Best Foundation for Oily Skin – 5 Options for a Shine-Free Finish

glamgrader brunette applying foundation in her bedroom

Finding the right foundation can be a game-changer for anyone with oily skin. Foundations designed for oily skin help manage shine, provide long-lasting coverage, and often contain ingredients that tackle excess oil production without clogging pores. The struggle for those with oily skin is finding a foundation that maintains a matte finish while also feeling lightweight, not exacerbating skin problems, and not disappearing as the day goes on

When searching for the best foundation for oily skin, we consider a product’s ability to resist breaking down over hours of wear. It’s also important that the foundation offers a balance between a matte finish and a formula that doesn’t dry out the skin. Many formulations now include skin-friendly ingredients like salicylic acid that help to manage acne and control shine, while others have powdery finishes to absorb excess oil.

The key factor to pay attention to when purchasing a foundation for oily skin is its compatibility with your skin type and concerns. Look for non-comedogenic formulas to avoid clogged pores and breakouts; look for oil-free compositions that will prevent added shine; also look for long-wearing claims that suggest they can withstand the extra oil your skin produces throughout the day. Some foundations also offer added SPF protection, which is beneficial for everyday wear, though it is imperative to use a separate sunscreen for full protection.

With these considerations in mind, we’ve scoured reviews, conducted tests, and considered the expertise of makeup professionals to bring you our top selections. Our goal is to help you find a foundation that makes you feel confident in your skin, lasts all day, and keeps that undesired shine at bay. Let’s move on to see which products made the cut.

Our Top Picks for the Best Foundation for Oily Skin

We all know how tricky it can be to find the perfect foundation that keeps shine at bay without clogging pores. That’s why we’ve scoured the market to bring you our favorite foundations that are specifically formulated for oily skin. These picks are designed to give you a flawless, long-lasting matte finish that feels light and comfortable all day long. Whether you’re on a budget or looking to splurge a little, our list has something for everyone. Let’s help you meet your match!

#1: Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

We recommend this foundation for anyone with oily skin seeking a matte finish without digging deep into their wallet.


✅ Tailored for normal to oily skin
✅ Wide range of shades for perfect skin match
✅ Provides natural-looking coverage


❌ Might require reapplication for all-day longevity
❌ Limited benefits for dry skin types
❌ Some shades may appear different in person

Finding the right foundation for oily skin can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, but we feel confident that the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation cuts through the noise. Its 40 shades all but guarantee a true match for your skin tone, making it a breeze to achieve that sought-after natural look.

The magic of Maybelline’s Fit Me Foundation lies in its matte finish and poreless appearance. For those of us navigating the challenges of oily skin, this product steps up, aiming to curb shine and create a more even skin texture.

Remember to take your skin’s specifics into account when considering this foundation. Though magnificent at mattifying, if you have patches of dry skin, you might want to layer this foundation with a hydrating primer. It is versatile enough for various events, whether that’s a day at the office or a night out with friends.

#2: E.L.F. Flawless Finish Foundation

We think you’ll love this foundation for its skin-improving formula and buildable coverage, suitable for every unique beauty routine.


✅ Offers a semi-matte finish that complements oily skin
✅ It’s a vegan and cruelty-free product
✅ Provides hydration along with evening out skin tone


❌ May not suit those who prefer a completely matte finish
❌ Limited coverage for those with significant blemishes
❌ The product’s longevity could be an issue for some

Oily skin can be particularly choosy when it comes to foundation, but the e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation seems to get it right. It strikes a nice balance with a semi-matte finish that helps to control shine without leaving the skin looking flat. The inclusion of glycerin in its formula is a thoughtful touch, keeping the skin hydrated throughout the day, which is often a challenge with foundations suited for oily skin types.

Versatility is a strong suit of this foundation. Whether you’re looking for a natural daytime look or aiming for full coverage for an evening event, it adjusts to meet your needs. By mixing it with moisturizer, you can even achieve a sheer cover, or for a bit more radiance – a shimmery facial moisturizer will do the trick. It’s heartening to see such flexibility in a product, making it a worthy contender for your beauty arsenal.

This foundation isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s also ethical. Knowing that it’s vegan and not tested on animals adds a layer of satisfaction for the conscious consumer. While no product is perfect, its benefits seem to outweigh its limitations. With the e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation, those of us with oily skin may have found a reliable companion that understands our unique needs without compromising on quality or ethical standards.

#3: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Tint

If you’re after a foundation that hydrates while providing a natural look, the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint will be a game-changer for you.


