Achieving a flawless complexion is much harder than a lot of the gurus may have you think. Additionally, what works for them mightn't work for you!
We don't think enough people talk about the science behind why your foundation may be patching, slipping around or just totally disappearing. So we've decided to lay out common complaints so we can help you find your ideal solution!
FOUNDATION PATCHINESS: Your skin isn’t properly hydrated
A common perception is that pre-makeup skincare (especially serums and moisturisers) is not necessary for oily skin. This is totally not true. Similarly, dry skins don’t only need oil!
There’s obviously a science to skincare. It’s complex, convoluted and requires a large investment of time to truly understand ingredients lists and formulations. To save you the trouble, always remember this:
DRYNESS AND DEHYDRATION ARE DIFFERENT.
Dryness occurs from a lack of oil in the skin. Dehydration occurs from a lack of water. Your skin can be as oily as anything, but still significantly lack hydration. Now – your skin is thirsty.
Think of your thirsty skin as a dry sponge. If you put foundation on a dehydrated skin, your skin is going to essentially try to ‘drink it’ in an attempt to hydrate itself. This is why your foundation is going patchy… It’s making sense now, right?
Now, imagine that sponge was run under a tap first until it was saturated (think hyaluronic acid serums and moisturisers). The sponge will no longer soak up any more fluid (or foundation).
SOLUTION: So, whether oily or dry, 98% of Australians have dehydrated skin. Drink more and seek skin care products with hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, ceramides and glycerine for pre-makeup preparation. At Sienna, we love the APOT. Care Hyaluronic Serum and The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum.
FOUNDATION MOVEMENT? You’re using the wrong primer.
When I worked in the beauty industry, customers always had an ‘oooohhh’ moment when I would explain the importance of base ingredients. It’s a seemingly simple concept day to day, but often not considered in beauty product selection.
Consider what happens when you tip oil into water. Does it mix?
It actually separates. Water and oil are enemies – they repel each other. So, using an oil-based primer before a water-based foundation, and vice-versa, is a recipe for disaster. Ultimately, your foundation will be repelled by the primer and slip right off the skin. This is often the cause of ‘movement’ in your foundation. This also explains how excessive oil on the skin can break down complexion products. This logic also applies to silicone-based products, however are often more forgiving due to the additional high content in these formulations of either water or oil.
SOLUTION: Match the bases! Look at the back of the ingredients list and look at the first few ingredients. They will usually be one of three:
- Water: Water/Aqua/Eau
- Silicone: Cyclopentasiloxane/Dimethicone/Phenyl Trimethicone
- Oil: Decyl Oleate, Lanolin Oil, (any type of oil).
Then, try to find a primer with similar initial ingredients. But here’s the kicker - a lot of foundations may list water as the first ingredient but proceed to have a very high content of silicones or oils immediately after. Water is typically added for fluidity and ‘blendability’ (not a word, I know!). So, don’t automatically assume its water based.
Here are some match-made in heaven examples to make it easier:
- WATER: Pair Too Faced Born This Way Foundation with their Hangover Primer
- SILICONE: Pair Hourglass Vanish Stick Foundation with their Mineral Veil Primer
- OIL: Pair Josie Maran Vibrancy Foundation with Smashbox Primer Oil!
And, if you’re desperate not to spend on new ‘matching’ products – see if giving your primer a few minutes to absorb before foundation application assists with the longevity.
FLAKY FOUNDATION? You need to exfoliate!
The importance of exfoliation was explained in great depth in our “Achieving Radiant & Dewy Skin That Lasts”blog post. Essentially, skin cells get incredibly damaged when they reach the top of the skin. They, unless exfoliated, will appear flaky – causing foundation flakiness.
Let’s get gross:
Image Source: K. Holoski – Head and Neck Cancer Guide
See the flaky cells at the top? We want them gone. We want the fresh, young and buoyant cells existing at the top for fresh foundation application that won’t flake off.
SOLUTION: Exfoliate! Physical or Chemical exfoliants will both suffice. Experiment with what works for you. Personally, I find chemical enzymatic exfoliants most effective to ensure we avoid all risks of micro-tears. Sienna loves the Tatcha Rice Polishes!
We hope you found value in this article! For more, head to our “Tips and Tricks” page on our website! If you have any requests for informational articles, or any questions, please feel free to let us know in the comments below!