woman taking a shower
Take it all off.

Wash. Your. Face.

If you care about your wellbeing, there are many reasons why you should. I’m not staying this cause I’m the best at doing it, because I’m not. But here are reasons I’m right:

  1. If you wear makeup to your checkup, you hide info from the doctor
  2. Makeup itself is full of garbage that is bad for your health
  3. Wearing makeup to hide being worn out enables pushing to burnout
  4. Wearing makeup to hide the fact that your are ill allows putting off healing
  5. Wearing makeup to bed doesn’t let your skin breathe
  6. Wearing makeup to the gym doesn’t let your skin sweat
  7. Changing your face with makeup can feed imposter syndrome
  8. Transforming your face with makeup does not allow people to know YOU 

I will break down all the reasons these are evil.

But first, I will say, honestly, that I love makeup.


I love theatrical makeup, for acting or for Halloween, and I love seeing multicoloured ombre hair, long lashes, and expertly applied full-face glamour makeup on other people, and I love watching makeup transformations, and I really enjoy doing myself up for a big event. I loved putting on makeup when I was younger and pretending to be Madonna, I love highlighting now. It is fun. Makeup is fun.

It is also a life saver, even a “face” saver. There were years where makeup helped me to leave the house, when I couldn’t imagine going out without my mascara to feel sexy, my concealer to feel acceptable, or my blush to feel pretty. Not only was this the answer to my need and problem, I felt it was necessary for others. Going out without makeup would elicit all kinds of comments like “you look tired”, or “what’s wrong?” or “you don’t look too good”.

Although those were not very polite or sensitive comments, they were reasonable. Because without makeup, it was plain to see that I was not well. The problem was, I did not know what was wrong.

I didn’t know why I had dark circles under my eyes, unbelievably dry and sensitive skin, a dull complexion, unruly hair. It just seemed those things were me. But it also seemed that those things were not acceptable. And so there were years when I would hide my dull and blotchy complexion under foundation because I didn’t know what else to do.

And that brings me to item number 1.

  1. If you wear makeup to your health appointment, you hide info from the doctor
adult care cure doctor
Are you hiding how ill you look?

There is an incredible amount of information in your face. I don’t mean all the biometrics that they use at the airport. I mean a physical exam by a trained health practitioner is an opportunity to note nutritional deficiencies and health imbalances. Even an otherwise distracted and abrupt doctor doctor visit can become one of concern if the doctor can SEE that you are not totally well.

Now, not all physicians made use of their observational skills to their full capacity, but many will do so to some extent, and naturopathic and functional physicians do so regularly.

There are so many things we can learn from looking at faces (and hair, nails, skin, eyes and teeth) that I will devote and entire post to it!! Meanwhile, eat your pride, and go to the doctor looking like you look, even if you look BAD.

(Update: I wrote the post, it is here and I linked to it in the text above too)

person s right three fingers
Do you wonder why you need fake nails?

2. Makeup itself is full of garbage that is bad for your health

  • Parabens
  • Phtalates
  • BHT, BHA
  • Lead and other heavy minerals
  • Quaternium-15 and other formaldehyde-releasers
  • Toxic sunscreens
  • Petroleum
  • Hydroquinone
  • Retinol
  • Formaldehyde
  • Retinol

This part is something we can get into in another post.


  • Wearing makeup to hide being worn out enables pushing to burnout
photography of a woman sitting on the chair listening to music
Why does no one knows you’re overworked?

My lovely friend Devon once kindly helped me when I moved cross-country, accepting me and my stuff into her busy life for a few days, despite the fact that she was juggling things and was sick with a nasty cold. Dressed for comfort, she stuffed her mussed hair under a tuque, blew her reddened nose, and adeptly got support from her boyfriend to make my stay comfortable, before heading out.

When I asked if she was going to work like that, she looked me in the eye and said “You bet I am. I am sick but I am coming in, and they had better notice and appreciate that”.

If your family doesn’t see, if your neighbours don’t see, if no one sees that you are struggling, tired, overwhelmed, or sick, they’re less likely to help, or to cut you any slack.

That was a revelation to me, since my approach on sick days was to do everything I could to hide the fact that I was not 100%. I was fascinated. I also noted that I was chronically under-appreciated and overworked, while Devon was promoted and got a substantial raise that year. I decided to reconsider my approach.


