Why has my foundation color turned orange?


Sometime ago, some readers left comments in one of my entries that the Everyday Mineral foundation they’ve used changed to a darker tone after a few hours.  One even commented that hers turned to an orange hue!  I didn’t think I had a problem with mine until recently.  I noticed on at least two occasions, the color turned somewhat darker by the end of the day.  I also checked and noticed that my face was particularly oily on those days.   Is this what is meant by oxidization of makeup?

Oily skin causes foundation to oxidize?
I went to the forums to check and noticed that many girls had this problem.  And it wasn’t just mineral foundation.  Apparently, some regular foundation contributed to the problem too.  It also look like most of the girls who were having this issue have oilier skin.

From what I’ve read, it seem there are a few possibilities causing our foundation to become darker or turned orange:

– More acidic skin.
– A pink foundation over a yellow undertone skin color.
– Foundation components reacting to the sebum in our skin.
– Oils in our skin or moisturizer intensifying the color of the pigments.

I’m not sure what is true but going by my personal experience, I’m thinking that both the sebum in our skin and the components in the foundation has something to do with this for sure.  The formulation of certain foundation must be causing more chances of oxidization if it comes into contact with more face sebum.

Tips to counteract oxidization
So do you have such a problem with your foundation?  If yes, how did you overcome the problem?  

Some girls suggested using foundation shades that are one or two tones lighter so that the color will match nicely after the face starts to secrete oil.  I’m a bit skeptical about this one because not all foundation turns darker even if the face gets oilier.  Another better tip I picked out was to use a silicone-based face primer under the foundation so as to keep the oil at bay.  This sounds logical but I’ve not tried this method so would be glad to hear from those who did.


  1. Tine says:

    Hmm I’ve not had that problem with any of the mineral foundation I’ve used. But I did notice my T-zone getting oilier as the day progresses, even with the use of a primer.

    Tine: Hmm…this happens to me but I kept wondering if it has anything to do with the weather too.

  2. Florence says:

    Before I purchase mineral sample, I did some research, some say good some say bad.I think different skin react different way.I don’t know, coz I am still waiting for my SAMPLE to come ?
    I do hope I don’t have such problem, really cross my fingers!Btw , had anyone tried Lush collection minerals before? Heard that their foundation is from bare faced minerals, Care to review some comments?

    Florence: I guess as with every other skincare product, the results will vary by individuals. No choice but to go by the trial and error mode. Never tried Lush…

  3. Sunitap says:


    I have experienced this oxidization problem even with non-mineral makeup, and yes, it was wonderfully resolved after I first applied a silicone-based primer which I bought from Sephora at DFS Galleria.
    Hope it helps you!

    Sunitap: Thanks! I will try this method especially on those really warm days. I don’t really like wearing primer that much.

  4. Cheryl says:


    This is really a great site and I’ve recommended my lady pals to read. Thanks for all the info.

    Have just ordered some Everyday Mineral stuff. Can’t wait to try.

    Cheryl: Hey, thanks! Really appreciate you coming by. Glad the info here works for you. Come back frequently and have fun with your EDM when it arrives. ?

  5. flym says:

    I have that problem too,especially with MAC foundations (liquid or powder). It’s really a shame cos the colours have a good yellow base to match my skin tone. The only way I’ve managed to avoid colour oxidation is really by trial and error. Generally, I’d say I’ve not experienced oxidation with Japanese or other Asian brands. I don’t like primers too, just one too many layers on the face after moisturizer and sunscreen. Not to mention any additional product might possibly affect the efficacy of treatment, moisturizer or sunscreen.

    Flym: I’m like you! I hate to load my face with all the stuff. It feels so heavy! So, the lesser the better. I’m paranoid too about products reacting negatively with each other.

  6. kat says:

    I too have that problem with my makeup because of my oily skin, so I wear a shade lighter than my skintone and it works! I started using a foundation that matched my skin perfectly and it turned orange! So I switched back to the lighter color.

    I also use a spf/moisturizer because it keeps my foundation on longer.

    kat: Yes, I read that some gals wear a shade lighter to counteract the problem. I guess that’s fine when you like the foundation to want to give it a second chance. Usually if the foundation doesn’t work well for me, I may not want to buy it again.

  7. lazeny says:

    I had a similar problem w/ my Clinique Superfit foundation. I have very oily skin and have warm undertones. At first, the SA told me that I don’t need a primer because Clinique foundations never ever discolor since I raised my problem of my older foundations turning orange on my face and the shade she matched for me is perfect for my skin tone, I was convinced initially and was quite happy w/ the product but after a day or two, when I wore makeup for the whole day, may face turned definitely orange.

