Does Your Skin Need a Makeup Break?

Kate Sullivan, Allure magazine

The "stars without makeup"
gotcha issue of our favorite weeklies always go directly into the recycling bin, in large part because it's simply not that shocking to take a day off from makeup. But is it necessary? Recently, reality star and designer Kimora Lee Simmons told the Miami Herald that she gives her skin "a day off" when she's doing off-camera work or is busy at home with her kids. "No heavy makeup, just some lip gloss maybe a light eye, that's it," she said. We asked the experts whether skin needs to go makeup-free.

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"In theory, if we did a great job of cleansing each day, it would not be necessary," says Ranella Hirsch, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine. "The reality though, is that we often don't. So a break is not a bad thought, as it permits better results from your skin-care."

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New York City dermatologist Doris Day has a similar take. "[There's] no need to take a day off from makeup for any medical reasons, but it is really important to properly remove the makeup on a daily basis. However, since some people are not good at this, any day off from wearing makeup can be helpful since it avoids the buildup that can clog the pores and exacerbate acne," she says. "To properly clean the skin, I like pre-moistened towelettes-Neutrogena, Olay, Alcon-followed by the Clarisonic Cleansing Brush."

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Of course, there is one time when bare is always best, regardless of your cleansing routine: When you exercise, says Hirsch.

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