A while ago, I shared a little discussive piece where I said that the idea that wearing makeup is bad for your skin is a fallacy. It is! It’s nothing to do with the makeup (unless of course, you use a product that is inherently bad or poisonous), but all to do with how you care for your skin after.
Well today, I’m going to propose the notion that wearing base makeup, at minimum, can be good for your skin. No really.
I’m going to tell you this. I never wore makeup or even foundation until I started my first job, in my 20’s. I started life in simpler times, not in the age of selfies and Instagram (thank goodness! LOL!) but even then, I was never very good about wearing base makeup. I just never found the right one as a lot of foundations back then were heavy or oily.
These days however, we are spoilt for choice. There are so many good quality base products out there, that it’s quite easy to find one that suits our skin and preference. And you know what? I’ve realised that wearing base makeup, be it BB creams or CC creams or foundations, can actually be good for our skin.
I know, you’re sitting there raising one brow at me and going “You have to be kidding!” Well, hear me out 🙂
Foundation or BB Cream protects against environmental aggressions
I first realised during one of the hazy days to hit our weather, that wearing makeup was actually helping to protect my skin. If you live or work in a city, you will realise just how much more polluted the air is compared to the countryside. Or, if you live where I do, and have to contend with haze or smog from forest fires in neighbouring countries polluting the air, you will realise just how quickly your skin deteriorates or breaks out.
What I found is that wearing a layer of foundation or BB cream actually helps provide an additional layer of protection to my skin from these aerial pollutants. Think of it, if you will, rather like drawing a veil over your skin.
I first noticed this a couple of years ago, when Malaysia was first blanketed by a thick haze. The air was stifling and it was hard to breathe and my skin on my body would actually itch on exposure to the polluted air. But for some reason, I noticed that I wasn’t breaking out as badly as I did before. My face didn’t itch either, only my arms and legs. And then I noticed that it was because I was wearing foundation or BB Cream in the day.
I’m not saying of course that you should wear it day and night, but in the day, when you are more likely to be exposed to external pollutants and environmental aggressions, a thin layer of base on your face can actually help protect your skin a little better. It helped me, that’s for sure! So, when I’m out on weekends, I put on a thin layer of BB or CC Cream, by way of skin protection, as well as evening out my skintone, so I look human when facing the public LOL 😀
Wearing foundation or BB Cream encourages us to clean skin more thoroughly
Now we all know that wearing makeup means that we have to take it off properly so it doesn’t damage our skin. Most of the time, skin problems associated with makeup are due to improper or insufficient cleansing.
Wearing a little bit of makeup in the form of a face base means that you would therefore be sure to cleanse your skin more thoroughly. While double-cleansing is by now a common concept, I am prone to being a little lazy, if I don’t have anything else on my skin other than skincare. But if I have makeup on, I always make it a point to take it off properly and then double cleanse with either a cleansing oil or cleansing balm, followed by another facial cleanser. I find it satisfying to use my wash cloth to wipe off my cleansing balm and see all that foundation come off LOL! Yes, I’m weird that way 😀
What this does is twofold – it properly removes my makeup, ensuring my skin is clean and breathable, and it ensures that I properly clean off the dirt that may have accumulated during the day.
The first step to healthy skin is to cleanse properly, and when you wear a base, you are more likely to.
Foundation and BB Cream can provide added hydration especially for dry skin
If you have dry or drier skin like I do, I’ve found that while proper skincare is key to keeping skin feeling hydrated through the day, a good foundation or base makeup helps too. This is especially true if you are in an air-conditioned environment all day, which is drying on the skin.
What I find is that when I wear a good base product that isn’t drying on my skin, it can actually make my skin feel more comfortable. This might also be because it is “protecting” my skin in preventing the skin from drying out too quickly. I’m not sure about the science behind it, but from my experience, a good base not only helps you look better, it can actually be “good” for your skin as well!
And there you are, my reasons why I say that wearing a base is actually a good thing for your skin. It not only helps make you look and feel better about yourself, but if used properly and with the right mind-set, it can actually help your skin be healthier too!
