Do Skin-Care Ingredients in Makeup Actually Do Anything?

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Skin-care goals and makeup don’t always get along. For example, you might want a thick layer of foundation to cover up a bad breakout, but ingredients in your full-coverage foundation may actually lead to more acne. So what about makeup that promises to make your skin look better — and improve it at the same time? While dermatologists say that you can get some skin-care benefits from makeup, they caution that you shouldn’t rely entirely on it for treating your skin. “Makeup is not meant to penetrate deep enough into the skin where the active ingredients can really be effective and shine,” says dermatologist Corey Hartman, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology. “Not only that, but active ingredients in makeup rarely reach therapeutic levels that will render them completely sufficient to treat any skin condition on their own.”

Still, dermatologists say there are several options that are worthy of consideration, especially when it comes to acne treatment and sunscreen. Perhaps the biggest benefit of these two-in-one products is convenience. “A skin-care product won’t work if you forget to use it,” says Caroline Chang, a dermatologist and the founder of Rhode Island Dermatology Institute. “Combination makeup/skin-care products help to reduce the time spent getting ready and make it easy to take good care of your skin.” If that sounds appealing, we’ve rounded up some of the best makeup with skin-care benefits, according to dermatologists. Just remember, “it’s important that the products do not replace your morning and nightly skin-care routines,” says Howard Sobel, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital and founder of Sobel Skin. “Actual skincare routines will always be more effective in achieving clear, toned and moisturized skin.”