Makeup has always been a powerful tool for enhancing beauty, but what if it could do more than just cover imperfections? Enter skin care–infused makeup, a beauty trend that’s gaining momentum among those who desire not only flawless looks but also healthier skin. Now, we have plumping blushes like the latest from Makeup by Mario and the depuffing Haus Labs skin care meets makeup hybrid concealer that is going more viral than Lady Gaga’s last video. Ahead, we’ll explore how the trend started, how these products benefit the skin, and expert advice from the best skin care and makeup experts.
What Is Skin Care Infused Makeup?
Skin care–infused makeup is a beauty concept that combines the best of both worlds: cosmetics and skin care. It’s not merely a cosmetic camouflage. It’s designed to enhance your complexion while nourishing and protecting your skin.
Fresno, CA dermatologist Regine J. Mathieu, MD explains, “Ingredients in skin care–infused makeup can help improve skin texture, tone, and hydration. They can contain antioxidants to protect the skin from environmental damage which leads to mottled skin pigmentation, wrinkles and aging. Other ingredients can include sunscreen, collagen stimulating peptides and hydrating extracts.”
The Evolution of Skin Care–Infused Makeup
The journey of skin care–infused makeup is a fascinating one that spans centuries. From Cleopatra’s use of natural ingredients to Max Factor’s pioneering efforts, the concept has continuously evolved. In the 19th century, cold creams became popular as a makeup base, offering both cosmetic and moisturizing benefits. Max Factor’s “Pancake Makeup” in the 1930s was a foundation makeup with skin care benefits, captivating Hollywood actresses. Estée Lauder’s “Youth-Dew” in the 1950s laid the foundation for makeup with skin care properties.
“The concept of skin care–infused makeup isn’t new,” says celebrity makeup artist Tim Quinn. “It has roots dating back to brands like Borghese, where products were already inspired by the idea. While the concept itself isn’t new, advancements in technology have significantly improved the efficacy of combining skin care and makeup. Over the years, people have made continuous efforts to perfect this combination, experimenting with various ingredients. However, not all ingredients work seamlessly with foundation pigments, and there can be compatibility issues.”
The Rise of BB and CC Creams
Quinn also points back to the rise of BB creams (Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm) in the 1960s as a turning point. “These creams gave coverage while offering skin-care benefits like hydration and sun protection,” he notes. The BB cream phenomenon exploded globally in the early 2000s, incorporating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and antioxidants. CC creams (Color Correcting) and DD creams (Daily Defense) continued the trend.
In recent years, customizable skin-care makeup with clean and natural ingredients—Kosas currently leads the revolution—has gained popularity. Brands are increasingly incorporating peptides, vitamins, and botanical extracts into foundations, concealers, and other makeup products. Today, there’s a growing demand for clean beauty and products with organic, cruelty-free, and vegan formulations.
What Can Skin Care Infused Makeup Do?
The benefits of skin care–infused makeup extend beyond the surface. By incorporating ingredients like antioxidants, sunscreen, collagen-stimulating peptides, and hydrating extracts, these products promote healthier skin. Fresno, CA, dermatologist Kathleen Behr, MD emphasizes that such makeup can “simplify and quicken the morning routine,” making it ideal for busy mornings.
Skin care–infused makeup is a versatile option suitable for a wide range of individuals. Whether you have specific skin concerns or simply want to streamline your beauty routine, you could be an ideal candidate. However, it’s essential to choose products that match your skin type and concerns. “One of the things that I see happen sometimes is you have to really know your skin,” says Quinn. “For some people, using a concealer that has eye cream benefits alone will not hydrate enough. In such cases, your eyes draw moisture from the area, leaving behind peculiar pigment deposits.”
Dr. Behr recommends washing off your makeup at night and opting for products that are dermatologist-tested to be non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. She particularly favors Colorescience, praising products like Colorescience Total Eye ($79) and Face Shield Flex SPF 50 ($49) for their skin-loving benefits. “These products contain Environ Screen technology for extra protection against free radicals and other specialty ingredients for antioxidant support, hydration, soothing properties, and improved skin barrier,” says Dr. Behr.
Southlake, TX and Monroe, LA dermatologist Janine Hopkins, MD says her top picks include MD Minerals Baked Mineral Foundation and MD Minerals Magic Concealer. “These products incorporate light refraction technology and nourishing ingredients like vitamins A, D and E,” she adds.
While they offer convenience, Quinn advises against replacing your skin-care routine entirely with makeup. “Long-term skin health should always be a priority,” adds Quinn. “I strongly caution against the notion that a new foundation can replace four essential skin-care steps. While it may provide a quick solution for the day or occasional use, your skin requires time to rejuvenate and recover. In my opinion, skin-care products are more effective when they are not infused with color pigments.”
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