For years I have have been plagued with sensitive skin and have found it extremely difficult to find a good makeup for sensitive skin that doesn’t cause a reaction over time. Many products claim to be safe for sensitive and acne prone skin, but I still either break out or end up with some itchy rash. I’ve finally figured out how to pick the best ones and how to test them carefully. Even so, you may find that trial and error is the only way to go.
When testing out new products on your skin, make sure that you do a patch test first. Put a small amount in a sensitive but unobtrusive spot, usually behind you ear or on your neck. Leave it for 24 hours to see if you react. If you don’t have a reaction, try a small amount on your face for several days. For me, I don’t know if a makeup or other product is truly safe for my skin until I have used it for at least a week. This is why I always ask salespeople in cosmetic stores for a large enough sample to last a week. If they won’t do that, or if it’s just not possible, make sure that you can return it if you have a reaction. Many online stores have a good return policy and some companies sell trial kits that are perfect for testing out a new line.
Some of the best makeup for sensitive skin are those that contain few chemicals or that are all natural or organic. My favorite lines right now are Tarte and Korres. Since it is summer as I write this, I have been using a combination of the Tarte Eraser liquid concealer and some of their powder foundation. Korres powder foundation is a little more moisturizing if you have drier skin. I also like the cleansing products by Boscia and Fresh, which are very gentle on the skin. I have never found a drugstore brand, unfortunately, that doesn’t make my skin itchy. I’ll stick with the Tarte Cosmetics Smooth Operator SPF 20 Foundationfor now and see how it goes.
For those who prefer mineral makeup, make sure you use one that doesn’t have bismuth oxychloride. My favorite is by Bare Minerals, but you have to buy their Matte foundation. The regular one did have bismuth oxychloride in it the last time I checked, but the matte one is fantastic and doesn’t have the tell-tale sign of the ingredients that irritate your skin – namely a shimmer. Products with mica in them will also cause itchiness, and many blushes contain this ingredient.
Sunscreen is another culprit of itchiness, rashes or breakouts in sensitive skin. I can’t use anything with chemicals in it so I stick to mineral sunscreen. I found one by Elta MD, EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46, which is specifically for sensitive and acne prone skin. Neutrogena now makes one that is all mineral and is good for sensitive skin. The problem I had was that it felt a little too greasy and made me break out. The only real solution? Stay out of the sun. I know that you are supposed to wear sunscreen even if you are not in the sun, but with ultra sensitive skin you are best staying out of the sun anyway.
Use a little trial and error, you will be able to find a good makeup for sensitive skin that provides excellent coverage and a natural look. One other product line that I’m about to try is Afterglow Cosmetics. They are supposed to be particularly good for sensitive skin. If anyone has tried them yet, let me know! I’m going to order them right now.
Meanwhile, go easy on your skin and use as little makeup as possible and as few ingredients as possible. You’ll look better for it.