A Patient's Guide to Rosacea
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Skin Foundations

Face foundations are used to cover skin blemishes, and acne, as well as to even out and give colour to your face. There are four basic types of foundations. They are all different combinations of oil, water, emulsifiers, talc, kaolin, titanium dioxide and pigment. Their ability to cover skin is related to the amount of titanium dioxide, talc, zinc oxide, chalk and koalin they contain. Chemical sunscreen may be added to the sun-protective effect of titanium dioxide.

Types Of Foundations:

1) Oil-based foundation - These are water-oil emulsions which contain pigment in the oil. The water evaporates after the foundation is applied to the skin, leaving the pigment and oil on the face. This feels moisturizing and is useful for those who have dry skin. The color has good staying power and the foundation is easy to apply as there is time to play with the application before it sets, which takes a few minutes.

2) Water-based foundation - These are also oil-in-water emulsions with only a little oil. The pigment is emulsified and the oil component reduces the drift or spread of color. They are good for people who have slightly dry to normal skin.

3) Oil-free foundation - These have no animal, vegetable or mineral oil. They contain oily substances such as silicone based substances (dimethicone). The pigment is dissolved in water and other solvents. These are produced for those with oily skin.

4) Water-free foundation - These are waterproof. Oil, alcohol and synthetic esthers are combined and then mixed with waxes to form a cream. These foundations may be opaque enough to be used to cover scars. The color is produced by combining titanium dioxide with iron oxides, and sometimes ultramarine blue.

Foundation Terms Used To Describe The Ability To Cover The Skin:

  • Liquid - sheer to moderate coverage (sheer means semi-transparent)
  • Mousse - sheer
  • Water based- moderate coverage
  • SoufflĂ© - moderate
  • Water-free - full (opaque and therefore gives full coverage)
  • Stick - full (opaque)
  • Shake lotion - sheer
  • Matte - flat with no shine
  • Semi-matte - minimal shine
  • Moist semi-matte - dewy shine
  • Shiny