Finding the perfect foundation for oily skin types can be a lot of trial and error: You’ve likely experienced versions that are too shiny, too cakey, too streaky, or too thick — just for starters. Instead of playing a guessing game of roulette with your makeup, there are a few key basics you can start with:
- Prep your skin with a face primer to create a smooth, matte base that gives your foundation something to “stick” to.
- Go for oil-free formulas so that it doesn’t leave too much of a sheen on your oil-prone skin.
- Ideally, look for “non-comedogenic” on the packaging (a.k.a it won’t contain ingredients that could potentially create clogged pores that result in acne). FYI: Non-comedogenic can still include oil-based ingredients that aren’t known to clog pores, but might still leave a greasy shine behind.
- Set your skin with a translucent powder or setting spray to absorb oil and make sure your foundation lasts all day without caking.
Now, for the fun part: If you have oily skin, we’ve narrowed it down to these six favorites that check off all the boxes to keep your skin looking shine- and streak-free. Plus, we gathered some customer fanfare around each product so that you don’t need to simply take our word for it!
Range: 50 shades
Coverage: Sheer to Full
When you prefer a foundation that feels like skin (hence the “naked” reference in the product name), this vegan liquid option will make you forget you’re wearing any makeup at all. The line comes with an impressive 50 shade range, with a handy shade finder to take the guesswork out of finding your best match.
“I first bought the naked foundation a few weeks before my wedding. My goal was to find a foundation that matches my skin tone, felt lightweight, and lasted all day. It was love at first application! I love that it’s buildable and that it feels like I’m not wearing any makeup.”
Range: 30 shades
Formula: Loose powder
Coverage: Sheer to Full
This iconic, vegan loose powder foundation is formulated with just seven minerals that the brand claims are so clean you can sleep in (though we wouldn’t recommend ever sleeping in makeup!). The soft, lightweight formula absorbs excess shine and oil and contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to protect your skin from the sun.
“I have very oily skin and have tried what feels like hundreds of products in the past to help keep my oil under control. This is the first powder foundation I have used, and it actually works! I find it works better with a primer underneath (for a more seamless look and to keep my skin less oily), but my skin is most definitely less oily since I’ve started to use this foundation. I don’t have to do as many touch-ups throughout the day.”
Range: 26 shades
Formula: Pressed power
Coverage: Sheer, but buildable
For a formula that’s sheerer than a loose powder, this vegan and water-resistant (up to 40 minutes) formula is for you. It contains pine bark extract and pomegranate extract that are potent antioxidants that help fight free radicals and it’s one of the few foundations recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen. It comes in either SPF 20 or 15, depending on the shade.
“I haven’t found anything that comes close to this product. The color matches my skin tone perfectly, it will literally fine-tune any uneven skin tone or blemishes. I also love the fact that I can buy refills for my compact so that it’s easy to pop in and out when refilling the product.”
Range: 24 shades
Coverage: Light to medium
If you’re looking for makeup with serious benefits, search no further than this skincare-meets-makeup liquid foundation. It evens out your skin tone, keeps skin hydrated with chamomile water and hyaluronic acid, and it feels comfortable all day long without caking. It contains a blend of cold press oils and natural waxes that leave behind a luminous glow, so if you’re super oily you may want to spot treat certain oil-prone areas of your face like your T-zone with a mattifying setting powder.
“I love the light serum-like application of the liquid foundation because it feels like skincare. Coverage is light and natural without a mannequin-like opaqueness that is present with other foundations. It truly brings out my own unique skin tone with an effortless evenness I have been looking for in a foundation. As an esthetician, I believe beautiful skin should be showcased and never covered up.”
Range: 14 shades
Coverage: Sheer to medium
This is the only foundation that features MicroClear Technology, which dissolves excess oil and helps the formula’s salicylic acid penetrate your skin better so your skin is preventing (or treating) acne all day. Great for both oily and acne-prone skin, the smooth formula feels breathable and gives your complexion natural-looking coverage.
“If you have ever had breakouts using other makeup, you have to try this. I started using it a couple of years ago and have never had another break out on my face from oily, pore-clogging makeup. I hated the cycle of wearing makeup, breaking out from it, and wearing more [layers of makeup] to cover the breakouts. This one has an additive that prevents breakouts and it is made without the ingredients that clog sensitive skin. I am not an expert — just a consumer that has battled this my whole life and now I tell everyone about this wonderful product.”
Range: 22 shades
Coverage: Sheer to medium
Another foundation we love with a serum-like finish, you’ll also find that this formula is dewier than matte (thanks to rosehip and marula oils that color correct redness and blur imperfections). It also includes plant-based squalane to balance out your skin and minimize the look of pores so you always have a fresh-faced complexion.
“I’ve been looking for a clean foundation for a while and during my research, Ilia was on every list. Finally, I tried it and will never go back. I love this foundation more than the ‘high-end’ foundation I was using prior. It’s ultra-lightweight, covers my redness, and the color matches perfectly.”
We only recommend products we have independently researched, tested, and loved. If you purchase a product found through our links, Sunday Edit may earn an affiliate commission.