Cruelty Free Makeup

Q & As on which one to use

I’ve heard you say women shouldn’t wear foundation, but what about powder? Is it also bad for the skin? I feel like I want to have something covering my skin!

Let me start by saying I don’t actually think women “shouldn’t” wear foundation, but I like giving information on the possible effects of doing so and offering alternatives, one of which I subscribe to and that is not wearing any makeup. It’s all a choice, and then it is me as an aesthetician giving advice regarding makeup. If you do wear it–great! Just be sure to take appropriate care of your skin.

To me, powder is preferable to wearing foundation. Loose powder is basically talc, which is the main ingredient found in baby powder. Talc is essentially (French) chalk, or a “finely powdered native magnesium silicate, a mineral,” as defined in Ruth Winter’s A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. Powder can actually help absorb excess oil from the surface of the skin while giving you a finished look.

So if it comes down to a decision of whether to use powder or foundation, I would recommend powder. I do understand your desire to have something covering your face, but I bet if I saw you, I would not see the imperfections you see in your skin. We are all too critical when it comes to looking at ourselves in the mirror.

I was at a convention where you spoke. I remember you saying something about pressed powder being bad for your face. I was wondering if all powder is bad for your skin or just pressed and why? Do you think powder is the reason why my pores are clogged?

Pressed powder is just like foundation when it come to how it functions on top of your skin. Look at the ingredients; there will be certain things in pressed powder that are not in loose powder; ingredients that help make it “stick” to your skin. It is simply liquid foundation in solid form.

The following scenario happens over and over with clients who come in wearing pressed powder. I’ll ask the client if she’s wearing foundation, and the response is, “No, I just have a little bit of powder on.” It then takes me multiple cleansings in order to get that “little bit of powder” off her skin and out of the pores. Pressed powder contains a lot of emollients and thickeners that are then pressed into the skin and can cause congestion in the pores. Yes, you get great coverage with pressed powder—because it is more like foundation than true powder. If you have to wear something to cover your skin, I would suggest a light-textured water-based foundation instead of pressed powder.

Many times women who wear pressed powder have some enlargement of the pores, especially on the middle forehead, around the nose and cheek area, and near the corners of their mouths, similar to foundation wearers. If this is true for you and you are wearing pressed powder, try using loose powder for a while. Also try using a clay mask to unclog the pores and get your skin in better shape. See if the combination of these two things helps with the quality of your skin. I really find pressed powder very unpowderlike.

I’ve never used a liquid foundation, but I do sometimes use non-talc, mineral-based powders and blushes on my face to take away shine and cover some broken capillaries, and also for color. How do you feel about these types of powders? Are they just as pore-clogging as liquid foundation (especially since I seem to have a blackhead problem)?

I believe mineral makeup is what you’re asking about. This type of makeup usually will give you good coverage without causing skin problems, and it doesn’t have oil in it. Since you are prone to blackheads, I would monitor your skin closely if you choose to wear this or any type of makeup. And no matter what, doing at-home facials (exfoliating and clay masking) is essential to keep your pores cleaned out.

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