Stores & Services
Find a Sephora

Happening at Sephora

View all


From makeovers to personalized skincare consultations

Free Classes

Get inspired, play with products & learn new skills

Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Post in Age Defiers

just a mess of skin problems - PLEASE help me find a foundation!

I am only 26, but the combo of acne scarring and sun damage makes me wonder if I should steer towards foundations designed for mature skin. I have scarring on my chin & jaw line, enlarged pores on my nose & cheeks, and wrinkles in my forehead. I have found that maybelline babyskin, nyx pore filler, and benefit porefessional all work perfectly for the pores, but they don't solve the other problems. I'm so stuck on what will sufficiently cover the scars and not sink into the wrinkles. Does anyone have suggestions? I'm getting married in December and the dry climate, my medium to dry skin, and all of my skin problems just make it sound so impossible. I am concerned about flash-back at the wedding, too, but I'd purchase a high-end foundation for that trip. While I was (foolishly) hoping for a drug-store foundation to do the trick long term, I would absolutely budget for it if it did wonders!



Re: just a mess of skin problems - PLEASE help me find a foundation!

You might want to try Cover FX Total Cover Cream foundation - my aesthetician swears by it.  Kat Von D Lock-it is also a possibility and it comes both in liquid and powder.  Go to Sephora and ask for help matching and then get some samples to try.  If you are not used to  full-cover foundation, you will need to practice.  When you are close to making a decision, book an appointment for a make-over.   I don't allow people to take pictures of me so I don't now much about flashback. 


For a primer, try Hylamide HA Blur or The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer.  I am a fan of luxury cosmetics but I love The Ordinary - very inexpensive and everything I have tried works well.  



Re: just a mess of skin problems - PLEASE help me find a foundation!

Try the Smashbox Studio Skin foundation! This is my go-to when my skin is problematic, because it kind of blurs the look of breakouts/texture while still looking very natural. It's hydrating, but the finish is more of a natural matte. I love this because it's long-lasting and can be set in your more oily areas. It also plays really well with both powder and cream products, so you don't have to worry about concealers not blending seamlessly, etc. 

Re: just a mess of skin problems - PLEASE help me find a foundation!



Primers serve as a blank canvas to encourage silky finish, either to minimize the appearance of pores or to temporary "fill" your fine lines. If your primer isn't performing well enough, there is the option to either switch to another primer or topically use more in certain areas.


You can still achieve your goals with any foundation, whether dedicated to young or mature skin. The difference to take note of are the ingredients and their functions per individual product. It's difficult to find one foundation that entirely fixes your problems, especially since you noted the dry climate and dry skin. Thus, this prompts me to ask, "Do you prep (moisturize) your skin before your make-up routine?" Skipping the moisturize routine prior to make-up application can factor your foundation to appearing dry and settling into your fine lines, as well as attaching to rough/bumpy areas.


Foundation with medium-to-full coverage can temporarily help hide the appearance of acne scars and sun damage, but does NOT prevent or minimize those skin problems. Skin Care does. If you want to reduce acne scars and sun exposure, you have to exfoliate and follow up with brightening ingredients. It's also imperative to always use sun screen, even in the winter. You still have time to adopt these habits and see results - it just takes perseverance to keep up with it.

Re: just a mess of skin problems - PLEASE help me find a foundation!

Hello, thanks for responding!


I do always use a good moisturizer with SPF every day, makeup or not. I also have been using the tretinoin cream from my dermatologist to temper the discoloration, and that has been effective, more than I expected in the last few years alone, but still the pitted scars and the wrinkles/fine lines to deal with. I do feel like I treat my skin very well now, cleansing, moisturizing, applying the topical creams, etc, but the fact that I have two very different kinds of damage makes it kind of hard to choose treatments beyond those basics. 


I have normal to dry skin, and I'm from Montana, but have been living in the Deep (humid!) South for several years, and I definitely notice that I have to use richer moisturizers and less frequent tretinoin application up north than down here. 


It had occurred to me to use multiple primers, perhaps a zoned type attack, with a particular wrinkle-oriented primer on my forehead and another primer on the rest of my face, perhaps porefessional on my nose and on the cheeks, and some other primer to cover the scarring on my chin. I've found a lot of success in the other arenas, I'm mainly struggling with the sun damaged forehead and a bit around my eyes; I have an under eye primer sample that doesn't seem to do the trick around the eyes, so that's good, too.

Re: just a mess of skin problems - PLEASE help me find a foundation!

