KKW Beauty Body Foundation
photo: Instagram/KKWBeauty

To use body foundation or not to use body foundation — that seems to be the primary beauty conundrum of 2019. And with the recent launch of Kim Kardashian's highly discussed body makeup, people are asking that now more than ever. And rightfully so, given that summer months are heating up to record temperatures, and as the sun beams down, more and more skin gets put on display. 

But is body makeup really the answer? Or will the use of formulas such as KKW's Skin Perfecting Body Foundation leave your skin worse off than when it started? To find out, I spoke with the experts, and they spilled all the deets about if we really should be coating our skin in excess makeup this season. 

KKW Beauty's Skin Perfecting Body Foundation has come with quite a bit of pushback.

Celebrities and everyday people alike have spoken out against the brand's newest and highly anticipated release, citing that the foundation encourages women to feel self-conscious about their skin, promotes body hatred, and is above all uncomfortable and unnecessary. 

But let's be real here; body foundations are nothing new in the cosmetics world, and as they become a mainstream product, more and more women and men are beginning to turn to them for flawless skin. 

But societal effects aside, many have simply wondered if body makeup bears any negative effects on the skin.

"Kim K really made foundation for your whole entire body.... that has to be so bad for your skin." someone tweeted shortly after KKW revealed its latest product.

Foundation on the skin? Must be a recipe for a skin disaster, right? Well, that's false, according to celebrity dermatologists. I talked with two of New York City's most reputable docs to debunk all of the myths about body foundations, particularly KKW's new formula, and it turns out the reality is really not that bad — if you prepare accordingly.

Just as it goes for face makeup, the correct prepping and priming routine is a must for those who want to try body foundation.

"It's important to maintain healthy skin," said celeb dermatologist Dr. Ilyse Lefkowicz of NY Skin RX. "As with your face, it's extremely important to clean and prep body skin properly so that the product being applied can set evenly on the surface of the skin. I would start with a short lukewarm shower — I’m talking five minutes max — which is the healthiest option for skin." 

"Next, it's extremely important to cleanse with a gentle, moisturizing body wash rather than a harsh soap, which can strip the skin of its natural oils. For those that prefer body wash, I like Olay Moisture Ribbons ($5, Target). For those that like bar soap, I like Dove White Beauty Bar ($3, Target). Immediately after showering, pat your skin with a towel and moisturize with a light body lotion."

And when washing the product off, the key to cleaning is simple: Don't overthink it. 

Though many may think that the use of more product on the skin requires a more rigorous cleaning routine, that couldn't be further from the truth.

"You don't need harsh cleansing and moisturizing. It's a fallacy that you need a lot of hard stuff to get it off. You don't need a scrub, you don't need a grit," dermatologist Mona Gohara said. "The Dove Cleansing Bars are made of gentle cleansers, and what's unique is that they're made of a quarter moisturizing cream. As it's cleansing your skin it's depositing gentle moisturizers so it's not destroying your barrier."

And for those who suffer from acne, the same thing goes. 

Simply treat your body the way you would treat your face: with caution and discernment. 

"I always suggest treating any underlying acne first," Dr. Lefkowicz said. "If someone has a sudden small cyst or a few lesions they want to mask with makeup for a special occasion, I think it’s totally fine. However, using body makeup regularly on acne-prone skin, especially an occlusive makeup, can worsen acne. Additionally, if someone is treating body acne with prescription topicals which can thin the skin, it is possible that their skin may be more sensitive to makeup." 

And while the KKW Skin Perfecting Body Foundation may be makeup's hottest new thing, there are indeed other body foundations that have been tested and trusted by thousands of makeup users for flawless and healthy application. 

Westmore Beauty Body Coverage Perfector ($79, Westmore Beauty)

Experience Hollywood’s best special effects for flawless-looking skin anywhere in minutes! This illuminator and camouflage is formulated with "tri-effects" technology that enables it to have buildable coverage that lasts over 24 hours. Easily camouflage skin imperfections and discolorations including varicose veins, bruises, surgical scars, age spots, and even tattoos.

>> Get it here

Dermablend Leg And Body Makeup ($34, Dermablend)

This leg and body makeup contains high performance pigments to easily cover varicose veins, stretch marks, tattoos, scars, age spots, birthmarks, bruises, and more. Its lightweight, buildable, and blendable body foundation formula hydrates skin all day and protects skin with SPF 25 for up to 16 hours of wear that is smudge- and transfer-resistant. It's suitable for all skin types and available in 12 true-to-tone, fade-proof shades.

>> Get it here

Long story short, Kim K's body makeup will probably wreak havoc on everyone's skin.

photo: Giphy

Practically speaking, we can pretty much treat this stuff just like we do face foundation. It can cause trouble for sensitive and acne-prone skin, but with the proper precautions and a solid cleansing routine, things should turn out just fine for the people who want to give it a try.