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Can using loose face powder harm my skin?

Loose face powder might not be the best thing to do for your skin. Here's why.

I am a 24-year-old girl and use loose powder on my face to keep it looking fresh all day. I often use it as a way to touch up my make-up and prevent oily spots from showing up along my T-zone. Is this practice healthy? Can it harm my skin in anyway?

Using loose powder for the face is a fairly common practice amongst women. While some do prefer to use talcum powder on their faces, tinted powder works as a form of make-up instead of using a foundation. While this is not a good practice as it does not really conceal any flaws on your face, for many women it is a way of making their face look fresh. This practice does have its ill effects. Some of them are:

Can lead to dry skin: According toDr Shefali Trasi-Nerurkar, leading dermatologist, loose face powder, especially those containing cornstarch or rice starch, is extremely dry and applying it on your face can make your skin even more dry. What's more the powder is extremely fine which causes it to absorb all the natural oils from your face, making it difficult for your skin to breathe. This process also alters the way your skin functions and repairs itself, making it bad for you in the long run as the lack of sebum (the oily substance that your skin makes) prevents the production of collagen (a compound that helps maintain the elasticity of your skin).

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Can cause acne and infections: Since the powder is extremely fine, it often settles in the pores of your skin, which leads to clogged pores and acne. Apart from this if you apply the powder on your face in the middle of the day (on oily patches or when you are sweating) without washing your face, it tends to lock in all the oil and dirt -- leading to infections and pimples. Apart from this Dr Shefali says,'Using powders made from corn or rice is not the best option if you re prone to breakouts. The bacteria that cause acne thrive on food ingredients like this.'

Can cause long-term lung damage: Another serious ill effect of this powder is that when you apply it, due to its nature, some of it is inhaled into your lungs. This then settles along your airways and can lead to immediate reactions like bronchitis and asthma or long term lung damage.That being said, lung damage is a long term ill effect of using loose powder. It takes a number of years to see any changes and may not be the same for all using the product.

May lead to allergies:Dr Shefali says, 'In some cases loose face powder can cause allergies due to the fragrances and preservatives they contain.' This is because while some may contain substances that can cause allergic reactions to your skin, some may contain certain chemicals that can do harm to your skin in the long term.

Image source: Getty images


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