema flare-ups are often triggered by exposure to chemicals, fragrances, heat, allergens, and stress.

What triggers Eczema?

Common triggers include irritants such as soaps and detergents, shampoo, washing-up liquid, and bubble baths. Environmental factors or allergens include cold and dry weather, dampness, and more specific things such as house dust mites, pet fur, pollen, and molds.

How long does it take for Eczema to clear up?

For most people, Eczema is a lifelong condition with occasional flare-ups. Once treated, it can take several weeks for rashes to clear up. Since these rashes develop from adverse immune reactions, there’s also a risk that more flare-ups will occur unless you reduce your exposure to triggers.

Should you cleanse Eczema?

Regular washing is essential at every stage of atopic Eczema, as cleansing helps prevent infection in your now fragile skin. Always hydrate your skin after every bath or shower: washing and hydrating should go hand in hand.

Should I moisturize if I have Eczema?

When you have Eczema or atopic dermatitis, it’s critical to use a moisturizer. Dry skin can often make Eczema worse. Moisturizers lock in water and create a barrier against things that can irritate your skin.

What cures Eczema fast?

Corticosteroid creams, solutions, gels, foams, and ointments. These treatments, made with hydrocortisone steroids, can quickly relieve itching and reduce inflammation. They have different strengths, from mild over-the-counter (OTC) treatments to more vital prescription medicines.

How do I get rid of Eczema forever?

There is no permanent cure for Eczema, but specific lifestyle changes and treatments may ease itching and prevent future breakouts.

Is Vaseline good for Eczema?

Petroleum jelly is well tolerated and works well for sensitive skin, which makes it an ideal treatment for eczema flare-ups. Unlike some products that can sting and cause discomfort, petroleum jelly has moisturizing and soothing properties that alleviate irritation, redness, and discomfort.

Why does my Eczema burn when I put cream on it?

Lotions are primarily made of water; they evaporate quickly and may contain preservatives that burn when applied to scratched or broken skin. So that’s why my Eczema burns when I put cream on it.

Why do I have Eczema?

Common triggers include irritants such as soaps and detergents, shampoo, washing-up liquid, and bubble baths. Environmental factors or allergens include cold and dry weather, dampness, and more specific things such as house dust mites, pet fur, pollen, and molds.

What is the difference between Eczema and dermatitis?

Dermatitis means inflammation of the skin. Eczema is a term used to describe a group of skin conditions in which the skin is itchy, dry, and inflamed. The terms Eczema and dermatitis are often used interchangeably. But “dermatitis” is a broader term that encompasses more than eczema rashes.

Is Eczema a fungal infection?

An infection from Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, or other bacteria is just one cause of infected Eczema. Others include fungal infections (especially from Candida) and viral infections. People with Eczema may be more prone to herpes simplex viruses, so avoiding others with cold sores is essential.

What’s best for Eczema on the face?

The best way to keep your skin from drying out is with thick creams (Cetaphil, Eucerin) and ointments (Aquaphor, Vaseline), not thinner lotions. The best time to do this is right after you wash your face. If ointments are too greasy for your face, try using them only at night.

How often should I wash my face with Eczema?

“When addressing Eczema, I always start by simplifying my skin care regimen and removing any possible triggers. “I typically switch to a gentle, soap-free cleanser and a soothing, quality moisturizer to be used twice daily.

Can you put too much cream on Eczema?

Researchers have reported that people with Eczema who use moisturizing cream can end up worsening their condition. Famous brands bought in high street shops can irritate the skin.

Does drinking water help Eczema?

Anyone with Eczema has inherently dry skin and is susceptible to weaker skin barrier function. Therefore, drinking water (mainly exercise) is recommended to keep the body and skin hydrated.

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What soaps to avoid with Eczema?

Deodorant: People with Eczema should avoid deodorant soaps, as they usually contain skin-irritating scents.

Dye: Those with Eczema should avoid soaps that contain dye, which can be an allergen. 

Harsh soaps: Some ingredients, which may worsen Eczema, include propylene glycol, salicylic acid, and formaldehyde.

What happens if Eczema is left untreated?

As atopic Eczema can cause my skin to become cracked and broken, the skin is likely to become infected with bacteria. The risk is higher if I scratch my Eczema or do not use my treatments correctly. Signs of a bacterial infection can include fluid oozing from the skin.