✅ Infuses skin with hydration thanks to hyaluronic acid
✅ Creates a natural, healthy glow with its lightweight formula
✅ Doesn’t clog pores, maintaining a clear complexion


❌ Limited shade range may not suit all skin tones
❌ Limited coverage for those with significant blemishes
❌ May not adhere well to very dry or flaky skin areas

Let’s talk about the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid, making it a match made in heaven for those of us seeking a foundation that not only evens out the complexion but also provides essential moisture throughout the day. Its water gel consistency feels delightfully light on the skin, eliminating that dreaded cakey feeling.

We appreciate how it effortlessly creates a radiant finish that mimics a good skin day, every day. It’s perfect for a no-makeup makeup look, and we love how it allows the natural beauty of our skin to shine through. The oil-free formula means fewer worries about midday shine, especially for those of us with oily areas.

However, we recognize its shade range could be broader to accommodate more of us with diverse skin tones. While the sheer coverage is a boon for a natural look, it might not be the go-to for those who require a more full-coverage solution. And, if your skin has pronounced dry patches, a bit of extra prep might be necessary so it won’t be clinging to those areas.

#4: Almay Comfort Matte

We think you’ll appreciate this foundation for its skin-perfecting qualities and its ability to stay matte. This one is great for those with oily skin!


✅ Controls shine for a matte finish
✅ Gentle on the skin, hypoallergenic and cruelty-free
✅ Provides long-wear coverage for up to 16 hours


❌ Limited shade range may not suit all skin tones
❌ Matte finish might accentuate dry patches
❌ Some might prefer a foundation with added fragrance for a sensory experience

When looking for a reliable foundation that caters to oily skin, our comfort matte foundation is a contender worth considering. Its formula is designed to deliver a smooth, even canvas while maintaining comfortable wear throughout the day. The consistency is lightweight, ensuring that your skin doesn’t feel suffocated or overly made up.

Blurring out the imperfections is a promise that many foundations make, but this one delivers on that promise and does so without caking. The ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while providing an oil-free matte finish is what sets it apart. It’s always refreshing to find a makeup product that also considers skin health—with this foundation, we’re free from problematic additives like parabens and phthalates.

Longevity in makeup is necessary for when we have those busy days, and we’re all for products that help streamline our routines. With up to 16 hours of wear, it’s reassuring to know that this foundation can keep up with us. Furthermore, the hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested claims provide an extra sense of security for those of us with sensitive skin.

Navigating the world of foundations can be daunting, especially with the myriad of choices available. However, for those with oily skin seeking a matte, skin-loving product, this foundation might just be the perfect match.

#5: Clinique Stay Matte Makeup

If you’re searching for a foundation that combats shine and lasts all day, we think this one might be your match.


✅ Absorbs excess oil for a matte finish
✅ Withstands sweat and humidity
✅ Maintains a natural look without feeling heavy


❌ May not be suitable for extremely dry skin types
❌ Color match might be tricky without trying it first
❌ Higher price point compared to some drugstore options

Finding the right foundation for oily skin can be a game-changer. We look for products that promise a long-lasting, shine-free complexion without clogging pores. Clinique’s Stay Matte Makeup does just that, blending seamlessly into the skin and keeping that dreaded midday shine at bay.

The issue with many foundations is how they hold up against the rigors of a busy day. Our agenda often includes more than sitting in a temperature-controlled environment. This formula is designed to resist sweat and humidity, which is a real benefit for someone who’s constantly on the move.

Ultimately, a good foundation should enhance, not mask your natural beauty. This product offers a satin, fresh finish that does not look cakey or feel heavy. It’s a fine balance, but Clinique appears to have hit the mark here, giving us that ‘barely there’ feel with sufficient coverage. While the price might be a bit steep, investing in a quality foundation that works well with oily skin could save us from buying multiple products that fall short.

Buying Guide – Foundation for oily skin

When we’re on the hunt for the perfect foundation to complement our oily skin, there are several factors we should consider to achieve that flawless finish.

glamgrader best foundation for oily skin

Skin Undertone

Understanding our skin’s undertone is crucial. Determining your skin’s undertone by looking at the veins on your wrist is a common and simple method. Here’s how you can tell your undertone:

Find a natural light source: Undertones are easiest to identify under natural lighting. Stand near a window or go outside on a bright day to examine your wrist. Look at the color of your veins: Turn your wrist over and look at the veins on the inside of your forearm. The color of these veins will help you identify your undertone.

  • If your veins appear blue or purple, you likely have a cool undertone.
  • If your veins look green or olive, you probably have a warm undertone.
  • If it’s difficult to determine whether your veins are more blue or green, you may have a neutral undertone, which is a mix of cool and warm tones.

While the vein test is a helpful starting point, there are other indicators of undertone as well:

blonde woman applying foundation bedroom
  • Cool undertones: Skin may have hints of pink, red, or blue. People with cool undertones might burn more easily under the sun and may look good in jewel tones like blue, green, and purple.
  • Warm undertones: Skin might have yellow, peachy, or golden hues. Individuals with warm undertones may tan easily and often look great in earth tones like reds, oranges, yellows, and olive green.
  • Neutral undertones: Skin doesn’t have an obvious pink, red, blue, yellow, or golden cast and appears more balanced. Neutral undertones can usually wear a variety of colors from both warm and cool spectrums.

