If you struggle with psoriasis, it can seem like your makeup is working against you, no matter what product you use. But with the right makeup formulas and technique, concealing the visible symptoms of the chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease can be done.
“If you have flat redness or mild dryness you can absolutely use makeup to both conceal and treat the issue,” says celebrity makeup artist Gita Bass. “However if you have open sores, blisters or excessively scaly or dry skin, makeup can exacerbate the problem, cause infections and make the condition look worse.”
First, the pro stresses that it’s essential to treat the skin before reaching into your makeup bag so that you have a hydrated, smooth canvas to apply products on. Bass recommends a fragrance-free moisturizer that’s designed for sensitive skin like Simple’s Replenishing Rich Moisturizer ($10; target.com) to moisturize and soothe existing irritation.
Next, apply a primer like bareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer ($25; sephora.com) to create a barrier between the skin and makeup to help resurface the skin. “Avoid using a green tinted primer because they can cause an allergic reaction in psoriasis sufferers,” she says. If you have excessively oily skin, the pro recommends using an oil absorbing primer to eliminate the need for setting powder after foundation.
When the skin is ready for foundation, apply it using a damp BeautyBlender ($20; sephora.com) makeup sponge in dabbing motions. “Don’t swipe because it can cause more flaking,” says Bass. The pro recommends using a cream, stick, or oil-free liquid foundation because these formulations will stay put, let you build coverage as needed, and leave a natural, dewy finish.
Once your foundation is applied, Bass suggests foregoing powder, if possible. “Skip powder if you can since it can settle into flakes, but if you must use it choose a sheer translucent powder and press in a sheer layer using a powder puff only where needed.”