What's in Your Concealer?

Coverage now comes in a range of formulas and a rainbow of colors. You're just a few dots away from a flawless finish.

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The Need-to-Know Basics

Concealers typically come in liquid, cream, or stick form. Liquids, often applied with a wand or a pen, are a good choice for aging skin; they usually have a water base, which makes them lighter and less likely to settle into fine lines. Cream products that come in tubes or pots are great for dry skin, since they're loaded with humectants like glycerin to add extra moisture. Stick concealers tend to contain more waxes, making them thicker and giving them better staying power on oily skin.

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Hide and Treat

Some next-gen products perform double duty, treating the imperfection you're trying to cover up. For the acne-prone, oil-free concealers with salicylic acid can conceal and heal blemishes. Products containing depuffing ingredients like caffeine combat under-eye bags, while anti-aging concealers may use hyaluronic acid and vitamins A and C to prevent and disguise wrinkles. Just know that these products contain only a smidgen of active ingredients, so they should be used along with, not instead of, other skin-care treatments.

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What About All Those Colorful Kinds?

There's some logic behind putting crazy-colored makeup on your face. It's based on color theory: Two opposing shades— green and red, purple and yellow, for example— will neutralize each other. So if you have very noticeable redness or darkness under the eyes, these may be for you.

  • Yellow adds a warm glow to skin with cool undertones and helps conceal bluish under-eye circles. It can also mute slight redness.
  • Pink, along with peach and orange, combats dark tones like bluish under-eye circles and veins or age spots. Pinks and peaches work best on fair to medium skin tones, while dark skin benefits from orange hues.
  • Green neutralizes any redness on your face from acne, visible blood vessels, or rosacea.
  • Lavender balances sallowness, when your skin has a slightly yellowish tint.

"Why Can't I Just Use Foundation?"

You can, but you won't get as much coverage. Concealer is generally more pigmented and thicker than foundation, so it hides more. Don't need the extra camo? By all means, skip it.

Color-correcting concealers can be tough to blend, so try mixing a dab with your regular flesh-toned one.

This story originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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