Remember, the vein test is not foolproof and other factors such as skin color, pigmentation, and even the color of your clothing can affect the way your vein color appears. If you’re still unsure about your undertone, you may want to consult with a makeup artist or a professional at a beauty counter who can provide a more accurate assessment with additional tests and under various lighting conditions.

Foundation Type

Our skin type benefits from specific formulations:

  • Mattifying Foundations: Control shine and reduce the appearance of pores.
  • Oil-free Foundations: Prevent clogging of pores.
  • Non-comedogenic: Do not cause breakouts.


Depending on our preference, we can choose from:

  • Light: For a natural look.
  • Medium: For minor blemishes.
  • Full: To cover most imperfections.


For oily skin, long-wear foundations that claim to last 8-12 hours are ideal, ensuring we stay shine-free throughout the day.


Protection from UV rays is vital. Look for foundations with SPF but without a greasy finish.


We want ingredients that benefit oily skin:

Beneficial IngredientsAvoid
Salicylic AcidOils
Hyaluronic AcidSD Alcohol
Zinc OxideIsopropyl Myristate
Our skin’s health is important, so let’s choose wisely and enjoy a foundation that makes us feel confident and beautiful all day long.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we’ll address some of the most common concerns you might have when selecting a foundation for oily skin. We’ll help you find your perfect shade and introduce you to some of the best products and ingredients for a matte finish that controls oil throughout the day.

How can I determine the right foundation shade for my oily skin?

To find the right foundation shade for your oily skin, we recommend testing multiple shades along your jawline in natural light. Your perfect match should blend seamlessly with both your face and neck, providing a natural look without appearing ashy or overly vibrant.

What are the top drugstore foundations suitable for oily skin?

Some of the top drugstore foundations for oily skin include Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation, L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation, and e.l.f. Cosmetics Acne Fighting Foundation. These options offer excellent oil control and are wallet-friendly.

What foundation ingredients offer the best matte finish for an oily complexion?

Foundations with ingredients like silica, kaolin clay, or charcoal can provide the best matte finish for oily complexions. They are effective in absorbing excess oil, reducing shine, and maintaining a smooth, matte look throughout the day.

How should I prepare my skin before applying foundation to help control oil?

To prepare your skin before applying foundation and help control oil, we suggest starting with a gentle, oil-free cleanser. Follow with an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer and a primer specifically formulated for oily skin to ensure a long-lasting matte finish.

Are there specific ingredients to look for in a foundation when dealing with oily mature skin?

For oily mature skin, look for foundations containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, retinol, and niacinamide. These ingredients help with oil control while also targeting fine lines and uneven skin tone to promote a youthful complexion.

What are the most recommended powder foundation ingredients for managing oily skin?

The most highly recommended powder foundation ingredients for managing oily skin include talc, silica, and zinc oxide. These help to absorb oil and minimize the appearance of pores while providing a lightweight, natural coverage.


After thorough research and consideration, we’ve concluded that the #4: Almay Comfort Matte is the top foundation for those with oily skin.

glam grader blonde girl applying foundation for oily skin

Almay’s Foundation is meticulously formulated to cater to the unique needs of individuals with oily skin. One of the primary reasons it is highly regarded is its hypoallergenic nature, which ensures that the product is free of common irritants that can exacerbate skin issues, including excess oil production. This makes it an ideal choice for those with sensitive skin or who are prone to breakouts, as it minimizes the risk of adverse reactions that can occur with more aggressive formulations.

Furthermore, the Almay Foundation is developed with the input of dermatologists, ensuring that the product not only provides excellent coverage but also maintains the health of the skin. Its lightweight texture is specifically designed to absorb excess oil, reducing unwanted shine and providing a matte finish that lasts throughout the day.

This is particularly beneficial for those with oily skin, as the foundation won’t clog pores or contribute to a greasy appearance. Instead, it helps to balance the skin’s natural oils, resulting in a smoother, more even complexion that looks fresh and feels comfortable for extended periods. The foundation’s ability to stay put without sliding off oily areas also makes it a reliable choice for long-lasting wear, which is essential for anyone who doesn’t want to constantly touch up their makeup. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


  • Alice Slater

    Alice trained as a cosmetologist at Glen Dow Academy in Spokane, WA. She was a representative for "Beauty for All Seasons" for several years and worked for numerous ad agencies and production companies as a freelance makeup artist. She also served as a volunteer for Spokane Ballet and the Spokane Symphony doing makeup and hair.

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