If you have combination or oily skin, you know how challenging it can be to keep your makeup looking fresh all day. During the day as oil builds up foundations break down, and all the other products you've layered on top also slide off, leaving you with a shiny, uneven tone. And just forget it if you plan on exercising or dancing the night away. Who has time for countless touchups throughout the day? And who wants to carry their entire makeup supply around? Wouldn't it be great to find the best foundation for oily skin that could deal with all that sweat and shine?
Foundations can be costly as can all those other products we layer on top of them. It's best to do your research before investing in a product to make sure it will give you the results you want and not end up in the bottom of your makeup drawer with all those other costly experiments that didn't work out. We have taken the guesswork out of your foundation selection process by providing information on the top 10 best foundation for oily skin.
Foundation Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Foundation for Oily Skin?
Foundation is a base layer of makeup that evens out skin tone and provides a uniform surface on which other products (blush, bronzer, contour, eyeshadow, powder, etc.) can be applied. It covers blemishes and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. The best foundation for oily skin has oil absorbing properties and prevents shine. It comes in a variety of textures, ranging from creams and lotions to solid sticks and pressed and loose powders.
Foundations range from sheer, lightweight coverage to full coverage suitable for stage lighting. Foundations come in a variety of shades to suit various skin tones. It is possible to blend multiple shades to make a customized shade that will best suit your skin. When doing so it is best to stick to the same brand of foundation to prevent creating unpleasant textures.
2. What Does Foundation for Oily Skin Do?
Foundation formulated specifically for oily skin provides a breathable layer of coverage that blocks shine and stays in place. It provides an even "foundation" on which to layer other cosmetic products such as blush, contour, and powder. It evens out skin tone, covers blemishes, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Many of the best foundation for oily skin also provide protection from the sun in varying degrees. Some foundations will offer additional benefits such as acne control or skin tightening.
3. How Does Foundation for Oily Skin Work?
The best foundation for oily skin will contain oil-absorbing compounds such as salicylic acid and silicone, which resists water naturally so sweat will not diminish coverage. Kaolinite clay is often used to absorb sebum, which will reduce shine caused by oil secreted from facial pores. Each manufacturer uses a different variety of ingredients, so you can experiment with different products to determine what combination will work the best with your skin. Be careful to avoid products that contain ingredients you are allergic or sensitive to.
4. Where Can You Buy the Best Foundation for Oily Skin?
You can purchase foundation for oily skin from any cosmetics supplier. Drug stores usually offer the less expensive products while the more expensive products are sold through department stores or cosmetics outlets such as Sephora and Ulta. Visit the manufacturer's web page for information on where to purchase their products. Many manufacturers also sell direct to the public although they rarely offer the best pricing. Some products are sold exclusively through independent representatives at in-home parties.
5. What Should I Avoid When Looking for the Best Foundation for Oily Skin?
Do not use foundations for dry skin or products that have a glowing finish to them. Stick to foundations that are matt and possibly oil-free. Avoid products that contain occlusives, which are a kind of moisturizing agent that forms a second skin and blocks water from absorbing into the skin. They can make the skin feel sticky, greasy, and heavy. Oily skin creates lots of sebum, and the skin needs to breathe. Ingredients to avoid include lanolin, beeswax, parabens, and mineral oil. If you are being photographed also avoid products containing titanium dioxide as it causes flashback, an annoying white glow that will show up in photos.
How We Reviewed Foundations
In order to provide a comprehensive list of the best foundation for oily skin we consulted with top Hollywood makeup artists who have to deal with hot stage lighting and the intense scrutiny of high-definition camera lenses. We also looked at product reviews on top cosmetics sites such as Sephora and Ulta. We looked at durability, coverage, color range, and price in determining what products to include in our review.
Overall Price Range Of Foundation For Oily Skin
The prices for foundation for oily skin vary significantly. Drug store products are the least expensive. Department store and "designer" products were the most expensive. Because products are available from multiple sources for varying prices, we are using a rating of Affordable, Average Market Price, and Expensive.
What We Reviewed
After consulting with top Hollywood makeup artists and reading product reviews on cosmetic outlet websites, we determined that the these were the top 10 best foundation for oily skin:
Here is what we found out about each product:
ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation - Expensive
- A Complexion-Perfecting, Serum-Infused Foundation That's Equal Parts Skincare + Color Correction For A Natural Look That...
- Weightlessly Delivers Buildable, Light To Medium Coverage With A Velvety Finish While Nourishing Skin With A Powerful...
- Soothes Irritations & Tames Redness, Plumps Fine Lines, And Melts Into Skin For A More Even, Luminous Appearance - Blurs...
This is a serum foundation, so it has a slightly oily feel to it. This foundation's coverage is light; it's almost like a tinted moisturizer. It applies smoothly and has a pleasant essential-oil type scent. It is great if you are looking for a light, natural-looking base. One drawback of the product is that it only comes in 10 shades.
L'Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation - Affordable
- L'OREAL PARIS INFALLIBLE PRO-MATTE FOUNDATION: Lightweight and creamy, foundation goes on smooth with a demi-matte...
- AIR-LIGHT MATTE-FINISH FOUNDATION MAKEUP: For a matte finish that won't fall flat, apply with fingers, makeup sponge, or...
- THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR LOOK: From natural to full coverage, L'Oréal Paris face makeup has what you need for a smooth,...
The demi-matte finish of this foundation conceals imperfections and claims to last 24 hours, but it might not work that long if your skin is super oily. This product achieves a shine-free complexion without leaving skin looking flat. The "demi" keeps skin looking dewy, while the "matte" finish reduces shine.
