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Best Foundations for Oily Skin

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Finding makeup that works with oily skin can be tough. Foundations always seem to move around after a few hours, and eyeliner often smudges within seconds. And, it can be incredibly complicated for those will oily skin to get the on-trend dewy look, as many products pull you straight into the “greasy” category.

Whether you’re into matte skin or prefer to look luminescent and glowy, you can obtain your desired look with the right foundation, even if your skin struggles with oil and grease. In this article, we’ll share the best foundations for oily skin and offer advice on choosing the right one for you.

Best foundations for oily skin overview:

How we chose the best foundations for oily skin

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including the size, shade range, coverage, finish, formula, and more, to create a short list of the top foundations for oily skin. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best foundations for oily skin for each category.

Our picks for the best foundations for oily skin

1
Best overall
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
$50

What we love

  • Massive shade range
  • Matte finish
  • Ideal for oily, combination, and normal skin

What we don’t love

  • Not everyone wants such full, matte coverage

For those with oily skin, this ultra-matte product by Rihanna’s Fenty is one of the best foundations you can get. With full coverage and exceptional oil control, the foundation has climate-active technology to fight against sweat and grease caused by heat and humidity. 

Plus, the extensive shade range (near 60 different tones) guarantees everyone will find a color match. Oily skin can often be acne-prone, but this foundation line is non-comedogenic, so it won’t cause breakouts.

Size: 1.08 oz | Shade range: 59 | Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte Formula: Liquid

2
Best mattifying
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation Liquid Makeup Foundation
$48

What we love

  • Lasts up to 24 hrs.
  • 56-color shade range
  • Transfer-resistant and waterproof

What we don’t love

  • Bottle lacks a pump

This foundation for oily skin is one of the most mattifying and oil-resistant foundations on the market. It’s formulated to last all day long, thanks to its promise of 24 hours of transfer-resistant wear.

Beyond that, the color selection is incredible, with more than 50 options for all skin tones and undertones. The coverage is relatively high for those who like that matte Instagram look, but you can also sheer it out with a primer for lighter coverage. However, some reviewers noted that this foundation has the potential to create a white cast if you’re using flash photography. Additionally, the lack of a pump can make getting product out of the bottle difficult — especially as you get to the end.

Size: 1 oz | Shade range: 56 | Coverage: Medium to full | Finish: Matte | Formula: Liquid

3
Best premium brand
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour Longwear SPF 15 Foundation
$52

What we love

  • 24-hr. coverage
  • Sweat, humidity, and transfer-resistant
  • Pump for perfect application

What we don’t love

  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for combination-oily skin

This Lancôme liquid foundation has fans from all over the skin type spectrum, but its velvety matte finish means it’s a top choice for oily skin. Take note that people with combination-oily skin might struggle with this pick. Since the formula has ingredients like Perlite and Silica, which soak up excess oil and grease, it may leave combination skin feeling dry.

We love this option because the medium-to-full coverage with a matte finish doesn’t result in flatness or dullness, which makes it feel more natural. The foundation offers a small amount of sun protection, but with just SPF 15, you’ll want to be sure to prime with an SPF-infused moisturizer, too.

Size: 1 oz | Shade range: 50 | Coverage: Medium to full | Finish: Natural matte | Formula: Liquid, SPF

4
Best buildable coverage
MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15
$39

What we love

  • Includes sun protection
  • Non-caking formula
  • Huge shade range

What we don’t love

  • Only offers 6 hours of oil control

MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid Foundation with SPF 15 is a favorite for buildable coverage, as you can use it to even out your skin tone or need to cover more serious skin blemishes. The brand promises that this foundation won’t crease, cake, or settle into fine lines. Plus, it’s a foundation that’s designed for whatever life throws your way, thanks to sweat and humidity resistance. 

And more importantly, the oil-free formula comes in an impressive shade range of 63 distinct tones, so you’ll always be able to find the right color. However, some makeup mavens might be a bit dismayed to find that while the brand promises 24 hours of wear, you’ll only get oil and shine control for six of those hours.

