• Devyn Molina

Best makeup and skincare products for facial seborrheic dermatitis

Never let a flare-up dictate your beauty routine ever again!


Image courtesy of freepik.


Seborrheic dermatitis also known as seborrheic eczema, can be a debilitating skin condition in that you never know what’s going to cause a flare-up. No one wants to wake up to flaky, red, textured skin and dry lips every morning. Unable to wear makeup in the event of irritating your already vermillion face. And let’s not forget the impending doom that can follow after trying a new skincare product.


To all my fellow seb derm sufferers, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to keep your dermatitis at bay. Like so many people with seborrheic dermatitis, it most likely just came out of nowhere and has since been the bane of your existence. I guess our days of having Glossier model skin are over? Not just yet!


While coming to terms with this incurable (yup, incurable) skin condition, I decided I was going to find out what worked for me and what still made me feel beautiful even in the midst of a flare-up. Now, these products are no one-size-fits-all fix and should be used with caution because let’s be real, everyone’s skin is different and you should treat it as such! Seborrheic dermatitis has a mind of its own and the cause for your flare-ups will affect how your skin reacts to each product.


First off, what is seborrheic dermatitis?


From what my dermatologist told me, it’s basically dandruff, but on your face. Lovely image, right? Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition that mainly affects the scalp, causing flaky skin and dandruff. However, it can affect other parts of the body such as parts of the face, chest and ears. These areas produce more oil where yeast can grow. Everyone has yeast on their face but people with seborrheic dermatitis are experiencing and overreaction of this yeast called Malassezia.


Symptoms can develop at any age and can range in severity. If you’re like me, I just started noticing what I described as “like acne and a rash had a baby” all over my cheeks, chin and forehead. My skin was raised and red all over and there wasn’t really much I could do. Not to toot my own horn but my skin was basically flawless before I started developing symptoms. I’m still unsure as to what is the exact cause of it but for some it can be caused by stress, being immunocompromised, gastrointestinal issues and diet, depression, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. However, one of the biggest stressors for flare-ups is stress.


It can be treated using corticosteroids such as ketoconazole and other anti-fungal creams and ointments prescribed by your doctor. It's important to remember that since it’s incurable, this won’t completely get rid of your seborrheic dermatitis, but simply reduce inflammation, getting rid of it for a bit. It’s your job to keep your face happy in order to prevent another flare-up. With that said, it might mean you need to make a few seb derm safe swaps in your skincare and beauty routine.


CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin:


The tried and true cult favorite amongst the seb derm community. One of the most important preventative measures you can take is making sure your skin is regularly cleansed and maintained. It keeps the overproduction of the yeast at bay. This cleanser is gentle on the skin and lightly moisturizes your skin as well. It’s also fragrance free and contains ceramides that are in the skin’s natural protective barrier which keeps it in balance with less inflammation.


Be sure to get products that are free of fragrance, ingredients like alcohol and menthol as they can all irritate the skin and exacerbate your seborrheic dermatitis.


CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion:


Another CeraVe product! The thing about seborrheic dermatitis is that it can severely dry out your skin, causing a scaly or rough texture. So it’s imperative that you have a moisturizer that is easy on the skin and has you feeling awake and refreshed when you wake up. Since I’m in the midst of a flare-up and have had to resort back to using doctor prescribed creams and going easy on the moisturizer and only using it at night for now.


Unfortunately, you’re going to have to kiss that ten-step skincare routine goodbye as dermatologists often recommend less is more. Using serums, essences and other moisturizing products can actually “feed the yeast” which will actually make your dermatitis worse!


Avene Skin Recovery Cream:


A bit on the pricier side but this product definitely works wonders if your skin gets really dry or flakey from a flare-up or as a reaction to medical creams and ointments. I only use this when my skin quite literally burns and is at the peak of a flare-up.


It’s clinically tested and is meant to calm down any irritation for sensitive skin in general and has 0% alcohol, parabens, preservatives and fragrance. This also pairs well with their Thermal Spring Water by reducing the tightness of irritated skin.


RMS Beauty Un Cover-up Cream Foundation:


You might not always feel your best when you’re experiencing a flare-up so I wouldn’t particularly recommend face makeup as it can accentuate your already textured skin. But if you feel your face is in a place to handle makeup again, then go for it! When I feel like wanting a bit more coverage, especially since my cheeks tend to be red, this is my go-to.


RMS Beauty is an organic cosmetic line that prides themselves on creating products that allow their customers to have natural-looking skin and caters their makeup to all skin types. The foundation feels lightweight while still providing coverage and contains organic cold centrifuged coconut oil as well as nourishing herbs and oils which aid in healthy looking skin.


TRINNY LONDON Sheer Shimmer:


A two-in-one! This is a fairly recent discovery of mine but I’m obsessed. The Sheer Shimmer can work for both the lips and cheeks when you’re looking for a little sparkle. If my skin is behaving and I can wear face makeup, I’ll use this as a highlighter on top of my blush or a lipgloss on the days I can’t wear too much makeup but still want to feel beautiful! The best part is that even though it adds shimmer to your face, it does it without bringing attention to the texture that plagues so many seb derm sufferers like myself.


This pearlescent product comes in six shades to fit any skin tone and is made with moisturizing castor oil and beeswax. It blends really well and isn’t sticky on the lips which can definitely be hard to find.


Glossier Cloud Paint:


Last but simply not least, one of my favorite blushes I’ve ever tried. I know what you’re thinking, why on earth would you want to make your cheeks even more pink? Well, I started using cloud paint long before my seborrheic dermatitis and can attest that it doesn’t irritate my face despite my newfound skin condition.


Since Glossier’s mantra is skincare first, makeup second, this buildable, gel-cream blush is easy on the skin and highlights your already natural flush while maintaining a healthy glow and airbrushed look. The cruelty-free brand uses collagen which can be used as a hydrator by retaining a high amount of water.



Get to know your skin!


While I’m definitely not a doctor or any sort of medical professional, there are the products that I have researched, tried out and work the best for my skin. But who’s to say these will continue to work out long term. Like any part of our bodies, our skin is constantly changing and requires different types of attention as we get older and your seborrheic dermatitis is no different.

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