Why wearing foundation might be healthier than going makeup-free

Jun 19, 2015 at 7:30 a.m. ET
Image: Ingalvanova/Getty

There are two definitive categories we see while perusing the makeup counter for the perfect foundation: powder or liquid?

Although we know they have different types of coverage and they cater to different complexions and skin types, is one healthier for your skin than the other?

Many experts now believe that wearing foundation may actually be better than going makeup-free in some cases, believe it or not. But for one key reason.

"I believe wearing foundation is better than going makeup-free as it pertains to SPF," said Brianne Grebil, skin care and SheKnows expert. "Foundations are formulated to stay on the very superficial layers of the skin, thus they are unlikely to actually damage the skin or cause harm."

Grebil reassures that there are pros and cons to both powder and liquid foundation but points out that the SPF in liquids are usually stronger and go on more evenly.

More: 6 Makeup rules worth breaking

In order to achieve the full level of SPF stated on powder foundation, you would have to cover your face heavily, which poses an issue for women who use powder foundation and desire the lighter coverage it gives them. So, to achieve full sun protection with powder foundation, Grebil strongly recommends using additional sunscreen underneath your makeup.

Although liquid foundations have a higher SPF, they may contain chemicals such as avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate and helioplex, which Grebil advises against. Read the label for zinc oxide which is the sunscreen ingredient mostly used in powder foundation, and what Grebil suggests to look for in liquid, too.

But what about when it comes to clogging our pores?

More: What you should know about moisturizers with SPF

Most believe that any kind of foundation will clog your pores, but if your skin tends to be dry, powder is not the right choice. Luckily, celebrity esthetician Renee Rouleau says, "As long as you're using makeup that's appropriate for your skin type, you shouldn't run into any problems with clogging your pores."

So, whether it's powder or liquid that works best for your skin, stick with it as long as you have the SPF down (and you're washing your face every night).

Makeup products with SPF

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