Tips on Makeup and Skin Cancer
Last updated: March 2023
If you love wearing makeup like me, and have had facial skin cancer, then you know that it is sometimes a struggle to find the right balance. On one hand, you still love the right makeup choices, but sometimes certain looks can accentuate your scarring. And while I don’t mind my scars, not everyone wants to draw attention to theirs. Here are some tips on makeup and skin cancer.
Scarring from skin cancer
Let’s face it - skin cancer sometimes leaves you with scars. For some, this makes them feel self-conscious. And that's okay, but sometimes you can feel more confident with the right look.
Choosing the right makeup
- First things first, always use sunscreen. There are many brands that either pair with your makeup or you can find a foundation that has sunscreen in it. Just look at the amount of coverage to be sure it’s enough.
- Using a primer before you start helps even out your skin so that any makeup you use will glide instead of soak in.
- Find a makeup that won’t settle into the areas of the skin where scarring is present. This means no heavy or thick foundations. One type of foundation that works well is a mineral-based one. You can also find lighter formulas that give the skin a dewy look, instead of a matte one.
- When it comes to concealers, these work well to cover up scarring, but you have to find the right color. If you have scarring from skin cancer, these are sometimes red in color while healing. The best concealer for red is green. This is because green neutralizes reds, and this creates a more natural base on the scar. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to put makeup on a fresh wound that hasn’t healed at all. But if your scar is past that stage and simply has a red hue, you’re good to go.
- For brown scars or skin-colored ones, simply match your skin tone with the concealer color. Many people go with a lighter and brighter concealer. Just make sure that for your scars, you want it to match your skin, not enhance the scarred area. A lighter concealer works well to hide scars, just don’t go too bright. So, either a match to your skin tone or one shade lighter is best.
- Loose powder works well to set your makeup when you’re done. While there is no clear answer, setting or loose powder with talc may have carcinogens. Instead, find one that is talc-free, just to be safe.
Enhancing other areas - makeup tips and skin cancer
If you’re like me and love a smokey eye, this helps draw the attention to that area instead of your scar. The same goes for wonderfully full and pouty lips. If you want to minimize the attention to your scar, play up your other assets. Let the world see how beautiful your eyes are or your high cheekbones.
Love your look no matter what
The most important thing is to love yourself and how you look. I get it, not everyone loves their scars. But it’s a part of you, and shows you’re a survivor. Either way, choosing the right makeup really makes a difference in how the world sees your scars.
Do you sunscreen in the fall?