Spot the right foundation for sensitive skin

Foundation does wonders for the skin. It gives the skin an even tone and texture, hides flaws and imperfections such as dark circles making it appear smooth and silky. However, women with sensitive skin cannot just use any make up or foundation for obvious reasons; breakouts, acne, and rashes can occur. To avoid potential skin reactions, use a specific foundation designed for sensitive skin.

Reading labels

When buying foundation for sensitive skin, consider these identifying marks on the labels:

  • hypoallergenic

This term implies that the make up wearer with sensitive or ultra sensitive skin will not develop allergies to the products. Although cosmetic companies stress that it is 100% hypoallergenic, there is no full guarantee that the person will not suffer any reaction at all, however mild. Products of this type usually use pure and gentle ingredients. Dermatologists and ophthalmologists test the products on the skin and areas around the eyes for allergies or irritation.

  • non-comedogenic

When you see a product labelled as non-comedogenic, this means that using the foundation will not clog skin pores. Applying on a layer of foundation on the skin and neck will allow the skin to breathe.

Most foundations are heavy on the skin and will seal pores for an even and smooth texture. With a non-comedogenic foundation, the pores are free minimising the appearance of blackheads and whiteheads. These products are also tested to back the manufacturer's claim. Be aware that people have different reactions. A non-comedogenic product may work on others while another group might react differently.

  • non-acnegenic

Non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic are closely related. The former prevents the formation of comedones such as blackheads and whiteheads while the latter reduces acne/pimples from developing. Using such a type of foundation will minimise the breakout of acne on the face.

  • fragrance free

Fragrance included in the foundation can cause a strong reaction to users in the form of skin rashes, sneezing, watery eyes and all sorts of reactions. Women with ultra sensitive skin should choose products that are unscented. However, this term is ambiguous in a certain sense because everything has a smell. In the case of foundations, natural components are present but there might be chemicals added to mask the odour of fatty substances and other ingredients used in making the product.

  • oil-free

There are different types of foundation for different types of skin. As a general rule, women who have oily skin or prone to acne should use an oil-free foundation. Those who have dry skin must opt for foundations that have moisturisers in them. There are also specific products for those with combination skin.

Testing the right foundation

Testers are usually found in make up counters of department stores or at your nearest drugstore. There are also some that give the full makeover. If you want to see how a foundation for sensitive skin would look on your face, go for the full make over. Note that a well blended foundation must look natural on the skin and not like a mask.

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