Makeup can often aggravate problem skin, especially acne-prone skin, but it depends on the type of products you opt for. ES Magazine beauty editor Katie Service tells us about the importance of letting skin ‘breathe’ and how to choose your products accordingly.
To cover up or not to cover up? Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s a Tuesday and your skin resembles a contour map of the Alps. You have a party at the weekend so you know you need to leave your skin bare to breathe in order to heal in time but the thought of going to your morning meeting sans makeup is frankly terrifying. Surely not?
But before giving up all hope, what do we actually mean by leaving our skin to ‘breathe’? It’s a turn of phrase we use often enough but it’s important to remember that our skin doesn’t actually breath – our lungs do that. In fact the topmost layer of our skin contains dead cells and it’s the blood supply that brings fresh oxygen to the skin, from within.
So does that mean that a layer of slap won’t make skin worse after all? Well yes and no. A lot of highstreet (and expensive) foundations and concealers still contain things that might be comedogenic to your skin (that means they might add to the build-up of sebum or the inflammation around a spot) but there are plenty of that won’t. Look out for non-comedogenic formulations that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, which exfoliates insides of the pores.
Another thing to remember is that visibly, a millimetre of make-up is always better than an inch. A thick layer of unguent foundation will only enlarge the appearance of the mounding that acne causes – making a mountain out of a molehill if you like.
When I first tried the Effaclar Duo [+] Unifiant I was in denial that such a thin cream could cover the uneven skin tone caused by my blemishes but the tinted, featherlight formula contains light reflective and skin tone unifying pigment particles to melt away imperfections like redness and open pores in just one thin layer. No, it’s not going to completely airbrush you, but hey, you have Instagram for that! The formula also moisturises skin, where other concealers may dry it out, causing the skin to go into sebum production overdrive. The nicest thing? It feels like you’re wearing nothing so you can get on with your day without feeling so conscious of your acne.
My last tip is to invest in some disposable sponges to apply your make-up with. Cut them up into halves or thirds so that you’re less wasteful and save them for bad skin days, binning them after each use. Using your fingers or the same brush day after day will mean that acne causing bacteria may linger unnecessarily on your skin.
And now you can breathe.