Whether you’re hitting the beach for a long weekend or unexpectedly get invited to a pool party this summer, you just might not want to take off the makeup you spent time perfecting that morning—even if you didn’t use waterproof products. But runny mascara and eyeliner aside, will keeping a full face of makeup on when you dive in the water have any effect on your skin?
Breathe a sigh of relief because it turns out keeping your makeup on in the water isn’t the best thing for your complexion, but it’s not the worst either. “If makeup is water resistant and has sun protection, it can be helpful to your skin,” says Great Neck, New York-based dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf. If you’re going to wear your makeup in the water, she recommends applying sunscreen followed by water resistant makeup that also offers SPF protection.
The dermatologist’s advice holds up for salt water and chlorine-filled pools, both of which can irritate and dry out skin. Once you get out of the water, you can still ride out your morning makeup application, but it might be a good idea to wipe any residual makeup off. “If it [makeup] dries with your wet skin, it can cause further irritation and bacteria can sit on the skin,” she explains.
A few foolproof solutions: Don’t forget to apply sunscreen, and swap your products for formulas that offer SPF protection when possible.