Size: 1 oz | Shade range: 63 | Coverage: Medium to full | Finish: Natural matte | Formula: Liquid, SPF

5
Best tinted moisturizer
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil Free Natural Skin Perfector SPF 20
$49

What we love

  • Infused with Vitamin C and Vitamin E
  • Lightweight formula
  • Contains SPF 20

What we don’t love

  • Limited shade range
  • Doesn’t allow for buildable coverage

You might appreciate this lightweight, tinted moisturizer if you need a break from all the high-coverage options. It allows your natural skin to shine through while keeping oil at bay. In addition to minimal SPF 20 sun protection, it also protects the skin from radical damage with ingredients like Vitamins C and E. 

The tinted moisturizer offers a light matte finish, which can leave you with a bit of a radiant glow — minus the shine. However, this option’s limited shade range might make this particular pick unattainable for some. Additionally, because it’s really a tinted moisturizer, buildable coverage might be harder to achieve. 

Size: 1.7 oz | Shade range: 20 | Coverage: Sheer | Finish: Natural | Formula: Liquid, SPF

6
Best long-wear
Urban Decay Stay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation
$40

What we love

  • Large shade range
  • Waterproof, transfer-proof coverage
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

What we don’t love

  • Not a direct dupe to the discontinued All Nighter Foundation
  • The new vegan formula is thinner, which makes it hard to achieve the right coverage level

What do you do when you’re a vegan beauty, but you want a waterproof, transfer-proof foundation that offers buildable coverage and lasts? You turn to Urban Decay and pick up the Stay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation. For those with oily skin, this is the closest you’ll get to the brand’s now discontinued All Nighter Foundation. 

With up to 24 hours of wear, this is a solid option that works for a wider range of individuals, whether you want to wear a small amount of foundation or prefer a full face. You’ll appreciate the lightweight formula that feels like a second skin rather than like you’re wearing a mask. Although the formula is cruelty-free and vegan, we did note that some people found the updated vegan formula to be a bit too thin — making it harder to build up to their preferred coverage level. 

Size: 1 oz | Shade range: 50 | Coverage: Medium to full | Finish: Real-skin matte | Formula: Liquid, vegan, cruelty free

7
Best skin-friendly
Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup
$33

What we love

  • Natural finish
  • Buildable coverage if you prefer
  • Resists sweat and humidity

What we don’t love

  • Limited shade range

This unique formula from Clinique offers a natural matte finish, complete with humidity resistance and shine control. It provides medium coverage and a very thin, blendable texture that feels light on the skin, so you can build it to full coverage if you prefer.

The ingredients include skin-soothing and pore-tightening willow bark extract, as well as hydrating glycerin and barrier-strengthening cholesterol. Still, OG Clinique users will be disappointed to find that the shade range for this particular foundation is pretty limited — meaning that more medium-to-deep/dark individuals may need to look elsewhere. 

Size: 1 oz | Shade range: 17 | Coverage: Medium | Finish: Natural matte | Formula: Liquid

8
Best SPF-infused
IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 50+
$44

What we love

  • Full protection with SPF 50+
  • Color-correcting formula
  • Contains anti-aging ingredients

What we don’t lvoe

  • May feel too heavy for some
  • Limited shade range

If you need a foundation you can rely on for more serious sun protection, this CC+ cream with SPF 50 is the one. While CC creams are usually associated with lighter coverage, this one actually offers full coverage but can be sheered to medium if applied with a damp brush or sponge.

This option from IT Cosmetics has a natural finish that provides a radiant glow, even on oily skin. It also allows you to skip your moisturizer since it contains hydrating ingredients like snail secretion filtrate and hyaluronic acid. Meanwhile, the CC cream also contains collagen and peptides to aid in anti-aging treatment and prevention.

Size: 1.08 oz | Shade range: 12 | Coverage: Full | Finish: Natural | Formula: Cream, SPF, skin-boosting

9
Best mineral
BareMinerals Original Matte Loose Mineral Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
$35

What we love

  • Formula works to protect skin from environmental damage
  • Natural matte finish
  • Minimizes the look of pores

What we don’t love

  • May feel too heavy for some

Powder foundations are mattifying from the get-go, but this one goes the extra mile to absorb excess oils throughout the day. It comes as a loose powder, so it’s not the most travel-friendly, but it does mean you get more product than you otherwise would with a pressed powder. 

