There’s nothing more frustrating than taking the time to apply makeup and still seeing blemishes beneath layers of concealer, foundation and powder. Whether the blemishes are from hyperpigmentation, scars, old acne lesions or current breakouts, the result is often the same: an uneven skin tone. But take heart — there are many ways you can improve your skin tone and effectively hide — and even help — your blemishes.
Covering up redness is difficult to do with plain foundation. Even if the foundation is the consistency of thick putty, like the type celebrities wear on the red carpet or brides apply for wedding photos, red areas still tend to show through unless concealed. But you do have some effective options.
- Use green-tinted concealer. According to About’s acne guide, Angela Palmer, because green is the opposite of red on the color wheel, green concealer offsets and neutralizes redness. Maybelline Cover Stick Corrector/Concealer in green helps to fix redness along with other imperfections. Plus, it won’t clog pores.
- Buy formulas for redness. You’ll also find concealers specifically formulated to address redness, such as Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Redness Concealer. This concealer covers up temporary acne breakouts or minor pigmented scars, and permanent skin conditions, such as rosacea and port wine stains.
Hyperpigmentation has many faces. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, virtually any kind of overactive pigment production is called hyperpigmentation and can be caused by skin injuries (like cuts and scraps), an increase in melanin production (genetically-induced) and too much sun exposure, among many other reasons.
Typically, skin looks patchy or stippled, making makeup application tricky. But you can even out the skin by using the right type of products.
- Apply a color corrector. You can apply a color corrector underneath your makeup to mask hyperpigmentation. Phytomer Whitening Spot Corrector Serum and Thalgo Unizones Clearing Corrector are both effective in lightening hyperpigmentation and improving an uneven skin tone. These formulas tend to work quickly to even out existing spots and even prevent future blemishes.
- Use specially designed concealers. Average tubes of cover-up are rarely up to the challenge of concealing large areas of hyperpigmentation. Many concealers are thin, even runny. And while they’re great for tiny blemishes, they don’t always disguise heavily mottled dark spots on your face. Heavy-duty concealers like Dermablend Color Creme are designed specifically for this purpose and act as both a foundation and concealer.
- Try complementary coverage kits. Some product lines offer comprehensive collections that feature primer, foundation and powder all in one. When concealing foundation isn’t enough, multi-purpose kits such as Cover FX The Big Cover Up provide a smoothing primer base, full foundation coverage and the finishing touch of setting powder. This kit even features a how-to DVD for optimal coverage.
Breakouts and acne scars can wreak havoc on a complexion. Not only do these areas stand out, but they also tend to resist your best attempts at covering them up. But these spots won’t stand a chance against blemish correctors and concealers formulated for this very purpose.
- Hide and heal blemishes. It doesn’t make much sense to cover up acne blemishes day after day without improving their appearance at the same time. To also heal blemishes (and prevent them), look for concealers with salicylic acid, a super-star ingredient that sheds dead cells and keeps pores clear. For instance, Murad Acne Treatment Concealer contains 2 percent salicylic acid to reduce existing blemishes while covering them up.
- Apply more intense coverage. Bigger acne lesions or scars require more concealing action. So search for a concealer that’s designed to deliver extra coverage. Cover FX Conceal FX helps mask various imperfections (e.g., blemishes, moles and birthmarks) and even features pigments that self-adjust to your skin tone.
In general, don’t rely on just one type of product to fix all your blemish and pigmentation problems. Instead, look for concealers that specifically address each concern. Applying specialized concealers, foundations and corrective solutions to certain areas, including patchy spots on cheeks, acne scars and lesions, can boost your skin’s appearance. Plus, whenever possible, use products that don’t just mask your blemishes but also treat them.
Complete Acne Handbook
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Pigment Regulator Review: Treating Hyperpigmentation
Understanding and Treating Rosacea
Your Questions Answered on How to Hide and Fade Scars