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Summary: Many patients wonder if you can wear makeup after cosmetic surgery—or at least how long you have to wait before you can apply something to your face. It’s a good question, and it’s probably something you should be aware of before your procedure begins. In most cases, your surgeon will tell you precisely how long you have to wait before wearing makeup again.

When Can You Wear Makeup After Cosmetic Surgery?

It’s not uncommon to see bruising after a Botox injection, but can you wear makeup after cosmetic surgery? How long should you wait before trying to hide those bruises? These questions can be difficult to answer. Every patient is different and every situation is unique.

So please don’t take this as some kind of replacement for medical advice. And you should always, always follow your surgeon’s instructions.

But it’s pretty common to have questions about what you can and cannot do after a procedure. You want to do normal, every-day things. Some of those activities you can still do—and some of them you can’t. Understandably, it can be pretty difficult to know exactly what to do (that’s why many surgeons will give patients a handout or printable form to follow).

So what about makeup? Can you wear makeup after cosmetic surgery? It depends on the procedure you’ve had performed.

Wearing Makeup After Botox

Let’s take a couple of examples to illustrate just how much this might depend on the treatment and on the patient. We can compare two separate procedures: Botox and Microneedling. Each of these procedures might produce short term effects that you might want to cover up with makeup. Let’s look at how you might treat them differently.

Can I wear makeup after Botox injections? In general, yes. Most patients who want to put on makeup after Botox are looking to cover up bruising of some kind. The bruises are caused by the needle passing through a capillary or breaking a blood vessel. Which means that there’s no harm in putting on makeup direction after a series of Botox injections. However, you’ll want to apply makeup quite gently because you don’t want to spread the Botox around beneath your skin.

Can I wear makeup after Microneedling? In general, most surgeons will advise you to avoid putting makeup on until your skin is finished healing. That’s because microneedling creates many microscopic “cuts” on your skin. You don’t want to start applying makeup until all of those cuts have healed up. This means that patients may have some lingering redness for a couple of days. It’s better to plan for that than to use makeup to cover it up.

When Can You Start to Wear Makeup?

The “makeup threshold” for each and every procedure will be different. Some procedures will allow you to wear makeup essentially immediately. (Think about the Botox example.) Other cosmetic procedures may require that you wait until you get an okay from your surgeon.

It’s worth noting that these short timelines apply to cosmetic procedures only. When patients undergo plastic surgery—procedures that require a scalpel—you will definitely want to consult with your surgeon before making any makeup decisions.

Timelines Vary

All of which is a long way of saying that timelines will vary. With most injectables, you’ll be able to wear makeup immediately. With many laser and energy treatments, you’ll have to wait. As a rule of thumb, however, you should avoid wearing makeup to your actual appointment. There are several reasons for this, but the most obvious is that you may hide the very imperfections you’re there to treat.

Plan Accordingly

The best course of action is to determine beforehand just how quickly you’ll be able to start applying normal makeup. You can ask your surgeon during the consultation what a typical wait period is. That said, your timeline may shift depending on how rapidly you heal or if any complications come up.

So the best thing you can do is plan accordingly. If you are not able to put makeup on after a laser procedure or after microneedling, your skin may have a certain amount of redness to it. And that redness may last for several days. Some patients are perfectly okay resuming normal activities with that redness present. Other patients will opt to take several days off of work in order to let healing finish to completion.

Consult With Your Surgeon

Putting makeup on after your cosmetic surgery procedure seems like it should be so simple you don’t even think about it. But it’s worth discussing the issue with your surgeon so you know exactly what you’re getting into—and you’re clear about when exactly you can start applying makeup.

Even some of these simple things are worth talking about before a procedure. That’s because cosmetic surgery does tend to be somewhat complex. Botox is relatively simple, but there are still things that you and your surgeon need to be aware of. Can you wear makeup after cosmetic surgery? The answer is going to be as unique as your procedure.

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