Makeup for Cosplay: Skincare!

Makeup for Cosplay will feature tutorials and tips dedicated to help you put your best face forward in cosplay!

When people think about makeup, they usually don’t think about skincare products, but when you think of it like you do art, makeup is your paint, and your skin is your canvas. Having a nice canvas makes painting beautiful pictures much easier.

Honestly I am the laziest person ever when it comes to taking care of my skin but when a con is approaching, I usually make sure I’m being good about it at least a month in advance. 

The first step to helping your skin is figuring out what skin type you have. There are five major types (excluding people with skin conditions like rosacea or excema):

-Normal: You are the envy of all around you; your skin seems nice and hydrated without being too oily, dry, or prone to acne.
-Oily: if your makeup seems to just melt halfway through the day, and you’re prone to lots of acne, chances are you have oily skin.
-Dry: if your skin is flaky in patches or always seems “ashy”, you probably have dry skin
-Combination: if your skin is oily in some places, and dry in others, congrats! You have joined the combination skin club like me!
-Sensitive (is more of a subtype): your skin hates products with strong scents and harsh anything. It’s a delicate flower and demands to be treated as such, otherwise you’ll get a rash.

Regardless of your skin type, you’ll want to follow some basics:

  • Drink lots of water! Your skin needs water in order for it to stay healthy. Alcohol dehydrates you, and can cause breakouts and dull skin, so try to avoid drinking a lot before a con.
  • Wash your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser (even if you don’t wear makeup, you still get oil on your face by touching it, and other grime from your environment- you definitely don’t want to be sleeping in it!) Makeup remover wipes are a lazy person’s dream come true.
  • You can tone your skin once or twice daily with an astringent (usually something with 2-5% salicylic acid) that will help to keep acne at bay.
  • Use a gentle exfoliating wash/mask once or twice a week (this helps to get rid of dead skin cells which cause your skin to look flaky if it’s dry or cause breakouts if they build up too much)
  • If you’re super prone to acne like me, you can also get benzoyl peroxide cream in concentrations up to 10% over the counter or prescribed from your doctor. Even those with very oily skin will probably want to only use this once daily before moisturizing because it can be VERY drying.
  • MOISTURIZE twice daily- regardless of your skin type! If your skin gets too dry or irritated from harsh products, your body will start producing even MORE sebum/oil and this will lead to more breakouts. For acne-prone folks, look for a moisturizer with non-comedogenic oils.
  • In the daytime, you’ll also want to protect your skin with 30 SPF sunscreen if the UVB index is low, and higher SPF if you’re planning on spending a significant amount of time outside or the UVB index is high. In the summer, I’ll usually split my moisturizer into two containers, and mix one half with sunscreen to cut down on the time I take to get ready in the morning. Cancer ain’t fun and UVB exposure causes wrinkles and discoloration.
  • Taking care of the rest of your skin also makes for prettier cosplays! Exfoliate once or twice a week, and put on some lotion after you get out of the shower for nice, healthy looking skin!

Unfortunately, taking care of your skin takes some trial and error to find out what works best for you in terms of brands and product types. Good luck, and don’t lose hope if things don’t work right away!


I’m sticking what I use down below in case it’s helpful:

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  • Body stuff:
    • Small secret: you do not need to pay a ton of money to Lush for a good exfoliator! You can make your own at home by mixing a cup of sugar or jojoba seeds + vanilla/insert your fav scent here extract + 3/4 cup of oil (coconut, olive, vegetable, w/e). I do like Lush’s Ocean Salt and Ulta’s Luxe Smooth Exfoliating Scrub, but both are pricey (Ulta’s do go on sale occasionally)
    • For moisturizer/lotion, you can’t really go wrong with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. I have a lot of lotion from Bath & Body Works as well that I love. However, one thing that I WILL splurge on, always, is Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner from Lush; this stuff smells AMAZING and makes skin feel baby-soft. It’s ridonk.
  • Face stuff:
  • Cleansers:
    • Shea Mositure African Black Soap Problem Skin Facial Wash and Scrub – I’m putting this here instead of under exfoliators because this is so gentle it really doesn’t feel like it’s doing much exfoliating, but is a lovely cleanser!
    • I use Ulta’s eye makeup remover wipes and Formula 10.0.6’s Keep Me Clean wipes for the rest of my face.
  • Astringent:
    • Formula 10.0.6 So Totally Clean Deep Pore Cleanser – oooh baby this stuff is strong! There’s also a sensitive skin formula.
  • Exfoliator:
    • Forumula 10.0.6 3 Times Sublime – I use this as a mask once or twice a week on dry skin, and use it gently on wet skin the rest of the time alternating with the Shea Moisture stuff
    • I like using Lush’s fresh face masks (faves are Catastrophe Cosmetic, Cupcake, Oatifix)- all of these are gentle exfoliators since you wash them off.
    • I also like Montagene Jeunesse/My 7th Heaven peel masks (Tea Tree, Green Tea, & the Passion Fruit one), they’re much cheaper (only $2), and work to help improve your skin tone.
  • Benzoyl peroxide cream:
    • Just get the generic! It’s literally the same stuff so don’t pay more for a brand.
  • Moisturizer:
    • The Body Shop Vitamin E Cream – LOVE THIS! Works just as well as the stuff from Lush for a cheaper price point.
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