Selecting Cosmetics For Your Skin Type

If you use cosmetics, choosing the best makeup for your skin is important to both look your best and avoid skin problems such as acne or irritation.

Makeup Terms

Here are some useful definitions to know when looking for the best makeup for your skin:

  • Fragrance-free: The product contains no added fragrance or masking agents to change the product’s odor.
  • Hypoallergenic: The product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
  • Non-comedogenic: The product does not contain ingredients known to clog pores, which is important for people prone to acne.
  • Unscented: The product contains ingredients to reduce or completely cover the scent of the product.

Makeup for Oily Skin

When choosing the best makeup for oily skin, keep these makeup tips in mind:

  • Avoid the ingredients bismuth oxychloride and dimenthicone, which can clog pores and cause blemishes.
  • Avoid creamy blushes and eye shadows; they contain a lot of oil.
  • Kaolin clay in foundation makeup helps manage oil.
  • Look for non-comedogenic makeup.
  • Use oil-free makeup.

Makeup for Normal Skin

Normal skin can usually tolerate a wide range of makeup types. Start with a lightly moisturizing foundation makeup. Then use the products that interest you; if they irritate your skin, stop using them.

Makeup for Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, start with a moisturizing concealer to hide the redness and irritation of dry skin. You can use foundations containing oil, but powder foundations may worsen your dry skin. You can also use creamy eye shadows, eyeliner and blush. Plus, a moisturizing lip balm is important for your lips.

Makeup for Sensitive Skin

If you skin is sensitive, look for hypoallergenic and fragrance-free makeup to avoid ingredients that might further irritate your skin. For foundation makeup, look for a liquid containing silicone.

For eye makeup, use a pencil eyeliner because it’s less likely to irritate your skin than liquid. Also, avoid waterproof mascara, which can irritate sensitive eyes. For eye shadow, neutral and light colors contain fewer irritating dyes and other ingredients than darker colors.

Makeup Tips

Here are some makeup tips to help you get the best results:

  • Always apply makeup to a clean face. Reapplying makeup to a dirty face can irritate your skin and cause you to break out.
  • Always wash your makeup off before sleeping to avoid clogged pores, which are one of the primary causes of acne.
  • Use specific brushes for different areas of the face to apply makeup correctly. For example, while a blush brush is broader, eye shadow and eyeliner brushers are small and fine so you can use them to make clear lines. Keep your makeup brushes clean and dry.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2006) also recommends the following basic makeup safety tips to avoid infections and other problems:

  • Discard old, dried-out cosmetics (for example, mascara should be replaced every four months).
  • Don’t share cosmetics.
  • Don’t use non-eye cosmetics near the eyes.
  • Wash hands before applying makeup, especially eye makeup.


Carefair. (2009). Selecting cosmetics for each skin type. Retrieved December 6, 2010, from

Almay Cosmetcs. (2006). Dermatologist advice. Retrieved December 6, 2010, from

Makeup Artist World. (2006). Makeup for oily skin. Retrieved December 6, 2010, from

Skincare-news. (2010). Makeup for dry skin: The dos and don’ts. Retrieved December 6, 2010, from

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2006). Eye cosmetic safety. Retrieved December 10, 2010, from