How to Remove That Hard Film on Top of Powder Products

How to remove the hard film on powder products
I was really bummed that one of my favourite blushes, MAC Mocha, had recently developed what seemed to be a hard build up on top in a few patches that was making it hard to get any product on my brush. I wondered what the hardened film could be and if it meant that the blush had gone bad (although I’ve only had it about 6 months and regularly spray my powder products with 99% rubbing alcohol to disinfect them).

Why do some powders get a hardened top layer or film?

The hardened top layer doesn’t mean the product is gone bad and can be removed

It turns out from what I’ve been able to find online, the hard build-up on powder products can be caused by the natural oils that transfer from your skin back to the powder on your brush. It causes the surface of the powder to harden, making it difficult to get at the product underneath. I have never had this happen before. Apparently if you simply remove the film, the powder underneath is perfectly fine. But, how do you remove the hard film on powder makeup products?

There were many suggestions online, from scraping it off with a butter knife or fingernail to scrubbing it with a dry toothbrush. I was worried this would leave gouges in the blush. Several people recommended the best way to remove it was using transparent tape. I decided to give it a try to see if this DIY tip actually worked.

Apply the piece of transparent tape to the powder and rub gently

Apply the piece of transparent tape to the powder and rub gently

When you peel off the tape, you can see it has removed some of the hard top layer

When you peel off the tape, you can see it has removed some of the top layer

I had to go over each section with about 3-4 pieces of tape, but it did actually lift the top layer of product off gently and evenly. I was pretty amazed at how well it worked.

Before and after: With the hard film removed, the blush looks and feels smooth and new again

With the hard film removed, the blush looks and feels smooth and new again!

Now when I swirl my blush brush in it, its all soft and powdery like when I first got it! Hooray!

Have you had this happen to powder products? What did you do? Are there other ways to remove it, and more importantly is there any way to prevent it? Leave me any of your tips in the comments below. Thanks!

Thanks for reading!
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❀


Filed under Accessories & Tools

40 responses to “How to Remove That Hard Film on Top of Powder Products

  1. C

    I had this happen all the time with my Mac Studiofix foundation powder and now I experience it with my only blush, Mocha. I spoke with my local Mac girl and she suggested scraping it off with a spoolie. She gave me a few of the tester spoolies that the stores use for demos. I scrape the film off then just use my blush brush with the leftover blush dust, so as not to waste any product 😊.


  2. Mariane

    OMG! I have the SAME problem with my MAC Mocha blush!! I’m relieved to see I’m not the only one who had an issue with that specific blush. Thank you for sharing the trick! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really? That’s so interesting. I wonder if there was an “off” batch that hadn’t been mixed properly or if it could be an issue with some of the pigments in that shade? I still haven’t experienced it with any other MAC blushes, just Mocha. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous

    Yay, this totally worked!!!


  4. JUDE.

    I stumbled upon this post & you are such a life saver πŸ™‚
    thank you for this tip x


  5. lorieast2

    I may be late to the party but I am oh, so grateful for your trick! My MAC Mocha had done the same thing and I was seriously unhappy about it. But now, thanks to you, my blush is now back in rotation!


  6. I keep meaning to try this trick on a blush that I kind of ruined myself when I tried to put it back together after it shattered. Thanks for the reminder! πŸ™‚


  7. Who would have thought! It works! Very nifty.


  8. Great lifehack! πŸ˜€
    I’m REALLY cautious about getting oils onto my powder products so I actually wipe off my brush between applications. So, I dip the clean brush into the powder, apply it to my face, then wipe off the brush, then dip back into the powder. It’s a quick & simple step and has prevented the hardening of my powers!


  9. this is a great tip! I have a MAC blush that did the same thing, I’m definitely going to get use this trick!


  10. Ooh that’s a great tip! Thanks!


  11. I recently learnt of this tip too and it’s so helpful, thanks for sharing! Jay x


  12. Great tip! Who would have thought only tape can solve that issue. Thanks forbsharing! ☺


  13. I think this is caused from using the product to touch up without blotting your face and getting all the oil off first. Your brush transfers the oil to the product and kinds destroys the top layer 😦 But good job on the fix, I never thought of that! I just scrape the top off with something sturdy and lose tons of product!


  14. Ooo this is a good tip! I normally just scrape the hardpan off. This has happened with several products and my understanding is that certain types of brush fibers can also be more prone to causing hard pan on certain products. That’s completely anecdotal though so I have no idea if it’s true or not πŸ™‚


  15. This happened to my Tarte blush and I think it’s because I would use the same brush as liquid foundation and dip it in the powder. Will def try this!!! Thank you πŸ™‚


  16. Awesome tip! Thank you. I have the same problem with some of my blushes.


  17. Good to know how to fix this! Thanks!


  18. Wow this was so helpful. Thanks for sharing this!


  19. Brilliant tip!!! I’ve had that happen a few times so will definitely be trying this in future πŸ™‚ Great solution – thanks for sharing!! Karen xo


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