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Oil-free foundations are a saving grace in summer months when humidity is at its highest and makeup is melting and sliding off your face. But for those with sensitive, oily, or acne-prone skin, oil-free foundations can prove to be beneficial year-round. If you have a temperamental complexion, you can still achieve a flawless full-coverage finish without clogging your pores, thanks to one of our favorite oil-free formulas below.
The best oil-free foundations leave skin with a clean, matte look while continuing to absorb oil and reduce shine throughout the day. Coverage from oil-free foundations will feel more lightweight and breathable than their oil-based counterparts, so you can bid adieu to congested pores and subsequent breakouts. Even better, many of these formulas contain ingredients that actively improve skin during wear, leaving your complexion looking even more radiant once you rinse off your makeup.
Keep scrolling for the best oil-free foundations that won't clog your pores.
Best Overall: Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Liquid Foundation
Lightweight and airy, this liquid foundation goes on easily and evenly. It has a demi-matte finish, meaning it’s not too matte, but not too dewy. It’s a perfect balance that won’t leave you glistening. Infused with light-diffusing spheres and wrinkle-reducing ingredient Matrixyl 3000, it expertly buffs your canvas for a gorgeous, seamless look.
The feathery texture glides right on and feels practically weightless, so it’s made for the hotter temps when wearing makeup isn’t ideal, but coverage is still needed. Plus, the formula is brightening, leaving your skin still looking like yours, except better.
Best Budget: e.l.f. Cosmetics Flawless Finish Foundation
With over 40 shades, you’re certain to find your true match when it comes to this oil-free foundation. It’s e.l.f.’s best-selling liquid foundation for a few reasons: Its long-lasting wearability, the clean semi-matte finish, and the incredible price. When applied, the formula blends right into your skin, covering up any patchiness, discoloration, and blemishes. The best way to apply it is by using a dense foundation brush or a sponge, so the product ends up on your face and not buried in the brush’s bristles.
Best Drugstore: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation
Get the perfect matte look with this foundation, which helps absorb all excess oil and leaves pores basically nonexistent. At a very affordable price tag, this product is sure to make its way into everyone's makeup bag sooner or later. With 40 shades to choose from, there's a reason why it's one of the best-selling drugstore foundations on the market.
Check out our guide to the best drugstore foundations you can buy today.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15
Ah, sensitive skin types. You apply a foundation, feeling hopeful, and it seems to go okay, but then it all starts happening: the itchiness, the redness, and gasp, the breakouts. Another foundation to bid adieu to. Well, not anymore. Say (an enthusiastic) hello to a dermatologist-developed oil-free liquid foundation that will not only cooperate with your skin but visibly reduce the appearance of age spots and uneven skin tone. The allergy-tested formula has a combo of luminous minerals, antioxidants, and SPF 15 coverage that brightens and prevents new discolorations from forming.
Best Sheer Coverage: LORAC Sheer POREfection Foundation
Sometimes, all you want is a hint of coverage—just enough to keep your skin looking dewy, clean, and seamless. Made up of anti-aging antioxidants, like vitamin E and lemon fruit extract, this super-light formula feels silky smooth as it glides onto the skin for a healthy, natural-looking finish.
The satiny texture provides a lustrous glow while reducing the appearance of pores. Plus, the coverage is buildable, so you can go as sheer as you like, or add more product for medium coverage. Anyway you like it, this is definitely the right oil-free foundation for the coveted “no-makeup makeup look”.
Best Full Coverage: Too Faced Born This Way Undetectable Foundation
When you’re in need of full coverage, this little bottle has got it. A favorite amongst makeup connoisseurs and beauty editors alike, this foundation boasts up to 12 hours of long-lasting wear, is photo-friendly, and offers 40 face-perfecting shades. Infused with hydrating coconut water, plumping hyaluronic acid, and strengthening alpine rose, it not only buffs away any imperfections, but it also helps heal the skin at the same time. In short: It’s totally ideal for those with skin that tends to act out.
Best Medium Coverage: Laura Mercier Silk Creme Oil-Free Photo Edition Foundation
A makeup-artist favorite, this high-pigment, oil-free foundation delivers color-true pigments and 12-hour coverage. What we love most is its versatility: You can wear this foundation every day for natural-looking coverage or build it up for special events or on days your skin looks worse for wear.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup
An oil-free foundation that provides coverage and helps to clear skin? Sign us up. The MicroClear technology and blemish-fighter salicylic acid band together and make a power-packed acne-fighting formula. As much as it keeps breakouts at bay, the formula still feels lightweight and gives skin a clean, natural look, all without the dreaded greasiness. In fact, in a clinical test, 100% of users said they felt it improved their skin over time.
See more reviews of our favorite foundations for acne-prone skin available for purhase.
Best Matte Finish: L'Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte 24HR Foundation
For a truly seamless, no-shine-in-sight look, a matte foundation is your best friend. This particular option gives that desired soft-focus look, hiding imperfections with its rich and creamy formula. The best part? It’s super long-wearing and ultra-lightweight, so your airbrushed finish lasts for up to 24 hours without weighing down your face.
Best Powder: Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
For a long-lasting, velvet-matte finish, this liquid-to-powder foundation formula absorbs 75 percent of its weight in oil without drying skin. It features advanced cashmere kaolinite clay to control oil throughout the day, antioxidants to protect skin against free radicals, and oxygenating solvents to help clear pores. Plus, the formula is vegan and gluten- and cruelty-free.
Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best powder foundations available online.
Best Shade Range: Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation
Enjoy a natural-looking, velvety-matte finish for up to 24 hours with this long-wear formula. Infused with perlite and silica, this oil-free foundation also works to absorb oil to keep you shine-free from start to finish. Choose from 45—yes, 45—different shades.
Best BB Cream: La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur
This creamy formula may be categorized as a BB cream, but it offers all the benefits of a foundation, including a mousse texture that instantly absorbs oil and broad-spectrum coverage of SPF 20. Rely on it to help cover blemishes and smooth the skin's surface. It's fragrance- and paraben-free, making it the perfect choice for many skin types.