What’s your skin type?
This will help us personalize your experience.

12 Foundations That Keep Oily Skin Types Looking Flawless and Shine-Free

Ruttiyaphorn/Adobe Stock Images

For oily skin types, finding the right foundation can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Some formulas slide around on the skin, while others leave the complexion too shiny. It may take some digging, but it's definitely possible to find a foundation that will keep oily skin smooth, clear, and shine-free. You just need to know what to look for.

Makeup artist Lennie Billy says, "Powder foundations are amazing for people with combination to oily skin.” This classic type of foundation is great for absorbing excess oil while also evening out the skin tone. Billy adds that powder foundations also make touch-ups a breeze.

About the Experts:

Lennie Billy is a makeup artist whose work has been featured in publications such as Vogue US, ESPN Magazine, and TIME Magazine.
Angela Boswell is a makeup artist and beauty professional who does hair and makeup for television, film, weddings, editorial photoshoots, and more.

Even if you’re more of a liquid foundation fan, a liquid formula isn't entirely out of the question for oily skin types. However, you’ll want to look for liquid foundations that are mattifying or oil-free (or maybe even both). 

As oily skin is also typically more prone to breakouts, you’ll want to look for a non-comedogenic foundation formula. Makeup artist Angela Boswell explains, “These foundations contain ingredients that do not clog pores and reduce the chance of causing pimples or acne. They’re typically best for oily, combination, or acne-prone skin.” Boswell suggests oily skin types steer clear of any foundation formulas that include oils that fall high on the comedogenic scale (like avocado oil or coconut oil), as they will likely clog pores and make the skin extra shiny. 

With all this expert advice in mind, let's dive into 12 of the best foundations for oily skin. Whether you're looking for a powder or liquid formula with sheer, full, or medium coverage, we've got something for everyone below.

TARTE Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15

TARTE™ Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15

Learn More

Best Matte Foundation

It's no secret that TARTE Amazonian Clay Full-Coverage Foundation is one of the best matte foundations out there. This oil-free liquid foundation is dermatologist-tested and gives you full coverage with the smallest amount of product. You can even expect the matte finish to control oil for up to 12 hours—no blotting papers necessary. And since the formula is so smooth and blendable, there's no need to worry about looking cakey or creasing throughout the day.

"LOVE this foundation," says Ipster klturnbow03. "Perfect color match, covers my redness perfectly without caking, and still feels lightweight."

SMASHBOX COSMETICS Studio Skin 24 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation

SMASHBOX COSMETICS Studio Skin 24 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation

Learn More

Best Long-Wear Foundation

Repeat after us: Oil-prone skin needs hydration too. This unique, long-wearing formula manages to deliver smooth, matte coverage for up to 24 hours while also keeping your skin comfortable and hydrated (but never shiny!). The oil-free formula uses hyaluronic acid to weightlessly moisturize the skin while flexible, breathable polymers help the pigment to move with your skin for comfortable coverage that truly lasts all day long.

"Provides a lot of coverage with a small amount and helped even out my skin tone," says Ipster tvp_is_me. "Felt lightweight and not greasy."

Best for Sensitive Skin

If your oily skin is also prone to irritation, a mineral foundation can be a great go-to. This iconic loose powder formula from BAREMINERALS is made using just seven clean ingredients. With buildable coverage and a clean matte finish, it's clinically proven to reduce shine, absorb excess oil, and create healthier-looking skin over time.

PÜR 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15

PÜR 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Learn More

Best Multitasking Foundation

Don't have the time (or energy) to apply primer, concealer, and powder foundation separately? Let this four-in-one makeup product do all the work for you. The multitasking foundation instantly preps and smooths skin in seconds, even protecting it from sun damage with SPF 15. The formula works great to keep excess oil under control while providing medium to full coverage with a soft, natural finish.

"This product is AMAZING for when I just need a quick color correct without putting on a full face of makeup," says Ipster jpoole21210.

HONEY JARRET Clean Cover Cushion Foundation

HONEY JARRET Clean Cover Cushion Foundation

Learn More

Best Foundation for Acne-Prone Skin

This non-comedogenic cushion foundation is equal parts makeup and skincare. It pairs high-coverage mineral pigments with a unique superfood complex that promotes healthy, youthful-looking skin. Those with oily, acne-prone skin may also benefit from the inclusion of propolis, a resin found in beehives. This buzzy ingredient has strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits that actively fight breakouts and blemishes.

"Perfect foundation," writes Ipster jessica5480. "It gives me plenty of coverage and doesn't break out my skin."

