Is Foundation Good For Your Skin? The Bizarre Truth

If you’re anything like me, you’ve always thought that foundation was bad for your skin. It clogs your pores, ages you, causes acne and a whole bunch of other negative things . . . right? Well, apparently, we’ve been wrong all along! (Yeah, it’s really not the first time, let’s be honest.)

Hello, my beautiful blog family. I have two main skin concerns about moving to Australia: acne and sun protection. I was taking a look at the kind of sun creams and different products I’d need to use to protect my poor skin from the sun (and, thus, aging. I know I have to get old, but I can go down swinging. Plus, y’know, skin cancer) . . . when I stumbled across an article from a dermatologist recommending her patients wear foundation.

In the sun?

Now, here’s a fun fact you probably didn’t know about me: I don’t like foundation. It feels heavy on my face – and I feel really self-conscious that I haven’t applied it well. On top of this, I have very acne-prone skin and I always assumed foundation was bad for your skin. So I wear it for occassions and sometimes if I’m going out, but it’s very much not an everyday thing. Team Natural (when my skin supports that dream anyway) is usually the goal.

After a bunch of research and myth-busting, my friends, I have discovered that my goal was . . . wrong? Apparently the right foundation is good for your skin. So, sure, let’s just completely up-end my firmly held beliefs. Yay?

**Disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist, and I’m just repeating what I’ve been researching. It might not be entirely accurate – this is the internet I picked it up from, after all – but I thought it would be worth a share.**


MYTH: Foundation doesn’t allow your skin to “breathe”, which is bad

I’m sure we can all relate to this; the freedom and freshness of our skin post-foundation is only akin to taking your bra off at the end of a day. (I’d say better than sex, but the two could go hand in hand and then it’s a two for one special, so . . .)

Well, that’s just the feeling of clean skin. Your skin doesn’t actually need to “breathe”. Your skin doesn’t breathe. It’s not your nose.

MYTH: Foundation is bad for your skin and causes blemishes

Foundation (with the right ingredients and properties for your skin type) can actually good for your skin. It acts as a physical barrier against bad shit like free radicals and pollution. So foundation actually protects you from the things that cause bad skin.**

Okay, so this one is a little weird because I’ve actually experienced it. When I was in college, I used to get the train and tube through central London to get there and back everyday – so I was exposed to a lot of pollution. (Just being in London exposes you to a lot of bloody pollution.) At first, I was more bare-faced – and then my skin started feeling dirty and clogged and broke out, so I turned to foundation to cover it . . .

Once I started wearing foundation, my skin started improving. At the time, I actually did wonder if my foundation was acting as a physical barrier for all that nasty shit, but I figured that would be way too good to be true.

**Provided you take it off at night and wash your brushes. If you leave your makeup up on too long, it will clog your pores – and if you’re leaving your makeup brushes to get dirty, you’re literally applying bacteria to your face. Also, you need to be using the correct type of foundation for your skin type.

FACT: Foundation acts as another layer to protect you against sun damage

Do you know what the biggest cause of skin-aging is? The bloody sun. All those harmful UVA and UVB rays aging you and . . . causing skin cancer . . . (Every time I think about that, I think about all the times I’ve laid out in the sun begging to tan. I try not to think about it.)

Well, while it shouldn’t replace your sun cream, foundation actually acts as another barrier from the sun’s rays! So it’s an extra layer of protection – sounds good to me.

From all of my searching, the general conclusion that I’ve found is foundation can be good for your skin . . . provided you’re using the right foundation for your skin-type – and that it has the right ingredients. For me, as I have oily-blemish prone skin and I hate heavy foundation, that’s probably going to be mineral foundation. Depending on your skin type, a different foundation might be for you!

Okay, my beautiful babies, I hope you somewhat enjoyed this post. I’m definitely confused about what we found out today, I won’t lie, but there you have it. If you are into beauty and skincare, don’t forget follow my board on Pinterest!


Do you think foundation is good for your skin? Are you an everyday wearer? Let me know your thoughts down below!


