About Makeup & Eczema


Scaly, flaking and cracked skin is a sure sign that your eczema is flaring up. You want to minimize these uncomfortable symptoms, but you also want to conceal the flare-up. When choosing makeup to wear during an eczema outbreak, consider your skin's sensitivity to promote proper healing.

Choosing the Right Products

Your cosmetic routine can help or hinder the healing of an eczema flare-up.

Gentle Cosmetics

Choosing gentle products designed especially for sensitive skin ensures that your cosmetic routine does not prevent your eczema outbreak from healing. Using products with these features can help you conceal the redness and irritation without exacerbating it:

  • Fragrance free: Always opt for products without fragrances, which are a common irritant for eczema-affected skin.
  • Mineral based: Mineral makeup lacks water, which is used in a preservative in cosmetics and can trigger inflammation in eczema-prone skin.
  • Lightweight: Choose foundations and concealers that are breathable and lightweight, which allow your irritated skin to heal.
  • Moisture rich: Seek out gentle products that feature a built-in moisturizer, which can hydrate your scaly and flaking flare-up.


  • Search cosmetic labels for three words: hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic and nonacnegenic. These cosmetics are the most gentle on your irritated skin.

Irritants to Avoid

Some ingredients and makeup types can harm eczema-prone skin and can irritate your flare-up and delay healing.

  • Skin-drying ingredients: Glycolic and salicylic acid, as well as retinol, have the potential to dry out the skin, which can be damaging if you have eczema.
  • Preservatives: Preservatives extend the life of your cosmetics but can irritate eczema-prone skin. Avoid any cosmetic that has water listed as an ingredient because that means it also has preservatives in it.
  • Fragrances: Even botanical-based fragrances have the potential to irritate your already sensitive skin.
  • Shiny or shimmery products: Mica and sunscreen are two ingredients that can add shine or shimmer to cosmetics. Unfortunately, they can also be harsh on your eczema flare-up.

Makeup Application Tips

Keeping your eczema flare-up hydrated encourages healing and aids in makeup application. Start your cosmetic routine by applying a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer to your skin -- look for one with shea butter, hyaluronic acid or glycerin. This moisturized skin will encourage those flakes to fall off, and it will create a smoother base for your makeup. As a result, your makeup won't look caked on thanks to this moisturizing base.

When trying a new cosmetic product, test an unaffected area of skin, such as under your jawline. Wait 24 hours before applying it all over to ensure your skin doesn't react poorly to the cosmetic.

To avoid worsening your flare-up, wear as little makeup as possible until your skin heals. The less makeup, the better when it comes to treating eczema.


  • If your eczema flare-up is particularly irritated or oozing, forgo makeup for a day or two. Wait until the oozing has stopped before wearing makeup again.

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