    Now I use Coffret D’or Beauty Lasting Veil as a primer and it seems to do the trick, and the foundation actually looks better on my skin as before.

    Now I’m thinking of getting a Coffret D’or Foundation since they have selections for both pink and yellow undertones unlike Clinique.

    lazeny: Ah I read some good reviews on their foundation too.

  8. karen says:

    Hi, i am experiencing something weird here… my mmu seems to get lighter much lighter after a few hours.

    i am using edm mmu and have to mix the colour to get the right shade. just as i tot the colour was ok i have been having comments that i look white. so i tot could be the problem with my mirror and lighting at home so i mix more darker colour in. i was sure it was darker when i left home but a few hours later when i look at the mirror i was really white again… i tested a few days and realise sometime i got really whiter but sometime i don’t.

    can some1 advise? cos i tot the common problem is getting darker… ?

  9. Brooke says:

    I recently switched brands of makeup and started using this supposedly great product called afterglow (it’s like bare minerals). I bought the foundation that matched my skin perfectly, but when I got home – my skin was orange!! Since it was nonrefundable, I went back in a desperate attempt to look normal again. I bought a shade lighter than my skin tone. Unfortunately…when I got home, my face had oxidized with the makeup and turned orange again. This time I knew it was the product…and not the color. Refusing to use makeup that makes me look like an oompa loompa, I went back and bought Jane Iredale – supposed to be great for your skin. It’s worked perfectly until yesterday! My skin is orange again! I’ve been super oily lately so I don’t think oily skin is the problem. The only thing I’ve done differently is use a sunscreen and a moisturizer under my makeup…I have a feeling that could be part of the problem. I really don’t want to return my sunscreen or moisturizer. Any ideas of what I should do? I’d like to get a primer but I’m worried that it will make me break out – my skin is super sensitive! Thanks for your time and help!

  10. sesame says:

    You can use a powder sort of primer. I know some of the mineral makeup has a base color so that can sort of help to act as a barrier. I use LA Splash and I opt for a purple base color which evens out my skin tone before applying the foundation.

    Another option is to consider omitting your moisturizer and just use your sunscreen if it is moisturizing enough. That might help in cutting back the oil on your skin.

  11. Me says:

    I also have very oily skin. I’m using MAC cosmetics now. When I first used it, the colour was ok the whole day. Recently, as the day goes by i look tanner and tanner…..I don’t like to pack a lot of things on my skin..so my regime is moisturizer then my powder.

    I’ll try to get a colour lighter than the one i’m using and will c if it works well as i don’t use a foundation.

  12. JT says:

    I’ve also had problems with my make up oxidizing or turning tanner throughout the day. I bought the body shop mineral foundation because i liked it when i tried but i turned orange a couple of hours later. thinking i probably picked the wrong shade, i bought the lighter shade but still the same thing! i didn’t realize the oxidation effect until after my trial and error with body shop! can someone please recommend a mineral foundation that doesn’t have the oxidation effect? i have very sensitive skin too and i wouldn’t want to use primer and then make up. thanks for your help! ?

  13. fwy says:

    I used to have this problem too. However, after I started using Clinique Superbalanced range of foundation for my combination skin, the situation is much better now. After applying the liquid foundation, I pat some loose powder over my face. My makeup stays pretty okay throughout the day.

  14. sesame says:

    I think it depends on the foundation but great you’ve found a solution.

  15. Lee says:

    I already use a foundation several shades lighter than my skin, but I use bronzer and blush to blend it so I don’t look pasty. It looks really natural, but I’ve had problems lately with it turning orange. I did it this way for several months, but all of a sudden the last 2 weeks or so it has been turning orange within only a few hours.

  16. sesame says:

    What about trying a primer beneath your foundation? That helps, according to many. Did you notice your skin turning oilier quicker?

  17. Jessy says:

    There doesn’t seem to be an answer for me because I can’t find a foundation light enough. I’m fair and most are too dark in the first place. I turn ORANGE everyday with every makeup I’ve tried. Liquid, powder, loose mineral, ALL of it! I have very oily skin and large pores. What to do?

  18. sesame says:

    Have you tried using a primer? The best would be to keep your oily skin under check. Try checking out moisturizers that provide oil control.

  19. kitty says:

    I applied Jane Iredale pressed powder mineral make up and noticed some hours later that it had turned my face darker than what it should be!

