Why Is Your Foundation Oxidizing And How To Fix It?

Foundation is a crucial part of any makeup look, and it’s essential to find one that matches your skin tone and lasts all day.

However, many foundations start to oxidize after a few hours, which can be frustrating.

If you’ve ever looked into the mirror to find your foundation has turned orange or dark, you’re not alone.

In this blog post, we’ll explain what causes foundation to oxidize and how you can prevent it from happening.

foundation oxidizing

Why Is Your Foundation Oxidizing?

It is possible for certain ingredients in your foundation to react with the oxygen in the air or your skin’s oils, resulting in your makeup appearing orange or dark.

People with oily skin are more likely to experience this problem since their skin produces more oil.

In a few hours, a warm peach-toned foundation can turn orange when it comes into contact with oils on the skin.

Another reason why foundation oxidizes is the ph level of your skin.

Your foundation’s pigments may change color if your pH level is too acidic, so make sure you maintain a balanced pH level to keep your skin looking good.

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How To Prevent Foundation From Oxidizing?

Now that we know what causes foundation to oxidize let’s take a look at some tips on preventing it.

 Start With A Clean Face

marcelle foaming cleanser

Start cleansing your skin before applying makeup to prevent the foundation from oxidizing.

Use a gentle cleanser to remove all the dirt from your skin so the foundation can go smoothly.

You want to avoid using a cleanser that strips your skin from its natural oils or leaves it feeling tight and dry.

This ultra-gentle cleanser can be a good choice if you have oily skin. I’ve been using it for a couple of months, and it has a gentle formula that leaves the skin feeling fresh and clean.

This Pure Skin Face Cleanser is an excellent option for dry skin. It has a creamy formula that cleanses the skin without leaving it feeling tight or dry.

After cleansing, follow up with a lightweight moisturizer to help hydrate the skin and prep it for makeup.

It’s better to keep thick and heavy moisturizers for the nighttime routine because they can interfere with the foundation during the day.

Balance The ph level Of Your Skin

ph level

As we mentioned before, the ph level of your skin can affect how the foundation will look during the day.

That’s why it’s essential to use products that help to maintain a balanced ph level.

One way to do this is by reducing the use of products with AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) or BHA (beta hydroxy acids) and avoiding harsh cleansers with a high ph level that can strip the skin.

You can also use a gentle toner to help restore the skin’s natural balance.

Not everyone needs to use a toner, but it’s a good option if your skin is not feeling its best.

 Avoid Layering Too Many Products

avoid layering many products

Too many products mean more ingredients and a bigger chance for the foundation to oxidize.

So, if you’re concerned about your foundation oxidizing, avoid layering too many products on your face.

Stick to the essentials and use only what you need to create a natural and flawless look.

TIP: When applying your products, let each layer sink in before moving on to the next.

Avoid applying your skincare and makeup products quickly, one after the other, as this can cause the makeup to separate during the day.

Give each layer time to sink in before moving on to the next.

Check Your Sunscreen


Wearing sunscreen is essential in any skincare routine, but some foundations can oxidize when applied on top of sunscreen.

The ingredients in the sunscreen can interact with the foundation and cause it to change color.

I’ve had this problem with a few foundations, and the only solution is to find a sunscreen that works well with your foundation.

There will be some trial and error until you find the perfect combination, but protecting your skin from the sun is worth it.

You can also mix your foundation with moisturizer to lighten the shade or use a foundation with two shades lighter than your skin tone so that it won’t oxidize as much.

TIP: You can mix blue pigments with a warm foundation that looks orange on the skin. The blue can help neutralize the orange in the foundation to look better on the skin.

 Check The Expiration Date

check expiration date

One of the main reasons why foundation oxidizes is because it’s expired.

So, if you notice that your foundation is changing color, the first thing you should do is check the expiration date.

If it’s expired, it’s time to throw it away and get a new one.

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the expiration date of your makeup and toss it away once it’s expired.

This will help to prevent any reactions and keep your skin looking its best.

Usually, foundations can last for 12 to 18 months. But, if you notice that it’s starting to smell bad or the texture has changed, it’s time to get rid of it.

 Store Your Makeup Properly

makeup storage

Storing your makeup correctly can also help it to perform its best, so always keep your makeup in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.

Store your foundation in a cool, dark place, and make sure the lid is tightly closed.

Foundations with clear packaging can oxidize sooner because they’re exposed to more light.

For example, the Maybelline fit me foundation comes in a clear bottle, so I store it in a dark place. 

I also noticed that this foundation could oxidize on the skin, so I chose a color that’s two shades lighter than my skin tone.

 Apply A Primer


If your foundation is oxidizing during the day, try using a primer before applying your makeup.

The primer will help to create a barrier between your skin and the foundation, and it will also help the makeup to stay in place.

I like to use this makeup primer because it’s lightweight and blends easily into the skin.

Silicone-based primers are a great option because they help to smooth the skin and create a barrier against the makeup.

If you have oily skin, try using a mattifying primer to help control shine and keep your makeup in place.