Does peeling skin mean Eczema is healing?

If you have peeling skin, it’s a sign that your skin is healing from some damage. Sunburns, allergies, and skin diseases cause the skin to peel. Treatments for cancer, acne, and aging can also cause peeling skin. Picking at peeling skin can lead to infection.

What are the stages of Eczema?

Eczema has three stages: 

1. Acute. 

2. Subacute.

3. Chronic.

Each eczema stage has its distinct symptoms.

What are the 7 different types of Eczema?

1. Atopic dermatitis. 

2. Contact dermatitis. 

3. Dyshidrotic Eczema. 

4. Hand eczema. 

5. Neurodermatitis. 

6. Nummular Eczema. 

7. Stasis dermatitis.

What foods worsen Eczema?

Some common foods that may trigger an eczema flare-up and could be removed from a diet include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Gluten or wheat
  • Soy
  • Spices, such as vanilla, cloves, and cinnamon.
  • Tomatoes
  • Some types of nuts

Does aloe vera help Eczema?

Aloe vera is a natural moisturizer. Many people find that aloe vera gel can hydrate and soothe eczema-damaged skin. Individuals often turn to natural remedies, such as aloe vera gel, to soothe patches of Eczema. Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a condition that causes patches of skin to become itchy and irritated.

Can Eczema spread by touch?

If you have infected Eczema, it’s possible to pass on the secondary infection to another person through close contact. Symptoms of infected Eczema include redness that spreads around the original rash.

Who is most likely to have Eczema?

Eczema affects males and females equally and is more common in people with a personal or family history of asthma, environmental allergies, and food allergies.

Does Eczema get worse with age?

Skin becomes drier as we age, leading to roughness, scaling, and itchiness. In women at menopause, as estrogen levels decline, changes in the skin are observed that make the skin more prone to Eczema.

What foods help clear Eczema?

Vegetables and fruits are high in inflammation-fighting flavonoids: Apples, broccoli, cherries, blueberries, spinach, and kale. Flavonoids have been found to help improve the overall health of a person’s skin and fight problems such as inflammation (which is associated with Eczema).

What does face eczema look like?

Depending on skin color, Eczema on the face may appear with red, white, or purple bumps. It may also show as a rash, blisters, or cracked skin. It occurs in both children and adults. There’s no cure, so you might have repeated flares where symptoms last a few weeks, go away, and then return.

Is sunlight good for Eczema?

Because Eczema is a type of inflammation, and the sun provides an anti-inflammatory effect. More specifically, its ultraviolet (U.V.) rays may help improve Eczema. It is the concept behind phototherapy, used to minimize flare-ups.

Should I shower everyday with Eczema?

Keeping my skin clean and moisturized is essential to eczema management and overall self-care. A daily shower or bath is one of the best ways to remove bacteria from my skin and prevent eczema flare-ups.

Does the sun clear up Eczema?

Some people find that their Eczema improves with exposure to sunlight (this is particularly true of the contact and discoid types), while others experience a worsening of their condition. Rarely, Eczema is directly caused by exposure to ultraviolet light (sunlight).

Is Eczema an autoimmune disease?

For the first time, a team led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has proven that atopic dermatitis, also known as Eczema, is an immune-driven (autoimmune) disease at the molecular level.

What do dermatologists recommend for Eczema?

Dermatologists recommend and prescribe a topical corticosteroid based on your age, the location and surface area of a rash, and the severity of symptoms. Topical corticosteroids are applied directly to the affected areas of the skin once or twice a day, depending on the type of corticosteroid prescribed.

How did I heal my Eczema naturally?

There are the top 8 natural remedies for eczema healing:

1. Aloe vera gel.

2. Apple cider vinegar.

3. Bleach baths.

4. Colloidal oatmeal.

5. Baths.

6. Coconut oil.

7. Honey.

8. Tea tree oil.

What is mistaken for Eczema?

Psoriasis and Eczema may present with similar symptoms: discolored skin, rash, itching, and burning sensations. Though they are sometimes mistaken for each other, the difference is striking to a healthcare provider in most cases.

Final Thoughts

You can wear makeup if you have Eczema, but you’ll mostly want to opt for products without potential irritants and common allergens. I also recommend avoiding makeup during an eczema flare. Remember, too, that it’s always wise to do a patch test when trying new products. Patch testing can help you check your skin’s reaction before fully applying the product to your face.