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Not all foundations are created equal (captain obvious, we know). There are the basic formula differences—powder, liquids, creams, cushion compacts, fluids, and more. Then there’s the coverage level. Are you going for a subtle tint just to enhance your natural skin tone, or do you want a full face of foundation? There’s no shortage of different finishes, too, ranging from glowy to matte and everything in between. But when shopping for your ace of base, don't forget about built-in sun protection.
You (hopefully) at this point know how important it is to shield your skin from the sun, and finding foundations with SPF makes it easier to do so. That being said, there’s one big caveat: The majority of foundations with SPF don’t go much higher than SPF 25, which is below the recommended SPF 30 for daily use. So, your best bet is to keep using a separate sunscreen and think of the protection you’re getting from your foundation as an extra insurance policy. After all, the more SPF, the better.
Ahead, the best foundations with SPF that offer a little something for everyone.
Best Overall: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation
Find us a more aptly named foundation—go ahead, we’ll wait. The coverage is medium and buildable, and easily tailored to camouflage any type of imperfection, or simply to even out your skin tone. Speaking of, there are 21 shades available, all with varying undertones (it’s no surprise that 88% of women agreed that it matches their skin tone). Add to that a perfectly demi-matte finish and SPF 15 for some serious makeup magic indeed.
Best Budget: Revlon ColorStay Makeup For Combination/Oily Skin SPF 15
A long-wearing formula? Check. (We’re talking a very impressive 24-hour wear time, by the way.) A matte finish that minimizes shine without looking chalky? Yep. A wide range of 31 shades? You bet. A very wallet-friendly price tag? Indeed. This drugstore staple meets all the same requirements as its much pricier counterparts.
Best for Oily Skin: Shiseido Synchro Skin Lasting Foundation
Not only is this formula oil-free with a matte finish (both important if you’re constantly trying to combat unwanted sheen), but it also goes one step further. Infused with an oil-absorbing powder, it knocks out extra oil, minimizing the look of pores in the process, too. It’s also very thin and lightweight—despite the fact that it offers medium coverage—another win for anyone whose skin is prone to getting greasy.
Best for Dry Skin: Tarte SEA Water Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
The star of the show here is, you guessed it, water—20% water, to be exact, to help your skin hold on to its natural moisture. This also makes for a weightless texture that feels nearly undetectable. Vitamin E adds extra moisture, while antioxidant-rich marine plant extracts (in keeping with the water theme) make the perfect protection partner for its SPF 15. Oh, and we should also mention that this formula is both hypoallergenic and vegan.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Bare Minerals Original Loose Powder Foundation
The O.G. of mineral foundations, there’s a good reason (or reasons, rather) why this powder has withstood the test of time, no matter how many new foundations may come and go. Its minimal ingredient list makes it ideal for blemish-prone skin; it contains only five ingredients, all minerals, which won’t clog pores, nor irritate stressed out, broken out skin. Still, you can easily build the coverage to help you cover up any pesky pimples when they do crop up.
Best for Mature Skin: Lancôme Renergie Lift Makeup Foundation SPF 27
For an instant youth boost, reach for this liquid formula. Think of its unique Micro-Lift technology like a bra for your face, where extra-fine waxes help instantly shape and lift. Since foundation settling into fine lines can also be a concern for those with mature skin, this contains microscopic bubbles that create air pockets, letting your skin breathe and preventing the makeup from creasing. And since sunscreen is of the utmost importance in any anti-aging arsenal, we’re happy to report that this one touts SPF 20.
Best Full Coverage: Armani Beauty Power Fabric Foundation SPF 25
For days or occasions when you want a foundation that really packs on the coverage, this cult-favorite can’t be beat. As a general rule, full coverage almost always means a heavier texture, but that’s not the case with this base. Credit saturated yet ultra-fine pigments, which deliver an intense dose of color without feeling thick. It’s also why a little goes a long way (try applying it with a makeup sponge or brush for the best spreadability and most even coverage), so one bottle will last quite a while.
Best Sheer Coverage: Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint
When you don’t want to wear a full face of foundation, but still want a little something-something, look to the subtle coverage of this foundation. The oil-infused formula (a mix of avocado, mandarin, grape seed, and jojoba oils) is extra-hydrating and leaves skin with a dewy radiance. Couple that with the minimal coverage and you’ve nailed the ‘no makeup-makeup’ look. The click pen-rollerball applicator means you won't have to worry about spills, and this is one of the few foundations out there with SPF 30.
Best with SPF 50: Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free All-in-1 ABC Cushion Foundation SPF 50
Like we said, it’s tricky to find a foundation with an SPF 30—so those with SPF 50 are true makeup unicorns. Tap the cushion-y sponge in this compact (with your fingers, a brush, or the included puff) to dispense the perfect amount of the weightless fluid formula. Besides the very impressive broad-spectrum SPF protection, it also contains other good-for-your skin vitamins, antioxidants, and plant extracts. Yes, please.
Best Shade Range: L'Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup
Sure, you could get excited about the affordable price, or the oil-free, hydrating formula, or the perfectly natural finish of this foundation. But we can’t get over the expansive array of 45 (yes, you read that correctly) shades formulated to match not only various skin tones, but various skin undertones, too. It took over a decade of research to come up with this shade range, and we’re just going to go ahead and say that was time most definitely well spent.
Best Powder: Elizabeth Arden Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 20
No matter whether you want a sheer wash of color or complete skin camouflage, this powder has got you covered (pun intended). The powder is finely milled to both feel light on skin and deliver buildable coverage. It’s also infused with a sea water complex to support you skin’s own balance of minerals, and has a slightly radiant finish that never turns flat or chalky. Bonus points for the delivery system, which prevents the inevitable spills and messiness that can come with many other loose powders.
Best for On-the-Go Application: 3Lab Aqua BB SPF 40 Cushion Foundation
When your makeup application has to happen sans mirror or tools—or if you’re just pressed for time—reach for this compact. Not only is the complexion perfector extra hydrating, it doesn’t just cover imperfections, it also color corrects at the same time. It’s forgiving and buildable, so you can dab it on with your fingers or the included puff in seconds and be good to go. We love it for midday touch-ups, too.