Now there’s a good excuse as any to go out and pick up yet another bottle of foundation or BB Cream LOL! 😀
Have you ever thought about this before? Have you ever noticed that wearing base makeup could be good for your skin or that it helps your skin?
For me, the most noticeable positive result is always when the haze season hits, once or twice in a year. It’s an uncomfortable and unhealthy time, with all the particles in the air getting onto the skin, irritating our skin and sinuses. But I’ve also found that I don’t break out as much (touchwood) on periods when I wear makeup as opposed to when I don’t. So that’s my case for wearing a base. Foundation can be good for your skin – who’d have thunk? 😉
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Thank you for this post! So informative!
Paris B says
Glad you enjoyed it.
Always! In fact now that I am on the cushion foundation, I actually touch up through out the day – because I itchy fingers… I actually find that my skin is much softer and smoother at the end of the day because of the added layer of hydrAtion. Besides, with so much modern technology, I’d like to believe that infusing a tiny bit of skincare into makeup is no longer rocket science.
Paris B says
Eh I notice that thing about my skin being softer too, if I wear a moisturising foundation on the day. Somehow, I think these new batches of makeup is more impressive, and less damaging to our skin than those of before.
I have found the exact opposite. I have worn foundation most of my adult life until this year when I finally gave it up. I hate ffoundation and wore it only to cover flaws (acne and scars) which in turn were caused by wearing said makeup! I have used lliquids, powders high end and drugstore – they always make my skin even more oily and clog my pores.
My skin is clearer now, less irritated and I am more conscious about taking care of it so it looks good on it’s own rather than covering it up. There are simply too many nasty ingredients in your average foundation to consider it as skincare. But I suppose if you live in such a polluted environment it is an additional barrier.
The one exception is mineral foundation. I wore that almost exclusively the last few years. Though it did clog my pores in the long run, if I took a break then wore it again, my face seemed calmer and smoother. But likely it’s just an effect on the zinc oxide.
Sorry for the long post,
Paris B says
Thanks for sharing Becca 🙂 I’m actually not surprised, because many people do find that not wearing foundation is very helpful for the skin. In most cases, I’d actually tend to agree. However, as I’ve shared before, I also feel that taking care of the skin and properly cleansing is the real key, so it then doesn’t really matter if we do wear a base or don’t. The skin won’t suffer either way 🙂 That said, I will agree that everyone has different skintypes, and tolerances, and different environmental conditions so, it always pays to listen to our own skin.
Mei Ping says
Very interesting…. I’m in my forties now and believe it or not I have never used any foundation or bb or cc cream. I just use my skin care and I go out bare faced. The reason being I have extremely dry skin and I found that previously by putting on foundation, it actually emphasizes the dryness. So, I have yet to try any of the bb,cc or cushion foundation that is the craze now.
Any recommendation for dry skin?
Paris B says
Hey Mei Ping, actually I don’t think it’s a bad thing not wearing any foundation 🙂 Just that for those of us who do, I find that it isn’t a bad thing especially when we have to battle poor air quality as well. As for your question, I honestly haven’t tried many. I’ve currently used only the Laneige BB Cushion (a long time ago, and I think I kind of liked it, but I can’t remember it now) and presently, Iope which I like but isn’t readily available locally.
If you have very dry skin, you are right about foundation making it feel even more uncomfortable. This is true especially for powder foundation, which is why I don’t use powder foundation anymore. I have normal-dry skin and I like a lightweight liquid foundation. If you have very dry skin then a cream foundation might even feel more comfortable. Off the top of my head, 1 cream foundation that feels pretty comfortable is the Lunasol Cream Foundation. I also like the Lunasol Liquid Modelling Foundation but some people have said that it isn’t as hydrating as they like. Another I like is the Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation which is lightweight and pretty comfortable even on dry skin. Also try the Diorskin Nude which I find hydrating and comfortable. I’d also suggest looking at the RMK Creamy Gel foundation, which is also very comfortable. These are a few I wear often and like, and feel comfortable recommending, because I think they are pretty good, and work well for drier skins. If budget is a concern, try the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation. Also lightweight and comfortable for drier skins 🙂 Hope you’ll find something to like!
