Oily skin can be difficult to manage, and using the wrong foundation can only make matters worse. While all skin needs some oil to be present so that it doesn’t get dry or flaky, there can definitely be too much of good thing, leading to shiny, greasy looking skin, clogged pores, and possibly breakouts. Oily skin also makes it difficult to get your makeup to last more than a few hours before becoming streaky and smudgy. Choosing a foundation that’s formulated specifically for oily skin can help, giving skin a smooth, matte finish that will last throughout your day. Some types of foundation, however, are better for oily skin than others. Here’s a rundown of the types that will help correct oily skin, as well as what types of products and ingredients to avoid.
Liquid foundations are one of the most well-known types of foundation, and most brands offer different formulations by skin type: dry, normal, oily, and combination. Choose a formulation for your type of skin; for instance, women with an allover oil problem should choose a foundation for oily skin. Women who have problems with oil only in their T-zone (the forehead, nose, and chin area), on the other hand, but may have dry skin on other parts of their face may want to select a formulation for combination skin. If you have oily skin, steer towards products that are oil-free or that have the word matte in their name. Because oil-free foundations have a tendency to be more on the sheer side, you may need to build up with a few thin layers to get the coverage you want, but the finish and longevity of your foundation will be worth the extra step. Use clean makeup sponges or other makeup applicators to apply the foundation to avoid transferring oil from your fingers onto your face. With foundations that are branded as “long-lasting,” which quickly dry to a powdery, matte finish, you may want to stick to powdered blushes or bronzers, as creams and gels can be difficult to blend.
There are several liquid foundations suitable for oily skin available at cosmetic counters. Clinique offers two for oily skin: their Stay True Foundation and their Even Better Makeup with SPF 15. For combination skin, Clinique has their Superbalanced Makeup. Estee Lauder has their Double Wear Light Stay-In-Place Makeup, which evens out skin tone and lasts all day. For drugstore brands that work for oily skin, try Max Factor’s Lasting Performance Stay Put Makeup, Revlon’s ColorStay Mineral Mousse Makeup with SPF 20, or Maybelline’s Superstay Makeup 24 Hour.
Foundations available in loose or pressed powder form are also good for oily skin; powders will work to absorb oil as it appears throughout the day. Powder foundations can accentuate dry spots, however, so they may not be the best choices for women who have combination skin. Powder foundations that contain minerals can be especially so. While pressed powder foundations work just like a regular compact, loose powders can be messy and difficult to carry around for late in the day reapplications. At the cosmetics counters, try M.A.C.’s Studio Fix Powder plus Foundation or Bobbi Brown’s Oil-Free Even Finish Compact. At the drugstore, try L’Oreal’s True Match Minerals Foundation or Maybelline’s Pure Mineral Foundation, both loose powders. For a drugstore compact, try Physician’s Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder Foundation.
Many cosmetics contain unnecessary fragrances and ingredients that can irritate skin or worsen oil problems. Steer clear of products that contain ingredients like bismuth oxychloride, parabens, and BHT. Instead, look for products that are water-based, oil-free, and non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores. Ingredients like zinc oxide and serecite will soothe inflammation and irritation and are extra oil-absorbent. Cream foundations tend to be heavy and much thicker than other types and can look streaky on oily skin.
To get the most out of your foundation for oily skin, use primers and other cosmetics that are formulated for your skin type as well. Try Clarins Instant Smooth Primer and then follow with Mattify! Cosmetics Ultra Powder before applying your foundation. Avoid primers that contain high levels of silicone gel, which can clog pores. Use long lasting, smudge-proof, non-cream eye shadows to avoid streaking, and set face with a finishing spray like Model in a Bottle or Urban Decay’s All Nighter.
A good skin care regimen is the foundation of your skin’s condition. Don’t use overly harsh cleansers or masks that leave skin feeling tight. Stripping your skin of all its oil will only encourage it to produce more. Don’t skip the moisturizer; just use an oil-free formulation and adjust the amount for different areas, depending on dryness or oiliness. If oiliness persists or worsens, talk to a dermatologist.