According to our experts, the answer is a resounding yes.

By Jaclyn Smock
May 22, 2020
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woman applying makeup
Credit: Getty / sigridgombert

Almost everyone can cite a skincare trend that they swear worked wonders on their complexion, but it's hard to find a treatment or formula that truly is one-size-fits-all. But oxygenating makeup, which is said to attract oxygen to the skin in order to accelerate wound healing and improve texture, just might be it—so long as you have the right products, that is. Ahead, makeup experts and medical professionals explain why this trend truly is worth your time (and why it's here to stay).

What is oxygenating makeup?

Oxygenating makeup does what its name suggests: It encourages "oxygen uptake to skin cells, which promotes collagen cell production and connective tissue growth," says Sophia L. Knapp, content development specialist at Oxygenetix, a brand that revolutionized this makeup type. Their signature foundation ($66, dermstore.com) can "even protect the skin from infection and minimize healing time," she notes, which is why it is deemed safe to be used after laser treatments and other medical procedures.

How does it work? 

In order for oxygenating makeup to work, it needs to be profoundly breathable and allow oxygen from the air to flow freely onto the skin, notes Knapp. "It sits on top of the dermis instead of seeping into the pores, like most traditional foundations, and creates a protective second skin," she continues. "Since the skin is allowed to breathe better, the pores are minimized, cellular function is thriving, and the skin is left with a flawless finish." Oxygenetix's formula, in particular, "stops additional stressors to the skin like inflammation," adds Jennifer L. MacGregor, MD, a dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology.

Why make the switch?

Using oxygenating makeup keeps the skin in optimal condition, since it "increases oxygen levels" and "helps the skin cell renewal process," in addition to boosting collagen production, and tissue growth, explains Knapp. It may be labeled as makeup, but it's really skincare. Wearing an oxygenating formula can also help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, acne, and pigmentation. And because it "hydrates, replenishes, and heals the skin while you wear it," says celebrity makeup artist Robert Sesnek, the product never cakes, flakes, pills, or settles into lines—making it a great option for "skin that's sensitive, inflamed, or aging," says MacGregor, noting that it's just as beneficial for those struggling with rosacea and acne.

How can you best apply it? 

When applying oxygenating makeup, go light at first because it's more pigmented than the average foundation—and it's water-resistant, so a little should last all day. Pro tip: Don't set it with a powder. The reason? "They can be abrasive to the skin, prevent the oxygenation process, and not give the skin the same results," says Knapp.

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