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Feel like no matter what you do, your skin is slick with oil almost immediately after you finish applying your makeup? You’ve tried and tried, but you just can’t find the best drugstore foundation to suit your oily skin. If you’re sick of the excess sebum shining on your face, your pores appearing like craters and even breakouts popping up, then we’re here to help! Blotting papers and clay masks can be helpful, but when you’re out all day, you need makeup made to suit your skin type!
There are many foundations out there, but many are just not affordable. That’s why we narrowed our search to more affordable options, our goal to find the best drugstore foundations for oily skin. But what does that mean, exactly?
How We Determined the Best Drugstore Foundations for Oily Skin
DermNet NZ explains that “the oil on the surface of skin is a complex mixture of sebum, lipids (from the surface skin cells), sweat and environmental material.” We wanted to find foundations that considered these factors, providing more than just pigment and coverage. This meant looking for ingredients we like to see in skincare for oily complexions.
We considered both liquid and powder foundations, BB and CC creams and more, and we searched for words like “matte” and “shine-free.” We kept an eye out for oil-absorbing/fighting ingredients like salicylic acid as well. We also searched for oil-free formulas, of course. Not all oil in skincare is bad, but if you’re not into the whole dewy skin thing, oil-free formulas can be the way to go!
13 of the Best Drugstore Foundations for Oily Skin
1. NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation
Our Overall Favorite
This affordable, non-comedogenic find from one of the most popular drugstore makeup brands is obviously a hit with shoppers! It offers full, matte coverage and claims to last for 24 hours — though you should certainly still wash your face at the end of every day!
- Over 40 shades
- Claims to be waterproof, transfer-proof, humidity-proof
- Matte formula may be more difficult to remove than others
2. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation
This foundation caught our eye because it’s both dermatologist- and allergy-tested! It’s a liquid formula, but it contains micro-powders to help control shine for matte makeup that lasts and lasts. This is a medium coverage pick for both oily and combination skin!
- Over 40 shades
- Shoppers say they prefer it over more expensive options
- Some wish it had a pump for cleaner application
3. e.l.f. Camo Powder Foundation
An Airbrushed Finish
If you have very oily skin, you may prefer powders as opposed to liquid. This pressed powder is a wonderful pick because it’s infused with primer, helping to create that pore-free, airbrushed look. It has a semi-matte finish and is formulated without skin no-nos like talc, phthalates and parabens!
- Powder sponge included
- May be harder to find an exact shade match
4. Almay Clear Complexion Makeup
Best for Acne-Prone Skin
This hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested foundation is great for oily, acne-prone and sensitive skin. It’s fragrance-free and contains salicylic acid, a fan-favorite ingredient for unclogging pores and preventing future breakouts. It has a clean ingredient list and the glass bottle is even recyclable!
- Contains added prebiotics for healthier skin
- Aloe vera may help soothe irritation
- May be a little drying if skin isn’t very oily
5. Revlon ColorStay Liquid Foundation
We love to see makeup with SPF sun protection for an extra anti-aging boost! This oil-free foundation has broad spectrum SPF 15 and claims to provide matte coverage for up to 24 hours — even underneath a mask. Truly the type of modern foundation we’ve been waiting for!
- Made to withstand heat, sweat and humidity
- Buildable coverage — medium to full
- 1 fl oz size may be a little small
6. ColourPop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Acid Tinted Moisturizer
Light as a Feather
Many foundations for oily skin are specifically heavier coverage with matte finishes. But what if that’s not necessarily your preference? If you’d prefer something super lightweight and breathable, to help your pores breathe, we love this oil-free, hydrating foundation!
- Hydrates without oil
- Over 1,300 reviews on Ulta alone
- Dewiness could still enhance oily complexions
Available at: Ulta
7. Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream
Best BB Cream
This is another pick on the sheerer side, as most BB creams are. It’s oil-free, however, and contains 2% salicylic acid to target oil and acne. It also claims to mattify and clarity as you wear it for smooth, shine-free skin without the heavy ingredients!
- Combines skincare and makeup in one step
8. Covergirl Clean Simply Powder Foundation
Covers Like a Liquid, Applies Like a Powder
This non-acnegenic, hypoallergenic powder is another very popular pick. Some powders do not provide ample coverage, but this one is different. It provides a matte finish and even comes in a mirrored compact if you’re ever in need of touch-ups — or simply want to check on your lipstick!
- Recommended for sensitive skin
- Shoppers are calling it their “holy grail”
9. Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation
For a Smooth, Satin Finish
This clean, non-comedogenic foundation is 100% vegan and free of silicone, parabens, phthalates, talc, BHA, BHT, petrolatum and drying alcohols. It’s oil-free and aims to give you a shine-free, satin finish. We love a satin finish because it gives you a little glamorous sheen without an oily look!
- Claims to leave skin smoother and healthier after six weeks
- Only size is under 1 fl oz
10. Neutrogena Clear Coverage CC Cream
Best CC Cream
This color-correcting cream delivers matte coverage to blur discoloration, redness and the appearance of pores. It’s oil-free, but it does contain skin-favorite ingredient niacinamide to help even out tone and soothe skin. It’s breathable too!
- Developed with dermatologists
- Hypoallergenic and free of oil, fragrance, parabens and phthalates
- On the thicker side, which may not fit everyone’s preference
11. L’oreal Paris Magic Nude Liquid Powder
This liquid foundation transforms into a soft, powder-like finish upon contact with the skin. Just shake and apply! Shoppers say it looks fabulous even at the end of a long day, and we love that it has SPF 18 protection for an added benefit!
- Extremely lightweight
- One shopper compared it to Dior foundation
- Dries very fast, so you need to work quickly
12. Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer
Simplify Your Routine
Eliminate one more step from your routine by using this product: a foundation and concealer in one! It has a natural matte finish, and it claims to be waterproof and sweat-proof as well. 100% of testers in a consumer panel survey said it made their skin look more even!
- May help reduce redness
- Oil-free formula
- May be too thick for some shoppers
14. Ulta Velvet Matte Longwear Foundation
This 12-hour wear foundation is designed to provide a matte yet velvety finish, rather than hard and cakey. It’s infused with spherical and light diffusing powders, and it’s clinically proven to last all day long!
- Contains vitamin E for extra antioxidants
- Oil-free and fragrance-free
- Only available at one retailer
Available at: Ulta
Other Drugstore Foundations We Love for Oily Skin:
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