While I agree about being more aware of cleansing your face if you wear makeup, why can’t you just get in the habit of cleansing your face. I can see some of the added benefits but why should we be relying on makeup to protect our skin or for added skincare benefits.
Yes I write a blog about beauty, and yes I review makeup but I think understanding your skin and learning about the actual skincare you’re using is so much more important. People blame products when they should be blaming ingredients. It took me quite awhile to figure that out but once I did my skin has never looked better. Makeup is fun again because I don’t use it to cover up my face.
Paris B says
While I agree with you wholeheartedly about taking good care of our skins whether or not we wear makeup, I also have noticed that many people tend to take the lazy way out. So, if they don’t wear makeup (for example) they don’t double cleanse their skin, or if they don’t go outdoors, they don’t wear sunscreen. So, while I think that many of us who are in the loop are aware of what we should be doing, and therefore benefiting from it, the truth is that most of the regular folk don’t really bother. 1 cleanser, 1 moisturiser and they consider their skincare done. So, while I don’t wear makeup as I would a mask, I think that it is often rather maligned for being “bad for the skin” when in fact, it isn’t 🙂 We just have to learn to work with it, but not many people realise that 😉
Yes, I agree with you, every word and that’s what I always try to explain to whoever whenever they tell me that makeup (especially foundation) is bad for our skin!
Paris B says
I think it’s just severely maligned 🙂 We just have to learn to work with it, not let makeup rule our lives! 🙂
Hhmmm… food for thought, Paris. I’m not sure if I agree or disagree, really. Hahaha! I stopped wearing much foundation at all since I quit my job a year and a half ago, and my skin hasn’t been better. Even through all these haze, my skin is kept clear. I remember Clinique has a sunblock SPF50 that actually protects our skin from the PM2.5 particles, so that one, yes, I believe (want to) that it works. In fact, I’m going to re-purchase that this weekend. When it comes to foundation and BB / CC creams though, I’m not too sure.
I guess whatever works eh? It’s interesting that it does work for you and some readers who commented above! 🙂
Paris B says
While I tend to agree that not wearing makeup at all is best for the skin, Lily, I do think that it’s not all bad especially if we have to be out in the environment. Fact is that living in the city, any city for that matter, is polluted. On the flipside, I do realise that when I was sick as a dog and locked myself up at home for a few days with no makeup, my skin did look better as well. So, I think it’s a lot to do with the polluted environment outside, and I think it’s nice that there’s a case for wearing makeup 🙂
Rainy Days & Lattes says
I love this thought. I think it’s actually true for good quality base makeup. I still think a majority of them are probably not as healthy but they do create that layer and that veil to protect it from WORSE things :p
Paris B says
This is especially so if the environment is polluted, I find. If I’m lucky enough to stay home all day then I wouldn’t bother with makeup either. But if we have to be out and the air isn’t at its healthiest, a little extra help is useful to have!
It can also keep you from touching your face!
Paris B says
Good point! 😀
The first time I ever felt that its imperative that I should put some barrier on my face was when I had to cover Sandakan and Tawau in Sabah for work two years ago. The humidity is so high, craziest hot sun, as I worked on foot, walking from 1 customer to another in the sun by the streets, finding my way in a stranger town, I couldn’t find proper covers away from the sun. It was the only time I ever felt like I literally need a barrier for my face. But that being said, I wasn’t very sunscreen literate then. I just read sunscreen based on SPF labelled, without knowing much about physical or chemical sunscreen.
I think one of the good points you’re making here but most often understated is, the key is in your choice of makeup removal, you use cleansing oil or cleansing balm. I have always been double cleansing since I was 20 with or without sunscreen/makeup, but I had always used milk cleanser back then. Even Bioderma kicks ass in removing dirt, mascara and foundation, I could use up to a few cotton pads to make sure all traces are removed. But it is ultimately inferior in total cleansing compared to cleansing oil/balm. I bought Bioderma for 1 week’s travel so I don’t have to obsessively oil cleanse on my vacation. Shockingly , when I came home and took a good look at myself in the mirror, every bit of my face from nose, cheeks, forehead, chin were crazily clogged even with rigorous removal.
