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March 11, 2017

If you suffer from psoriasis, you’re certainly not alone. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, over 7.5 million people in the U.S. are battling the chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that’s characterized by red, flaky patches on the skin, including stars like Kim Kardashian who has been open about her skin struggles.

While there isn’t a cure for psoriasis, there are a number of methods for treating and preventing outbreaks and you can always conceal flare ups on the face with makeup. While an arsenal of products is a simple way of concealing current visible signs of the autoimmune disease, using the wrong makeup can also further exacerbate the situation.

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Before reaching for your makeup bag, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, N.Y.C.-based dermatologist stresses the importance of properly moisturizing your skin to heal current dryness and lesions while preventing future ones. “Skin hydration with emollients is important to help hydrate the skin and smooth out flakes on the skins surface,” he says. He recommends using a rich, but gentle moisturizer like Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion ($5; target.com) or Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream ($12; target.com) which both work to heal the skin’s barrier, balance pH levels, and improve the appearance of the plaque (raised lesion).

In addition to moisturizing Dr. Jeannette Graf, Great Neck, N.Y.-based dermatologist says to avoid exfoliating or scrubbing skin because the trauma will worsen the disease’s current state, and to make a visit to a dermatologist's office if you want to recieve any facial treatments. 

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Luckily, both dermatologists agree that applying makeup to mask lesions and dryness is safe to use. “Cosmetic products likely do not affect psoriasis. Psoriasis is caused from the inside out, so applying a cosmetic product over the plaque should not make the psoriasis worse,” explains Dr. Zeichner. That being said, a moisturizing or mineral foundation such as bareMinerals Original Foundation SPF 15 ($29; nordstrom.com) would be your best-bet to ensure that your skin is still retaining hydrating throughout the day. “Look for emollient ingredients like stearic acid or natural oils like oat kernel oil which are especially helpful in smoothing out thick rough scales on the surface of plaques,” says Dr. Zeichner. Alternatively, a soothing formula like Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation ($66; dermstore.com) is another effective option.

As for what to avoid: Any product with ingredients that will further dry out skin. “Although salicylic acid is used to treat scales in psoriasis, I would stay away from this ingredient in foundation since it have a drying effect as in acne,” explains Dr. Graf.