The Clever Cosmetics That Save Your Skin

Daily Mail (London), March 25, 1999 | Go to article overview

The Clever Cosmetics That Save Your Skin


Byline: BONNIE ESTRIDGE

NOW IF you had thought that cosmetics were all designed just to make you look good, it might surprise you to take a closer look at the ingredients list of your latest purchase.

That lipstick you chose simply for its vibrant colour might have a different purpose entirely - an SPF (sun-protection factor) to shield you from sun damage, antioxidants to protect against pollution and amino acids to stop your lips becoming chapped.

This is a 'clever cosmetic', just one of the high-tech products which form a fast-growing trend in the beauty industry for treatment makeup.

No longer should we only look to our moisturisers, eye creams and cleansers to save our skins, now the contents of our makeup bag must work hard for us, too.

But do we really need makeup that cares for the skin as well as covers it, or is this just another ruse by the cosmetics industry to persuade us to throw out our old faith-fuls and spend our money on the latest high-tech gimmick? We put some of the products to the test.

SUNSCREENS SKIN cosmetics expert and dermatologist Dr Colette Haydon, who founded the skincare design consultancy Elixir de Beaute, favours treatment makeup but advises: 'We should use every opportunity to look after our skin and treatment makeup can certainly help.

'However, you cannot substitute these cosmetics for a good skincare regime that includes moisturising, cleansing, exfoliating and detoxifying. Nor do you want to double up on certain ingredients or overload your skin with chemicals.' Aside from the anti-ageing properties, foundations acting as treatment cosmetics may boast all kinds of skin-saving properties: sunscreens, hydrating moisturisers or oil minimisers, antioxidants, spot treatments and botanical extracts.

Sunscreens in foundation are more or less de rigueur these days, but, as Dr Haydon points out: 'If your day cream and foundation both contain, for instance, SPF15, remember they are not going to give you an SPF30. The overall factor stays at SPF15. There is little point in layering one SPF over another as you are simply piling unnecessary chemicals on to the skin.

'However, if your preferred daycream does not contain sunscreen, a foundation which does is an excellent idea.

'Although allergies to chemical sunscreens are not very common, I'd suggest one of the new formulations that contain very fine micro-pigments of titanium dioxide.' Titanium dioxide is derived from minerals and is totally natural.

It is one of the purest, most effective active ingredients for sun protection as the white pigments it contains are so strong they can provide a total sunblock. It is smooth and easy to blend, which means you don't get that white-faced look that used to be the case with old-style blocks.

Jane Iredale's Amazing Base with titanium dioxide ([pounds sterling]35: mail order - 0800 9151155) acts as four products in one: powder, foundation, concealer and sunscreen.

It also suits all skin types. Jane - a Hollywood TV and theatre producer whose range of makeup is well-known among Hollywood actors and recommended by dermatologists and plastic surgeons says: 'I have always said the best cosmetic one can wear is a healthy skin and I believe makeup which simply covers doesn't help the skin and can sometimes harm it.

'Doctors particularly like titanium oxide sun protection because there is nothing to sensitise the skin - in fact minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have antiseptic properties to help calm the skin.

Vitamins which feed the skin and keep it healthy are also highly beneficial.' TREATMENT FOUNDATIONS ALL the foundations we mention contain titanium dioxide sunscreen, but it is important to put some thought into what your skin really needs before you assume a product must be right for it.

Oil-control treatment foundation may sound like a godsend to those constantly powdering breakthrough shiny patches, but unless your skin really is oily, not simply shiny on the T-zone (forehead and nose), then these products, which often contain a high percentage of powders and are designed to absorb sebum, can be very difficult to apply. …

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