Why do makeup artists swear by these products?
I remember when I was a child, whenever my father would paint the walls in our home, he’d first use a coat of primer. This would ensure that there was a smooth surface for the paint and that any color on the wall would not bleed through. That’s basically how makeup primer works—by covering imperfections from scars or lines and covering discolorations from blemishes or hyperpigmentation. Primer is worn under foundation and applied after the face has been cleansed and moisturized.
While primer might be a non-essential step for some people, here are 7 reasons you might want to consider using a makeup primer.
1. A primer provides a smooth “canvas” on the face…
A primer can help improve the finish of foundation. Makeup primers typically contain silicones such as Cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone, that fill in and keep makeup from sinking into fine lines and wrinkles, minimize the appearance of large pores and smooth out the skin to create what makeup artists call an even “canvas” on which to apply makeup.
2. Primers help increases the wear time of foundation…
Makeup primer can extend the wear of foundation. There’s a bonus: If it’s a good primer, you might not have to use as much foundation to cover up imperfections and discolorations. Primer also lasts a while because you only need to use a small amount.
3. Primers can color correct the skin…
Some primers are tinted to address specific skin problems, such as lilac/mauve to brighten sallow undertones and green to neutralize redness from rosacea or acne.
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4. Primers enhance the look of makeup…
The silicones found in most primers give skin a velvety feel that makes makeup apply beautifully because it’s easier to spread and blend, providing a smoother finish. Some primers contain light-diffusing ingredients to blur imperfections when worn alone or to also improve the look of foundation.
5. Primers prevent makeup from fading or sweating away…
Primers absorb excess oils, especially in the T zone area, which helps mattify oily skin and prevents makeup from smudging, creasing and fading.
6. Primers keep makeup shades from changing color…
A good primer will help keep makeup shades from oxidizing, which can cause foundation to develop an off-color or orange tint.
7. Primers come in various formulations to address specific skin care needs…
Primers are available in gel, lotion, and cream formulas and formulas to address the needs of normal, dry, oily, combination, acne-prone, sensitive and mature skin types. Oil-free formulas help prevent shine and dry skin benefits from moisturizing gel or creamy formulas. Primers also come in luminous, matte, natural, radiant and satin finishes, so there are plenty of primers out there to meet specific needs.
Should you pick silicon-based or silicon-free?
There has been concern about whether silicone ingredients used in cosmetics could be endocrine disrupters and are bioaccumulative and could cause harm to the environment. There aren’t any scientific studies that definitively prove that this is true. There has also been information floating around on the Internet that silicones don’t allow the skin to breathe. Silicones in primers create a film on the skin to provide a layer between the skin and makeup. It’s actually possible that they protect the skin from the environment and also from irritating or pore-clogging ingredients that may be in a makeup product. The molecules are too large to enter the skin or to clog pores but are also large enough so that other ingredients that are meant to absorb into the skin can penetrate the epidermis.
If you are trying to avoid silicon-based products for health or environmental reasons, any ingredient that ends in -cone, -conol, or –siloxane, is a silicone. There are primers that have silicone-free formulas that use botanical oils and waxes instead of silicones.
Do you really need a makeup primer?
Primers tend to work best for those with oily or acne-prone skin (depending, of course on the product) because some of them reduce oiliness, thereby keeping shine and oily, greasy-looking spots at bay and helping makeup stay put longer.
If you are blessed with a complexion free of problem areas and imperfections, you probably don’t need a primer.
There have been a lot of technological advances since makeup primers were first introduced. Many BB, CC, Blur creams and tinted moisturizers can actually work as primers. If you don’t like to wear foundation, use very little makeup, or it is the summer season, or you live where the weather is too humid, you might prefer forgoing primer and use one of those products instead. In addition, there are some tinted primers on the market.
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