7 Truths About Sweatproof Makeup
When it’s hot AF, sweatproof, budgeproof, pool-proof, melting-on-the-subway-platform-proof, and heck, even permanent makeup all sound pretty damn appealing. But as anyone who’s ever experimented with makeup that claims it’s never going anywhere knows, sweatproof cosmetics can be a fair-weather friend.
(And some of these products don’t even work at all.)
Here’s what the labels really mean—and how you can get the most bang for your buck.
1. Don’t believe everything you read.
“The FDA only regulates the terms ‘waterproof’ and ‘sweatproof’ when it comes to over-the-counter sunscreen,” says cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. As of 2011, even sunscreens couldn’t label themselves as such considering “these claims overstate their effectiveness,” according to the agency’s website. (Ask any chemist: It’s damn hard to get sunscreen to be truly waterproof.) That’s why you’ll now probably see the word “resistant” in place of “proof” on your bottles.
2. Check the label carefully.
Not the flashy one on the front…the itty-bitty black-and-white list of ingredients on the back. According to Wilson, there are a few film-forming additives you can look for that are good indicators that the product will stick around. The first category is silicones like dimethicone, cyclomethicone, and cyclopentasiloxane, and the second is polymers (copolymers and crosspolymers are both common). Because film formers aren’t water soluble, pigments stay locked in place. You’ll see these in our favorite water-resistant or long-wearing eyeliners, mascaras, foundations, and lipsticks.
3. Powders are a different story.
According to Wilson, water-resistant powder is practically impossible to create. “Powders tend to rely on ingredients that absorb oil, like talc and silica, so they’re more sweat resistant than water resistant,” she says. (This powder blushis particularly amazing.) But if you’re really after longevity, cream blushes and shadows are typically a better bet.
4. The FTC has your back.
All of the above is not to say that makeup is just labeled willy-nilly. Katie Colmerauer, who helped develop Arrow, a Birchbox makeup line for active women, explains that companies must submit claim substantiation and supporting evidence to the Federal Trade Commission for any label wording. “Once certain criteria is met, the claims can be made,” she says. (A relatively fascinating list of deceptive claims uncovered by the FTC is here.) According to Colmerauer, the difference between long-wearing products and water-resistant products is that long-wearing ones are formulated to last about eight hours but aren’t necessarily water-resistant. Water-resistant formulas are the most long-wearing and resistant to high-humidity climates and swimming.
5. Primers are preferred.
won our most recent Best of Beauty Award in the category and—ding ding ding—contains silicones and powders to help grab tightly to whatever it is you put on next.
6. But you don’t need two.
Unless you’re anti–Marie Kondo and want to fill your bathroom with tons of items that serve only a single purpose, a swipe of facial primer on your lids helps liner and shadow cling as well as one formulated for eyes only. If your eyes are supersensitive, though, an ophthalmologist-tested eye primer, like Clinique Touch Base for Eyes, isn’t the worst idea.
7. Botanicals are a bonus.
The one downside of silicones, polymers, talc, and silica is that they’re overachievers. They can be a little too good at locking in makeup, which can make skin feel a little heavy or suffocated. One solution is to throw botanicals into the mix. “Very small amounts of polymers paired with botanicals such as mango-seed butter and coconut water help the product feel light and airy but still able to last through a workout,” says Colmerauer.
Posted by: APL Cheeks