Skip to content

Is Your SPF Makeup Aging You?

The fact is this—many women love makeup, but they don't always want to look "made up." The good news is that there are makeup products that can deliver a natural no-makeup look, while also offering serious benefits for your skin (hello, No Makeup Skincare). The right SPF makeup—when applied correctly—can give skin a nearly perfect finish while shielding it from the sun's intense rays. Sounds like the perfect combination, right? Well, not entirely... Many products contain ingredients (such as harsh synthetic fragrances and preservatives) which can increase skin sensitivity over time and even cause allergic reactions. The result? Skin that appears dull and older than it is. Here are some of our best tips for selecting the SPF foundation that most naturally flatters your skin at every age, without doing damage.

Makeup Do's and Don'ts

Don't: Wear an unnatural foundation mask. Prevent the mask effect by making sure your foundation matches your skin's natural undertones; then blend around the jaw line down to the neck with your fingertips, a foundation brush or a sponge. Do: Apply the majority of your foundation in the center of your face, under the eyes and around the nose and mouth, blending out towards the planes of the cheeks, forehead and chin. This will help concentrate the most product around the areas of the face where many of us have dark circles and redness, which require the most coverage. Don't: Rely on heavy liquid makeup. Heavy foundations—which are frequently suggested for mature skin types—are commonly formulated with ingredients like mineral oil. We recommend steering clear of such products, since they can further clog congested pores and make skin appear less radiant. Also, be careful not to confuse what may be makeup-related breakouts with hormonal acne. Do: Look for an oil-free SPF makeup, since these formulas tend to look more like actual skin and feel "breathable".
  • Tip: Products that do not contain oil can still be hydrating and suitable for those with dry skin. Look for hydration-binding ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate, which draws water from the air and onto skin for lasting moisture. Those with dry skin types can also add 1-3 drops of their favorite Omega-3 rich oil to skin right before makeup application. This will serve to infuse skin with protective antioxidants and impart a luminous glow almost instantly.
Don't: Partially cleanse. Invest in a good quality liquid cleanser and make sure to thoroughly remove all traces of makeup at the end of the day.
  • Tip: A sea sponge is an ideal tool for removing all traces of makeup, including stubborn eye makeup, which exacerbates the appearance of under-eye circles.
Do: Choose makeup that's non-comedogenic (will not clog pores). If any irritation or sensitivity occurs, discontinue the use of that product. Breakouts should be examined before they are deemed a bad sign; some skincare products have a "detoxifying" effect on the skin which can result in some short-term breakouts, while the overall appearance of skin improves. Don't: Use harsh grains, "scrubs" or abrasive pads. These can disturb the skin and produce age-accelerating inflammation. Don't over wash skin or use a cleanser that makes your skin feel "tight" immediately after cleansing. Do: If you have uneven texture and are oily in the T-zone, use a liquid cleanser containing the combination of alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and DMAE. These work together to help normalize overactive oil glands and diminish the appearance of enlarged pores over time, making skin appear smoother and more even. This smoother "canvas" makes a big difference in how long and evenly makeup wears. And remember, makeup can only go so far. Think of it as a way to accentuate and protect your healthy skin, rather than a way to mask it.