Everything You Need to Know About Picking the Right Foundation for Oily Skin

Does your foundation start melting as soon as you walk out the door? Oily skin is a year-round problem for some of us but there is still a way to get your makeup to stick!

Oily skin can be incredibly high maintenance! You need to keep reapplying products all day long only to watch them start smearing away a couple hours later.

It doesn’t need to be so difficult though. Before you do another touch-up, take a closer look at your routine. A few changes to your product collection can make it much easier to manage oily skin.

#1: Banish oil from your face and product line-up

Since your skin is already producing ample oil, you will only make a situation worse if you choose products that add more oil. Always look for products labelled oil-free, shine-free, mattifying, poreless, or non-comedogenic.

When it comes to face wash and toner, look for glycolic acids on the ingredient list. It will minimizing oil before you apply your foundation and your foundation will last much longer.

On top of just regular cleansing, use a treatment mask once or twice every week. Look for masks with kaolin or bentonite clay. They will absorb the oil and help prevent it.

#2: Layer for staying power


It is especially difficult to get makeup to last on oily skin. It’s important that you layer your products to maximize staying power. If you do it well, it won’t look cakey and it will prevent your skin from looking too oily midday.

Always start with a primer. If it’s a bit too pricey for you or you don’t like the feel of it, just focus it on the oiliest points of your face. Use an anti-shine formula designed for the skin on your t-zone (your forehead, nose, and chin) which is typically the oiliest area of anyone’s face.

After you apply a layer of primer, add the foundation. Let the foundation dry for a couple of minutes then set it with a translucent loose powder.

#3: Don’t get too crazy with touch-ups

Powder can be great for minimizing shine but be careful that you don’t overdo it. You can use a foundation and powder over all of your face in the morning. After that, just touch up with powder. Use a loose matte powder and only apply it to oily areas. If you add too much powder, use a damp makeup sponge to blend it and wipe off the excess.

Blotting paper is a better alternative to pressed powder. Rather than covering up the oil and letting it rest on your face all day, try to remove it. Carry some with you wherever you go and use them whenever you are staying to have a little too much glow.

The trick to using blotting papers to gently roll them over your skin. Never rub them because you will just end up redistributing the oil. Hold the paper around your middle and index finger then gently roll them over your skin.

#4: How to find the right products


If you only splurge on one product, it should be foundation. You can typically get by with cheap mascara, blush, and lipstick but it’s not easy to get a quality foundation. The drugstore brands tend to be a bit more watered down so you can end up using more product in the long run.

It’s hard to choose from just recommendations alone because everyone’s face is different. Go to a department store or beauty supply shop that allows you to test the products. A good quality shop will have someone there to give you recommendations on shades, colours, and formula types.

Foundation can react differently on oily skin so be sure to test it on your shiniest parts. If you have a particularly oily t-zone, you may need to get a foundation that is one shade lighter that you’d use on the rest of your face. The oil in your skin will make the foundation look darker so take a careful look to make sure that the shade will work everywhere.

#5: Experiment with different foundations

Liquid foundation formulas can work fine for oil skin but powders are also definitely worth a try. They will help absorb oil and leave you with a matte finish.

If you are prone to getting breakouts, also look for foundations that have salicylic acid in them. Most people have some variety to the skin type on their face so think about treating different areas differently.

Ingredients like salicylic acid can dry out skin if used to regularly on less oily areas so you may not want to apply it everywhere. Having two different foundations can be super helpful- and you can use them for contouring and highlighting if you get two different shades! It’s a higher upfront cost but, of course, each bottle will last much longer.

Concealer with salicylic acid can also be great. You can spot treat acne and cover it at the same time. If your skin is getting irritated when you use it everywhere, just stick with the places that need it. 

About the author

Nicci Mende

I love to travel and learn style tips from other women around the globe. I like learning how to use natural oils and cosmetics made from local organic ingredients, like kohl and henna.

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