Why Does My Foundation Turn Darker on My Skin?

You thought you picked the perfect foundation colour. So why is it turning darker—or worse still, orange—on your skin?

The search for the perfect foundation can take months and hundreds of dollars. That formula that looked great in the store might not stand up to summer heat. Never mind the endless drama of trying to find the right colour—particularly as your skin changes hue throughout the year.

So if an otherwise perfect foundation turns orange on your skin as the day goes on, you might be tempted to throw the bottle out the window and give up entirely. There are a couple of reasons your makeup might turn orange, and understanding each can help you plan what to do next.

 

Why Does My Foundation Turn Darker on My Skin?Why Does My Foundation Turn Darker on My Skin?

 

The Foundation Was the Wrong Colour to Begin With

It's not enough to hold a bottle of foundation up to your face and hope for the best. And even if a colour seems to disappear into your skin at the makeup counter, it might look quite garish in natural light.

Sometimes the problem is not that the foundation is changing colour. The product may have been the wrong colour in the first place, creating the illusion of a colour change in different light. Always check your foundation in natural light, since bright sun often reveals orange undertones.

 

Why Does My Foundation Turn Darker on My Skin?Why Does My Foundation Turn Darker on My Skin?

 

Your Skin Is Very Oily

If your complexion is oily, the foundation may slide around on your face, creating odd clumps of dark colour next to the lighter colour of your natural skin. Sometimes, sebum actually changes the chemical formula of the foundation, making it look orange or even grey.

To prevent this not-so-pretty scenario, invest in a foundation made specifically for oily skin. Use blotting papers throughout the day, and sweep pressed powder over oily areas for a quick touch-up.

The right primer can also help your foundation stick to your skin and may even combat excess oil. Hylamide Matte 12 prepares your complexion for a smooth foundation application and offers a satiny finish.

Why Does My Foundation Turn Darker on My Skin?Why Does My Foundation Turn Darker on My Skin?

The Foundation Is Oxidising on Your Skin

The most common reason for foundation turning orange is that the makeup oxidises on your skin. This chemical reaction occurs when the foundation's pH shifts slightly in response to changes in weather, humidity, or even the pH of your skin.

There's no way to tell which foundation will oxidise, so it's wise to test a sample for a day or two before investing in a pricey new formula. Be sure to wear the product in the same circumstances you would in daily life. Foundation might look normal in a controlled indoor climate but begin to oxidise when you're out in the hot sun.