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52 thoughts on “Is Foundation Good For Your Skin? The Bizarre Truth”

  1. I have had exactly the same reaction when I don’t wear foundation! I find that if i don’t wear foundation I end up touching my face a lot more so I get more blemishes and my skin is worse off. I wear it to go to work/leave the house but if I’m just popping to the shops or staying at home then I let my skin have a clear day πŸ™‚ xx

    1. Oh my god YES! And my skin feels itchy/more irritated so I want to like touch it if I don’t have foundation on. Same here, I think some foundation free time is definitely beneficial, but it’s good to know that foundation has some benefits after all πŸ™‚ xx

  2. Wow I never knew this, there’s so much misinformation out there how are we ever supposed to know what’s right?! I wear foundation about twice a year so I’m not gonna start wearing it on the daily but I guess I’ll feel better about it when I do xx

    1. Girl, tell me about it – I don’t even know if this accurate to be honest, I used big company sources like Mario Badescu and some professional dermatologists, but you never know. And haha fair enough – personally, every day is a bit too much for me, but a few times a week (especially if I’m going through London) might be a good idea xx

  3. So interesting! I sometimes feel the same, that the heaviness of foundation can be harmful to my skin. I’m happy that’s not the case because I wear foundation quite a lot! Although for summer I switched my usual creamy foundation with powder and it feels muchhh better! 😊

  4. I’m so glad you have discussed this! So many people with acne get told they just need to stop wearing foundation. The biggest problem with foundation is not removing it properly. It should take two cleanses and quite a good few minutes massaging (preferably with your knuckles) to really remove. When it’s not gone properly, it then causes issues.
    I think makeup has advanced so much in the last few years, and so many dermatologists now work with brands. There’s definitely ‘healthier’ one’s out there, but I can’t picture any foundation really doing that much damage. Awesome post girly! xxx

    1. YES YES YES! This is one of the things that massively bugs me about makeup removing wipes for example that people think a makeup wipe is enough – I love a good double cleanse. Thank you lovely, glad you enjoyed! xxx

    2. Honestly, I never wear foundation, unless I’m really going out. Even sometimes I’ll literally go to a nightclub with concealer, and bronzer tbh because like you I hate the feeling of foundation of my face, and can’t keep up with worrying about it when my face gets oily ugh. I probably need to try out some better foundations to find a new one, but even then….idk if I could bother putting on foundation every day hahaha x

      1. Ugh girl I definitely get that! It’s really weird, but I actually find that wearing makeup helps with my oiliness (in all likelihood, another reason why my skin condition tends to be better when I wear foundation – oily skin = spotty skin) xx

    3. Such a great post! ❀😊 I thought the same. I thought it was bad for my skin. Now, I use one from NYC and it works well. I only use it a bit and not on my whole face.

    4. It is one of the reasons I LOVE Jane Iredale. It covers and protects my skin, while at the same time healing and feeding it nutrients (hers are mineral based)
      If you are looking for a good sunscreen i recommend Supergoop and Moroccan oil (which also fights anti aging). Also Carte has a powder sunscreen for touch ups that also works really well. I was on a photosensitive medication when I was in California and the parts I didn’t cover as well (my ears and hairline and nose…but the last was because I needed to reapply because noses typically get greasier and it slides off) got fried but my face was fine. <3

      1. I don’t know if I told you, but I actually tried out Jane Iredale based on your recommendation and really liked it! I want to try out their mineral liquid foundation, but I need to go to a counter for that because my skin shade is so funny. :/ And ooooog thank you! A powder sunscreen sounds absolutely perfect for me – I shall take a look <3

    5. I actually learned a lot about makeup when I gave it up for weeks, completely stopped wearing it. My skin didn’t get any better, I got few breakouts even though I didn’t wear makeup at all. Of course some foundations can be super heavy, but of we find good one for our skin it won’t be that bad. Also foundation with SPF is my go to, because I always forget to apply spf in autumn/winter time even though it is recommended to use it all year around. xx

      1. This happened to me too! I tried to do a 30 day no makeup challenge and was like “uh, there was absolutely zero difference, if anything my skin is worse off”. And YES, foundation with SPF is the real mvp xx

    6. Love your post! Thank you for sharing! πŸ’œ I have a blog tea party on the 3rd and I’m encouraging my blog readers to drop their link off on my posts. Would you care to share your world with us?

      1. Interesting read, thanks, I’m a Makeup Artist and I use Normal foundation and Airbrushed foundation on my clients, foundation is definitely a barrier to pollution and a sunscreen, people either love the feel of it on their face or they don’t!! Amanda

      2. I’ve never worn foundation frequently enough to confirm whether it makes my skin better, usually because I break out and go *queue dramatic reaction* “no.. I’m never wearing it again!”. But it’s an interesting concept.. that I’ll probably never test out.. because of said dramatic reaction ;P

      3. I was told as a teenager when I suffered with acne really badly that foundation was the reason for it and too stop – which meant I had to go to school with a bare face and all of my spots showing which was so embarrassing and I actually felt it got worse because I would pick at it, because I was anxious or touch it to try and hide it from everyone – oh being a teenager is horrible. My skin was always better when I wore it and followed a good cleanse routine. Xx

      4. Foundation is actually one of my favourite makeup products because for me having even skin tone and glowy skin is the most important (when it comes to wearing makeup). Sure, I don’t recommend wearing it every single day but I think the right foundation can do wonders. Must say, good skin care before any foundation is way more important. If you take care of your skin, your foundation will also look better.
        Now I mix my daily sunscreen and foundation and I think that for the summer that’s the best combination. Your skin is protected from the sun, you get even skin tone and it doesn’t feel as heavy as it would if you wear only foundation.

