Our Favourite Skin-Friendly Brands Blending Skincare with Makeup
Main Image – Hannahcriswell/Stocksy
In the search for flawless skin, makeup enthusiasts and skincare aficionados alike have long sought the elusive balance between wearing makeup and preserving the health of our skin.
And looking at the ingredient labels on multiple popular brands’ products, it’s no surprise that many of us feel confused about what should and shouldn’t be included in our makeup.
Consumers are increasingly focusing more on makeup brands that use ingredients to hydrate, moisturise, prevent breakouts, calm redness, and prevent irritation – multitasking as makeup AND skincare (looking at you, r.e.m. beauty.)
Fortunately, the beauty industry has evolved to cater to this growing demand, giving rise to a new era of cosmetics that not only enhance our appearance but also nurture our skin.
And we’re sharing our *fave* skin-friendly makeup, as well as top picks from the experts: dermatologist Dr Anthony Rossi, celeb aesthetician Ian Michael Crumm, and licenced aesthetician and founder of Lineage Studio NYC Essence Moore.
The makeup that could cause skin issues
So, do certain types of packaging and applicators cause more harm to our skin than others?
Moore tells us that the “products that are more likely to cause breakouts are ones easily contaminated, such as concealers in tubes with stick applicators. Anything that is hard to clean will harbour more bacteria and cause breakouts.”
Those influencers on TikTok and Insta using dropper applicators directly on their skin? Nope, you shouldn’t be doing that. Any germs and dirt from your skin can be transferred onto the applicator, making it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria – which will then transfer back onto your skin each time you use it.
Makes sense, although it’s not a nice thought!
And what ingredients should we look for that *could* cause skin issues?
“I would recommend staying away from products with coconut oil towards the top of the ingredient list,” says Moore. “They can cause congestion more easily.”
This is because coconut oil is “highly comedogenic, which means it can clog pores. Consequently, it may actually make acne worse for some people,” says Healthline.
Top tips for healthy skin while wearing makeup
We asked Moore for her top 3 tips for healthy skin while wearing makeup, she told us to first “prep the skin properly with hydrating products before applying your makeup.”
You should “double cleanse every single time you wear makeup,” as well as have “a tried and true exfoliating cleanser and/or toner to prevent congestion,” she adds.
A sort of ‘tag team’ of skincare superheroes to ensure healthy skin, it’s also clear that prep and removal are paramount when wearing makeup.
Our favourite skin-friendly makeup
I love this Aussie brand for its emphasis on light formulas, skin-friendly ingredients and the addition of mineral SPFs in many of its products.
The formulas are also subtle enough here for the perfect ‘no makeup-makeup look’.
Definitely not the cheapest, Chantecaille is one of my all-time favourite brands for its ethical, sustainable and skin-friendly ingredients.
Their cult Future Skin Oil-Free Foundation (£80.00 from Chantecaille UK /$89.00 from Chantecaille US) is not only non-comedogenic and fragrance-free (for sensitive skin types) but also it’s also water-based, giving it a really lightweight, hydrating finish. I* love* the dewy finish here as well as how healthy it makes my skin feel over time.
One of the very few beauty products to actually overdeliver on its claims, Drunk Elephant’s D Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops (£33.00 from Cult Beauty UK /$38.00 from Sephora US) is the ultimate makeup-skincare hybrid, combining mineral pigments with an oil base.
The bronzy glow here never fails to give me a healthy just-off-the-plane look and the antioxidant protection here helps to combat free radical damage throughout the day – it’s no surprise this has been ALL over our TikTok feed lately!
Ariana Grande’s r.e.m beauty has come on leaps and bounds in the past few years with her recent foundation ‘Sweetener’ – which is available in an amazing 60 shades BTW – focuses on skin care as well as coverage (£30 from Feel Unique UK /$36.00 from Feel Unique US).
Her makeup line promises to deliver high-preforming products, with the foundation containing niacinamide, a clinically proven blend of raspberry leaf extract, and hyaluronic acid spheres to deliver hydration.
Dr Rossi says “I do like make-up or cover-up that contains acne-fighting ingredients, such as salicylic acid.
“Neutrogena makes a cover-up that contains salicylic acid that is great not only for acne-prone skin but also if you have one or two pimples that you need to cover up.”
A favourite for Crumm, he tells us that Ciele Cosmetics “has assembled a beautiful collection of makeup that prioritises sun protection with skin-calming ingredients to have radiant, healthy skin.
“I always advise a dedicated layer of sunscreen before makeup application, but I really applaud this brand for integrating SPF into their makeup range beyond the tinted serum.”
For Moore, her top pick is Danessa Myricks, “I highly recommend the Danessa Myricks Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder (£39.50 from Cult Beauty UK /$25 from Danessa Myricks US). It contains an ingredient called upsalite which absorbs oil and dirt on the skin,” she tells LTG.
It’s pretty clear that makeup brands are leaning towards using ingredients that are better for our skin.
But, as we all know, great skin starts with prepping and ends with proper cleansing – so make sure to get your routine down to a T to avoid breakouts, sensitivity, flaking and dryness.
Meet the experts
Essence Moore is a licenced aesthetician and founder of Lineage Studio NYC.
Dr Anthony Rossi is a board-certified dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. One of the most sought-after surgeons and laser experts in the field of dermatology, he is internationally recognised for his pioneering research and clinical work.
Ian Michael Crumm is a celebrity aesthetician separating the facts from the fads, content creator, and co-host of @beautycuriouspod with Dr Elyse Love.