Having sensitive skin is stressful. Never knowing whether that new product your bestie recommended is going to break you out or cause sudden flares of redness… looking beautiful is hard when you have to tread so carefully with what you put on your skin.
It’s common for all of us to have skin sensitivities, and have irritants that set our skins off, but the category of ‘sensitive skin’ isn’t clearly defined. There’s not one official test you can take to find out if your skin is sensitive, and what sets off your skin in a flare-up might be be perfectly innocuous on mine.
To work out the best makeup for sensitive skin like yours, introduce only one new product at a time into your routine. As tempting as it is to splurge on a new routine all in one go — especially if your skin is irritated and you just want to fix it, now — trying one new product at a time will allow you to know right away if it’s good for you or not.
Apply a test patch in a coin-sized area somewhere hidden, like behind your ear or even on your wrist. That way, if it causes a rash or other reaction, it’s not too visible. If there’s no sign of harm, you’re good to go!
You can go through a lengthy testing and elimination process with your skincare, but with makeup it’s a little more difficult.
Once you have a general idea of what types of products work for your skin, you can break down the intimidating stretches of beauty counters into groups that you know will work for sensitive skin. There are a few main categories of makeup brands for sensitive skin to look for.
Natural Makeup Brands for Sensitive Skin
So often, women struggling with skin sensitivities will turn to natural-based beauty brands, for their formulas that use plant-derived ingredients. Natural beauty brands often use simpler formulas. Shorter ingredients lists are easy to read over and recognise if there’s anything that you know won’t work for your skin.
Josie Maran Cosmetics
Josie Maran believes that “what we put on our bodies also goes into our bodies”, and applies that belief to her products. All the products in Josie Maran’s cosmetics line are skin-healthy and environmentally friendly.
The Josie Maran Vibrancy Argan Oil Foundation Fluid is a medium-full coverage foundation (hard to find in natural brands) that’s argan-oil-based and uses natural nutrient-rich pigments. It’s clinically proven to be hydrating and smoothing as well as non-irritating for sensitive skin.
Pur Cosmetics offer the ultimate in natural beauty formulas, promising natural ingredients that are good for your skin. They make sure to avoid many controversial ingredients in all their makeup, including parabens — criticised by some for their possible link with cancer.
Pur Cosmetics products are also gluten-free. If it surprises you to find that makeup can contain gluten, you’re not alone! Gluten in cosmetics can trigger symptoms just as gluten in food would do, though, so choosing gluten-free makeup is never a bad choice.
Like Pur Cosmetics, Vapour Beauty’s products are free from any ingredients that might be cause for concern. All their formulas are one hundred percent natural, and chemical free.
Even more impressively, their products are water free. Water is a harmless ingredient on its own. But its inclusion in formulas means that cosmetics companies need to add preservatives to prevent microorganisms from growing—preservatives that can be irritating to the skin.
No water means no preservatives, which means no irritation!
Unscented makeup brands for sensitive skin
Beauty companies just love to add fragrance to their makeup, especially foundation. While some people might find it luxurious to apply a scented product to their face each morning, added fragrance is one of the most common causes of skin irritation.
When a beauty product’s ingredients list mentions ‘fragrance’, it could be any combination of thousands of fragrance ingredients. If fragrance does irritate your sensitive skin, you won’t even be able to narrow down what exactly it causing it.
The solution? Avoiding fragrance entirely, of course.
Clinique’s entire cosmetics and skincare range is fragrance free. With an impressive range of foundation formulas and other base products to choose from, you’ll have no problem finding a formula and shade to suit you.
All of Clinique’s products are also thoroughly allergy tested. They do 7,200 tests per product and if they find even one reaction, they take it back to the drawing board.
If Clinique products are stretching your budget, take a look in your local drugstore for the Covergirl Clean range. Covergirl Clean takes the brand’s well-loved formulas and optimizes them for sensitive skin: fragrance free, dermatologically tested and non-comedogenic.
They offer liquid makeup, a BB cream and pressed powder, and even have an enhanced formula for oil control.
Now you know what to look for and have an idea of the best makeup brands for sensitive skin. You’ll be able to confidently apply your makeup without fear of it upsetting your skin’s sensitivities.