Good-for-you makeup: from acne-busting foundations to lash-renewing mascaras, the newest cosmetics do much more than just doll up a pretty face
It used to be that skin-care products did all the hard work and makeup just had to look pretty. But not anymore; now makeup is pulling its weight, delivering a laundry list of skin-care enhancements, from healing blemishes, fading fine lines, hydration, and protection from sun damage to improving skin texture. “If you’re going to have something on your face for eight to 12 hours a day, you might as well get some benefit from added ingredients to improve clarity and texture,” says New Orleans-based dermatologist Mary Lupo, M.D. So when you swipe on this season’s delicate, silky, nude palettes, they won’t just gloss over the surface, they’ll also help you glow underneath it all. Here, what the new good-for-you makeup can do.
* Brighten eyes
Visible evidence Rings around the eyes, dark under-eye circles, puffiness and broken blood vessels
Makeup solution The latest makeup acts like restorative sleep for your eyes, helping to smooth delicate tissue while light-reflecting particles diffuse darkness and lighten under-eye skin. Ingredients such as soothing aloe and cucumber de-puff while anti-aging ingredients (including kinetin, an anti-aging substance found in green, leafy plants, and the vitamin A derivative retinol) address fine lines. Editor’s favorites: Almay Skin Smoothing Concealer With Kinetin ($8; at drugstores); it contains cucumber and SPF 10 as well. We also like Aveda Inner Light Concealer with the Japanese-knotweed-derived antioxidant resveratrol ($15; aveda.com); Clarins Instant Light Perfecting Touch Concealer ($24.50; gloss.com) with white-tea extract; and beComing Hide & Treat Smoothing Retinol Concealer ($16.50; becoming.com) to help reverse environmental damage.
The latest eye shadows contain ingredients like vitamins A, C and E: antioxidants to help prevent damage from free radicals (molecules created in the skin from sun exposure, pollution and smoking, which contribute to premature aging). Editor’s favorites: Molton Brown Eye Wear Soft Powder Shadow ($17; moltonbrown.com) with vitamins A and E, and Benefit Black Orchid Eye and Cheek Highlighter ($18; benefit cosmetics.com), which is rich in all three vitamins.
* Hydrate over-dried eyelashes
Visible evidence Dry, brittle eyelashes that break off
Makeup solution Strong makeup removers and exposure to too much sun can dry out eyelashes, causing them to become brittle and break, says dermatologist Bruce Katz, M.D., director of the Juva Skin and Laser Center in New York City. And it can take up to nine months to regrow new, healthy lashes. “Eyelash curlers can be a culprit too,” says Katz. Using one more than twice a day can cause trauma to the eyelashes, making them more fragile and prone to breaking.
To help your eyelashes stay strong, apply mascaras that condition and strengthen the lash hair with special hydrators like panthenol and keratin. Editor’s favorites: Estee Lauder Lash XL Maximum Length Mascara ($20; estee lauder.com), which has built-in conditioners; Avon Beyond Color Lash Fortifying Mascara ($7; avon.com) with conditioning vitamins [B.sub.5], E and keratin; and Maybelline New York Full ‘N Soft ($6.50; at drugstores) with panthenol plus a special quick-dissolve formula that helps prevent lash loss. If you can’t bear to part with your current mascara, try Bourjois Soin Fortifiant des Cils ($7.50; bourjois-usa.com), a water-based gel with pro-vitamin [B.sub.5] and silk-derivatives that can be used alone or under mascara to condition and protect lashes.
* Protect against sun damage
Visible evidence Broken blood vessels, uneven texture and fine lines
Makeup solution “People who wear sun protection all year round have less cumulative sun damage than those who put it on only when they think they’re going to be exposed,” explains Robin Ashinoff, M.D., chief of Dermatologic and Mohs Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology at Hackensack Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J. These days you can find SPF in foundations, powders and lipsticks. “But don’t rely on your makeup alone, as it [and the SPF] can wear off throughout the day,” says Ashinoff. Instead, layer your SPF makeup over a traditional sunscreen to supplement screening power. Editor’s favorites: Aveda Inner Light Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 ($25; aveda.com), a long-wearing, noncomedogenic (doesn’t clog pores) formula that hydrates for up to eight hours; Clinique Dewy Smooth Anti-aging Makeup with SPF 15 ($19.50; clinique.com) and Stila Sheer Color Face Powder SPF 15 ($23; sephora.com).
