Revlon’s Nearly Naked Foundation
Here’s a brief product review from someone who knows relatively little about make-up (I use it very casually) but a fair bit about chemistry and fact-checking (I’m a biochemistry undergraduate student). I’m posting it for my personal reference, and for the use of anyone who’s curious about this product.
Appearance: This product looks great, in the sense that the appearance is very natural and blended with my skin rather beautifully. I don’t use primer or powder, but the finish looked fantastic anyway. I’m also POC (East Asian, tan) and the colour worked perfectly with my skin tone, so that was a huge bonus for me. It was also fantastic for concealing redness and reducing (but not totally covering) the visibility of old acne scars, so if you’re aiming for lighter coverage and a natural look, this might interest you.
You can look up other reviews here to get more details about how great this looks on your skin - other people probably have more expertise in this area than I do.
Adverse effects: Unfortunately, for people with sensitive or acne-prone skin, I don’t think this foundation is a very good idea. For one thing, it’s not labelled with the term “non-comedogenic” (i.e. “does not block pores”), which usually indicates that the product is not likely to cause acne. I tried it out despite my history of acne problems anyway because I figured, hey, it’s 2013, surely Revlon wouldn’t put out a problematic product, right?
It turns out that it was a bad move. After a week of using this foundation, I started to develop what looks like acne cosmetica. Moreover, my skin is redder than usual and incredibly sensitive and dried out, so it seems like it might be a case of contact dermatitis (an allergic reaction) as well. (Note: I am not a dermatologist, so I can’t say that my diagnosis is 100% accurate, but I can certainly say that my skin is unhappy either way.)
The two active ingredients in this product are octinoxate and titanium dioxide. I looked these up to see if they were the culprits behind my breakouts. Titanium dioxide can’t be ruled out entirely, but I can’t strongly suspect it: I couldn’t find any strongly reliable sources or scientific journal articles confirming that it has adverse or acne-causing effects. Moreover, some people suspect that titanium dioxide actually has acne-preventative or -reducing effects. I decided to take a look at octinoxate instead.
Turns out that I didn’t have to look too far. I didn’t even need to break out Google Scholar, because it’s on the National Library of Medicine’s Haz-Map. You can take a look at the “Adverse Effects” section and see that it’s a skin sensitizer and photoallergen/causer of contact dermatitis, so I suppose that it’s the likely culprit of my problems.
Verdict: The product makes you look fantastic, but you may want to search for an alternative if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin. (Unless, you know, you don’t mind looking not-so-good after you wash it off.)