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Thursday, 23 February 2006 14:27

Post-Surgery Make-Up Concerns

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The popularity of minimally invasive cosmetic surgery procedures has skyrocketed over the past five years. In fact, more than nine million plastic surgery procedures were performed in 2004 alone, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The increasing popularity of cosmetic surgery has led to another beauty trend, the explosion of mineral make-up into the mainstream.
Now, patients can cover virtually any imperfection experienced after surgery and return to their daily routine with minimal downtime. However, it is extremely important to educate your patients on make-up application tips in order to minimize infection and other problems that can occur when applying make-up to affected areas.

While I worked as a paramedical aesthetician in a dermatology practice, laser surgery and other minimally invasive procedures became progressively more popular. I noticed that post-surgery patients had very specific make-up needs. In the days and weeks following cosmetic surgery, patients experienced swelling, minor scarring, abrasions, etc. While this is all part of the skin’s natural healing process, patients longed for the ability to cover the temporary imperfections caused by cosmetic surgery without damaging the skin or prolonging recovery time.
Camouflage make-up tended to be very heavy and unnatural looking. Patients expressed dissatisfaction with this mask-like appearance and the uncomfortable feeling it created. Additionally, camouflage make-up typically clogged pores, did not allow the skin to breathe or heal properly over time. Conversely, foundations that were non-comedogenic, tended to be too light and did not achieve the optimal coverage post-surgical patients required to minimize flaws. Clearly, the need for a lightweight, natural product that could offer sheer, yet effective coverage, while posing no risk to healing skin was necessary.
I found that mineral make-up was the answer to most patients’ post-surgery make-up concerns. A healthy mineral foundation, without oils, fillers, preservatives or fragrances, offers seemingly flawless coverage and is ideal for sensitive skin. The pure crushed minerals contained in mineral make-up provide unparalleled coverage. The minerals include:

o Titanium dioxide – Protects the skin post-surgery, while offering amazing coverage.

o Mica – Mica gently refracts light, offering a healthy glow without adding a shimmery appearance associated with light-enhancing cosmetics. However, too much Mica can dry the skin.

o Bisumth oxychloride – A gray/white powder found in the earth’s crust is believed to have natural antiseptic properties that can help healing skin fight infection.

o Iron oxides – Offer pure pigments that leave skin looking flawless and natural.

When skin is healing from surgery or is in a sensitive stage, it is a good idea to avoid certain ingredients such as petroleum or products that have several fillers, preservatives, artificial dyes, and fragrances. Additionally, it is important not to use products with high percentages of Glycolic and Salicylic Acids, or anything that causes cell turnover, as this can interfere with the natural healing process. Avoid make-up that has a glitter or shimmer to them as they can contain particles that may irritate skin.

Application techniques

Most important: only apply make-up once the skin has completely re-epithelized. “Make-up can be applied approximately four to seven days after most surgical procedures,” says Dr. Michael Bruck, a leading New York plastic surgeon. If make-up is applied too early on affected areas, chances of infection and permanent discoloration of the skin are increased.

When applying make-up, patients should use new make-up and a clean, fresh sponge to avoid contamination.

Do not apply mineral foundation over any heavy petroleum-based creams or ointments used immediately after laser or peel procedures. This will make any powder make-up look cakey, drawing attention to the area that is being concealed.

It’s best to use a lighter weight non-comedeogenic, fragrance free moisturizer or preferably sunblock. According to Bruck, “Sun protection is essential. Skin traumatized from surgery, such as the cheek skin after a face lift may develop a permanent increase in pigmentation when exposed to the sun's ultraviolet light.” When using moisturizer, make sure the surface is dry and the moisturizer has completely penetrated before applying the mineral foundation.

Prime face with a light dusting of rice powder, before applying minerals with a soft sponge for heavier coverage. Additionally, rice powder can be used after applying minerals to set make-up and ensure coverage lasts all day.

Using a mineral concealer is a great way to cover scars or stitches. To create a mineral concealer that provides superior coverage, mix a small amount of the rice powder with a few drops of water or an oil free moisturizer and then apply with a sponge, eye brush, or your fingers.

If a patient is experiencing redness or bruising, use a mineral foundation with yellow undertones to cover area. Then, apply minerals that match skin tone to blend and create a more uniform appearance.

Patients can use a spritz of mineral water to set make-up and ensure long-lasting coverage that will not rub off on clothes. This is great to cover scars or veins on legs, breasts, pelvic area, or any other area on the body where camouflaging is required.

Mineral make-up is not only excellent for a healthy camouflage make-up, but also for all skin types. It’s perfect from the active woman who wants to dust her face quickly for a healthy, radiant glow, to the person that desires superior coverage, but does not like the feel of a traditional liquid foundation. Even women who do not like wearing make-up enjoy the lightweight and natural-looking properties of mineral make-up.

Consumers agree that mineral make-up is ideal for all skin types, especially those who have recently undergone cosmetic treatments including laser surgery or peels.


“A friend of mine started going in for glycolic peels and started seeing her aesthetician regularly. The aesthetician recommended she use mineral make-up and she was hooked. I always look to her for skin advice, so when she said she achieved her flawless look by applying mineral make-up beginning the day after her peel, I tried it for myself and was hooked too.”

“The flawless coverage achieved with mineral make-up gives a radiant glow that compares to nothing else out there in the make-up industry.”

“After careful research, mineral make-up was the obvious choice. We were drawn to the “mineral” factor. Everyone wants that weightless feel along with products that are good for your skin.”


Pauline Youngblood Soli is the Founder of Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics. Pauline Youngblood worked as a paramedical aesthetician for eight years, servicing prominent dermatologists and plastic surgeons in areas of skin care, with particular interest in care for problematic skin. While professionally consulting with many of these physicians to establish and maintain the skincare operations of their practices, it became evident to her that the patients had cosmetic needs that were not being met. She began working with chemists, putting together a superior formulation of micronized minerals and pigments to create her own concealing powder for use on patients with special cosmetic needs. The result was a silky, lightweight foundation powder so versatile and effective that any woman looking for premium, healthy, long-lasting make-up could use it.

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