Not a day passes that we don’t get asked, “When Can I Apply Makeup After Plastic Surgery”.  Since we spend an inordinate amount of time talking about this at Nuance Facial Plastics, I decided to make an exhaustive list in this blog post so that our current and future patients have a place to get all of this information.
Makeup comes in many flavors, and how it interacts with healing skin depends a lot on someone’s skin as well as the type of makeup.  A rare patient may have reactions to makeup that are unpredictable and can happen after chemical peels, laser treatments, and aesthetic treatments that are surprising to both the practitioner performing the treatment and follow-up, as well as the patient.  These are relatively (and thankfully) rare, and the general recommendations below do not necessarily reflect what my recommendations would be to patients with sensitive skin, or acne prone skin, so if you had a procedure and have concerns about what plan is best for you, it is best to discuss this with the person performing the treatment.
In my list below, I give my general guidelines about how soon after a treatment that makeup can be safely applied by most people.

When Can I Apply Makeup After Botox?

Makeup can be applied immediately after a Botox treatment, or treatment with any of our other injectable neuromodulators, which include Botox, Dysport, Jeuveau, and Xeomin.  Care must be taken when applying makeup (as well as products, and washing) the face, as we do not want the injected material to migrate after injection, and the way to do this is to apply as little pressure as possible during the first 48-72 hours after injection.

When Can I Apply Makeup After Fillers?

After a filler treatment, we need to make sure that the skin is healed before applying makeup.  If a cannula technique is used (which only gives a single skin puncture distant from the area being filled), then makeup can be applied 1-2 hours after treatment (just to give the puncture site time to heal).  If a needle technique (multiple skin punctures) is used, then I personally like to wait until the next day before applying makeup, though many of my patients have done it earlier, 6 hours after treatment, without any negative consequences.

When Can I Apply Makeup After a VI Peel?

Makeup can be applied to the skin as early as 4 hours after the VI Peel is completed.  I personally recommend keeping the peel solution on your face for as long as you can to get a stronger effect and to delay makeup until the first VI peel towelette has been applied.  Makeup may not be applied well to the peeling skin, so wearing makeup until peeling starts does not hurt at all.

When Can I Apply Makeup After Microneedling?

We advise our patients to wait at least 12 hours before applying makeup, but realistically, most of our patients go longer than this, as the 12-hour mark places you into the middle of the night for treatments done during work hours.  We want the skin to heal after the procedure as long as we can, and by 12 hours, most of the channels have closed.  Waiting longer never hurts, though, and we prefer patients to be without makeup for 48 hours.

When Can I Apply Makeup After My Dermaplane Facial?

Makeup can be applied immediately after Dermaplane Facials, and actually goes on very smoothly, as the fine hairs and dead skin have been removed, giving a very even application.  Dermaplaning is actually the best single pre-makeup treatment we offer at Nuance Facial Plastics, and is typically done at 4-week intervals, as this is the hair cycle for the fine facial hairs that this treatment removes.

When Can I Apply Makeup After My Micropeel?

Makeup can be safely applied immediately after a Micropeel, making it a great treatment that you can get “on the go” without any downtime!  We highly recommend combining this with a Dermaplane Facial to get the best results without downtime.

When Can I Apply Makeup After Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Photofacials?

One of the great things about IPL Photofacials is that it is a “no downtime” treatment, meaning that makeup can be applied immediately after the procedure.  As long as sunblock is used under the makeup, makeup can be applied after the procedure with no negative consequences.  In the rare case that there is a blister after treatment, an ointment is applied until the skin heals, and makeup is not applied to this area until it heals over.  The ability to immediately apply makeup makes the IPL Photofacial an ideal treatment for busy people that want improvement in their skin tones without downtime.

When Can I Apply Makeup After Fractional Laser Resurfacing?

Laser resurfacing treatments can be quite complex, as the healing period is variable and depends on the depth of treatment as well as how quickly you heal.  I would say that a general rule of thumb is that you need to be out of the “sunburn” looking phase, and well into the “splotchy healing” phase, which often happens at the 7-10 day mark.  This is a treatment where sending pictures and even coming into the office for a quick exam can have a large impact on the advice you get, as every person and treatment is different.

When Can I Apply Makeup After a Weekend Peel?

A weekend peel is a lighter version of the Fractional Laser Resurfacing and has a period of red/pink skin (usually 36-48 hours) followed by slow flaking of the skin.  During the red/pink phase, Aquaphor is applied to the face several times daily, and once this subsides, a moisturizer is applied.  Most people can apply light makeup by Day 3 or 4, though this depends a lot on the way your skin reacts to the peel.

When Can I Apply Makeup After The Obagi Blue Peel?

Makeup can be applied to the face once the re-epithelialization (regrowth of skin) has taken place.  This corresponds to the “pink healing” phase transitioning to the “splotchy skin growth” phase.  It happens to different people at different times, though I give people a window of 9-14 days when most people can apply makeup.

When Can I Apply Makeup After My Upper Eyelid Lift?

To apply makeup after the upper eyelid lift, or upper blepharoplasty, the skin needs to be well healed.  For most people, this is around the 10-12 day mark.  Stitches are in place for the first 7 days, and we give another couple of days for the skin to complete healing.  At this point, there may be some residual bruising and swelling, but it can be safely covered with makeup if desired.  If there is not a strong need, then I would suggest 14 days as a more conservative option.