All you need to know about makeup primers

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Makeup primers are all the rave in the beauty industry. But what exactly is a makeup primer? According to celebrity hair and makeup artist, Andrea Claire, the primary function of a makeup primer is to extend the wear of one’s makeup. When it comes to commercial primers, Dimethicone — silicone-based polymer — is a popular choice of ingredient due to its ultra smoothing effect. Before you shy away from silicones, thinking it’s bad for your skin, Dr. Teo Wan Lin  an accredited dermatologist from TWL Specialist Skin and Laser Centre has a different opinion about silicones. Contrary to popular belief, in our interview with the dermatologist, Dr. Teo debunked the myth of silicones being bad for your skin. As there are no studies that show that silicones represent a danger to human skin, they are usually safe to use even around the eye area, in formulations which are ophthalmologically and dermatologically tested. Silicones used in skincare and makeup products are usually non-toxic and are skin friendly, albeit bad for the environment.

However, since whatever you apply on your skin is absorbed, Dr Teo, from the perspective of a dermatologist, advocates looking for primers with genuine skin nourishing and moisturising ingredients instead. Sources of synthetic ceramides or phytoceramides, eg. shea butter or other plant-derived natural oils, these mimic the skin’s natural lipid (fatty) barrier which functions as a protective layer against the environment.

Now on to the top makeup guru’s tips on what makes a perfect makeup base. So what else should you be looking for in a primer? Andrea gave us a checklist of things she looks for in a primer. Firstly, go for a primer that suits your needs. Ask yourself what kind of look you are going for? Dewy or mattifying? Or are you looking to colour correct your skin? There is primer for every need, so trawl through the makeup aisle ladies. Secondly, look for one that creates a strong barrier between your skin’s natural oils, skincare and makeup. This will help to maintain a lasting makeup by preventing oils and skincare products from disrupting the makeup. Last but not least, as your skin absorbs whatever you apply, Andrea too, personally looks for primers with cosmeceutical active ingredients that help to keep the skin healthy in the long term. After all, the key to a perfect makeup is healthy skin.

One such active ingredient that helps to keep a healthy skin base is niacinamide. Niacinamide is a vitamin B3 derivative that is effective in priming the skin, as it prevents water loss from the skin. This leaves users looking radiant and dewy without looking oily. Since its dehydrated skin that often triggers the skin to produce even more oil which disrupts the makeup, it is key to look for a primer with moisturising properties. Makeup base such as Dr. TWL Dermaceuticals’ Radiance Fluide™ Hydrating Emulsion is one that is formulated with the moisturising and brightening active ingredient niacinamide. On top of providing optimal moisture to the skin, this active ingredient also protects the skin from further UV damage. This prevents the skin from developing age spots, freckles and hyperpigmentation in the future. With longtime use, studies show that niacinamide helps in the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, sallow skin, blotchy red skin and hyperpigmentations.

Another active ingredient worth mentioning is oligopeptides, short chains of amino acid monomers linked via peptide bonds. Resembling the actual proteins produced by human DNA, oligopeptides help to stabilise and repair skin cells, resulting in anti-aging results, smoothing-out of wrinkles and an overall smoother skin texture. Like niacinamide, oligopeptides are amazing when it comes to anti-aging. Functioning in the same way as retinol but without risks of skin irritation, oligopeptides are a great alternative for those who are sensitive to retinol/retinoids or related vitamin A derivatives. An added plus? Those who worry about the sun sensitivity related to retinol and retinoids do not have to worry about oligopeptide-based antiaging formulas. Apart from this, Dr Teo says that oligopeptides communicate with other skin collagen receptors to boost its activity and production. Major skin concerns such as fine lines, crow’s feet, wrinkles, saggy skin, eye puffiness can be reduced with cosmeceuticals containing oligopeptides when used early in the process of preventing photoaging. Talk about botox in a bottle. More severe cases of wrinkles, frown lines, crow’s feet and facial sagging, may have to be addressed with laser treatments and injectables such as hyaluronic acid fillers and botox.

Niacinamide and oligopeptides are the star ingredients in this skin brightening and anti-aging makeup base. The active ingredients include Arnica Montana flower extract in combination with other botanicals with potent antioxidant properties. Its predominant moisturising properties come from shea butter, a rich source of phytoceramides and enriched with glycerin, an effective humectant. To top it off, the Radiance Fluide™ Hydrating Emulsion has amino acids which help to stimulate the skin to produce more collagen, resulting in tighter, lifted and youthful looking skin.

It is truly a multi-tasking, skin nourishing makeup base that does more than just a primer. It’s anti-aging, moisturising, and gives a dewy finish. As an emulsion, it is an oil in water formulation, promising a light-weight feel for our humid tropical climate.

It is no wonder Radiance Fluide™ Hydrating Emulsion is fast becoming a makeup artist favourite. Makeup artist, Zoel from Singapore, uses Radiance Fluide™ Hydrating Emulsion to prep his model’s skin during editorial shoots because it gives them just the right amount of glow without looking shiny in front of the camera.

Armed with the tips from our skincare expert Dr.Teo Wan Lin and makeup industry veteran Andrea Claire, we hope you empowered to make the best decision the next time you go down the aisles of Sephora, hunting for the perfect makeup base.

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