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Color matching your foundation to your skin can be a problem for anyone–but what happens when you’ve lost your skin color?
Vitiligo, an autoimmune condition, causes loss of pigment in the skin and hair. For some, loss of pigment in the skin can be significant. When 85% or more of pigment in the skin is lost, it’s called universal vitiligo. Although rare, some living with vitiligo lose 100% of their skin’s pigment.
After getting vitiligo at the age of seven, I lost all of my skin’s pigment over the course of 20 years. As a result, I found myself desperately searching–and often failing–to find a foundation that would match my new snowy white skin.
Turns out that I’m not alone in dealing with this dilemma. That’s why I talked to four other women with universal vitiligo to get the scoop on their favorite foundations. Here’s the final list of top-recommended products.
#1 Lancome Teint Idôle Ultra 24H Long Wear Matte Foundation (Shade 095)
First up – yours truly. In my twenties, I used foundation as a cover to hide my vitiligo. Once I lost all of my pigment, I was looking for an everyday foundation that would match my depigmented skin and feel lightweight. That brought me to Lancome–the foundation I’ve worn for more than five years since I lost 100% of my skin’s pigment.
“Lancome is a liquid foundation that provides high coverage, even with light application or minimal product. The foundation is lightweight, quick to apply and matches my skin tone nearly perfectly. I use this as my everyday foundation. I can apply varying layers based on the coverage I want, and it’s long-lasting, even with water exposure from a pool or rain.” – Erika Page
#2 Tarte Face Tape Foundation (Shade 29N)
Gaby has what she calls “widespread” vitiligo, having lost 50-60% of her skin’s pigment across her face, back, neck, chest, hands, feet and more. With significant depigmentation on her face, she’s using a high coverage foundation to cover the little pigmentation she has left on her face, matching the depigmented skin. She’s tried many foundations but her favorite is Tarte Face Tape–and here’s why.
“The one that provides great coverage is Tarte Face Tape Foundation and Tarte Shape Tape Concealer [shade 8B] in combination. It is priced similarly to [foundations] you may find in any store, or online at Amazon, and a little goes a long way. I highly recommend it for a few reasons. First, it [provides] full coverage, so it has the ability to completely cover patches on my face, which is not easily done since I have dark pigment. Second, the price is great and very comparable to just about anything else on the market. Third, a little goes a long way. Lastly, it gives me the most natural look and really lifts my face.” – Gaby
Shop Now: Tarte Face Tape Foundation
Shop Now: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer
#3 Chanel Ultra Le Teint Ultrawear All Day (Shade BR12)
Although she got vitiligo around the age of seven, Katie’s vitiligo didn’t spread significantly until her twenties. Today she only has 5% of the pigment left on her chin and armpits. She uses foundation to even out her skin tone and blend well without looking heavy. Her favorite product? Chanel–and here’s why she loves it.
“I have maybe 5% of the pigment left on my chin and armpits. I have used many different brands of foundation through the years, however, Chanel has been the best for coverage to even out my skin tone. I love that it blends well and does not make me look like I have a mask on.” – Katie
Shop Now: Chanel Ultra Le Teint Ultrawear All Day
#4 Avon Mark Mineral Loose Powder Foundation (Ivory + Nude Shades)
Sheetal has lived with universal vitiligo for 20 years. After getting vitiligo at age seven, she lost 100% of her skin’s pigment by the time she was twenty-two. Sheetal uses foundation as an everyday makeup and wants to match her new depigmented skin color. Here’s what she said about using Avon’s powder foundation.
“I mix up the ivory and nude shades and it’s the perfect combo for me. It matches my pale skin well, but also adds a very subtle color and glow. It takes away some of the paleness without making it look like heavy makeup. For a night out, I just build up the foundation slightly by adding more product. This stuff stays on my skin so well and I get so many compliments when I wear it about how good my skin looks. I’ve tried the more expensive products, like MAC, but none can live up to Avon. A fab product with amazing value too.” – Sheetal
#5 It Cosmetics CC Cream with SPF 50 (Fair)
After getting vitiligo at age six, food and lifestyle blogger Komal Patel lost 100% of her skin’s pigment by the age of twenty-three. With no pigment on her skin, she’s looking for a product that matches her depigmented skin–and offers sunscreen for extra protection against the sun. Here’s why Komal loves IT Cosmetics.
“I like the matte for winter and the illuminating for summer. I would recommend it because it is such a great match for my skin tone and I love that it has SPF in it. This is the highest SPF I’ve seen offered in a foundation before which is amazing for people with vitiligo.” – Komal
Shop Now: It Cosmetics CC Cream with SPF 50
Erika Page is the Founder and Editor of Living Dappled. After getting vitiligo at the age of seven, she lost 100% of her pigment to the condition and today lives with universal vitiligo.