August 31, 2016

Cornstarch! Adult Acne’s Best Friend!

Cornstarch can be your best friend if you have adult acne!

Mineral Veil, HD Microfinish Powder, Light Reflecting Setting Powder.  I see these a lot among my clients’ makeup arsenals, chiefly because my clientele all have breakout issues.  Summer can really be gross.  There’s very little that’s worse than a greasy mess over layers of makeup.  These powders are not just setting powders, they do serve a great purpose for oily skin; they absorb oil like no one’s business and the white ones don’t clog pores or irritate inflamed skin.

Thing is, considering they run anywhere from $20-50, and considering most are made with just one ingredient, the white ones in particular, do we really need this?  In my opinion, this is really one of the things we can indeed save money on.  Like I said, these powders are great.  But they’re not all there is.


Is silica the best mattifier for oily skin?
The main ingredient in most of these powders, and the only one in several of them, is something called Silica.  Silica is indeed related to Silicon and Silicone, but not in any way that is relevant to us in terms of skincare or makeup.  Silica, also known as Silicon Dioxide, is basically extremely finely ground Quartz.  Yes, the rock.  In many parts of the world, silica is the major constituent of sand.  It’s used in the production of glass, soil for planting, “flow” agents in foods, in gel form as those little moisture-absorbing pillows in bottles of supplements and boxes of shoes, and in toothpaste to create the polishing grit that makes our teeth white.

The cool thing is that when it’s ground down (and processed, but that’s too much get into here), the resulting powder granules are actually spherical in shape, so the powder goes on super smooth and super fine.  However, since quartz is a crystal, the spheres can be more like teeny disco balls.  When just a teeny bit is dusted over the face, oil and moisture are absorbed and none of the white powder is seen at all.  However, if just a little too much is used, the flash of a camera can light it up making the person look like their white eye shadow just exploded on them before leaving the house.  In my mind, while the advantage is oil and moisture absorption and being pretty much completely invisible, the oil absorbing ability doesn’t last long enough.  So, considering the price, having to reapply all day long, I dunno…

Clay can be an integral part of an acne clearing program, even great in mineral makeup!
Another great oil absorber is clay, which is in the better mineral foundation powders designed for acne skin.  Unfortunately, there are pitifully few mineral makeup lines that cater specifically to oily skin.  Most instead opt for light refracting Mica and Bismuth Oxychloride, which can aggravate inflamed acne and make oily skin look terrible, and several contain pore clogging fats added for adherence and spread-ability.   Not. Good.  Just be aware that much of the time clay in a mineral powder might limit skin color matching because all varieties are so opaque.  For oil absorption, clay is much better as a once or twice weekly mask, which I highly encourage for regular oil control.

So.  What is a good alternative to these expensive silica powders with a long lasting matting effect and no irritation or clogging?  Cornstarch!  Yes, the stuff from your kitchen you use to make stir fry with.  Cornstarch.

Cornstarch.  Oily skin's best friend.


Cornstarch has tons and tons of uses.  When it was discovered in 1840, it was primarily used in spray starch for shirts.  Since about the 1850s it’s been used for thickening sauces, as a substitute for talc in surgical gloves, an anti-stick agent on condoms and diaphragms (seriously), an anti-caking agent in powdered sugar, in baby powder, and one of my favorites, mixed with baking soda and water and cooked on the stove it makes an amazing, pure white modeling clay (the pot has to be spotless, though lol). 

The reason cornstarch is great for all these things, is because it absorbs oil and moisture without getting immediately lumpy.  It’s not nearly as fine as silica, nor is it at all “light refracting”, but this is actually why cornstarch is better.  It doesn’t clog pores cuz the molecules are too big, it lasts much longer, absorbs moisture better so it actually cools you off as well, truly mattes you out without trying to fuzz you out, and it’s CHEAP!  You just have to make sure it’s dusted onto your skin thinly and evenly or it will show up.  But that’s ok, all you have to do is simply take a washcloth or towel and lightly wipe the excess off.  The best tool is a large, soft makeup brush.  When I’m not wearing makeup, and I want to include my hairline a little, and I’m also hot as hell, I actually apply it with my hands on my face, neck, chest and a bit in my hair.  I then wipe off the excess with a towel, brush my hair, and I’m good to go.  The photo way up at the top shows you what I mean.

How to stay matte for hours even after sunscreen!
Because of this fab trick, I’ve included for years already a retractable blush brush and shaker jar in my web store just so you can carry cornstarch with you in your purse.

You can even take some of your loose mineral foundation, fill the shaker jar some of the way, and then add a little bit of cornstarch to make your foundation matte without altering the color in any way.  Cool, huh ? 



Need another idea for staying cool and grease-free in the summer?  Check out this  video on AcneWhisperer TV!






Your acne problem has a source, and clearing your skin requires finding that source and either eliminating it or healing it.  You can start that right now by filling out my Eval by Email® Online Skincare Consultation Form created specially for ages Gen-X to Baby Boom!

Eval by Email, Virtual Skincare Coaching specially designed for acne sufferers ages 24 and up.

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