Serum Foundations are the Ultimate Hybrid for Skin Care and Makeup


There used to be a boring foundation-skin care paradox. You would wear foundation to even out your skin tone and present a glowing, unblemished canvas – but in doing so, you usually run the risk of clogging your pores and making skin conditions worse. It’s a vicious cycle that the beauty industry has grappled with, in part, with the proliferation of serum foundations.

The hybrid product category is the future of cosmetics – not only should your foundation avoid adding to skin problems, but it should also, you know, do something for you while it’s on your face all day. And the world of serum foundations, which streamline your skin care and makeup routines, gets the dermatologist seal of approval for doing just that. In the formulas are the same buzzy ingredients you know and love in your serums, like vitamin C and ceramides, to keep your complexion nourished as you get coverage.

Dr Loretta Ciraldo MD FAAD, Miami-based graduate dermatologist and founder of Skin care Dr. Loretta, tells Bustle that she’s a fan of serum foundations. One thing to keep in mind, however? Don’t rely entirely on them for a skin transformation. “Theoretically, if the assets are at levels that have been shown to be beneficial, there should be visible improvement,” she says. The caveat is that most lines don’t reveal how much of these assets are in the formula, she explains, making it hard to tell if the foundation will have any noticeable effects on your skin tone in the long run. So even if your cover product contains some beneficial ingredients, don’t skimp on the rest of your skin care routine if you are targeting specific issues or conditions.

Serum foundations often have an SPF for extra sun protection, but they also contain many of your favorite serum ingredients (hence the name). You can find everything from hydration boosters – think hyaluronic acid, glycerin and aloe vera – to all-star antioxidants (like vitamin C and hibiscus extract), to anti -inflammatory (turmeric and marula oil, for example) and anti-aging essentials like niacinamide and ceramides. But if you’re used to the full, long-lasting coverage you get from traditional foundations, keep in mind that these hybrid formulas are a little different: “While the benefits treat your skin, the problem is, the long wear. and the cover are not “not like a conventional foundation”, says Lori Taylor Davis senior makeup artist Smashbox Cosmetics.

Product application may also differ from your regular foundation. According to Taylor Davis, these serum-like formulas are basically skin care with pigments. “So applying is similar to how you apply your skin care,” she tells Bustle. Pro Tip: “Use the warmth of your fingertips to help spread the product naturally, and also to help the skincare elements blend into your complexion,” says Taylor Davis.

Shop multitasking serum foundation below to improve your skinimalist routine.

We only include products that have been independently selected by the Bustle editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of the sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

A moisturizing blanket

The foundation sometimes goes against its purpose by dry skin and making it flaky, all of this is emphasized by the pigment. Lily Serum Foundation, however, contains hyaluronic acid and avocado oil to keep your skin supple and hydrated. The formula is also believed to help treat dark spots, thanks to the antioxidant-rich turmeric, so choose this one if you’re dealing with hyperpigmentation.

A shade above all for skin care

Typology’s product is a serum intended to boost hydration, restore the skin barrier (via squalane) and unify the complexion. It turns out that there are also different tinted shades, which boost the brightness by reducing redness or rashes.

An inclusive Glow-Giver

Ami Cole is a brand new brand that already seems all over on the Internet. The shades were created with skin tones rich in melanin in mind, which means you don’t have to worry about which undertones make you green. The main active ingredients in the formula are the extract of pumpkin seeds and hibiscus flower – the former is rich in vitamin E for hydration and the fight against free radicals, while the latter is packed with antioxidants that defend your skin from environmental aggressors.

The cult favorite

You’d be forgiven if Saie’s Slip Tint went under your radar when searching for a serum foundation – the words serum and skincare are nowhere to be found. The ingredient list, however, is a different story: there is licorice to help with discoloration and hyperpigmentation, pansy flower extract to help soothe irritated or eczema-prone skin, and aloe vera for added hydration. Oh, and he’s got SPF. The result is a makeup-skincare hybrid, even for the most sensitive skin types.

A multi-use skin care product with cover

Iris & Romeo’s contribution to Product Category is the most streamlined and multitasking combo around. It is sunscreen, blue light blocker, collagen boosting serum, moisturizer, and foundation (phew). Although it advertises pure coverage, Best Skin Days is buildable – so the flexibility is an added bonus.


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