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Post in Complexion Club

Overcoming foundation addiction

I have PCOS, and I've had one continual acne outbreak for about 14 years. I try to keep it under control, and it's definitely not as bad as it could be, but I don't think I'll ever have flawless glass skin. I hate having adult acne, and I try my best to cover it up. I know good and well that my foundation cracks and separates when I put on multiple layers, but I can't stop myself from putting on more to hide the bumps and the redness. Everyday I put foundation on my sponge and say "that's it, this is all we're using," and the next thing I know I have five or six layers of foundation on my face to keep the redness hidden. 


As anyone else felt this compulsive need to use excessive amounts of foundation, and how did you make yourself stop? It seems like I should be able to tell myself to just stop doing it but I just can't. 

Re: Overcoming foundation addiction

First, I’m with the person who said be kind to yourself. Then, go see a dermatologist. It is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. If you don’t have health insurance, use one of the online sites that are now available. They can write prescriptions for real medicine that will help. Good luck!

Re: Overcoming foundation addiction



@ADawnPhelps.  Allow yourself peace.


(Yes, this is easier said than done, but just like it makes you upset to see it, you're the only person that can give yourself peace).


I have hormonal, cystic acne that comes and goes.  Which, I prefer to my childhood acne, because honestly, it was terrible. Papules all day, everyday. I look at my parents skin, and wondered how I ended up with this being a permanent condition, but that's how genetics goes.  As an adult, I was on antibiotics for a while, which really helped, but then the dermatologist unkindly (but wisely) stopped giving me them and the acne returned.  That's when I got into skincare and started wearing foundation again, and yes, I would load up on it and make the hidden thing more apparent, like you've noticed.  Once I learned a little more about technique and lucked out by finding products that worked a little bit better for me, I was able to go lighter on foundation.  Also, like @Titian06 , we're are usually far harsher judges than anyone else, and since the face is such a personal thing, it's like we can be hyper focused on something that is so small and no one notices, which is why I am saying to also be kind.  If you aren't responding to yourself kindly, it will likely make you want to keep putting more foundation on, it's like the acne is a stimulus and you're conditioned to do this as a way to address the stimulus (I am too, btw).  Technique comes in with cover-up, because concealers do technically bright light/attention to the thing you're trying to conceal.  I remember in a sephora class (or video) I was told to use eye primer on a small pimple, vs concealer and just go into my normal complexion routine.  I don't do this for every pimple (it's a specific spot on my face where it'll works).  Most of the time, I try to apply a concealer and tap it in, then blend the rest of it to my foundation.  I might apply powder separately to the spot, but that's only if there's discoloration.  Because it is texture, it's likely going to show on the face, but if I take a photo, I just angle my head differently so the light doesn't pick it up.


It's trial and error to see what works for you, but I am confident you'll find something that works for you. /This ends my TEDtalk, thank you for coming


If you're curious, product wise, what currently works for me:


Hyper Skin Gentle Brightening Gel Cleanser with Mandelic Acid 5 oz / 150 mL 

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads 60 Pads 

Hyper Skin Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL

belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb 3.37 oz/ 100 mL/ belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb 

Not sold at Sephora: Tula "Go Away" Acne spot treatment (this works well for me on hormonal cysts)

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion(doesn't stop acne, but helps dry up some of the ones i get if the Tula doesn't work)

Dr. Jart+ Mini Cicapair Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30 15 mL/ .50 fl oz(This is great for redness, like @Titian06 & @JoSometimes noted, color correcting can sometimes help, but this doesn't work well if you have a slightly different undertone.  E.L.F. has other color correctors, notably a blue one, so if you've tried color correcting and didn't see improvement, make sure you're matching your undertone).

Peace Out Salicylic Acid Acne Day Dots 1 pack / 40 dots(This can be a blessing in that, what you can't touch, you won't bother.  I still have a mask for work, so sometimes I will use an acne dot and just put my makeup over it.  You can tell it is there if you are looking really deeply at me, but usually when I take my mask off, people are just noticing that I have a bottom half of a face moreso than an odd mark.  I also wear them to the gym so sweat doesn't get on my acne, and again, no one is looking at me there either, they are usually looking at themselves)



Dr. Zenovia Skincare 5% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Spot Treatment(This didn't work for me, but can be effective on acne)



SEPHORA COLLECTION Vegan Makeup Remover and Cleansing Brush 

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite™ FaceWare Pro 

Re: Overcoming foundation addiction

Hi, @ADawnPhelps !  I've had cystic acne since I was 10; I'm now 58.  It's now virtually nonexistent.  Like you when I was younger, I thought more foundation was better.  However, I had the dry, cracking areas around the cysts and it looked awful.  One day I read an article about using less foundation because more only draws attention to what you're trying to hide.  I decided to give it a try, it couldn't be worse!  I used a yellow color corrector (I like it better than red), concealer, and one layer of a medium foundation.  What a difference!  No more dry, cracked areas and my makeup looked so much better.  I had so much more confidence!


I also suggest #The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Oil Control Serum 2 oz/ 60 mL .  This has really made a huge difference in my acne.


Don't worry about what other people think.  For one thing, it's more noticeable to you than to others.  Also, others should be understanding; if they're not, that's their problem, not yours.  This is a medical condition, just like heart disease.  I've been there and survived--you can too!

Re: Overcoming foundation addiction

Hi @ADawnPhelps. I understand. I have eczema on my face and some days when my skin is irritated and rough, I want to cover everything up. No amount of makeup will fix rough, textured skin though.


Have you tried to tame the redness first? I use Tower 28 Beauty Mini SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray 1 oz/ 30 mL to help calm my skin when it gets irritated from my eczema and reduce the redness. It says it’s good for other types of irritation including acne. It comes in a mini version if you want to give it a try without spending too much. 

The other thing you can try is a green concealer or colour corrector under your foundation to correct the redness. Since they’re on opposite ends of the colour wheel, they will cancel each other out when applied layer on top of each other. You can try something like MAKE UP FOR EVER Mini Step 1 Primer Color Corrector – 24HR Redness Control & Hydrating Primer 0.5 oz... which has a green tint. Some drug store brands have a green concealer that you can use if it’s just a few small areas. Set it with your favourite setting powder, then apply your foundation on top like normal. 

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