When it comes to the question of whether you can wear makeup on Yom Kippur, it may surprise you to learn that the answer is not as straightforward as you might think.

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is a solemn and sacred Jewish holiday that involves fasting and repentance. While some may assume that wearing makeup would be prohibited on this holiest day of the Jewish year, the reality is that there are varying opinions within the Jewish community regarding this issue.

can you wear makeup on yom kippur

The Significance of Yom Kippur and its Traditions

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is considered the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. It is a day of fasting, prayer, and repentance, where Jews seek forgiveness for their sins and reflect on their actions of the past year. The observance of Yom Kippur involves a number of customs and traditions, including refraining from certain activities. One commonly asked question is whether or not wearing makeup is allowed on Yom Kippur. In this article, we will explore the topic of wearing makeup on Yom Kippur and provide some insights into the religious perspective on this matter.

1. The Prohibition of Physical Pleasure on Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is a day of solemnity and introspection, during which individuals are expected to focus on their spiritual connection with God and seek forgiveness for their transgressions. According to Jewish tradition, engaging in physical pleasures, such as eating, drinking, and anointing oneself with cosmetic substances, is not allowed on Yom Kippur. This prohibition is based on the belief that offering sacrifices in the form of physical pleasure is not appropriate on this day, as the focus should be solely on the spiritual aspect of repentance and atonement.

Therefore, applying makeup, which is considered a form of beautification and self-enhancement, is generally not permitted on Yom Kippur. The intention behind this restriction is to encourage individuals to embrace their natural selves and prioritize their spiritual journey over physical appearances.

2. The Exception of Medical or Health Reasons

While the general consensus is that wearing makeup is not allowed on Yom Kippur, there are exceptions to this rule. In cases where applying makeup is necessary for medical or health reasons, it may be permitted. For example, individuals who require the use of special creams or ointments for certain skin conditions may be allowed to wear makeup in order to alleviate discomfort and maintain their health. However, it is important to consult with a religious authority or a rabbi for guidance in such situations.

3. The Focus on Inner Beauty

The restriction on wearing makeup on Yom Kippur serves as a reminder to prioritize inner beauty over external appearances. It encourages individuals to reflect on their actions and intentions, rather than focusing on superficial aspects. By abstaining from wearing makeup, individuals are able to concentrate on their relationship with God and engage in acts of teshuvah, or repentance.

Alternatives to Wearing Makeup on Yom Kippur

If you are accustomed to wearing makeup on a daily basis and are wondering how to approach Yom Kippur without it, there are alternatives that can help you maintain a natural appearance while still adhering to the religious restrictions. Here are some suggestions:

1. Embrace Your Natural Look

Yom Kippur is a day to focus on your inner self and spiritual growth. Embrace your natural beauty and allow your true essence to shine through.

2. Practice Good Skincare

Take care of your skin by following a good skincare routine. Cleanse, moisturize, and protect your skin to maintain a healthy and radiant glow.

3. Enhance Your Features Naturally

If you want to enhance your features without makeup, opt for natural methods. Use a lash curler to open up your eyes, brush your eyebrows to shape them, and apply a tinted lip balm for a touch of color.

4. Focus on Inner Qualities

Use Yom Kippur as an opportunity to reflect on your inner qualities and work on developing positive traits such as kindness, compassion, and patience. These qualities are the truest form of beauty.


Wearing makeup on Yom Kippur is generally not in line with the religious customs and traditions associated with this holy day. However, there are exceptions for health reasons. The purpose of refraining from wearing makeup on Yom Kippur is to shift the focus from external appearances to internal growth and spirituality. Embracing your natural beauty and prioritizing inner qualities can help you have a meaningful and fulfilling Yom Kippur experience.

Can You Wear Makeup on Yom Kippur?

Key Takeaways: Can You Wear Makeup on Yom Kippur?

