Formula Anatomy Deciphered—Color Foundations and Bases

Editor’s note: Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine is pleased to add Luigi Rigano to its editorial lineup as the new author of the “Formula Anatomy Deciphered” column. Rigano brings more than 40 years of cosmetic industry knowledge to the column, with expertise in a number of personal care categories and experience on a global scale.

The category of color cosmetics referred to as foundations, also known as bases, strives to achieve a complex mix of functional, sensorial and aesthetic effects. These all-over facial cosmetics aim to hide minor skin imperfections like wrinkles and blemishes; to even and modify the skin color of the face; and to alter the light reflection capability and luminosity of the face and neck—all while maintaining a natural-looking and velvety appearance.

During application, a foundation must spread easily and accurately shade the face contour, especially when the adopted color is different from the natural skin tone. The consumer typically expects a foundation to last throughout the day or event, i.e., 5–16 hr; it should leave a thin, colored film that is stretchable and adaptable to deformations of the skin, for instance, to hide uneven textured, aged skin. In addition, it should be resistant to sweat and sebum, resilient to mechanical abrasion and comfortable to wear. The foundation’s color should perform well under different lighting conditions such as sunlight or artificial light and once dry, the film should withstand a sudden rain or unexpected tears; at the end of the day, however, the makeup should be as easily removed as it was applied. The safety of the foundation also must be guaranteed, especially considering the potential catalytic effect of iron oxide pigments. These can accelerate the reaction between environmental oxygen and sebum squalene, resulting in squalene peroxide, a strong irritant.1

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