The formula is primarily made from mineral ingredients, with no fillers or irritants. The proprietary RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex works to minimize pores and encourage cellular turnover to improve the texture of your skin with repeated use. The foundation also absorbs oil, ensuring that the dreaded shine won’t ruin your makeup look. Still, we found that many reviewers (even those with oily skin) felt this product highlighted dry patches. Meanwhile, others felt that the powder was too heavy.

Size: 0.21 oz | Shade range: 30 | Coverage: Medium to full | Finish: Natural matte | Formula: Powder, mineral, cruelty-free, SPF, vegan

10
Best powder
PÜR 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Powder Foundation with Skincare Ingredients
$29.50

What we love

  • Wider shade range than most other powders
  • 4-in-1 foundation, concealer, powder, and SPF
  • Vitamin ingredients work to improve skin appearance over time

What we don’t love

  • Powder may settle into fine lines or highlight dry patches

If you’re dealing with discoloration, limited time, and very oily skin, then this may be the best foundation for you. The 4-in-1 formula combines foundation, concealer, powder, and SPF 15 into one product to help you zip through your makeup routine. Plus, the mattifying, high coverage powder foundation is surprisingly skin-nourishing, with ingredients like antioxidant ferulic acid, Vitamin E, shea butter, and hydrating lactic acid that work to brighten and smooth your skin, minimize fine lines, and retain moisture. 

Even though the brand highlights this product as non-cakey, some reviews — especially from people with combination skin — noted that this formula tended to be cakey or to highlight dry patches.

Size: 0.28 oz | Shade range: 26 | Coverage: Medium to full | Finish: Natural | Formula: Powder, SPF, cruelty free

How to pick the right foundation for your oily skin

Formula

  • Silicone. Silicone-based formulas tend to be ideal because they usually offer the best mattifying finish.
  • Liquid-to-powder. This formula provides a velvet finish but still manages to control oil.

Coverage

  • Medium. Medium coverage foundations are the most popular because they offer the most flexibility. Depending on how the foundation is applied, medium coverage ones can present as either full or sheer. 
  • Light coverage. It’s possible to find a light coverage foundation for oily skin. Just be sure to look for product details highlighting how the formula controls or absorbs oil.
  • Full. Full coverage (if you prefer this level of coverage) is popular for oily skin types, especially when paired with a matte finish. The matte finish will help control oil production and prevent shine.

Finish

  • Natural. Because of your skin’s natural oils, you’re unlikely to find many true dewy formulas that target oily skin. Instead, a natural finish is a good compromise because it allows a natural glow to come through without high shine.
  • Matte. Of all the finishes, matte is the most popular option as it works to prevent oil production. Note, though, that a matte finish might be too strong or look cakey if you have combination skin. 
  • Natural matte. Natural matte is a compromise that offers some of the velvety effects that a true matte foundation provides without looking too flat. 

FAQs

Which foundation is best for oily skin?

Those with oily skin should opt for a medium-coverage, natural, natural matte, or matte foundation. However, keep in mind that you’ll still need to do a bit of trial and error to find the right shade for your skin tone and determine which formula works best with your body’s chemistry. 

What’s the best foundation for oily skin and large pores?

Before focusing on a foundation as the immediate solution, start by tackling your skincare regimen. You want to ensure that you’re properly cleansing your skin, exfoliating regularly, or incorporating an effective active ingredient like retinol or bakuchiol to help reduce the look of pores. If your pores still look large, consider a foundation for oily skin that incorporates specific ingredients that improve the skin appearance over time, such as the Pür 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Powder Foundation with Skincare Ingredients or the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 50+. 

Which foundation is best for oily and acne-prone skin?

Like people with large pores, your first step will be focusing on your skincare regimen. Once you’ve confirmed that your skincare routine isn’t to blame, look for a non-comedogenic foundation that’s not too heavy (avoid full coverage foundations) to prevent clogged pores and breakouts. Meanwhile, check the ingredients list to ensure that there aren’t any irritating additives that can also contribute to acne.