  • Yom Kippur is a solemn Jewish holiday that involves fasting and reflection.
  • Some Jewish traditions discourage the use of cosmetics, including makeup, on Yom Kippur.
  • The focus of Yom Kippur is on spiritual purification and introspection rather than external appearance.
  • Individuals may choose to refrain from wearing makeup as an act of humility and devotion.
  • It is important to respect and follow the customs and traditions of Yom Kippur that are meaningful to each individual.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is a highly sacred and solemn day in the Jewish religion. It is a day of fasting and repentance, where Jews engage in prayer and reflection. During this time, there are certain practices and restrictions that are observed. One common question that arises is whether or not it is permissible to wear makeup on Yom Kippur. Let’s explore this topic further with the following questions and answers.

1. Can you wear makeup on Yom Kippur?

On Yom Kippur, it is generally not recommended to wear makeup. This is because Yom Kippur is a day of deep introspection and spiritual focus, and wearing makeup can be seen as a distraction from this purpose. Additionally, traditional observance of Yom Kippur involves refraining from engaging in activities that bring physical pleasure or focus on outward appearances.

However, it’s important to note that individual practices and customs may vary. Some individuals may choose to wear minimal makeup or opt for more natural-looking products. Ultimately, it is a personal decision based on one’s understanding and interpretation of the holiday’s significance and traditions.

2. What is the reasoning behind not wearing makeup on Yom Kippur?

The reasoning behind not wearing makeup on Yom Kippur is rooted in the idea of focusing on the internal rather than the external. Yom Kippur is a time for deep reflection, repentance, and connecting with God on a spiritual level. By refraining from wearing makeup, individuals can enhance their ability to fully engage in these practices and remove any potential distractions that may arise from focusing on their physical appearance.

Additionally, the practice of not wearing makeup aligns with the concept of humility. Yom Kippur is a time to recognize and acknowledge one’s mistakes and seek forgiveness. By presenting oneself without embellishment through makeup, it symbolizes a humble and sincere approach to the day’s observances.

3. Are there any exceptions to not wearing makeup on Yom Kippur?

While the general consensus is to refrain from wearing makeup on Yom Kippur, there may be exceptions depending on individual circumstances and interpretations. For example, individuals who have medical conditions that require them to wear makeup for health reasons may be permitted to do so. It is advisable to consult with a rabbi or trusted religious authority to seek guidance on specific situations.

4. Can you wear skincare products on Yom Kippur?

Skincare products, such as moisturizers and sunscreen, are generally considered permissible to use on Yom Kippur. These products serve to protect and nourish the skin, rather than enhancing or altering one’s appearance. However, it is recommended to use minimal amounts and avoid products with strong fragrances, as the focus should still be on the spiritual aspects of the day.

Again, it is important to note that customs may vary, and consulting with a rabbi or religious authority can provide guidance tailored to individual circumstances.

5. How can one enhance their spiritual experience on Yom Kippur?

While the practice of not wearing makeup is one aspect of enhancing the spiritual experience on Yom Kippur, there are other practices that individuals can engage in to deepen their connection with this sacred day. Some suggestions include:

– Engaging in prayer and reflection throughout the day

– Fasting from food and drink, as prescribed by Jewish law

– Reading from the Torah and other sacred texts

– Attending synagogue services and participating in communal worship

– Performing acts of charity and kindness

– Seeking forgiveness from those who have been wronged and forgiving others

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INSIDE Yom Kippur: 5 Things You Will Only See in our Orthodox Jewish Home Before and on Yom Kippur

To adhere to the traditions of Yom Kippur, it is generally recommended to avoid wearing makeup on this sacred day.

Yom Kippur is a time of introspection and repentance, and many individuals choose to abstain from activities that are seen as enhancements or distractions from the purpose of the day.


  • Maria J. Morrison

    Maria is a professional Beautician and his hobby is beauty & Personal care. she has been for the last 5 years and he loves makeup while on outings as well. Based on his experience with the different types of makeup. She is sharing his opinion about various makeup so that a beginner can get started the right way. Find him onTwitter here. Happy reading.