What are Foundations?
Facial makeup or foundations are pigmented products intended for application on the face and the neck. They colour the skin evenly and hide facial imperfections such as scars, depressions and dark and light coloured areas.
Foundations come in several forms like emulsions, creams, liquids, gels, cakes and powders – these different forms contain the same basic ingredients, but differ in texture and finish, because the components are present in different proportions.
The basic formulation of the foundation is based on colouring agents (usually derived from iron oxide or titanium oxide), a wax (which gives an even flow and smooth finish), some form of cellulose (to make the foundation thick and adherent), an emulsifier, preservatives, and usually a perfume.
Effects created by different foundations. Which foundation should you select?
Several forms of foundations are available. You must choose your foundation correctly and for this you need to know the effect of each of the forms.
Emulsions: These are packaged in tubes and are formulated for a variety of skin types for dry skins, oily skins and normal skins. They give less luster than cream or liquid foundations, but cover blemishes very well.
Creams: These are packaged in jars. As they contain a high proportion of oils, they are particularly suitable for dry skins. These also provide a heavy cover, but give a glossy finish.
Liquids: These are packaged in bottles and can be formulated for all skin types – so look at the label before you purchase! Along with the cake variety, they are the commonest type of foundation used. They give a light shine cover but are too light to cover any blemishes and scars.
Gels: These are packaged in squeeze tubes. They give a light, natural look and are the variety you should use if you have a blemish free normal skin.
Cakes or Sticks: These are the solid forms of foundation. Since they have a drying effect, use them on an oily skin. They give a dense matt cover and are good for covering blemishes and scars. Solid forms are popular for photographic and stage work but are too heavy for everyday use.
Powders:The original full coverage face powders have now given way to transparent powders; these transparent powders control shine and provide oil-blotting. They are used after foundations to give a matt finish. Cake or compact powders are more heavily formulated; as they contain a certain amount of foundation, these are not the best choice for the initial powdering over foundation because they may rub the foundation off and also cause an unattractive colour build-up. They are best used for touching up during the day, when they help to reinforce coverage.
Are Foundations bad for your Complexion?
The answer is definitely no. As a matter of fact, they are really good for the skin: they act as a barrier for the skin, protecting it against dirt, wind and environmental pollutants; they also act as sun screens guarding the skin against the ill-effects of the sun. Since foundations also contain moisturizing agents, they balance the moisture levels of the skin. At the same time, they also act as an all-day blotting agent controlling the facial oiliness. Some foundations may even contain medication to dry up pimples.
Psychologically, the effects of foundation are dramatic too! They help in improving your
looks: they even out tones, improve skin colour and texture, and disguise blemishes – all true mood boosters, working wonders for your confidence.
The idea, that foundation may be harmful for the skin is based on the wrong notion that they block the skin pores (where sweat glands and sebaceous glands open); as a result it is thought that the skin cannot breathe and sweat. This concept is absolutely ridiculous, because makeup is not airtight, so it definitely can not close the skin pores and so does not affect the functioning of the skin glands at all.
However, if you use a foundation which does not suit your skin type, you might develop problems: for instance, if you have an oily skin and you use a foundation formulated for dry skin (containing more oil), you could develop pimples. This can easily be cured by changing the foundation. Rarely, however, you may develop an allergy to the foundation, but if you develop, you should either stop using foundation or change over to the some what safer hypo-allergic products.