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We’ve probably been there before at some point. You apply your foundation and it looks flawless, only to find two hours later that your face has turned orangey or at least darker by one or two shades. More often than not, those of us who have oily/combination skin have experienced this – foundation oxidation.

What does it mean when your foundation “oxidises” and how do we prevent ourselves from looking like a Trump parody? Here are some tricks to keep your foundation true to colour all day.

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate


Oxidation is a common chemical reaction that occurs in a lot of substances. In terms of foundation, it is probably a result of the reaction between the oils and pigments in the foundation and the natural oils that your skin produces.

Hydrate your skin suitably with a moisturiser before putting on any makeup. Use a lightweight oil-free lotion or hydrating serum. This will make sure that your skin isn’t overproducing oil to compensate for any dry spots. When the oil on your face is reduced, there is less of it to react with the foundation.

2. Prep and prime


Using a primer before applying foundation creates a barrier between the foundation and your skin. This will reduce the contact between your natural oils and the pigments in the foundation. Silicone primers are most effective at minimising oxidation since they form the best shield.

3. Blot away


One trick for absorbing excess oils on your face is to take one ply of facial tissue and use it to blot your face. Do this before and after applying foundation to help makeup last longer and in its true colour.

4. Ready, set, go!

Setting your foundation with powder will help to “lock” it in. This is definitely a lifesaver since Singapore’s humidity is not our foundation’s best friend. Setting powder also helps to absorb excess oils on the face. Instead of using powders that contain talc, use 100% silica powder, which is great for absorbing oils while minimising the appearance of your pores at the same time! Alternatively, you can also use a setting mist to set your makeup.

5. Adjusting your pH

Few may know that balancing your skin’s pH levels will help lower the chances of your foundation oxidising. Changing parts of your lifestyle and diet can help to achieve the right pH for your skin from within. A proper pH for your skin would be pH5.5. If your body is too acidic, your foundation will more likely react with your skin and turn darker over time.

6. Go lighter

If the above steps don’t work for you, you can also consider going a shade or two lighter when purchasing foundation. Trial and error is required to get it right. When buying a foundation, test it along your jawline and leave it on for a few hours to see how it reacts to your skin before purchasing it. And if you finally found a holy grail foundation in the right shade, stick to it.

Lastly, think about switching to an oil-free foundation – less oils means a lower likelihood of oxidation occurring.