Career Questions: Can Nurses Wear Makeup? The Truth

can nurses wear makeup
Written by Benny Koteeni

Can Nurses Wear Makeup?

Facial enhancements have been in existence for centuries, and women in ancient Egypt have used adornments and embellishments for beautification. The earliest reports about makeup date back to 4000 BC.

During these times, the women utilized ointment and dyes to prevent wrinkles and uneven skin problems.

The women often used kohl, a color patch that is formulated by grinding some ingredients, thus achieving colors that are used for adding an extra glint of color under the eyes.

These gave off an alluring look, one that came with a subtle appeal to the opposite sex and some of these women indulged in these cosmetics to appear reticent with ulterior motives.

Though the use of makeup is widely accepted by several professions, a wide majority of them frown on the concept of cosmetics.

A career as delicate as nursing shares some of these preferences though it does not rule out makeup in its entirety. We know that Nurses are quite delectable in their crispy white cloth, an ensemble which makes them stand out in the most professional way.

Can Nurses wear makeup? A query that has been entered into multiple search engines countless times.

Are there rules that prevent these medical career personnel from donning a little bit of lip shade and eye glimmers?

Whatever the scenario constitutes, modesty and moderation is the keyword as health workers are expected to always present a professional image in both outfit and behavior.

In the Nursing career field, this salient question has bugged the mind of many has been about their physical appearance.

Can Nurses wear makeup? If the response is in the affirmative, then how much is too much? What is the tolerance level for the gravitation toward aesthetical features for the people in a Nursing career?

This article will examine the various opinions gathered from this question and present answers that tick the boxes in the right way.

Can Nurses Wear Makeup?

can nurses wear make up

Florence Nightingale, the woman who pioneered the nursing career, was a woman who catered to the injured during the Crimean conflict, a war which saw Russia lose its alliance with France and the United Kingdom.

In her line of duty, Florence discovered that the British hospital base in Constantinople was in a rather distasteful condition with poor hygienic standards.

She reorganized the hospital structure and fostered the reduction of infection through the introduction of basic hygienic measures such as handwashing.

Perhaps, this stringent technique has managed to rub off on the health workers, and this has compelled a conservative work ethic for years now.

So, who says a sister cannot show up at work looking sleek with a well-contoured face and manicured nails?

Well, a spot on a management board or a role as a sales representative might be suitable for this physical disposition, but not all medical personnel are allowed to appear glammed up facially.

Can nurses wear makeup? A career question that is based on ethical standards and stereotypical professional yardsticks.

A more reviewed opinion on this subject matter will offer a better holistic approach towards an answer to the question.

 Can nurses wear makeup? Yes, they can, but that affirmed stance has some regulatory undertone to its possibilities.

So, if nurses can wear makeup, then what kind of cosmetics is allowed and to what degree? Is the utilization of makeup restricted to certain medical departments or facilities?

Zooming closer on this subject, let us take a birds eye’s view of the situation and look at the scenarios where this question is harped on.

Nursing Professional Ethics

can nurses wear makeup

Nurses are smart individuals, and their outfits ought to promote their carriage and physical demeanour.

Usually, their hairs are expected to be laid back or tied in a bun, and their scrubs are structured to provide ease during the dispense of their job.

Since it is a career that requires attention and focus, typically because it borders on human life, sometimes, the feeling of exhaustion might creep in, and the health personnel might feel tired and worn out after a long shift. A situation which is quite different with some ladies.

These people, in a bid to hide the eye bags and weary facial lines, might opt for some makeup to conceal their skin troubles.

 Can nurses wear makeup in this regard? Yes, they can but in moderation.

A simple tip that can work for a Nurse with respect to this situation is to go for a more conservative appearance, such as using a concealer and a lip shade that is a bit reserved, not the one that beams like a neon light.

This is so because these enhanced facial features can become distracting to the patients at the medical facility.

Hygienic Requirements and Standards

can nurses wear makeup

As previously mentioned in this article, makeup is not a bad idea even for Nurses, Yes, they are allowed to wear makeup but not in a fashion that screams for attention. It should be in a manner that is discreet and proper.

Since it has been established that nurses can wear makeup so, what about those of them working in sensitive medical departments such as the emergency room or the operating theatre, where there’s zero tolerance for contaminants and pollutants.

Take, for instance, the use of facial masks has been a preventive measure for air transmittable infections, a piece of equipment that witnessed a surge in its demand, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wearing a facial mask over makeup has been deduced to contribute significantly to mask contamination because the granular particles in this compressed talcum lose their compact nature when smeared with sweat.

When this sweat comes in contact with the face mask, it becomes contaminated, and besides, physical contact with the face using the hands can as well leave residues of germs on the hand, which can be transmitted to patients during the discharge of duties.

Makeups such as eyelash extensions, fingernail extensions, and bold and flattering lip stains, amongst others, are not really permitted, but the significant increase in the need for nurses has placed a strain on the career field, and most of these ethical requirements have either been discarded or reduced to its barest minimum.

Career Stereotype

 Matching the physical disposition of a person to a certain career type has been a hypothesis that has been proven wrong many times.

They see someone with a clean shaved beard and a pricey tuxedo, and you hear a phrase like ‘‘there goes the banker or investment strategist,’’ and a woman with a flawless facial makeup can be termed as an actress, on-air-personality, retail executive or any other career field except the medical profession.

Nurses and Doctors have been stereotyped as people who have little or no need for makeup and fancy accessories.

These assumptions have led to the question that necessitated this article; can nurses wear makeup?

Yes, they do not need to show up at work looking dishevelled with eyebags that look like they will pop any minute.

A mild application of a matte foundation which can last for an entire shift can be used to keep the face primed and fresh. So, if you ask the question, can nurses wear makeup? The answer is a yes!

Sterile Field Marked Zone

 A sterile field is a specified area in a medical facility that is devoid of pathogens and microbes, which are the major causative agents of infectious diseases.

An area marked with this inscription is highly sensitive, and the ingredients in makeup can distort the sterility, thus breaking the preventive barrier and creating room for an inflow of germs.

Can nurses wear makeup in this marked zone? No, for obvious reasons, the terrain is earmarked for procedures that have zero tolerance for contaminants.

So, a Nurse working within this field will have to keep any makeup at bay till the close of work.


Nurses are human beings, and they have a life as well. They do not wear scrubs outside their workspace; hence can also have a different physical appearance after their work hours.

Nurses can wear their makeup in moderation with respect to guidelines stipulated by their employers or medical facility.

Also find out about the careers of the future.

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