By Meredith Baraf, as told to Kara Mayer Robinson
I’ve been a makeup artist for over 20 years, working with celebrities and models with many skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea. Over the years, I’ve discovered tricks and tips for looking your best with psoriasis.
Follow your doctor’s orders.
First and foremost, follow your dermatologist’s treatment plan. Taking good care of your psoriasis provides a better canvas for makeup application.
Avoid makeup if you have open lesions.
If you have any open lesions, it’s best not to wear makeup. Covering open lesions on your skin creates the possibility of infection and can make your psoriasis worse.
But if your psoriasis is under control and your skin isn’t raw or irritated, applying makeup can help you get a smooth, flawless look.
Prep with moisture.
It’s best to begin with clean skin, fresh out of the shower. After showering, apply moisturizer from head to toe. Make sure you give extra love to psoriasis areas.
I like AmLactin lotion for your body and Winnow Luxury CBD Face Cream for your face. CeraVe is also a good option.
Give your skin a few minutes to absorb the moisturizer before moving ahead with makeup. This soothes, softens, and hydrates your skin and preps it for seamless coverage.
Remove scales if possible.
The smoother your skin, the more flawless your makeup will be. If you have low-grade facial psoriatic plaques, try using a scaling shampoo to melt away existing psoriatic scales.
But don’t pick at or scratch plaques. This will lead to bleeding and make healing more difficult.
Less is more.
The fewer products you use and the fewer steps in your makeup application, the better.
You don’t want to irritate or aggravate your skin in the process of covering it. It’s also easier to manage the makeup’s finish if you aren’t mixing different product textures.
Use gentle products.
Products that are breathable and infused with ingredients such as hyaluronate and chamomile will help keep your skin soothed and hydrated. This helps with a flawless-looking application.
Avoid products with alcohol or fragrance, which can irritate and dehydrate your skin.
Choose the right tools.
The tools you use to apply your foundation play a huge role in the payoff of the product you’re applying.
The three best tools for applying makeup to cover psoriasis are a beauty blender, a foundation brush, and your fingers. Smaller tools tend to be better for more zoomed-in coverage.
Bounce, don’t rub.
Be extra careful with application techniques. Avoid rubbing foundation into your skin. Instead, use a bouncing or stippling motion so you don’t aggravate your skin while applying it.
Rough patches and discoloration can be a bit tricky to cover. Build in extra time for covering them. The last thing you need is to be rushing, which causes stress, and stress isn’t helpful for psoriasis.
Build up your foundation in layers.
When applying foundation, the first step is to apply it all over, using thin layers to build up to your desired coverage.
Next, go back with the same foundation to apply more density to areas that need more coverage. Use the right tool for this: It could be your finger, a small foundation or concealer brush, or the pointy side of a beauty blender.
Lay the product down in those areas and then buff any edges.
Choose a buildable foundation.
Since less texture-mixing is best, I tend to choose a foundation that can be buildable, like Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation, Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation, or It Cosmetics CC+ Cream. I also love the Skin Twin Featherweight Foundation from Beautycounter, which is infused with hyaluronic acid and is fragrance-free.
With the right foundation, you can skip concealer.
Since less is more, I prefer creating a good foundation instead of layering on extra products like concealer. Using a concealer shouldn’t be necessary unless you’re using a foundation that isn’t buildable.
If you do opt to use concealer, I would use one with a satin finish, like Glossier Stretch Concealer.
Finish with a light touch.
A light dusting of translucent powder like Face Atelier Ultra Loose Powder is good for setting your makeup.
Try body makeup.
Body makeup can cover your psoriasis and give you flawless-looking skin all over. Try a moisture-infused, full-coverage body makeup.
My two favorites are the Westmore Beauty Body Coverage Perfector and KKW Skin Perfecting Body Foundation and Body Brush. They cover and help blur imperfections without transferring to places you don’t want it.
When you apply body makeup, use long strokes. Then softly buff it out. I prefer a Body Buff brush, but you can also use your hands or a mitt. Allow it to dry.
Try a sunless tan.
Another way to help camouflage psoriasis is to get a sunless tan. This plus body makeup is next level and may give you the look you love.
Remove makeup gently.
To remove your makeup, try Koh Gen Do Cleansing Water with a cotton square. It’s non-irritating and easily removes makeup. Follow with a gentle cleanser and your moisturizer regimen.
Editor's note: With any makeup look, be gentle and kind to your skin. You are more than a canvas for cosmetics.