While multitasking beauty products are nothing new, the line between skin care and makeup is slowly starting to blur. Some might say that this began a few years ago with the arrival of BB creams. Often referred to as beauty balm, blemish balm or blemish base, BB creams took the U.S. by storm after becoming popular in Korea. With the promise of replacing one’s moisturizer, foundation and sunscreen, this all-in-one solution seemed almost too good to be true.
Since then, many skincare brands have launched makeup products, and vice-versa. In a world where time is money, where consumers want to look Instagram-ready and where convenience is key, multipurpose products that do it all seem to be the answer to everyone’s beauty needs. But where does skin care end and makeup begin? And does that boundary even exist? Here we explore this tricky topic.
A good skincare routine will make anyone's makeup routine even more effective. Also, remember the golden rule: No product with any trace of color or SPF should be worn at night.
NOTHING REPLACES A SOLID SKINCARE ROUTINE
So that you can recommend products to your customers, let’s look at a few ground rules, definitions and ingredient recommendations. When advising your customers, let them know that, in general, the best products in each category will not be a blend of two or more products but will contain ingredients that are effective for achieving a single goal. Without taking into account a customer’s need for speed, convenience or the constraint of a tight budget, here’s what the average skincare routine should consist of (and you can organize your beauty store by taking these product categories into account):
- Cleansing products: to remove dirt, sebum and makeup.
- Treatment products: to address a specific concern (aging, dark spots, redness, flaking and more).
- Hydrating products: to address the skin’s need for water and oil.
- Protection products: to provide broad-spectrum SPF.
- Makeup products: to even out skin tone, cover imperfections and add color.
Keep the truism “your painting is only as perfect as your canvas” in mind. A good skincare routine will make anyone’s makeup routine even more effective. Also, remember the golden rule: No product with any trace of color or SPF should be worn at night.
UNDERSTANDING PRIMERS AND CONCEALERS
One of the most common things I hear from customers is that they don’t need to use a moisturizer because their primer is their moisturizer. A primer is a base for foundation that allows makeup to go on smoother and last longer. It is not a moisturizer. Primers also often contain silicone-based ingredients such as dimethicone. This is what typically gives the product its smooth, satiny finish. Silicone and its derivatives are known to clog pores, so such a product or ingredient is not recommended for acne-prone skin types (unfortunately, people with acne are often the most interested in primers because they wear heavier makeup to cover their breakouts).
Most concealers, foundations and powders get their “complexion-like color” (shades of porcelain, beige or brown) from oxides—often iron oxides. Without getting too technical, oxides/oxidants are the opposite of antioxi-dants. Furthermore, excess iron has been implicated in a number of conditions, including accelerated skin aging. Iron oxides are wonderful to add color, but aren’t good in terms of their effect on the skin.
As I often focus on, the key when recommending products to your customers is education (re-education sometimes) and transparency. Help them understand the products they are purchasing, the ingredients and the way to build their skincare and makeup routines to indeed bring out the best in their skin, and thus, the best in themselves.
MULTIPURPOSE PRODUCTS THAT WORK
Let’s look at three dual-purpose makeup/skincare product types that are effective (though they shouldn’t completely replace your customers’ skincare regimens).
Primers with SPF: Look for primers to stock in your store that are formulated with ingredients such as titanium dioxide (as an alternative to chemical-based sunscreen agents and because it reflects UVA/UVB rays to protect skin) and zinc oxide, which contains anti-inflammatory properties and full-spectrum coverage. One example is Hourglass Cosmetics’ Veil Mineral Primer with SPF 15. This primer is the perfect representation of one that also includes sun protection. However, as is typical of primers, this product uses silicone derivatives. Please be careful when recommending products containing silicone derivatives to clients with oily, acne-prone skin. Primers shouldn’t substitute a moisturizer or foundation either. They should be applied after a hydrator and before makeup.
Antiaging Concealers: Though a concealer should not replace an undereye cream in any skincare routine, you should stock concealers that work double-duty and have multiple benefits. Recommend an eye cream for the evening in addition to a concealer like IT Cosmetics’ Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer, which is best used in the morning. To minimize the appearance of wrinkles and conceal imperfections, this product is formulated with silicone derivatives, waxes (ozokerite), iron oxides (for color) and skincare ingredients, including various forms of vitamin C, derivatives of vitamin A, peptides (oligopeptide) and hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate). Remind your customer to look at the order in which ingredients are listed—from most concentrated to least concentrated, per industry rules and regulations.
Priming Moisturizers: When looking for non-greasy moisturizers to stock for your store, search for products that contain a lot of plant-derived ingredients for hydration (shea butter, for example) as well as anti-inflammatory and antiaging properties. One good example is Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer. It contains vitamins and vitamin derivatives (A, E and C) but no silicone derivatives. Putting the word “priming” in the product name is marketing genius—it makes this product approachable to millennials because it relates to our selfie- obsessed lifestyle. However, this product remains first and foremost a great moisturizer, not a primer in the literal sense (in terms of its ingredients).