        I loved this post dear! Really a good one!xx

        1. YES YES YES! I think skincare is honestly the most important base, more important than any type of makeup. I’ve never tried that actually; I wear a layer of suncreen under my foundation. I might give it a try though! Thank you lovely xx

      5. I love using foundation from Lush, because it’s actually LITERALLY good for your skin – as in the ingredients are designed to help make your skin healthy rather than to just create a good makeup product. Whenever I wear my foundation from Lush I feel like I’m putting on a serum for my face or something. It’s really cool! Literally after every time I take off my Lush foundation, I see an improvement in my skin πŸ˜€ Of course, everyone’s skin is different and some people would react badly to what my skin responds really well to, but I think Lush is a good place to start when thinking about ethical foundation that you can reliably purchase and that is actually good for your skin! Plus, their products are just really awesome and fun to use in general.

        1. Ugh, it’s such a shame because they do sound amazing but I checked the reviews and they aren’t very recommended for oily skin πŸ™ I do love Lush’s skincare though – and like you said, they’re SO FUN TO USE!xx

          1. My beautiful little 15 year old cat passed away last Thursday night. She had a beautiful soft coat the whole time even as she got sicker. My hand has tactile memory of patting her and the impossibility of ever scratching her.
            *I could go to the footy club to receive any puerile or base jokes about this kind of comment over the last decade, usually from blokes keeping match payments in the dark from their wives. My cat for speyed female had more balls than any too when it came to backing up her core values*

        1. Im finally back on wordpress and im already blown away. I never really even considered it could be good for one’s skin, but nitpicking ingredient’s sounds like such a drag, knowing me I’ll probably ‘test em and judge em’. Anywho, missed reading your posts and im glad to read such an interesting one. As usual you compiled the information really succinctly and kept me hooked throughout.The embedding of links in your post was a great move, by the way!

          1. This is such an important post!!! I have believed that foundation is bad for your skin for the majority of my life, up until now, although I am not too sure where that belief has come from. I knew foundation has SPF in it so it was a good barrier to the sun but did not realize about the pollution. Brb going to go put some foundation on. xx

          2. “disclamer: I am not a dermatologist” HNDGSDK girl with your skin you may as well be. Also, super random, my dad works for a company (duh, Chloe) and always gets free samples of stuff, a few months back he brought home literally 10 of those Max Factor foundations and I’ve been using them ever since!! They’re super great covering and make your skin look soo smooth. Over the past couple of months I’ve only been using foundation when I go out somewhere fancy because my skin always feel so much better without it, however, like you said – if you use the right foundation it can be great. I think I’ve found mine! xx

          3. I don’t trust myself with foundation and I also don’t have time to find my right color, type and all that extra stuff. Makeup is my worst enemy, lemme just put it that way.

          4. Woah. My mind=blown. I seriously did not know any of this and I always assumed that foundation was bad for your skin. I feel like this post needs to be pinned (which I just did) and reposted all over the internet because seriously it was soooo helpful!

          5. In the summer time, I tend to just stick to concealer and a little setting powder. Actually, who am I kidding – I do the same in the winter too! (I’m just too lazy to spend more than 10 minutes on my makeup) I used to wear foundation a lot and through all the trying and testing new products out, I never really found one that I really liked. I think finding one can be a long process and I just didn’t have the patience for that (still don’t if I’m being completely honest). However, since I stopped wearing so much makeup I have noticed a general change in my skin. And whilst a lot of it will be because of hormones, I do think that going light on the makeup had something to do with it as well. My new passion now: skin care. That’s where the big bucks go to! I just love trying out different moisturizers and face washes/ cleansers… I’m addicted one might say. Great post girl xx

          6. Wow this post is so interesting!! I have to say I always assumed foundation was bad for your skin so it’s quite a shock to find out that it isn’t and that it helps with protecting your skin from the sun!! Xx

          7. I am literally so shocked by this post, it’s so interesting. Everyone always takes about the negative effects of makeup and foundation in particular, so hear someone say it can actually be beneficial is great to hear. I loved this post Xx

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