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How To Know If Your Skincare and Foundation Are Water-Based or Silicone Based?

How To Know If Your Skincare and Foundation Are Water-Based or Silicone Based?

I’m a creature of habit. When I find products I love, it’s hard for me to stray away from them (which makes having a career testing products a fun little conundrum). But last week when I paired one of my go-to foundations with a go-to primer, something was off. It … didn’t work?

The product started to separate on my skin. It was flakey and peeling and it felt like the makeup was sitting on top of my face instead of blending into it. That’s when I realized what I had done. I mixed formulas.

Why does my makeup sit on top of my skin?

If this pilling has ever happened to you, you’re not alone. How in the world would you know this?! That is unless you read the website of a pretty cool creator who loves to geek out about cosmetic formulations and beauty trends and shares it with you like a digital BFF (p.s. she sounds cool, tell a friend). I got you. Here’s what you need to know.

Your skincare, your primer, and your foundation all need to have the same base. The two most popular options are water-based and silicone-based.

Do I Need To Wear Primer?

You don’t need to wear primer, although I do think it’s a crucial ingredient in recipes for making your makeup last all day if you decide to skip it, then you need to make sure that the last step of your skincare routine has the same base as your foundation.

What’s the last step of your skincare routine? That’s a trick question because I  know that you know that you’re supposed to be wearing SPF every single day in the morning. You’ll recall this from my Skincare for Beginner post.

If you’re looking for recommendations on my favorite sunscreens, then you need to read this post explaining the differences between Mineral & Chemical sunscreens to find the best option for you (+ my favs are linked!)

So how do you know if your beauty products are water-based or silicone-based? It’s easy, you just have to read the label.

How To Tell If Your Beauty Products Are Water-Based or Silicone Based?

Beauty companies do this kinda cool thing where they list ingredients based on how potent they are in the formulation. So the higher up it is on the label, the more of it is used in the product. For our purpose of finding out if a product is water-based or silicone-based, we only care about the top 5 ingredients.

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that “water” is in everything and “silicone” is in nothing. Well, that can’t make it that easy for us! (I wish!) Instead, you’ll need to look for the lack of silicones in the top 5 ingredients. The most common silicone formulas end in the letters -CONE & -XANE. Here’s an example.

If you don’t see any of those in the top 5 ingredients, you’re probably in the clear to assume that it’s a water-based formula. You’ll probably see hydrating ingredients like aqua and glycerin up there.

Are Silicones In Beauty Products Bad For You?

Quick side note on silicones. They get a bad rap but they actually aren’t bad for you – at all. Unless you have some severe known allergy, silicones in beauty products are completely safe to use and, in fact, are in some of my favorite formulations. You don’t need to avoid them unless you have to. It’s kinda like you don’t need to avoid peanut butter if you don’t have a nut allergy. Can you? Sure… Is it necessary? Not at all.

Now that you know how to find out if your products are water-based or silicone-based, it’s time to look up your actual stash. If you’re looking for recommendations for my favorite skincare and beauty products sorted by category, you’ll find them below.

Water Based Products

Water Based SPF

See Also

Water Based Primers

Water Based Foundations

Silicone Based Products

Silicone Based SPFs

Silicone Based Primer

Silicone Based Foundations

I hope this helps you figure out what products work best for you!