Best Foundation for Oily Skin, According to 8 Experts

What are some of the best foundation to use on oily skin?

We asked experts to recommend their top picks.

Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin, M.D.

Viseslav Tonkovic-Capin

Dermatologist and Dermatopathologist | Editor, DermBoard

Since I do not like to recommend any specific product, I will describe the ideal foundation for oily skin:

  • It must be in loose mineral powder form (pressed, a solid and liquid foundation may plug skin pores and cause or worsen acne).
  • It should contain zinc oxide (for protection from ultraviolet radiation).
  • It should contain salicylic acid in up to 2% concentration which reduces oiliness and prevents and treats acne.
  • It should contain clay which will absorb the excess of oil and hence will reduce skin shine.

Kate Hancock

Kate Hancock

Entrepreneur | Founder, OC Facial Care Center

Matte Tinted Sunscreen

A matte-tinted sunscreen will give you the best coverage for oily skin as it will not cause pores to be clogged unlike having a thick layer of makeup on. It gives you the SPF coverage needed and provides the covering up of imperfections.

You only need to wear one product instead of packing on multiple products that will worsen your skin. Zinc or titanium mineral-based sunscreens typically do not cause breakouts like other SPF products.

Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, M.D.

Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil

Dermatologist | Founder, Mudgil Dermatology

It is the best around. It has a great shine-free finish that’s perfect for oily skin types.

Krystal B. Armstrong

Krystal B. Armstrong

Professional Makeup Artist | Licensed Cosmetologist

This foundation has a matte finish but not a super dry matte that causes the skin to produce more oil due to dehydration. It is full coverage so a little goes a long way – leaving room for the skin to breathe, and it’s long-wearing.

Now, I haven’t tested the 24-hour theory because I am an advocate of cleansing my skin before bed; but I have worn it for 12+ hours with no issues. All in all, if you have oily skin, give this a try!

Adina Mahalli


Hair & Skin Care Expert, Maple Holistics

If you’re looking for a great foundation for oily skin you should first and foremost make sure that the foundation is oil-free, as is Clinique’s Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup. It resists sweat and absorbs shine so that you’re looking fresh, not shiny or greasy, all day.

This foundation won’t streak or fade at up to 88°F with humidity, so you know that you’re safe and protected for a solid eight hours. And it comes in 20 different shades, so you can find the right fit for you. Plus, the tip of the bottle makes for easy application, so you won’t waste tons of the product (and your time).

Allison Depriestre

Allison Depriestre

Celebrity Makeup Artist

This foundation has a mat finish, but unlike most mattifying foundations, the finish is velvety and never cakey. Since it has incredible coverage, it is also very well suited for oily skin with acne.

Even though it has a strong ability to keep oil away and cover any imperfections, it gives you a natural-looking finish. Your skin keeps breathing and looking like skin even though this is the biggest challenge with most foundations for oily skin.

It also has many shade references, which is important because the last thing you want when going for mattifying or high coverage foundation is getting the wrong color. The right choice of color matters more than ever.

If you want it to stay perfectly in place all day, I suggest fixing the T-zone with loose powder using a powder puff. This step won’t be necessary for everyone as it has a strong staying power on its own.

Agatha Krandiotis

Agatha Krandiotis

Make-up Artist, Mania Hair Studio

Lancôme’s Tiente Idole

Buy on Amazon
02/28/2024 11:21 am GMT

The key is to start with a great mattifying primer followed by an oil-Free foundation. Lancôme’s Tiente Idole happens to be a good choice. It’s also non-transferable which is always a win-win!

Judy Lee

Senior Manager, KollectionK

I have oily skin so the foundation easily goes away after a few hours. As you know, cushion type foundation is to correct the makeup during the day and this is actually a good foundation to fix the makeup and last long. It’s made to control the oil so actually, it controls the sebum for longer-lasting freshness.

The moist-cover effect promotes a healthy look while covering up imperfections and pigmentation. Its sebum control formula helps reduce shine and keep makeup stay in perfect condition for hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have oily skin?

Oily skin is characterized by a shiny appearance, large pores, and an increased risk of skin breakouts. To determine if you have oily skin, you can perform a simple test by pressing a clean tissue against your forehead, nose, and chin after washing your face. If the tissue has noticeable oil residue, you probably have oily skin.

What ingredients should I look for in a foundation for oily skin?

When buying a foundation for oily skin, look for ingredients like salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and clay. These ingredients help absorb excess oil, control shine and reduce the appearance of large pores. Also, look for lightweight and oil-free formulas and products labeled as “mattifying” or “oil-controlling.”

Can I still use a liquid foundation if I have oily skin?

You can still use a liquid foundation if you have oily skin. Just make sure to look for a product that has a matte finish and contains oil-absorbing ingredients. You can also use a primer or setting powder to control shine throughout the day.

Can I use a foundation with a dewy finish even if I have oily skin?

Although a dewy finish may not be the best choice for people with oily skin, it is possible to use a foundation with a dewy finish. However, it is important to use a product specifically formulated for oily skin with oil-absorbing ingredients. Also, use a minimal amount of the product and set it with a matte powder to control shine.

Is using a primer before applying foundation necessary if I have oily skin?

Yes, if you have oily skin, using a primer before applying foundation is highly recommended. A primer creates a smooth canvas for the foundation, absorbs excess oil, and controls shine throughout the day. Look for a primer specially formulated for oily skin and contains oil-absorbing ingredients.

How often should I touch up my foundation during the day if I have oily skin?

If you have oily skin, you may need to touch up your foundation throughout the day to control shine and keep your complexion matte. Carrying blotting paper and a setting powder in your bag is recommended for a quick touch-up. Also, avoid heavy and greasy foods that can contribute to excessive oil production.

Are there any tips for applying foundation for people with oily skin?

When applying foundation for oily skin, it is important to start with a clean and well-moisturized face. Use a small amount of product and blend it with a sponge or brush, focusing on the areas that produce the most oil. Set the foundation with a matte powder to control shine and avoid a thick layer of product, which can contribute to a greasy look.

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