Makeup for Acidic Skin

Have you ever experienced that after hours (or minutes) of having your makeup done, your foundation shade turned darker than your skin tone? You must be ACIDIC!

More and more brides I have bumped into have this skin problem. Being a chemistry graduate and a makeup artist at the same time, I was faced with the challenge to integrate my college studies with my chosen field of profession. So I decided to create this blog entry to give a little piece of information about Makeup and Acidic Skin.


According to Jennifer Laz, a licensed aesthetician, “There is an intimate relationship between digestive health and beautiful skin. A highly functioning and healthy digestive tract means fewer skin imbalances and irritations. The opposite is also true. A sluggish, weak or overloaded digestive tract leads to inflammation, toxic build-up and malnutrition. One or more of these problems can easily and rapidly lead to skin conditions like dehydration, premature wrinkling, loss of elasticity, hyperpigmentation, rash and acne breakouts. The link between digestive health and acne is especially substantial.

This is not a new information at all but what most people don’t know is the link between digestive health (or health, in general)and pH balance of the body. pH balance of the body are all affected by the food we consume, stress levels, activity levels, and emotions. For example, the food we eat can be either acidic or basic. If we eat acidic foods most of the time, our body pH level will be imbalanced. Too much stress and lack of sleep (which is quite common to brides) also adds up to this problem.

pH literally means “potential of Hydrogen”. It is the measure of acidity or basicity of a substance – or in our system. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic. A balanced pH is 7 (which is the pH level of distilled water).

In a research conducted by Joachim Fluhr, MD, a postdoctoral research fellow at the SFVAMC and UCSF, and his colleagues lead by SFVAMC dermatologist Peter Elias, MD, a UCSF professor of dermatology, they concluded that “the skin is generating the acid as it converts phospholipids into fatty acids, one of the natural steps in the formation of the skin barrier.  Blocking this conversion has a marked effect on the acidity as well as the skin’s integrity and cohesiveness,”

According to these related studies, the skin is generating acid in order to protect the skin. However, if we intake too much acid on a daily basis, our body pH level might be imbalanced leading to acidic skin.


Some clients doesn’t know that they are acidic until such time that their makeup was done. So here are some signs for you to find out:

  • Makeup turns dark after a few hours (or minutes) after application
  • Very pale face
  • Eyes tear easily
  • Cracks at the corner of the lips


   The first thing I do apply a face primer. This way, your makeup will have screen or a barrier from the skin which lessens the possibility of oxidizing the makeup. I also use a foundation that’s TWO SHADES LIGHTER than the client’s skin tone. It will look odd at first but soon as the makeup turns dark, it will more or less be the same as your skin tone. Some skin reacts in just a few minutes of applying foundation while others react after an hour or so. I also recommend the usage of eye primer prior to application of the eye shadow to avoid the color from losing its intensity. People with acidic skin tend to be too oily so I also avoid blushers with shimmer as it might cause the skin to look dewy at first, then oily later on. Finally, I set the makeup using an anti-shine powder.

I really recommend a trial makeup session for brides-to-be with acidic skin so we would be able to get the correct and appropriate foundation shade for your skin tone. I have had clients with acidic skin though, who did not have any trial makeup and went well.

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