  • Wearing makeup to hide the fact that your are ill delays healing
    monochrome photography of woman wearing cross necklace

If I ask WHAT should I do if I have a beauty problem, I will always end up with something consumable – a beauty treatment, a makeup product – designed to compensate for a lack of health. This makes it easy to never stop to ask WHY I need it.

You see, when our nails chip too much to grow, ladies start making nail appointments, when they have dark circles they buy concealer, when their hair is dry and frizzy they get a keratin treatment, when their eyebrows are thinning they get micro-blading, and when dark hair is growing in, they get laser treatments.

Rarely do people ask “Why are the outer third of my eyebrows thinning?” but if they did, they might realize they have hypo-thyroidism! Instead they ask, “What to do about thinning eyebrows?”, and they end up with a 3-step Kardashian eyebrow makeup kit.

The normalization of beauty treatments, and the idea that getting them is a treat – makes us focus on why we deserve them, and we now defend our right to this as self care, when true self-care is the stuff that would keep you healthy in the first place.


  • Wearing makeup to bed doesn’t let your skin breathe
photo of a woman hugging a blue pillow
If he is good enough to sleep with he is good enough to show your face to photo: Pexels.com


  • If you wear a powder foundation or sunscreen, the drying effects are more noticeable at night, and can lead to lines as your skin dries up.

Conversely, moist foundation, primer, BB and CC creams, even sunscreens all collect particles while you are out during the day – free radicals, dust and other assaults actually stick to the makeup. If you’ve been near a wildfire zone, you probably have tons of crap stuck to your face!

In both cases, the material you are wearing creates a smooth look in part by filling the pores in your face. By not washing your face, you leave that stuff in the pores all night, which can actually stretch them out! Clear them out, and let your face rest.

By not washing the makeup off at night, you are not washing off the pollution that has accumulated in the makeup you are wearing, giving it longterm access to your skin, exposing your skin to aging free radicals.


  • Wearing makeup to the gym doesn’t let your skin sweat
woman wearing a tank top
Let’s stop the madness.

Remember that I said that wearing makeup makes your face collect particles all day long? Well, wearing a face full of makeup to the gym means it is easier for the bacteria on the mats, balls and weights to stick to your face.

Then those pores and follicles, all filled with makeup, have a harder time sweating, and sweating is a natural way for the body to cleanse itself. It is possible to create some spots this way, as well as increase the likelihood of having dry spots and oily spots. For a nice even complexion, wash your face before a workout.


  • Transforming your face with makeup can feed imposter syndrome
portrait of woman leaning on wall
Do you feel like a beauty imposter?

Although it can feel amazing to look amazing, if you rely on makeup, knowing how much you need it will ruin your self confidence, not build it. If you think that you look best when you look completely unlike yourself, we have an issue.

Many women feel like imposters when they stand up and say “I’m an expert”, “I’m beautiful”, or “I’m an author”, as if they have no right no claim that. Even if they have plenty of education, natural beauty or writing experience, they feel like imposters, unless they have passed some kind of test.

One kind of test is the bare face test. The test of being able to go out without makeup on. It will break the imposter syndrome you have around your beauty, and make you feel authentic.

Some women cannot do it, and this undermines their confidence instead of building it, because they know, the makeup is a crutch.


  • Transforming your face with makeup does not allow people to know YOU 
woman wearing red shirt with red lipstick
Some people lips are small. That is life.

I am not really judging people who wear a lot of makeup on a first date. However some potential partners may feel catfished if everything from your hair extensions to your nails and tan are fake, and you peel off a gel bra, eyelashes, Spanx, and face slimming tape at night!

If you look so very different in makeup that you can’t spontaneously jump in a pool or otherwise let yourself be free for fear of exposing your real face, that’s a problem to me, but that’s because I value the expression of your inner joy more than I prioritize you looking Instagram-able.

If you feel the need to take the idea of no makeup selfies and push it to include CC cream, lash extensions, Vaseline brushed eyebrows, and tinted lip balm and brows, you are pretty clearly not embracing who you naturally are, which is the point of no makeup selfies.

woman wearing pink top
No makeup…like for real?

But it also means you are showing no weakness, and you are not allowing vulnerability, and you are not really letting anyone know you. I think the more you need your makeup, the harder you may find it is to have true close friends or lovers.

But what do I know? Some women never let their husbands see them without their makeup on and hair curled. To each their own.

Just be sure, if you’re a “I get my nails done like clockwork” kinda gal, that you check out my post about what secrets your body is telling.



About Dana Green Remedios

Holistic Nutritionist

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