By Katie Wright
While they’re lumped together in the beauty department, in some ways, make-up and skincare are polar opposites.
Active-packed moisturisers and serums aim to improve your complexion over time, whereas make-up – as anyone who’s accidentally gone to bed with a full face of foundation on can attest – has the power to really mess with your skin, leaving you with an outbreak of spots that you then need more potions and lotions to fix.
Now, however, a new generation of products aims to bridge that gap, offering the instant enhancing effects of make-up, with the longer-term benefits of skincare.
But can they really deliver on both fronts? Here, experts explain everything you need to know about the hybrid beauty scene.
Where did the trend for hybrid beauty products start?
Like many of today’s hottest beauty trends, hybrid products originated in South Korea with pigmented BB (beauty balm) and CC (colour correcting or complexion correcting) creams.
“There, BB creams were a beauty hit, adored for their ability to transform skin easily and effortlessly,” says Kenza Dahbi Skali, international marketing director for French-Korean brand Erborian.
“The trend then made its way to Europe. Erborian was the first brand to launch a BB cream in Europe, partnering with Sephora, to demonstrate the magical benefits of this all-in-one ‘it’ product.”
While some make-up brands have subsequently boosted their foundations or tinted moisturisers with active ingredients, other products are formulated as hybrids from the start.
“Many skincare brands have started launching hybrid products instead of just make-up, because their expertise is to treat the skin, so the idea was not to lose that know-how and identity when launching make-up,” says Nassim Hamek, product manager at Typology, which has just launched a six-shade range of tinted serums.
What are the main hybrid product types?
“We mostly see skincare-infused CC creams or very sheer foundation alternatives as a key product within the make-up hybrid category,” says Rosalba Martone, director of education at Perricone MD. “However, recently, more and more skincare hybrids have been focused on grouping key ingredients to simplify your routine.”
The emergence of the ‘no make-up make-up’ trend led to a rise in demand for barely-there complexion products, and now the category has expanded to include nourishing tinted lip balms and even mascaras that condition your lashes over time.
Martone adds: “Perricone MD was first to market with our original No Makeup Foundation in 2012 and then expanded the collection in 2014 with additional ancillary items – like blush and mascara – to complete a natural, healthy, radiant look.”
What are the benefits of hybrid products?
“Compared to classical make-up, hybrids are rich in skincare actives. They bring care to the skin, treat it and protect it, while instantly enhancing it,” says Dahbi Skali. “You still get all the make-up benefits, but with a natural look and a substantial skincare bonus.”
Some hybrid products are suitable for all skin types, Martone says: “They will more so target textural concerns – including fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores – but also uneven tone and discolouration, while boosting your skin’s health and hydration levels.”
Others are aimed at tackling specific concerns, such as acne or pigmentation. Hamek says: “Using these products can be a good solution, to reduce the number of conventional make-up products that can clog pores because of silicones or mineral oils.”
How should you choose the right product for your skin?
“Look for the hybrid product that talks directly to your personal skincare concern,” says Martone. “For example, if you have fine lines and wrinkles, look for moisture-rich products that specifically target lines and wrinkles, or if your concern is blemishes, look for oil-free products that deliver clearing benefits.”
Hamek warns that it’s important to “check the active ingredients correspond to one’s skin type. For instance, an oily skin should not go for hybrid products with too many vegetable oils in its ingredients list”.
And you must still remember to cleanse and moisturise twice daily, says Dahbi Skali: “You should still use your skincare routine as first steps, prior to applying even skincare-infused make-up. It is not meant to replace your existing routine, but rather be supplementary to it.”