Its pH-reactive formula makes it look good on every skin tone.
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TikTok Is Obsessed With This Blush You Can Sleep In — And So Am I
Credit: Courtesy of Youthforia

Like many people who love indulging in endless TikTok scrolling, I first saw the Youthforia BYO Blush on my For You page.

People held up tubes of what looked like liquified green apple Jolly Ranchers and called it their new favorite blush. No matter what skin tone they had, the slime hue somehow transformed into the perfect pink — just as Youthforia's founder Fiona Co Chan intended. And although pH-reactive makeup is not a new concept, it's long been relegated to lip products (RIP Lipstick Queen's iconic Frog Prince Lipstick).

Needless to say, I was intrigued. 

Before BYO Blush popped up on my radar, I had been searching for the right blush for my newly minimalistic makeup routine. Powder blushes never seem to do my bare skin justice, and cream ones tend to look splotchy and quickly disappear without foundation to cling to. BYO Blush, on the other hand, presents the perfect consistency for me: oil.

Since oil has a sheen to it on the skin, it complements the natural dewiness of my complexion, and the formula even makes my skin look radiant on an angelic level when light hits my face. 

While formulating the product, Chan was going to makeup school in Hong Kong, where she started to understand the importance of getting the undertones of blush right. "One day, it just hit me that using a chemical that reacts to the skin's pH could work," she tells InStyle. Once the lab sent over a sample, she tested it not only herself but also her husband, who has a deeper, warmer complexion than her. "It amazed me how it appeared different on him than on me, but it was the right color and undertone for our respective skin tones," she adds.  

The chemical in question is CI 45410, a colorless dye that develops into a shade of red when layered onto something with a pH above 4, says Michelle Wong, a Sydney-based cosmetic chemist. "Everyone's skin is above pH 4, so the blush is actually reacting to moisture from your skin rather than the pH of your skin," she adds. 

Since the pink hue that shows up on the skin is actually colorless, Chan decided to make the oil green based on color theory (green and red are on opposite sides of the color wheel). "Just having a bit of green, plus the color-changing aspect, neutralizes the color enough to create a perfect shade," she explains. 

youthforia byo blush review
Credit: Courtesy

To shop: $36, credo.com

Another one of Youthforia's major selling points for the BYO Blush is that you can sleep in it. Honestly, I've never put this claim to the test for a full night's slumber because I can only fall asleep with a clean face. However, naps are an exception. I take them way too often, and the blush is usually on my cheeks when they happen. I'm happy to say it has neither stained my pillow nor made me break out. In fact, my cheekbones look more luminous than ever. 

Skincare professionals have differing views on whether you can truly sleep in the blush, though. Wong approves for its overnight usage — as well as any product in general.

"It's a myth that your skin functions differently during the day and night," she explains. "There are small differences, but it doesn't mean some products aren't okay on your face at certain times."

Plus, this blush is packed with emollient moisturizers, such as jojoba and sunflower seed oils, that help strengthen the skin's barrier. However, Wong points out that this blush oil is not a valid replacement for moisturizers. 

Board-certified dermatologist David Kim, MD, on the other hand, doesn't recommend people sleep in their makeup no matter what ingredients are involved. He also notes the oils can clog pores, but at the same time, they can help lock in your nighttime skincare routine.

Take that insight as you will. 

VIDEO: The Exact Order You Should Be Applying Your Makeup

In terms of application, although the blush features a doe-foot applicator that you can swipe directly onto your skin, I prefer to swatch the oil onto the back of my left hand before warming it up with my right index finger and dabbing it onto my cheeks. This gives the blush a more even, uniform coverage on my skin. You can also sweep it on with a clean blush brush if you're wearing foundation or don't want to touch your face. 

Also, instead of putting it on the apples of my cheeks, I add the blush to the tippy tops of my cheekbones. This placement has a playful lifting effect that makes people think I'm much younger than 30.