How to Select The Right Cosmetics for Your Skin Type
Is your makeup the right fit for your skin type? This quick and easy guide will show you how to select the perfect match for an effortless look.
Powders and liquids and creams, oh my! Thousands of products flood the cosmetics market and, as if the sheer number of options wasn’t overwhelming enough, each boasts of its own magical power: “brightening,” “skin smoothing,” “wrinkle reducing,” “moisturizing,” “blemish fighting.” The list is endless. And in the midst of all the options, the cries of women can be heard around the world. “Which is for me?”
The answer? It all depends on your skin type.
Dry Skin: Thanks to the tendency of dry skin to become flaky, finding cake-free cosmetics is a must. That means you’ll want to avoid oil-free and powder options, sticking with cream-based or liquid foundations instead.
Oily Skin: Powder absorbs oil. It’s that simple. And while liquid cosmetics are perfect for attaining the “dewy” look, you’ll want to stick with a loose or pressed powder option if your skin is already dewy (read: greasy), since liquid and cream-based options only work to intensify shine.
Combination or Acne-Prone Skin: The most common skin type and (by far) the hardest to tame, combination skin is an often frustrating blend of both oily and dry. Thankfully, it doesn’t always require two different products (although sometimes it helps to use a powder or sheer foundation for oily patches and an oil-based product for dry areas), but it is crucial to invest in one particular product: a cream-based concealer.
Sensitive Skin: Sensitive skin can react to even the gentlest of products in a variety of ways: itchy blotches, painful breakouts, obnoxious bumps, and all-out rashes. Yet there are a few rules to help minimize reactions: avoid added fragrances, stay away from cosmetics with ingredients that include alcohol and retinoids, and use products that give lighter rather than heavier coverage.
Aging Skin: Unfortunately, it’s time to throw out the powder, which tends to settle into creases and accentuate wrinkles. You’ll actually want to avoid any other thick foundations, for that matter. Because although heavy make-up can be tempting—thanks to its ability to cover up sun spots and uneven complexions—it only proceeds to magnify signs of age. Instead, opt for a lighter liquid foundation or a tinted moisturizer.
Normal Skin: If you’re one of the lucky few that have a smooth, perfectly hydrated complexion, then please, you can wear whatever you prefer (and enjoy you perfect skin!).
Consider the tone. When it comes to picking make-up or other color-based products (like BB cream and self-tanning lotions), always take your skin tone into account. Colors that are too light or too dark will leave severe color lines and can make you look washed out or Oompa Loompa-esque. Undertones vary from person to person (and oftentimes ethnicity to ethnicity): yellow, red, olive, etc.. So match your undertones to your product. Fair-skinned blue-eyed blondes would look awful in even the lightest shade of an olive-toned product.
Always pick quality over quantity. If you find that your skin is flaky and scaly during the winter months, heaping on massive amounts of a cheap moisturizing foundation isn’t going to do you much good. In fact, it could even further damage your skin in the form of breakouts and allergic reactions. Instead, choose to invest in a rich moisturizing cream with natural ingredients.
Don’t continue using products that irritate your skin. Some people are allergic to certain ingredients; others have skin that’s just a bit more sensitive than most. Either way, discontinue the use of products that leaves you itchy, dried out, blotchy, broken out, or with rashes.
But regardless of which categories you fall into, the most important rule is to love your skin (and to treat it accordingly)!