It's Official: These Are the Best Drugstore Foundations for Oily Skin

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Foundation is tricky—and by tricky, we mean somewhat overwhelming. Though we're constantly trying new, complexion-enhancing formulas on our T-zones and cheekbones, we still routinely find ourselves in the middle of a makeup aisle, scratching our heads, throwing up our hands, and slowly backing away toward the door.

After all, there are numerous factors that beg careful consideration. From shade to price to formulation, what works for some won't necessarily work for others—especially if you have oily skin. For this skin type, you need a formula that won't act like a Slip 'n Slide after a few hours of wear. To lend a helping hand, we thought we'd narrow down the selection to the very best drugstore foundation formulas, for those prone to oily skin and blemishes.

Keep reading for the best drugstore foundations for oily skin.

Best Overall: Neutrogena SkinClearing Liquid Makeup

Equipped with special microclear technology, this popular drugstore formula is great for tackling shine, bumps, and redness in a non-irritating manner. The coverage is lightweight, breathable, and ingredients like salicylic acid help improve—and prevent—blemishes for oily, acne-prone skin. Plus, it's designed to never clog pores.

Best for Acne: e.l.f. Cosmetics Acne Fighting Foundation

E.l.f. Acne Fighting Foundation

Heavy, cake-prone foundations don't do skin any favors for those prone to bumps and inflammation. So, by incorporating an acne-fighting formula designed especially for oily skin types, you can beat breakouts before they happen in the first place. This drugstore foundation by e.l.f. contains helpful key ingredients like salicylic acid, witch hazel, camphor, tea tree, and aloe vera.

Best for Excess Shine: CoverGirl Clean Matte Liquid Foundation

CoverGirl Clean Oil Control Foundation

This cult-favorite drugstore pick is great for banishing shine while somehow managing to keep skin hydrated (i.e., not flaky.) The key: Strategic grease-absorbing ingredients that consistently keep oil levels in check throughout the day.

Best Long-Wear: L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

L'Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation

There's a reason this drugstore foundation makes each and every "best of" list when it comes to formulas designed for oily skin. Even a light-handed application yields a flattering, demi-matte finish that promises to withstand the test of time—as in a full 24 hours. Plus, skin is left looking remarkably even and healthy.

Best Lightweight: Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation

If heavy, full-coverage foundations aren't your thing, Rimmel's pretty, mousse-like matte formula is a dream come true. It blends immaculately, diminishes the appearance of pores, and is formulated sans oil for a flawless, shine-free finish. In fact, this cute purple tube has been one of our preferred drugstore foundations for oily skin for years now.

Best Full Coverage: NYX Professional Makeup Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation


Not all matte foundations are formulated to the same caliber, but for such a wallet-friendly find, we're duly impressed by this one from NYX Professional Makeup. It's water-based, which makes it a great option for oily skin types and offers a natural, full-coverage finish that magically feels virtually undetectable on the complexion. In other words, you'll never feel like you're wearing a mask.

Best Medium Coverage: Revlon ColorStay Makeup For Combination/Oily Skin SPF 15

A favorite of senior editor Lindsey Metrus, this foundation stays in place even on the hottest, sweatiest days. And even though it's a bit thicker on contact, when applied with a Beautyblender, it buffs seamlessly into the skin and can be built upon for fuller coverage.

Best Shade Range: IMAN Cosmetics Luxury Concealing Foundation

Iman Luxury Concealing Foundation

Not only is this drugstore foundation filled with the oil-banishing likes of licorice, açai, and a dynamic trio of vitamins A, C, and E, but it also comes in an amazing shade range that blends and buffs victoriously into the complexion. It's oil- and paraben-free, and unsurprisingly, it's one of our favorites for a radiant—never greasy—glow.

Best Stick: Maybelline New York Fit Me Shine-Free + Balance Stick Foundation

Maybelline® FIT ME® Shine-Free + Balance Foundation - Deep Shades - .32oz

The long-lost (yet equally effective) cousin to its liquid-foundation counterpart, Maybelline's beloved Fit Me foundation also comes in an easy-to-transport stick formulation we can't stop tossing into our purse. Yes, it strategically discourages shine, but the medium coverage is also great for blending away redness in a soothing manner that never disrupts our skin's homeostasis. 

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