So from there, I could see the drastic result in using cleansing oil/balm vs cleansing milk/water. Yup! That’s that.
Paris B says
Thanks for sharing and for getting what I was going on about LOL! What a lot of people don’t realise is the importance of actually taking care of our skin starting from the cleansing. I grew up, for the most part, thinking that cleansing was just that – cleansing. It wasn’t until I learned about double cleansing that I realised how much better my skin was. You’re lucky to have learned it in your 20’s! I wish someone had taught me about it then haha! 😀 I’m pretty much a cleansing balm girl now mostly due to my skin’s condition and because I like using the cloths, as I feel it is so much better for my skin. But never just cleansing water, which you’ve learned the hard way!
*edit : I used Cleansing milk throughout most of my 20s until perhaps 2012 onwards I was a slave to Bioderma. 2013 onwards I used Store bought Oil Cleanser or just baby oil, it’s been my ultimate HG in my skincare ritual. Hence the comparison with Cleansing Milk/Water vs Cleansing Oil/Balm.
Beauty Bee says
I agree! especially tinted moisturiser or a bb cream which has a good level of SPF in it. I would wear a regular sunscreen product underneath it as well, just so you know you are getting the maximum protection possible!
I’d still like to try the NARS tinted moisturiser, it looks fab (and I’m glad they didn’t call it a BB cream just because they are in atm!).
Paris B says
That’s a good point about the SPF 🙂 The Nars Tinted Moisturiser is actually pretty good. I’ve had it a while and it’s actually quite moisturising which is why I like it. I also realised I haven’t reviewed it LOL! I think it’s time I remedied that?
Beauty Bee says
Yes, please do! 😀
You were right about the colour range btw, I checked them out in store and they are a little strange :S I don’t think they have a light neutral toned colour in their range (which is what I go for) although Alaska is marketed as their neutral shade (despite looking a little dark and on the yellow side in store). I might still try it since we are in summer 😉
Though they did add in a few new shades (Groenland is new and I believe so is a darker shade).
I actually think its good habit to have a foundation on your skin.
Currently, I’m using Laneige BB cushion but I have 1 issue which after using it my skin started to have breakouts. Is it because this BB cushion doesn’t suit my skin or I have to clean the sponge more often ?
Also do share some sunscreen please. I have dry and sensitive skin
btw, I love reading your blog. It’s so informative! Whenever I’m considering purchasing products, I would browse through your blog for some idea and suggestion. Love it!
Paris B says
Hi Crystal, thanks for sharing your thoughts! It does sound like the Laneige BB Cushion isn’t working for you. If you started breaking out when it was new, then it might well be because the formula doesn’t agree with your skin. If it’s after a long time, and you’ve never washed your sponge, then it could be the sponge. But personally, I think it’s the formula so you might want to consider trying something else 🙂
As for sunscreen, my favourite is the Shiseido Perfect UV (read it here) I’ve normal-dry skin and it works very well for me, and even acts as a wonderful makeup base so I’ve no need for primer and all that. It is fairly pricey, and I’m still trying other more affordable options, but I still always go back to this one.
Thank you for supporting my blog and for sharing your thoughts in a comment. It means a lot to me, to have people “talk” back to me instead of me just talking to myself! 😀
Gerrine Huang says
Haha, quite true. I remembered your blog post u wrote during the haze. It is quite true actually as I had experi nced it personally. Base makeup forms a protective barrier. Most people have the misconception that make up can clogg pores and cause breakout. This is true if makeup is not removed properly.
Paris B says
Absolutely right Gerrine! Cleansing is the most important part about wearing makeup. So often I see people with beautiful makeup skills, and then they don’t take the trouble to properly follow up with a remover and skincare after that. And then they wonder why their skin is breaking out and they need more concealer than ever!