Courtesy of MACRENE actives
Improving your skin's overall appearance starts with an effective routine full of result-oriented formulas. But the makeup you use plays a role, too; certain products, like blurring options, can actually enhance your skin care's efforts in the tone and texture department. These are "topical agents that fill textural irregularities to create a smooth, airbrushed finish," Dr. Macrene Alexiades, MD, PhD, FAAD, a New York City-based dermatologist and the founder of MACRENE actives, says. "They get their name by 'blurring' lines and pores."
Dr. Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, adds that these formulas are able to level out fine lines, wrinkles, texture, and uneven tone due to their ingredients. "They achieve these effects by using hydrators to plump, mattifiers to create a velvety finish, and light-diffusing, reflecting pigments, and color-correcting hues to give a flawless effect," she explains. Dr. Wendy Roberts, MD, a double board-certified dermatologist, agrees: "Like photo airbrushing, you achieve smooth, line-less, tighter-appearing skin," she says. "For mature skin, blurring products tend to be more hydrating." These formulas, which often come in primer and cream form, not only help those with aging skin, but also benefit those who experience acne or rosacea, since they help disguise blemishes and neutralize redness. Ahead, discover more about blurring beauty products—including some of our experts' favorite options on the market.
Best Shade Range: KOH GEN DO Moisture Foundation
Best Classic: Lancôme Blur & Go Stick
Best Makeup Primer: Dr. Brandt Skincare "Pores No More Pore" Refiner Primer
Best Luxury: MACRENE actives High Performance Tinted Moisturizer
Best Budget-Friendly: L'Oreal Paris Skincare Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother Primer
Best Heavy Duty: Laura Geller Beauty Spackle Skin Perfecting Primer
KOH GEN DO
"Koh Gen Do packaged the benefits of skin care into a color cosmetics line," Dr. Roberts says of this blurring formula. "Their foundation shade range works for all complexions—from super light to rich brown."
Shop Now: KOH GEN DO Moisture Foundation, $79, neimanmarcus.com.
Dr. Alexiades says this stick iteration is "a classic dimethicone (silicone) and silica (silicate) blur product."
Shop Now: Lancôme Blur & Go Stick, $39, sephora.com.
Dr. Brandt Skincare
Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, a dermatologist, explains that blurring products not only improve the appearance of crepey skin, but also serve as the foundation for the other steps in your routine. He points his clients to this beloved primer before they layer on other makeup. "It fills in pores and evens out skin texture to provide a foundation for the rest of your cosmetic products," he says.
Shop Now: Dr. Brandt Skincare "Pores No More Pore" Refiner Primer, $45, sephora.com.
"Historically, blurring products were made of silicones, silicates, mica, and talc, which would fill in the pores and fine lines to give the blur effect," Dr. Alexiades says, adding that the skin doesn't actually benefit from these ingredients. "In contrast, I have formulated MACRENE actives to help you 'fake it until you make it.' I incorporated healthy blurring ingredients, such as titanium and zinc oxides, which are GRASE (generally regarded as safe and effective by the FDA), in a mica-free, talc-free formulation."
Shop Now: MACRENE actives High Performance Tinted Moisturizer, $165, macreneactives.com.
Yves Saint Laurent
Here's another breathable blurring primer to try. "This non-greasy, lightweight formulation uses hydrating oils to give the skin a smooth finish and very subtle light-reflecting pigments to create a glow," Dr. King explains.
Shop Now: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Face Primer, $52, sephora.com.
VI Derm Beauty
"VI Derm Beauty Vitamin C Brightening Concentrate is a skin care serum that reduces the appearance of fine lines, pores, reduces pigmentation, and improves uneven skin texture," Dr. Roberts says. "It is also a great makeup primer because of its smoothing properties."
Shop Now: VI Derm Beauty Vitamin C Brightening Concentrate, $59, walmart.com.
L'Oreal Paris Skincare
You can reduce the appearance of lines, pores, and wrinkles thanks to this product. Dr. Zeichner notes that "it contains light reflecting and oil absorbing pigments to minimize shine and brighten the skin."
Shop Now: L'Oreal Paris Skincare Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother Primer, $17.97, amazon.com.
The Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer provides a silky finish thanks to its mattifiers—mushroom and Abyssinian seed extracts—notes Dr. King.
Shop Now: Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer, $33.22, ulta.com.
If you are in need of a heavy-duty blur product that can fill in and cover any and all skin conditions, then this product is perfect for you. Complete with a hefty amount of silicones and mica, Dr. Alexiades says this primer sets up mature skin for a smooth makeup application.
Shop Now: Laura Geller Beauty Spackle Skin Perfecting Primer, $32, macys.com.
Do you have oily skin? If so, you will love this blurring product. Dr. King explains that it absorbs sebum to mattify the complexion while leaving a pearly, golden finish in its wake.
Shop Now: MILK MAKEUP Luminous Blur Stick Primer, $36, sephora.com.