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Uncovering the Truth About Dermablend

cassandra bankson wearing dermablend makeup
April 14, 2014 Reviewed by Marta 4 Comments

Reveal don’t conceal is the paradoxical message from cover up maker Dermablend in its latest ad campaign. Jumping on the real women bandwagon, the Dermablend ads are emotional testimonials featuring an unknown woman and a minor YouTube celebrity. The message is that Dermablend's concealing products aren’t camouflaging them but allowing them to be who they really are.

AdWeek gushed about how empowering the Dermablend ads are. The two women remove their concealing makeup and talk candidly about their skin conditions. Cheri Lindsay has vitiligo, which causes depigmentation of the skin, and Cassandra Bankson has severe acne. And, indeed, they are extremely moving. They are also beautiful and inspirational. For all that it is counterintuitive and ironic, Dermablend’s campaign is great. I wish I could say the same for their products.

Created in 1981 by an American dermatologist, Dermablend tends to be recommended by doctors for heavy-duty coverage for birthmarks, bruising, post-surgical redness and pigmentation disorders. They certainly have long-lasting (up to 16 hours) coverage, and the buildable formulas enable smooth blending.

Sadly, the formulas incite a breakout just by looking at them. For a company making products for women with serious skin conditions, it is surprising — nay, shocking — to see so many controversial ingredients in them.

Take Dermablend Cover Creme ($37), for example. The main ingredient is mineral oil, an inexpensive petrochemical byproduct made from petroleum. Mineral oil forms an impenetrable film over skin that traps in toxins and hinders normal skin respiration. Not only does it create a heavy feeling, but it can also plug up pores and lead to breakouts. Then, there’s talc. A National Toxicology Program report found that cosmetic grade talc, even without any asbestos-like fibers, caused tumors in animals, and a group of senators have tried to have it banned. And there’s isopropyl palmitate, a synthetic emollient that can cause skin irritation.

Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Foundation ($32) has several iffy ingredients as well, including phenoxyethanol, a potential neurotoxin, controversial parabens, silicones and aluminum hydroxide.

When it comes to ingredients that are bad for your skin, Dermablend really has it covered.

  • July 20, 2018

    by LeonardStillman

    While the DermaBlend Leg and Body do a satisfactory job or covering up blemishes, etc. they are exceedingly messy and come off all over over everything. There is no way to get them to dry completely, as they really make a mess. I wish there was a reasonable alternative and I would switch in a minute but there does not seem to be any.

    So, DO NOT believe the flyer that comes with it that says "smudge proof" and "does not rub off" - these are lies which one sees when their product is bought.

  • March 13, 2018

    by Lee Ann

    Thought it would be my saving grace, something that would finally cover the terrible scaring from cystic acne that I have had all these years. As soon as I put it on my skin turned red and burned. I usually don't have problems being allergic to makeup products but this one did a number on me. Thanks a lot Dermablend. You should be careful what you put in your makeup!

  • October 14, 2016

    by Naomi

    Had I known this I would've ran the other direction. The damage caused by my injuries was barely healed. Dermablend destroyed all that recovery time and possibly any future my skin has to be healthy. I am now covered in large deep non healing sores. Antibiotics aren't helping. Going bare skin isn't helping. Even water isn't helping.
    They even employed a bait and switch by putting testers with one product and selling a completely different one. Thanks for making my personal tragedy a financial come-up Dermablend. I owe you one.

  • August 23, 2014

    by Caroline

    Unfortunately for some of us, we have severe scars from acne, car accidents, surgery, etc. DermaBlend is one of the few products that will successfully cover the scarring. The use of it is an integral part of the daily regimen for those of us with significant facial scars. Furthermore, if one employs a process that includes appropriate cleansers, toners, serums, and creams, any negative side effects of the use of this full coverage foundation can be neutralized.

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