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    The impact of facial foundation on luminosity

    Q. How does a facial foundation produce enhanced luminosity?

    There are many words coined to explain to the consumer what a cosmetic product can do for appearance enhancement. Since these words are not part of the dermatology vernacular, it might be worthwhile to take a moment to decipher these terms. 

    “Luminosity,” is often used to describe facial appearance after applying facial foundation. What is luminosity? It comes from the same root words as lumens, which is used to characterize the brightness of light bulbs. Luminosity is a measure of the intensity of the light reflected from the skin surface that bounces back into the observer’s eye. Luminosity can actually be measured with a colorimeter on the Lab three-point color space scale.

     When assessing the luminosity of a facial foundation, the observer is looking at the amount of light reflected from the skin, which is enhanced when the skin is smooth. Many facial foundations enhance light reflection by adding very small light reflective particles and pigments suspended within the liquid facial foundation. These small particles cannot be seen on the skin surface without the aid of a 10x magnifying mirror and create a facial glow that is attractive and youthful, even though the underlying skin may not be perfectly smooth. This type of optical illusion is considered the magic of makeup!

    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D.
    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., is a consulting professor of dermatology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C. She is investigator, ...


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