MAKE UP FOR EVER Matte Velvet Skin Blurring Powder Foundation

MAKE UP FOR EVER Matte Velvet Skin Blurring Powder Foundation

Learn More

Best Blurring Foundation

Looking for an oil-controlling formula that also helps to disguise large pores? Done and done. This 12-hour mattifying foundation uses blurring technology to create an almost-poreless complexion while evening out the skin tone and reducing redness. Expect full coverage that's also refreshingly flexible–no creasing or visible fine lines here.

"This makes my skin so smooth and not shiny," one Ipster writes. Another adds, "I usually prefer liquid foundation, but this is a great replacement. I love the way it goes on light, but evens everything out."

TOO FACED COSMETICS Born This Way Foundation

TOO FACED Born This Way Foundation

Learn More

Best Natural-Finish Foundation

Sometimes you want your skin to still look like skin...just a little bit smoother. For an almost undetectable, natural finish, reach for this bestselling formula from TOO FACED. It's oil-free, non-comedogenic, and totally buildable. Apply a thin coat for BB cream-like coverage or layer up whenever you're looking for a little bit more. This is a must-have for any and all no-makeup makeup looks.

"It feels so lightweight, but the coverage is excellent," says Ipster LottaCurls. "Gives a radiant glow without looking greasy. Makes skin look amazing!"

BEAUTYBLENDER Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation

BEAUTYBLENDER® Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation

Learn More

Best Lightweight Foundation

Thick, heavy foundations often make oily skin appear even oilier. They're also a common culprit for clogged pores. Keep your coverage as weightless as possible with this ultra-light, whipped foundation. The super lightweight feel is thanks to BEAUTYBLENDER's exclusive "HyperWhip" process, which creates a distinctly airy texture that blends into the skin seamlessly. The results: a velvety, soft-matte finish that you might even forget you're wearing.

"I hate wearing foundation because they feel heavy and oily but this just feels like it's not there at all," writes Ipster sugarcube717. "It's so smooth and matte. Best foundation I've ever tried."



Learn More

Best Illuminating Foundation

Oily skin types are almost always directed to matte foundations to help control shine, but who says that these skin types are only interested in a matte finish? If you want to find a way to achieve that covetable dewy glow without looking greasy, try this illuminating foundation. The full-coverage, non-comedogenic formula gives the skin a fresh, radiant look that's not matte but also not overly dewy. Plus, the impressively wide shade range makes it possible to find an exact match not just for your skin tone but your undertone as well.

"This foundation was everything that I hoped it would be," one Ipster writes. "It's a very soft finish and makes you look like you are glowing naturally."

MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation

MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation

Learn More

Best for Combination Skin

Finding the perfect foundation for combination skin can feel like an endless search. Powder foundations have a tendency to emphasize areas of dry skin, while liquid foundations can increase oiliness–especially around the T-zone.

This option from MAKE UP FOR EVER offers the best of both worlds. The longwear formula features a lightweight texture and natural finish that will work flawlessly for combination skin. It even includes hyaluronic acid to moisturize dry areas without adding shine.

"This foundation is crazy! I didn't think it would do anything until I applied it and all my pores disappeared," writes Ipster MichelleB4. "It toned down my redness and made my skin look even and flawless [...] It's perfect for a natural look and just makes your skin look so healthy and beautiful."



Learn More

Best BB Cream

Looking for sheer coverage? BB cream is a great foundation alternative if you want just a touch of skin-smoothing benefits. While many BB creams can leave oily skin types a little too shiny, this multitasking formula is specifically designed to hydrate and banish shine. Apply it all over for subtle coverage that also protects your skin against sun damage.

Ipster Gforce40 says, "I finally got around to trying this and I must say that it had excellent staying power. Lasted all day and into the evening. Love products with SPF too. Such a time and money saver!"

NUDESTIX Nudies Tinted Blur

NUDESTIX Nudies Tinted Blur

Learn More

Best Stick Foundation

This semi-matte foundation stick instantly melts into the skin for easy, streak-free application. As you blend the mineral formula, watch as it blurs pores, disguises blemishes, and evens out the skin tone. If you tend to stress out over finding the right foundation shade, this stick makes it easy. The pigments in this formula self-adjust to your skin tone, making a perfect match a no-brainer.

"I like this blur stick a lot," writes Ipster Shadow_Faerie. "It works well both alone for 'no makeup' or more natural looks. It can also be used under foundation. It blurs well and was a staple of mine over the summer."

Want in on all the IPSY Glam Bag fun? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

Like this article? Share it with your friends by clicking the icons below!

Share Article
Article Last Updated June 9, 2021 12:00 AM