This foundation provides medium coverage and although it claims to last for 24 hours if your skin is very oily expect to go about six hours before needing to touch it up. The biggest con for this foundation is that it is very easy to squeeze way too much product out of the tube, and it is virtually impossible to suck it back in, so there is potential for a significant amount of waste if you are not careful. This product comes in 22 shades.
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer - Expensive
Although this product is technically not a foundation, it absorbs oil and shine and provides a beautiful velvety matte finish. It has a silky texture that dries down to a powdery consistency. It works well for people with oily or combination skin. Kaolinite clay powder controls oil all day long. If you use this primer under your foundation, it will provide a waterproof, sweat proof barrier, allowing your foundation to perform at its best and last longer than it would if you used it alone.
REVLON ColorStay Makeup For Combo/Oily Skin - Affordable
- Our cult-favorite liquid, matte finish foundation is lightweight and specifically made for combination or oily skin to...
- The formula is oil-free and fortified with SPF 15, to help protect your skin
- Provides medium-to-full, buildable coverage
This super-affordable foundation is available in drugstores. It claims medium to full coverage, is oil-free and transfer-resistant. It contains salicylic acid for oil control and SPF 15 for sun protection. It has a watery consistency and although it goes on smoothly, it might take a lot of product to achieve the manufacturer's claim of medium to full coverage. Avoid this product if you are planning to have your picture taken—the active ingredient, titanium dioxide, will cause flashback, resulting in an eery glow in flash photos.
Lorac Porefection Foundation - Average Market Price
This oil-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free foundation contains an SPF 20 broad-spectrum sunscreen for protection from the sun's harmful rays. Vitamin A, vitamin E, olive leaf, lemon fruit extract, and papaya extract fight signs of aging and leave the skin appearing poreless. This foundation is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It comes in 10 shades.
It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation With SPF 50+ - Average Market Price
- Best-selling, award-winning Celebration Foundation, infused with SPF 50+ UVA/UVB broad-spectrum physical sunscreen -...
- Highly pigmented powder foundation covers everything and lasts all day Instantly airbrushes the look of fine lines and...
- Anti-aging collagen, silk, peptides and antioxidants for younger-looking skin
Since this foundation comes in powder form, it will immediately provide a matte finish to the skin and eliminate shine. The high SPF will ensure protection from even the harshest sunlight. The powder covers imperfections, evens the skin tone, and provides a glowing matte look to the face. Unlike other foundations, Celebration Foundation gives the skin a soft-focus or eggshell-like luminosity. One Hollywood makeup artist claims this makeup "only gets better the longer you wear it." One drawback is the limited color palette which only includes seven shades.
Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover - Expensive
- Provides the face with a natural looking coverage of scars and blemishes.
- Offers an impeccable natural matte finish
- Imperceptible second skin for up to 24 hours
This long-wear foundation has great coverage, a natural feel, and a waterproof finish. It is thick and creamy but doesn't feel heavy. It blends easily for full coverage. Customers claim their skin looked airbrushed and reported virtually no creasing after 12 hours. This foundation works great for brides and models. The most expensive foundation on the list, ranging from $62 to $64 a bottle, it is worth the price if you are looking for the best foundation for oily skin. It comes in an impressive 24 shades.
Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation - Affordable
- MAYBELLINE FIT ME MATTE FOUNDATION: For a natural looking medium coverage liquid foundation makeup, look no further. In...
- A SHADE THAT FITS ME: Maybelline Fit Me liquid foundation provides coverage for a wide array of skin tones, from Ivory...
- MAYBELLINE FIT ME FOR A FLAWLESS FACE: With Matte + Poreless foundation or Dewy+ Smooth foundation with SPF 18,...
This drugstore staple renders pores invisible and provides a matte finish for shiny complexions. This foundation would also work well as a primer as it conceals pores better than it evens out skin tone. It comes in an amazing 40 shades, with many new shades rounding out the darker range of the palette. This was the least expensive product in our review, ranging from $6 to $8 a bottle.
First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Triple Protection Skin Tint - Average Market Price
This ultra-light, breathable fluid smooths easily onto skin for simple, brush-free, breathable coverage. This foundation is non-comedogenic and is safe for even the most sensitive skin. The product is naturally pigmented and comes in four shades. It is great for people who prefer a sheer finish and lightweight coverage. It also has an SPF of 30 so you will be safe in the sun. Pro tip: add a few drops of this product to your daily moisturizer for a light, sheer finish. You will only need a couple drops, and the bottle will last forever!
Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation - Expensive
This classic long-wearing foundation is a favorite with Hollywood makeup artists because it works great on oily skin or skin that can get oily under hot lights. Coverage is undetectable, even under the scrutiny of 4K cameras. The finish is very natural. It is great for people who have oily skin and want to look fresh, not made up. It has a light feel but provides full coverage. The matte velvet effect works well for oily skin. Coverage lasts all day, and it does not get cakey or pill over time. The foundation is oil-free and water resistant and comes in 20 shades.
Based on the research conducted, the best foundation for oily skin is the Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation. This product is a staple in the kits of professional makeup artists as well as those looking for natural full coverage. The product covers skin imperfections with a natural matte velvet effect. Coverage lasts all day and will not fade or run due to sweat. With 20 shades to choose from you are sure to find one that will give you the fresh, natural appearance you're striving for. Look no further for the best foundation for oily skin.