* Smooth skin tone
Visible evidence Skin irritation; dry skin; fine lines; broken blood vessels; a blotchy, uneven complexion
Makeup solution Complexion-perfecting makeup offers smoothing ingredients like vitamins and antioxidants that moisturize and calm dry or irritated skin. Editor’s favorites: Becca Cosmetics Luminous Skin Color ($38; at select Sephora stores) with SPF 20 and anti-inflammatory ingredients to soothe aggravated skin; Sothys Powder Foundation ($28; sothys-usa.com) with vitamins A and E and licorice extract to reduce puffiness; Bloom Sheer Colour Cream ($15; bloomcosmetics.com), which contains soothing lavender essential oil; and Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Bare Perfection Makeup SPF 8 ($25; dillards.com) with age-erasing derivatives of vitamin A as well as skinsmoothing beta-hydroxy acids. For an extra glow, mix several drops of Delux Beauty Liquid Pearl Luminizer Lotion ($32; sephora.com)–full of hyaluronic acid and jojoba and grape-seed oils–with your foundation.
* Soothe dry, chapped lips
Visible evidence Irritation, redness, cracks and flaking skin
Makeup solution Dry, irritated lips are caused by dehydration of skin cells on the surface, says Lupo. This could be from wearing too many matte or drying lipsticks, or from an all-too-frequent habit of licking your lips (when the saliva evaporates, it takes the lips’ natural moisture with it). Use lip glosses and lipsticks that contain quenching ingredients like jojoba and avocado oils, shea butter and aloe. Many also offer SPF coverage and antioxidants as well as retinol (to repair damage to the skin’s firming tissues: collagen and elastin). Editor’s favorites: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Coffee Gleam ($7; at drugstores) with soothing aloe and vitamin E; Avon My Lip Miracle in Mauviest ($8; avon.com), a long-wear lip color with jojoba; Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss ($18; bobbibrown.com) with aloe, jojoba and avocado oils; and Dr. Hauschka lipliner with antioxidant-rich witch hazel and strengthening black tea ($16; 800-247-9907).
* Get rid of blemishes
Visible evidence Frequent breakouts, blackheads and congested pores
Makeup solution “Products that are able to control oil production or absorb oil will help decrease the chance that the pore will get blocked and become inflamed, resulting in the blemish or pimple,” says David Leffell, M.D., a professor of dermatology and surgery at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. If you tend to be acne-prone, make sure foun-dations and concealers are labeled as dermatologist-tested and oil-free/noncomedogenic. Editor’s favorites: L’Oreal Cashmere Perfect Soft Powder Creme Makeup ($12.70; at drugstores) or Black Radiance Matte Souffle Make-up Pump ($5; at drugstores) with vitamins A and E and calming aloe. We also like products with salicylic acid to gently exfoliate and thereby prevent blocked pores; give Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Trio ($11.75; at drugstores), which contains a blemish fighter plus a concealer and powder for dabbing away imperfections, and Dermablend Acne Treatment Foundation ($22.50; dermablend.com) a try.
RELATED ARTICLE: Ingredients to look for–from A to Z
Treatment makeup shouldn’t replace skin-care regimen staples like anti-aging moisturizers, sunscreen or acne treatments, but it can offer all-day complexion perks. Keep in mind when reading labels that if the product contains 10 percent or more of the ingredient, it will be listed within the first couple of ingredients on the package. Ingredients listed toward the end are less likely to be a high enough concentration to be effective, says Robin Ashinoff, M.D., chief of Dermatologic and Mohs Surgery at Hackensack Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J.
Since there are literally dozens of tongue-twisting terms to sift through, we’ve simplified things by creating an alphabetical list of top treatment ingredients:
* Aloe Anti-inflammatory
* Avocado oil Hydrating; source of antioxidants
* Bisabolol Skin soother
* Cucumber Cooling; temporarily shrinks blood vessels
* Green tea Antioxidant
* Keratin Moisturizer
* Kinetin Antioxidant
* Licorice extract Mild anti-inflammatory; skin lightener
* Panthenol (pro-vitamin [B.sub.5]) Retains moisture
* Salicylic acid Exfoliant; helps prevent clogged pores
* Shea butter Moisturizer
* Silica Mineral that absorbs oil
* Titanium dioxide Mineral-based sunblock
* Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) Antioxidant; helps fade fine lines and improve skin texture
* Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate) Antioxidant; helps sunscreen work better
* Vitamin E Moisturizing antioxidant
* Zinc oxide Mineral-based sunblock
RELATED ARTICLE: Shape giveaway
Hide dark circles the healthy way … for FREE!
No matter what your skin type, you’ve probably battled puffy eyes and dark circles. That’s why we’re giving away 250 of Almay’s Skin Smoothing Concealer with Kinetin in Light (an $8 value!). The addition of kinetin, an anti-aging substance found in leafy green plants, fights fine lines while cucumber de-puffs and an SPF of 10 helps protect delicate skin around the eyes from the sun. Log on to Shape.com/almay from Oct. 6 to Nov. 1 for your chance to win. Good luck!
Colleen Moriarty is a freelance writer based in Washington Depot, Conn.
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