Does “Skin-Clearing” Foundation Actually Work? I Tried It To Find Out

To say that I am skeptical of makeup that claims to clear up your skin while it is on your face would be an understatement. Basically, throughout my whole life, I have been convinced that any foundation or concealer that says it will make your skin better is a massive ruse.Like, from the get-go, it just seems fake, you know? Acne comes from clogged pores. When you put makeup on said pores–even makeup with the very best of intentions–it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that it doesn’t really help your skin out all that much.


As you can probably tell, this belief comes from a pretty personal place. I speak from my own brief high school affair with a host of alleged “acne-clearing” foundations that were infused with things like salicylic acid and tea tree oil and looked great when they were on, but when they were removed, left my skin looking even worse than before. Having been burned on the acne-clearing makeup road before, I wasn’t really looking to try it again.

Recently, though, I was sent a set of skin-clearing foundation called Oxygenetix (say that five times fast) and it gave me pause. I try not judge too many books by their covers (well, that’s a lie, but we’ll let it stand for now), but this stuff looked serious–like something that you would get at a dermatologist’s office, basically–and it didn’t have, like, a ton of decorations on the bottle (or any decorations, really), so I could tell that it was ~legit.~


See what I mean?

It also isn’t infused with acne-fighting products like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide that work well on their own but don’t seem to do too well when they’re in a foundation. It’s marketed as being, simply, “breathable.” Basically, it was designed for doctors to treat things like procedural scars, acne scars, skin wounds, and acne. According to Oxygenetix’s website, it literally acts as a “second skin”  that soothes and stimulates cell growth and, allegedly, basically just makes your skin look better the longer you wear it.

It’s a lofty promise! But I figured that if it was supposedly good enough to cover up post-op procedures, supposedly, it should be good enough for my skin. To see if it could hold up, I wore the foundation for a week. Here’s what I looked like before:


Ft. my childhood bedroom!

From my first use, I was into it on a superficial level, at least. It felt super lightweight but still gave me full coverage and was incredibly easy to apply–I’m bad with brushes, so I appreciate any foundation that I can apply with just my hands. Here’s what I looked like with it on (with no other makeup, just the foundation):


Bless up.

Finally, my skin actually looked better when I washed the foundation off, which has literally never happened to me before–usually, when I take off foundation, I see a new zit (or at least one of those gross pre-zit things, you know what I’m saying?). With this, that didn’t happen–my skin wasn’t markedly improved, or anything, but it definitely didn’t leave any residual damage.

Other than the fact that it doesn’t exactly clear up your skin on its own, I don’t actually have any complaints about the product itself. The cost, though, is pretty steep–half an ounce of Oxygenetix foundation will set you back $52.50, which is, like, forty dollars more than I usually spend on foundation. Still, though, it could be worth it for you–if you’ve got especially bad skin or acne scars, this foundation was literally formulated for you, so it could help increase your confidence quite a bit.

The verdict? In terms of clear skin, going without makeup is likely going to be your best bet. But that is easier said than done, and so, if you must wear some foundation–and if you can weather the cost–I think that Oxygenetix is the best option out there.

 Have you ever tried skin-clearing foundation? Did it work for you? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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