How To Deal With Foundation Oxidation

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Finding the right foundation is such a hassle. One minute you’re jumping for joy because you found your perfect foundation shade and your face is beat!

Fast-forward five minutes later, you’re standing in front of a mirror wondering why that “perfect foundation shade” now looks ten times darker than when it was first applied.

This unfortunate dilemma is described as foundation oxidation.

Foundation Oxidation

Foundation oxidation is a chemical reaction that darkens the foundation pigmentation after it is applied to the skin.

Consequently, foundation oxidation can cause frustration since it makes finding the right foundation shade more difficult. However, foundation oxidation has its benefits.

Yes!  In fact, if you purchase a lighter foundation shade, you will appreciate a foundation that oxidizes to your foundation shade.

Hence, it’s no coincidence some makeup artists recommend purchasing foundations a shade lighter to counter the effects of foundation oxidation.

Drugstore Foundations vs Departmental Store Foundations

Both drugstore foundations and departmental store foundations oxidize.

Even some of the best “holy grail” or most loved foundations available on the market oxidize – it is unfortunate, but it happens.

Case in point, Fenty Beauty Foundation is loved by many. However, the Fenty Beauty Foundation oxidizes like crazy.

Hence, it has been difficult for some people to find a suitable foundation shade to match their skin tone in the Fenty Beauty Foundation collection, even with the availability of forty shades.

Anyway, overall, finding the right foundation shade isn’t cut and dry. In the meantime, here’s how to with your foundation oxidizing.

1. First, Start By Getting Rid Of The Foundation

Return The Foundation To The Store

So, how do you deal with a foundation turning darker?

Well, first, you can simply return the foundation to the store if there’s a return policy. This leads to the next point, avoid purchasing foundations where you cannot return them.

Unless you are willing to bear the loss if the foundation failed to meet your expectations or the foundation failed to perform as described.

Resell Unwanted Used Makeup

If you’ve missed the return deadline or there is no return policy, then you can sell the used foundation on websites like or

Selling the foundation at a discount price is better than keeping the makeup, and then eventually disposing of it.

So, why not recover some of the cash lost?

Gift Foundations

Put a smile on someone’s face by gifting the foundation. It’s a great way to ensure you don’t hold on to makeup products that did not work for you.

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2. Sample When You Can

However, if you rather not deal with foundation oxidation after purchasing a foundation, it is highly recommended you first get a foundation sample.

Second, use that foundation with different products under different circumstances to test how the foundation reacts to your skin before purchasing.

Sampling Drugstore Foundations

Sampling drugstore foundations are not always possible.

In most cases, you can get a sample of a department store foundation a lot easier than a sample of a drugstore foundation or beauty store foundation.

So, how do you sample a drugstore foundation before purchasing?

The first step is going to the store and asking – yes, ask.

If there are no samples available in the foil packs or on display, then purchase the foundation from a store with a return policy.

Some stores will work with you because they understand how difficult it is to color match when samples aren’t available.

How To Deal With Foundation Oxidation | No Orange Foundation |

Drugstore Foundations Oxidation

Ranking for commonly used drugstore foundations on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest level of foundation oxidation.

  1. L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup
  2. CoverGirl Queen Collection All Day Flawless Foundation
  3. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation
  4. L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte 24HR Foundation
  5. Revlon ColorStay Foundation

Department Store Foundations Oxidation

Ranking for commonly used department store foundations on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest level of foundation oxidation.

  1. Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Liquid 24h Longwear SPF 15 Foundation
  2. Mac Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation
  3. Tart Amazonian Clay 12-hour Foundation SPF 15
  4. Estée Lauder Stay In Place Foundation
  5. Fenty Beauty Foundation

Dealing With Foundation Oxidation

Overall, whether the foundation is a drugstore brand or a department store brand, there is a possibility the foundation can oxidize on the skin.

If you are stuck with the foundation, adding a few drops of moisturizer to the foundation before the application will lighten the foundation.

However, ensure that the moisturizer and the foundation are both either silicone or water-based.

Adjust the amount of moisturizer and foundation until you are satisfied with the color. You can also:

  • Set using a lighter powder.
  • Highlight like you’re crazy.
  • Use the foundation to contour.
  • Make it your summer foundation.
  • Mix the foundation with a lighter shade.
  • Use foundation whiteners to lighten the foundation.

Final Thoughts

Finding a suitable foundation for your skin type can be difficult, especially when your “perfectly matched foundation shade” becomes an illusion.

However, don’t be discouraged. Instead, sample foundations before buying.

When samples are not available, purchase foundations from stores that accept returns to reduce your risk and avoid buyer’s remorse.

Which foundation do you like, but oxidizes like crazy?

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4 thoughts on “How To Deal With Foundation Oxidation”

  1. Girl yes! The L’Oreal True Match and Fenty foundations oxidized like crazy on me. But you have offered up some great tips on how to deal with that little problem! Thanks for sharing! xo

  2. Megan yes, most of these foundations oxidize. I am glad you found one that works for you.? I am still searching for my holy grail foundation. ?

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