Makeup for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Makeup for red flaky skin

Got skin drama? The first choice many of us turn to is makeup, right? Unfortunately, when you’ve got seborrheic dermatitis (major redness, oily skin and crazy-dramatic flakes), makeup sometimes makes it worse. With 20 years of seborrheic dermatitis AND makeup wearing experience, I’ve got a few tips. I can’t promise miracles, but try these suggestions for making the most of a scaly situation. (Contains affiliate links)

1. Flakes Be Gone: Makeup on top of flaky skin just does not work. Then you’ll just be wearing flakeup (get it?!).  Honestly, no makeup is better than weird beige-colored face dandruff. Gentle exfoliation can help prepare the skin. Now, if you over-irritate the skin it will end up red and oily. But try a konjac sponge, Clarisonic or a product with a very, very gentle scrubby quality. You can carefully pick off the worst of the worst flakes but don’t make things worse!

2. Pat Pat Pat: For all your moisturizers, serums and foundations . . . use a patting quality rather than a rubbing quality. The rubbing can create more flakes. Those little foam wedges work great for this, though they do soak up some product. Use a clean one every day please! Bacteria is like fuel for seborrheic dermatitis.

3. Prime Time: You need something to create a smooth layer over the skin, before the foundation. Try Maybeline Baby Face (about $4.50). I love it! Only use a tiny amount and smooth it on AFTER your moisturizer is dry, then wait until primer is dry before applying makeup. The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer is even more amazing, but costs a bit more ($16).

4. Go Green: Since green is opposite red on the color wheel, it helps tone down redness. So as weird as it seems, rubbing on green creams won’t make you look like an alien, but actually might make you look more human. A great affordable option ($10) is L’Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Anti-redness Color Correcting Primer, which is perfect for an all-over reduction of pink skin. But for a serious fight against glaring red patches, try something like Dermablend’s Redness Concealer. It’s amazing! If you ever find that a green product is just a little TOO green, try mixing it with your moisturizer, primer or foundation for a custom redness-reducing product.

5. Powder with Caution: Only use powder if you are having a flake-free day. It can make your skin look dry and dull. The exception to this rule would be mineral powders such as Bare Minerals, which are used in place of a foundation and can actually look pretty great on seborrheic dermatitis. I used Bare Minerals for YEARS and found that it not only looked good on my skin, but improved my skin’s condition!

6. Try, Try Again: It’s all about trial and error, my friends! I’ve tried dozens of foundations and I’m still looking for something that works. Right now I am loving ELF Foundation Serum.

What is your best makeup tip for seborrheic dermatitis?! Please share in the comments. Most of all, dig deep into your emotional reserves and exude beauty and confidence from within. Honestly, nobody is staring at your flaky nose if you’ve got a big smile, sparkly eye shadow, a dirty joke, a clever anecdote or an act of kindness. Sorry for the cheesiness, but I truly believe that while makeup is fun and can give you a nice boost of spirit, you can be beautiful without a trip to Sephora.


The Best Moisturizers for Seborrheic Dermatitis (and Sensitive Skin in General!)

Seborrheic dermatitis is a confusing skin disorder – it’s presents like dry skin . . . but it’s also kinda greasy. It’s red and easily irritated . . . but you can’t just baby it, or you’ll never kill the bacteria/fungus causing all the drama. This makes choosing a moisturizer for seborrheic dermatitis plagued skin a difficult task.

(Contains affiliate links)

Moisturizer for Seborrheic DermatitisFor years, I thought I had DRY sensitive skin. I’d SLATHER on thick creams and goopy oils. It would soften up the scales so I thought it was working. But my skin still had a rashy quality and the flakes always came back. I’ve learned that seborrheic dermatitis is really OILY skin, that is somewhat sensitive, but mostly just cursed with a weird fungal rash.

Through much research and a lot of personal trial and error, I’ve discovered some amazing skincare products for seborrheic dermatitis. Let’s start with daytime moisturizers! Three of these hover around $10 so there’s something for every price point.

1. Paula’s Choice Hydralight Moisture-Infusing Lotion: This one is perfect for those of you wanting to treat your seborrheic dermatitis, but you also want to ward off wrinkles. (Not that I’d know anything about that. Wink, wink.) A lot of anti-aging stuff is far too irritating for those of us struggling with SD, rosacea or sensitive skin. This is super light and labeled “For Extra Sensitive Skin.” It provides a matte finish and works great under makeup. Paula’s Choice also makes a similar product with mineral sunscreen added!

2. Cetaphil DermaControl Moisturize with SPF 30: What a catch-22 . . . To protect our skin, we need sunblock. To keep your skin healthy and clean, the last thing we need is sunblock. But wait! I finally found a high-SPF daily moisturizer that smells neutral, offers a matter appearance, doesn’t irritate, won’t clog pores and actually HELPS prevent acne or seborrheic dermatitis flares. This is my day-to-day lotion now, since I spend a lot of time outside with my kids and God got real cheap with the melanin when he made me.

3. Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Perfecting Lotion SPF 15: If redness is rival, this should be your daily go-to. It contains extract from licorice root, which soothes inflammation. And of course it is oil-free, fragrance-fee and has a specially-formulated gentle sunscreen added. But the real perk? A subtle green tint which contracts red skin tone! Love.

4. PCA Skin Anti-Redness Serum: This is another great option for reducing redness. Many dermatologist recommend PCA because they use only premium ingredients that deliver excellent results. Though a little more pricy, this serum offers great redness reduction for most who try it.

5. Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin: Our most affordable option comes from, this is the choice for you if you just want to keep it simple. Oil-free, alcohol-free, fragrance free, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic. Just good, basic, very light moisturizer for sensitive, oily skin.

I’d love to hear your recommendations! What’s your favorite daytime moisturizer?