Make More of Your Makeup

Think that your makeup’s main job is just to cover imperfections and provide color? Guess again. Makeup that does more—like fighting acne and helping reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation—can actually put you one step closer to perfect skin. Do you know what features to look for when you are purchasing new makeup? These are some of our favorites:

Acne Fighters
Covering up blemishes with makeup as you try to eliminate them can often be a vicious cycle—one seems to instigate the other. “Most acne sufferers know to look for makeup that boasts skin-purifying buzzwords like ‘noncomedogenic’ and ‘oil-free,’” says Las Vegas dermatologist Robert Strimling, MD, adding that there are many products that contain powerful ingredients that can help you heal as you conceal. “No matter what you are covering or how you cover it, salicylic acid is the one ingredient you should look for if you have acne,” says Lee Graff, president and cofounder of Cover FX.

Hyperpigmentation Helpers 
While you can use a powder, liquid or total-coverage type of foundation to mask hyperpigmentation and melasma, if you want to correct it, you should look for ingredients that do more than hide it. “SPF, in general, should be the first line of defense, because it prevents additional darkening, but ingredients like vitamin C, arbutin and licorice extract can help fade dark spots as well,” says Graff.

Mineral Makeup: A Healthy Option
Mineral makeup is often touted as a miracle-worker for sensitive skin types—but not all mineral makeups are created equal. To find true mineral makeup, look for brands that incorporate ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and don’t use “fillers” such as fragrances, colors, binders, preservatives and other chemicals.

  • Doesn’t encourage breakouts:
    Perfect for oily or acne-prone skin, mineral makeup is noncomedogenic and does not encourage bacteria growth, meaning it won’t clog pores and cause breakouts.
  • Has built-in sun protection:
    Mineral makeup foundations and powders are considered physical sunscreens (which are recommended for acne-prone skin) because they utilize physical blockers like titanium dioxide to reflect the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
  • Natural ingredients make it nonirritating:
    Natural ingredients, like mica, make mineral makeup a good choice for sensitive, easily irritated skin types—and it’s even safe to use after noninvasive treatments like chemical peels and laser resurfacing. “Your skin needs 10 to 14 days to heal, but, after that, it’s best to use cosmetics made from natural, high-pigmented minerals,” says Dallas facial plastic surgeon Jesse E. Smith, MD