• Zair Thomas

"Skin Prep" for Flawless Makeup

Model, Adut Akech
Source(s): (@mcleodmanna on instagram)

What is "Skin Prep"?

Skin Prep is a term to describe the process of cleansing and layering hydrating and moisturizing skin products (yes, there is a difference), as well as using primers and bases before applying makeup; it is important to note that there is no "one-way" of prepping the skin, as one individual's routine may be different from another's as a result of the various skin types/textures that exists, as well as geographic location and environmental settings. The idea of skin prep was developed on an observation that applying makeup to the skin without liquid hydrators or clarifying barriers (creating a protective base), ultimately results in dull or texturized makeup.

No matter how heavy or how light your makeup application is, there are multiple benefits that come along with prepping your skin before each session; incorporating skincare into your beauty routine will not only give you the flawless finish you dream of, but it will simultaneously produce healthy skin overtime, vanquishing any flaws that you were trying to cover up in the first place. Skin prepping has also been proven to increase the longevity of makeup, giving the allusion of fresh application even after hours of wear. So the question is, how do you know what products you need to prep your skin? With a bit of research and product knowledge, it can be easy to find a routine.


ASK YOURSELF: What finish do I want? What skin type do I have? What skincare products work best for my skin? How long do I need my makeup to last?


How to Prep Your skin


In the summer time, hydration and SPF are your best friends. Allow each layer to dry down before applying the next. Start by using a gentle oil or cream cleanser to wash in the morning, followed by a hydrating toner and a tri-peptide serum. After using the serum, follow up with a hydrating gel-moisturizer (with SPF!), comfortable enough for hot days. Follow with a gel primer and apply your foundation. In the winter, you can begin implementing supplemental hydration treatments into your routine, and trade in the gel-cream for a more rich, thick texture as it begins to get colder. Lastly, press a light oil primer into the moisturizer for extra moisture and a dewy glow.


Having combination skin is all about evening the plain field, whether you are more oily or dry. Allow each layer to dry down before applying the next. In the summer, natural sebum production from heat can cause the skin to become more oily. Start by using a micellar-water cleanser, a formula thin enough to lift out any impurities from beneath the skin's dermis, then follow up with niacinamide treatment for balance, before using a gel-moisturizer (with SPF!). In the winter, slow down on niacinamide, as it reduces excess sebum production, and replace it with a balancing towner. Depending on how dry you get in winter, consider trading in a gel-cream for a rich hydrating one. Follow with your favorite primer and apply your foundation!


Having oily skin can be a handful at times, so keeping blotting tissues in purse at all times is a must in this case. In the summer, moisture is not what you need, but hydration is the key to your long lasting makeup! As you apply, allow each layer to dry down before applying the next. Start the morning with a gentle foaming cleanser, if you happen to be more sensitive, try a face wash with a little salycylic acid. A gentle niacinamide treatment may help with access oil, and follow up with a firming licorice root serum to minimize the appearance of large pores. Follow with a gel moisturizer (with SPF!), and your favorite oil control primer before applying your foundation!


Sensitive skin always needs a bit of special attention. Always go for gentle formulas with minimal ingredients as far as skin care, and treat your skin like a baby! Always allow each layer to dry down before applying the next. CeraVe has amazing products for sensitive skin whether you're more dry or oily. Start with your favorite cleanser for sensitive skin before applying a salycylic or glycolic acid serum. Use a gentle gel-moisturizer, if you suffer from redness tiger grass or aloe are great supplements to have in your moisturizer (and of course, SPF). Use a gentle primer from ILIA or MILK Makeup and apply your foundation!

What is your favorite way to prep your skin? Let us know!

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