As life has changed now that we’re all indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are looking for ways to up self-care to show our bodies kindness in whatever small ways we can, and skin care is an increasingly common way to do this. Because there’s a product for practically every complexion concern imaginable, it can be tempting to want to slather on layer upon layer of moisturizers, serums, oils, and makeup until skin is glossed and coated like fancy layer cake. But dermatologists stress that there is a limit when it comes to the layers of product that your skin can handle, and that’s why true makeup-skin-care multitaskers are so important.
“There is no magic number of product layers you should be using, but I’m not a huge fan of the 10-step skin-care routine,” says Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entière Dermatology. Typically, dermatologists abide by the less-is-more philosophy, and they recommend sticking to the essentials for skin nourishment. “I find that the simpler the routine, the easier it is to stick to, which ultimately leads to better efficacy,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “With multi-step routines that have many different [active ingredients], we don’t know whether any of the products are inactivating each other, and they may not be allowing other layers to effectively penetrate into the skin.”
What’s more, wearing too many skin-care products can actually ruin your makeup look. “The amount of product that people are applying can sometimes result in pilling,” says Dr. Levin of the small balls that wind up on skin when you apply too many products at once. “Certain ingredients can pill up more easily than others. That tends to be things like silicones, because they actually sit on the surface of your skin.” She notes that applying products in the wrong order—like oil-based products before water-based ones—can result in the same issue, because oils form a film on skin that doesn’t allow anything else through.
All of this is to say that, for our skin’s sake, it’s so great to be living at a time when makeup now has skin-care benefits packed right in, making it easier than ever to streamline your beauty routine. “A growing trend right now is the intersection between skin care and makeup,” says Dr. Zeichner. “There are many skin-care products that offer some cosmetic benefits as well.” He nods to tinted moisturizers as a prime example. In other words, if you’re looking for a specific active ingredient (hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, etc.), it doesn’t matter if you get that product via skin care or makeup, so long as it exists somewhere within your daytime routine. For tips on figuring out which skin-boosting makeup items can replace the many steps in your beauty routine, keep scrolling for the intel.
For sun protection, look for SPF in your coverage: Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Makeup SPF 45, $45
Protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays with this do-it-all moisturizing makeup. Not only does it have SPF 45, it’s also rich in skin-loving ingredients such as IonCharged Water, probiotic technology, and chia-seed extract. Plus, it leaves the most radiant finish on skin for an 12-hour glow.
For hydration, look for hyaluronic acid in a primer: Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer, $30
Prep skin for seamless foundation coverage with this hydrating primer. It’s spiked with hyaluronic acid, which helps skin to retain water, and the supporting ingredients, such as vitamin B and aloe, are a who’s-who for supporting and soothing skin.
For puffy eyes, look for caffeine in a concealer: Bodyography Cover & Correct Under Eye Concealer, $29
Send your bags packing with this caffeine-enriched concealer. The active ingredient helps to stimulate circulation, nixing puffiness, while the pigments hide any under-eye circles.
For brightening, look for antioxidants in a foundation: Kjaer Weis Cream Blush, $56
For a protective shield from environmental aggressors, reach for this better-than-the-real-thing cream blush, which nourishes skin with a medley of antioxidant-rich oils, including jojoba, castor, and sweet almond.
For chapped lips, look for vitamin E in a lip gloss: Nars Oil-Infused Lip Tint, $26
Give chapped lips the boot with this vitamin E-enriched lip tint, which add a super-subtle kiss of color to lips, while delivering a whole lot of hydration at the same time.