Psoriasis is a chronic condition that causes discolored, scaly patches to form on your skin. It may affect skin on different parts of your body, including your face. Symptoms get worse during flares.

If you want to wear makeup and you have psoriasis, it’s important to find products and develop a routine that works for you.

Read on to find tips for wearing makeup while keeping skin healthy with psoriasis.

It can be challenging to apply makeup over skin that is flaky or scaly from psoriasis. The makeup may clump or cake. It may also further irritate your skin.

Developing a soothing skin care routine may help limit psoriasis symptoms and prepare your skin for makeup application. Follow these tips for a soothing routine:

  • Avoid long, hot showers.
  • Cleanse your skin using cool or lukewarm water and a mild, fragrance-free soap or cleanser.
  • Gently pat your skin dry and apply a hydrating, fragrance-free moisturizer while it is still damp.

To find skin care products with psoriasis-friendly ingredients, look for products labeled with the National Psoriasis Foundation Seal of Recognition. These can be safe and nonirritating for people with psoriasis.

Your doctor may also recommend or prescribe certain skin care products.

Before you try a new cosmetic or skin care product, check the ingredient list to learn what it contains. Some ingredients may irritate your skin and worsen psoriasis symptoms.

Common irritants include:

  • dyes
  • fragrances
  • essential oils
  • alcohol
  • glitter

Try to avoid products that contain irritating ingredients.

You can also test new products on a small patch of skin to learn how your body reacts.

In general, it might be a good idea to limit your use of makeup if you have psoriasis — especially during a flare of symptoms.

If you use foundation, choose a sheer but buildable product. Apply it in thin layers.

Consider avoiding or limiting heavy concealer.

You may find that cream- or oil-based cosmetics suit your skin better than powders.

Cream- or oil-based products may help keep your skin well-hydrated, which may help limit flaking and other psoriasis symptoms. They may also apply more evenly than powders, which may cake or clump on flaky or scaly skin.

Gently apply makeup using your fingertips or soft tools, such as:

  • soft-bristle brushes
  • cotton applicators
  • beauty blenders
  • sponges

Always wash your hands before applying makeup and use clean tools.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends washing makeup brushes every 7 to 10 days, following these steps:

  1. Remove excess makeup by rinsing the tip of each brush under lukewarm, running water.
  2. Swirl the brush tip in a bowl of lukewarm water and gentle shampoo. Gently massage it in your hand.
  3. Rinse the brush tip under lukewarm, running water. Repeat steps 2­ to 3 until the water runs clear.
  4. Squeeze excess moisture from the brush with a clean paper towel. Lay the brush flat to dry, with the tip over the edge of the counter.

To prevent skin infections, avoid sharing cosmetic tools with others.

Before you go to bed, gently remove any makeup you apply. This may help keep your skin healthy while limiting psoriasis symptoms and breakouts.

Many facial wipes and makeup removers contain irritating ingredients, such as alcohol. As an alternative, consider using a gentle soap, cleanser, or oil-based makeup remover.

Do not roughly rub or scrub makeup from your skin. Instead, gently massage and rinse it free.

Applying makeup may help cover some of the symptoms of psoriasis, but it won’t address the underlying condition. In some cases, it may make symptoms worse.

Getting treatment is important for relieving symptoms and preventing flares of psoriasis.

Let your doctor know if you develop new or worse symptoms of psoriasis.

They may recommend one or more of the following:

  • changes to your skin care routine or other lifestyle habits
  • medicated creams, ointments, or other topical products
  • oral or injectable medication
  • phototherapy

If psoriasis symptoms negatively affect your self-esteem or mental well-being, let your doctor know. They may refer you to a mental health specialist who can help you manage the challenges of living with a chronic skin condition.

You might also find it helpful to connect with other people with psoriasis. For example:

  • Sign up for Psoriasis One to One to connect with a peer mentor.
  • Join an in-person or online support group for people with psoriasis.
  • Use social media to find and participate in online discussions about psoriasis.

If you have psoriasis, it may take some trial and error to find a skin care routine that works for you. It’s important to use gentle, fragrance-free products and avoid those with irritating ingredients. Consider limiting your use of makeup, applying it with clean and soft tools, and gently removing it before bedtime.

Getting treatment is also important for managing psoriasis symptoms. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription products to treat psoriasis. They may also encourage you to adjust your skin care routine or other lifestyle habits.

If psoriasis negatively affects your self-esteem or mental well-being, connecting with a mental health specialist or peer support may help you cope.