How Long To Let Your Skin Care Set Before Applying Makeup


The key to a glowing makeup look is a clean, hydrated canvas. This means you’ll want to pamper your skin before applying makeup: Whether you reach for a facial massage tool or a skin-plumping serum (like those with hyaluronic acid), this step will help your makeup apply evenly and last longer—with one caveat. You must let your skin care set before layering on makeup. 

“I recommend waiting a full five minutes or longer to ensure that all the products have been completely absorbed,” esthetician, skin care expert, and PCA SKIN’s peel ambassador Candice Miele tells mbg. The longer you can wait, though, the better. Especially if you have multiple layers of product on (think serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, etc.) it may take a bit more time for those products to fully absorb. 

How do you know you applied makeup before your skin care set? “If you apply makeup before your skin care has set, your makeup can ball up and roll off the skin,” Miele says, also known as pilling. See, most makeup is oil based—and if you remember the rules of basic chemistry, oil and water do not mix. So if you use water-based skin care products (i.e., humectant serums or moisturizers) and apply an oil-based product right on top, it will create those tiny, pesky beads when you attempt to blend. “Also, the makeup can slide around, not set properly, and won’t be as long-lasting,” says Miele. 

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