    I thoroughly washed it off and too my horror I was still left with un-naturally looking darker skin, it looked as if i had put a fake bronzer on my skin.
    I went back to the salon where i purchased it(beauty temple nottingham) but they were not helpful or understanding to the problem at all. As I am an asian girl they all just assumed that I should be darker anyway, which is just typical mentality for narrow minded bimbos anyway! I think I should know what the colour of skin looks like instead of being patronised by silly girls!

    Their were quick to take £39 of my money but not ready to help with this issue.Its been day 3 now and I have been using origins gentle dermabrasion everyday to try and get this colour out of skin. Ive probably noticed a fraction of a change in my colour so far. I am very dissapointed. Be careful if you decide to use this make up range.

  20. Mel says:

    I have had a different but nonetheless strange result from using mineral makeup- if u look really closely , I sometimes have tiny red dots on my face- the makeup has turned red. I usually just gently wipe them away. I too have very oily skin and constantly blotting. I have no idea if this too is oxidation- it doesn’t always happen and some brands are better than others. I feel like it does have to do with the sebum mixing with the ingredients in the makeup.. So bizarre

  21. mei says:

    may I suggest a longwear foundation like diorskin forever or almays tlc I’ve used both of these (revlon colorstay is supposed to be good also) and have also experienced the mineral oxidation and liquid oxidation but these formulas don’t seem to react with my skin for the hardcore mineral fan I think you need to use a product to stabilize the ph of your surface face or otherwise or quit using acid products in the hours before you apply makeup like salycilic acid or gycolic acid I’ve noticed these to be quite troublesome due to there acidicness of course and f.y.i. Water is stable p.h.7 and your body p.h. I around 7.25 I suggest always contactinng the poducts maker to learn of the products p.h. I’ve also heard but have not tried monistat chafing gel as a primer/ oil control product but as a quick fix I suggest finding a blue powder or a white powder to apply as needed as the orange comes out I’m very fair and hate orangyness yuck! Also girl whos skin changed color call the company!!! I know it’s too late for advice to fix the issue yourself

  22. With says:

    wow, so glad to find this post
    does this oxidize thing happen only with mineral make up? i just switched to mineral make up and found my face turned darker by time when wearing it. it just didn’t happen with my mom’s old-fashioned foundation.

  23. sesame says:

    I understand some ladies have complained that normal foundation can also cause that problem…

  24. Rae says:

    This might not be true, coz the natural ph of our skin is acidic… and,oxidation also happens to people who doesn’t have oily skin…

    I’m still doing some research, collecting data from reviews, and checking the ingredients of those that doesn’t oxidize vs. those that do on most people.

    I know it’s not how scientists do it… But wish me like.

  25. sesame says:

    Oh great…do share your findings! For me, I’ve come to realized now that oxidization of my makeup depends on the formulation and also the change in the oil levels of my skin.

  26. Tamara says:


    I also have oily skin and find that my make turns 3-4 shades darker than my
    actual skin tone. I have tried to use a much much lighter color of foundation but gradually during the day, it still turns very orange. I guess I can try to use a primer and see if that works. Thanks for this article!

  27. Sesame says:

    You’re welcome! Hope it’ll work well for you. ?

  28. Rosered says:

    Hi.. i’ve got the same problem with my skin way back 3years ago. But to overcome such problem especially with the makeups, i treat first the high acid level of my inner body, meaning, it’s the food that we intake that makes us more acidic and initially reflects on our skin especially face. So after managing a diet from high acidic foods, the oxidision on my face also lessen. And the best make up that suits me is Loreal Whitening Liquid Foundation. I suggest you all to try ?

  29. sows says:


    I use loreal foundation. For sometime my foundation gives good complexion. After a hour or so it turns 1 shade darker than my skin tone. Coz of this i lose my confidence in parties.
    I saw the above comments. Most of them have suggested japanese product. Im from India, Bangalore.
    Can you pl. suggest where i can find this kanebo sensai foundation in India??
    Pl. do reply

  30. Jacquelyn says:

    I can’t wear shades lighter than my skin because I wear the lightest shade of foundation. What do I do?

  31. haifa says:

    i have dry skin yet my foundation always turn orange an houre later or so
    iv tried so many they all turn orange even bb cream and even with primer this so annoying , before it didn’t turn much
    but lately I’m like really orange its making me feel ugly

  32. Sesame says:

    Is your face oily? That may be the reason causing your foundation to oxidize.

  33. Rose Mendez says:

    Same. I have this foundation it’s by Maybelline New York and the color is 130 buff beige and when I put it on it turns orange and I out powder over it and it turns more orange I hate it 😞😭🖕🏼😒

  34. Rose Mendez says:

    Try primer

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