Is Your Makeup Separating? It Might Be A Foundation Problem

Your favorite celebrity Instagrammer was showing off a new foundation that makes her skin look absolutely radiant, so you didn't even think twice about grabbing your card and submitting your order. The waiting game took forever, but the product is finally in your hands. However, your skin is looking less than radiant with your first application. 

Flaky, patchy, or peeling foundation is one of the most annoying makeup problems you can encounter. It's essential to know right now why you aren't looking flawless thanks to your latest product. Was it the Instagram filter? Often, makeup separation can be caused by a mismatch between your skin and your foundation. However, that's not the only reason.

It's important to understand why you might need to take another look at your foundation if your makeup is looking patchy. You can also try out a few tips for how to prep your skin better to ensure foundation separation doesn't ruin your next date night.

Wearing the wrong foundation can cause makeup separation

TikTok is full of foundations that are supposedly the next best thing and guaranteed to make you look years younger with a flawless, glowing complexion. Before you get in over your head, consider that not all foundations are designed for your specific skin type, and wearing the wrong foundation could lead to separating and peeling. For instance, if you have dry or flaky skin, you shouldn't use a matte foundation that might be better for someone with oily or combination skin. 

A matte foundation will settle into the dry areas, leading to cracks and patchy coverage. Use the best foundation for dry skin by finding a hydrating foundation and moisturizing your face thoroughly prior to application. Those with dry skin can also add moisturizer to their foundation or try something with hyaluronic acid.  However, if you're on the other end of the spectrum with oily skin, you don't need a super hydrating foundation to add more moisture to your face. 

Instead, an oil-absorbing foundation and powder combo work better to adhere to your skin to avoid cakeiness. Even if you have balanced skin, it's vital to ensure the formula of your foundation works with your skin by testing it out first. Further, always start with the least amount of product, then slowly work up to your desired level of coverage. If you know you have the proper foundation for your skin, then that separation you're seeing could be a preparation problem.

Why it's important to make sure you prep your skin properly first

Makeup separation can easily ruin your day or make your night on the town a night in. However, if you're finding separation is happening on your face even despite using the right type of foundation, it might be the way you're prepping your skin that's causing the issue. First off, keep in mind that all primers aren't created equal. For example, using a water-based primer with an oil-based foundation can cause separation because, as we learned in chemistry class, oil, and water don't mix. 

It's also essential to prep your skin properly before adding any products to it. As Sabena Collier, a Bobbi Brown Cosmetics makeup artist, told Byrdie, "[Makeup can separate when] the skin is not properly prepped with a moisturizer and primer that works for the specific skin type." Make sure you exfoliate first, to remove dead skin cells, and then moisturize afterwards but don't go overboard. Too many products on your face may cause your skin to overproduce oils or, conversely, make it drier.

If you're struggling with makeup separation, the first place you'll want to look is your foundation and other products you add to your skin. Take a look at the labels and ensure everything is designed for your oily, dry, or combination skin, as applicable. Also, ensure your primer and moisturizer don't clash with your foundation either. Just like cooking, you get the best flavor when everything works together.