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Keep shine at bay with these long-lasting bases

When it comes to finding the best foundation for oily skin, the dream is one that controls shine but allows our natural skin texture to peek through. Today’s formulas do just that with the cakey coverage of old replaced with natural-looking finishes that offer both shine-control and comfort.


Preparation is key. From the best cleansers for oily and acne-prone skin to regular exfoliation and hydration, skincare can provide a welcome helping hand. In our experience, a good setting powder and a makeup setting spray can make a world of difference, too.


If you're tired of your foundation going patchy by noon, you’ve come to the right place. From what to look for to what to avoid, the best foundation for acne-prone skin to the best full coverage foundation, here’s our ultimate guide.


What foundation is best for oily skin?


Does your skin start to get slick come midday? A matte finish, longwear or powder foundation can be great for dialing down shine.


If you don’t like anything too heavy, look for ones that are oil-free or non-comedogenic. If a base is non-comedogenic, this usually means that it has been formulated in a way that is unlikely to contribute to the formation of blocked pores, or comedones – this can be particularly handy if you’re spot or acne-prone.


These types of non-clogging bases are also brilliant for sensitive skin types, as are lightweight, buildable formulas, which are easier to remove (check out our guide for the best face washes for sensitive skin here). Thicker textured foundations require more elbow grease to take off, which can disrupt the skin’s barrier function (its protective layer) and leave it feeling more delicate. If you’re prone to reactions, you may want to also avoid heavily fragranced foundations, or forgo it altogether if fragrance has triggered a flare-up for you in the past.

10 of the best foundations for oily skin


Whether you’ve got oily skin that’s sensitive or acne-prone, or if you’re looking for a medium or full coverage, we’ve got all bases covered. Here are 10 of the best to try.


Explore more great options here

Best lightweight foundation for oily skin


Try: Laura Mercier Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation (£37)


• Size: 30ml

• Shades: 30

• Oil-free

• Non-comedogenic

• Fragrance-free

• Medium to full coverage

Longwear but lightweight, this matt-finish buildable foundation evens out tone and feels incredibly comfortable on skin – you’ll forget that you have it on.

Best medium coverage foundation for oily skin


Try: Sleek Makeup Life Proof Foundation Medium/Full Coverage (£8.99)


• Size: 30ml

• Shades: 24

• Oil-free

• Medium to full coverage

Soft-focus powders in this budge-proof base gently blur the appearance of pores. Plus, its price won’t blow the bank.

Best full coverage foundation for oily skin


Try: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (£27)


• Size: 32ml

• Shades: 50

• Medium to full coverage

• Vegan

If you need something a little harder-wearing for a big night out or special occasion, try this. It's sweat-proof as well as dancefloor-proof and covers everything from shine to large pores.

Best foundation for sensitive oily skin


Try: L’Oreal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation SPF17 (£9.99)


• Size: 34g

• Shades: 40

• Non-comedogenic

• Medium to full coverage

This non-comedogenic, lightweight base serves up long-lasting coverage and also has added ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin and aloe vera to hydrate. When skin is dehydrated, it can sometimes produce more oil to overcompensate – so if your skin feels tight, but looks shiny, this could be your perfect match.

Best matte foundation for oily skin


Try: NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation (£28)


• Size: 45ml

• Shades: 34

• Oil-free

• Full coverage

It’s hard to find a foundation that’s matte without being flat. However, this base manages to strike the tricky balance while offering natural-looking coverage.

Best value foundation for oily skin


Try: Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Liquid Foundation (£5.99)


• Size: 30ml

• Shades: 40

• Oil-free

• Medium coverage

Its price is hard to beat – but so is its formula. Its flexible micro-powders prevent it from looking mask-like, while its lightweight texture is easy to build up in places that you’d like extra coverage.

Best powder foundation for oily skin


Try: Fenty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Powder Foundation (£27)


• Size: 9.1g

• Shades: 50

• Light to full coverage

• Vegan

Shiny T-zone? Take the edge off with this light-as-air buildable powder foundation. Formulated to provide smooth, non-cakey coverage, slip it into your bag for top-ups on-the-go.

Best foundation for oily acne-prone skin


Try: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation Stick (£29.50)


• Size: 9.5g

• Shades: 21

• Non-comedogenic

• Fragrance-free

• Medium to full coverage

If you have combination, oily or sensitive skin, this foundation stick is a great choice. Acting as both concealer and foundation, it also has an in-built kabuki brush for blending, contouring and fine-tuning your handiwork.

Best gel foundation for oily skin


Try: L’Oreal Paris Fresh Wear Infallible 24HR Freshwear Foundation (£10.99)


• Size: 30ml

• Shades: 26

• Gel formula

Developed with innovative oxygen technology for a lightweight feel, this pick’s stretchable formula provides a hefty dose of coverage, without compromising on comfort.

Best foundation for oily and redness and acne-prone skin


Try: Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup (£28.50)


• Size: 30ml

• Shades: 8

• Oil-free

This hardworking base provides benefits in both the short and long-term thanks to its blemish-fighting formula that tackles existing breakouts and neutralises redness, too. The result? Smoother looking skin when you have it on and also when you take it off.

All prices correct on date of publication
Photography: Stocksy