How To Pick The Right Foundation For Oily Skin

Foundation smears

This is often the complaint of women who have oily skin, this is a situation I can personally relate to.  Even when using a great foundation, you can have problems with makeup either fading or rubbing off, or in hot, humid weather, sweating off, melting away or turning orange.

The problem is, the oil in your skin can mix with the ingredients in a foundation and break it down. To try to avoid this meltdown,  you will want a foundation that will not rub or sweat off, that minimizes oiliness and prevents shininess on the skin, and one that will not oxidize and change color.  Since those with oily skin tend to have large pores, if you have this issue, you’ll also want to find a foundation that is able to cover visible pores.

To ensure that a foundation has these benefits, look for formulas that are oil free, long wearing, and have a matte finish.

The type of foundation you need will also depend on what you are looking for. If you require very little coverage, you can get away with powder or a sheer to medium foundation.  If you want a full coverage foundation; you want it to be lightweight and buildable.  Packing on too much foundation can make your makeup look mask-like and unnatural.

When choosing foundation, pick one that is powder-based (sheer and buildable) or a liquid foundation that is water-based or in a mousse formula.

Avoid cream based foundations as they can contribute to more oiliness and often have ingredients that will irritate oily or acne prone skin.

For a matte and oil-free foundation that will help get rid of shine, here are some oil absorbing ingredients to look for:

  • Silica – Silica (silicon dioxide) is a mineral that gets rid of excess sebum to mattify the skin without giving it an ashy look.  In addition to absorbing moisture and sweat, it is anti-caking and also improves spreadability.
  • Calcium carbonate – Calcium carbonate is an oil absorber, prevents shine and gives foundation a matte finish and also helps color stay true.
  • Bentonite/quarternium-90 bentonite  – Bentonite is clay found in Fort Benton, Wyoming that absorbs oil and also reduces blemish outbreaks, reduces redness and allergic reactions and is soothing to the skin.
  • Amazonian clay – Amazonian clay is extracted from the banks of the Amazon River and reduces surface oils and the appearance of pores but is also not too drying for the skin.

While it’s important for foundation to be oil-free, it should also have hydrating ingredients to give skin the right balance of moisture.   A foundation that over-dries the skin can cause the skin to react by producing more oil.

Mineral-based foundations are often recommended for oily skin because they don’t clog pores.  Just bear in mind that while mineral-based foundations are considered better for the skin, because of the minerals, such as iron oxides, they are also prone to oxidation.

Though some foundations claim that they will not oxidize and become discolored, any foundation has the potential to oxidize and deepen in color on the skin due to a number of factors including the pH balance of your skin. The pH in sebum mixes with the pigment in foundation and causes it to darken.  However, if there is the claim that a foundation is non-oxidizing, there is a better chance that there will be ingredients in the formula to minimize the risk of the color darkening over time.  If you have a favorite foundation, but find that it tends to oxidize, buy the foundation in a shade slightly lighter than your skin tone

Though some foundations claim that they will not oxidize and become discolored, any foundation has the potential to oxidize and deepen in color on the skin due to a number of factors including the pH balance of your skin. The pH in sebum mixes with the pigment in foundation and causes it to darken.  However, if there is the claim that a foundation is non-oxidizing, there is a better chance that there will be ingredients in the formula to minimize the risk of the color darkening over time.  If you have a favorite foundation, but find that it tends to oxidize, buy the foundation in a shade slightly lighter than your skin tone.

It’s best if you can get a small sample of the foundation to test during the day to see how it will react to your skin.  How a foundation works on your skin can also depend on other products you use, how the foundation is applied, climate, and how fresh the product is (since exposure to air can effect the formula) and other factors.

*Article and image credit about.com

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