TIP: You only need a small amount of primer, so avoid using too much, as this can cause the makeup to look patchy during the day.

 Test The Foundation Before You Buy

test foundation

Some foundations will oxidize on the skin, no matter what you do.

The best way to know if a foundation will oxidize on your skin is to test it before you buy it.

If you can, go to the beauty store and request a sample.

Make sure to choose the right shade of foundation and pay attention to the undertone.

If you have cool undertones, avoid foundations with yellow or warm undertones to prevent your makeup from looking pink.

Test the foundation for a few days, and if you notice that it’s starting to change color, it’s probably not the right foundation for you.

If you like the formula, but it’s oxidizing, you can try using a shade two shades lighter than your skin tone.

That way, the foundation will still match your skin, but it won’t be as dark or orange.

Avoid choosing a very light foundation as this can cause your makeup to look ashy. Going two shades lighter should be good to prevent the makeup from looking dark.

 Clean Your Makeup Tools

makeup tools

If you’re using a makeup brush to apply your foundation, clean it regularly.

Dirt and oil buildup on the brush can cause the foundation to oxidize, so it’s essential to keep the brush clean.

I like to use a gentle brush cleanser, like this fragrance-free Cleanser, to clean my brushes.

If you’re using a sponge, clean it after each use.

Bacteria can grow on sponges, causing breakouts and irritation.

Avoid applying foundation with your fingers, as the oils on them can interact with the foundation and cause it to oxidize.

Read More:Which Is Best For Foundation A Brush or A Sponge?

Apply Foundation In Layers

Applying foundation in thin layers can help makeup to look its best and prevent it from oxidizing.

Start with a small amount of foundation, and build it up in layers until you’re happy with the coverage.

If thick and full coverage foundations always oxidize on your skin, you can use a light coverage foundation all over your face and go on top with concealer to cover up any blemishes.

You can also use a BB Cream or a CC Cream, as they’re less likely to oxidize.

This trick will help to keep your makeup from looking cakey or orange.

Related: The Difference Between Foundation and Concealer.

Blot Your Skin

boscia blotting paper

Blotting your skin can help to remove any excess oils and makeup that can cause the foundation to oxidize later in the day.

After applying foundation, press a clean tissue into the skin and remove any excess product.

This trick can be life-changing, especially if you have oily skin, and it will help your makeup look fresh and smooth.

Choose The Right Setting Powder

laura mercier loose powder

If you’re using a setting powder, choose one that’s translucent.

Powders that are too dark can cause the foundation to look orange.

I like using this Translucent Loose Setting Powder because it sets my makeup without adding color.

Avoid applying too much powder, which can make the makeup look cakey.

TIP: After dipping your makeup brush into the powder, tap off the excess so you don’t apply too much.

 Lock In Your Makeup

setting spray

A setting spray can help to lock your makeup and keep makeup in place all day long.

Most setting sprays contain alcohol, which can dry out the skin, so it’s not a product that I recommend using daily.

However, it can be helpful to use a setting spray on days when you have an event or a special occasion.

The MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ is a cult-favorite setting spray that can help give the makeup a fresh look and last longer.

Touch-Up Your Makeup During The Day

You can touch up your makeup if your foundation is starting to look oily during the day.

I like to carry a package of blotting paper and a setting powder with me, so I can quickly fix my makeup if it starts to look shiny.

I start by blotting my face with the blotting paper to remove any excess oil.

Then, I apply a small amount of setting powder to the t-zone to help control shine.

How To Fix Oxidized Foundation?

If your favorite foundation has oxidized on your skin, you can lighten the foundation by blotting the skin to remove any excess oil and then applying a setting powder two shades lighter than your skin tone.

Make sure to apply a small amount to prevent your makeup from looking dry.

Don’t forget to blend to your neck to avoid any harsh lines.

If you’re still unhappy with how your makeup looks, the best way is to cleanse your face and start over again.

You can mix the foundation with a moisturizer or a liquid highlighter to lighten the shade so that it doesn’t oxidize as much during the day.

How Long Does It Take Foundation To Oxidize?

Foundation can oxidize after one or two hours, depending on the formula and the natural oils on your skin.

For some people, the oxidization might occur after 4 or 6 hours, so it really varies from person to person.

On the other hand, foundations can oxidize in the bottle too, so it’s essential to check the expiration date before using it.

Usually, oxidation can start after 6 months from opening the bottle.

You can extend the life of your foundation by storing it in a cool and dry place, away from sunlight.


Oxidized foundation can be so frustrating, but there are ways to prevent it from happening.

Following these simple tips can keep your makeup from looking orange or dark during the day.

Make sure to cleanse your skin before applying makeup, avoid layering too many products, and touch up your makeup during the day.

I hope these tips were helpful. If you have any other suggestions, please share them in the comments below!

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Why Does Your Foundation Turn Orange?

Claire is a beauty enthusiast and lover of all things makeup. Her blog is a resource for makeup tips and tricks, product reviews and beauty tutorials.

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