Hey again @elizabeth226,


Although acne scars, sun damage, and wrinkles are different conditions, there are ingredients that can simultaneously treat them. Ingredients that promote cell turn over rate (AHA and/or BHAs) and brightening (Vitamin C / Niacinamide) are some of those examples. I'm glad that you found a solution in regards to your primers, but I can't help but feel like... there is a more effective or minimalist way to approach this, haha. I can't help but feel bad that you are inclined to use multiple primers. Perhaps treating the skin issues will enable you to use only 2 different primers instead.

For sure, regular routine of exfoliating and topical use of active ingredients will help fade away sun exposure and scarring. There are also ingredients that inhibit the production of melanin! So consider that as well. I do admit that I'm concerned about applying actives near the eye area, but I believe there are products that will mention whether they are safe for that function.

Worst case scenario(?) in terms of wallet, there is always laser treatment.

Re: just a mess of skin problems - PLEASE help me find a foundation!


I apologize if my response sounded defensive, I absolutely value your input, I didn't mean to sound as if I didn't!! I'll look into those and discuss those with my derm to make sure they won't react with the current treatments. Thank you for the suggestions! I suppose I had just assumed my skin won't get significantly better, even with the treatments, so I would deal with covering it up.


That would be amazing to see progress on the skin itself, as I wasn't originally a makeup person (it was just to cover up the acne). Now that my acne is under control, makeup is more fun, but I find a lot of products look heavy, hence my search for a good foundation. With all of the suggestions I've gotten from y'all in such a short time, I'm sure I'll find the right skin care, primer and foundation! 

Re: just a mess of skin problems - PLEASE help me find a foundation!

I use the Estee Lauder Double Wear but I have also loved the new YSL All hours foundation! Very full coverage and buildable. I have really bad expression lines on my forehead and acne scars on my cheeks. Wore Estee Lauder on my wedding day and it stayed on through dancing and sweating and laughing. No expression lines showed!!!

Re: just a mess of skin problems - PLEASE help me find a foundation!

Adding on to my previous comment: Estee Lauder has HORRIBLE flashback. My videographer caught it all on tape during the reception. In this case, I would use the YSL all hours foundation. I wish I had worn that at my wedding. Lasts a long time too just make sure you wear a primer, set with a light power and setting spray!

Re: just a mess of skin problems - PLEASE help me find a foundation!

Wonderful, thanks for the advice! I was looking at the Estee Lauder, so thank you for the warning on flashback! I'll look into YSL too, Thanks!

The only thing that worked on my acne scars was a prescri...

The only thing that worked on my acne scars was a prescription retinoid, like Retin-A or Tazorac. Defferin used to be prescription but is now over-the-counter. It's a good choice if you don't want to go to a dermatologist. This will help with wrinkles, too.

Re: The only thing that worked on my acne scars was a prescri...

Hi, thanks for responding! I have been seeing a derm here for the last few years, after having to stop during some health problems (meaning no accutane, no spironolactone, etc).  He prescribed a tretinoin cream, which I believe is the generic version of Retin-A (?) and it has done amazing things since 2014! From what it sounds like, though, that's all we can do under my insurance. He frequently makes (possibly passive-aggressive?) comments about how we can look at pricing if I  want to actually fill the pitted scars or deal with the wrinkles. 


The tretinoin has been amazing for the scarring and the spironolactone has been life-changing for my acne incidence, so I'm just trying to figure out how to deal with the aftermath as best I can. 


I had no idea Differin is OTC now, thanks! I was going to request a topical zit cream for the breakouts, but I know Differin worked for me before, so maybe I'll look into that, too. Thank you!

Re: just a mess of skin problems - PLEASE help me find a foundation!

I'd get the Veil primer and a filler (Nyx, Peter Thomas Roth, etc) and an Hourglass foundation, you usually can't go wrong with Hourglass

Re: just a mess of skin problems - PLEASE help me find a foundation!

Try the Nyx pore filler to make those acne scars disappear, it's a good drugstore option. It's not the foundation you put but the primer or pore filler. Anything going on top of an excellent primer such as Veil from Hourglass or the Becca (Velvet) one is going to be good. 

Re: just a mess of skin problems - PLEASE help me find a foundation!

Thanks for the advice! I have been using the nyx pore filler for the pores on my nose and cheeks, it didn't even occur to me to move it down to the pitted acne scars!


I'll look at Veil, too. Thanks again!

14 Replies
Conversation Stats
  • 14 replies
  • 0 Hearts Given
  • 7 Contributors