The 13 Best Setting Sprays for Oily Skin of 2023

Our best overall pick is the NYX Professional Makeup Matte Setting Spray

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Best Setting Sprays for Oily Skin

Byrdie / Sabrina Jiang

A setting spray is probably one of those makeup products that isn't a part of your daily routine. Rather, it’s an occasional add-on, something you reach for on special occasions when makeup meltdown is simply not an option. But for those whose complexion veers towards the perpetually slick side, setting sprays could, and should, be a standby staple. Simply put, a few spritzes can mean the difference between a day-long battle with unwanted sheen and an immaculate complexion. (And really, which would you rather?)

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Our top choice in setting sprays for oily skin is the NYX Professional Setting Spray Matte; it's a fan favorite because it keeps your skin matte all day, no matter the weather. We also love the more affordable Wet n Wild Photo Focus Matte Finish Setting Spray, which absorbs oil for a soft-focus matte finish.

Since not all setting sprays are created equal, there are a few key points to remember when choosing one best suited for oily skin. Avoid anything touted as "hydrating" or "moisturizing" or where words such as "dewy" or "luminescent" are involved. Your mission is to mattify, so seek out oil-free spritzes that will tamp down shine and keep unwanted oil at bay. When using one, make it the final step in your makeup routine, the cherry on top of the sundae, as it were. Holding the bottle 6 to 8 inches away from your face (you want to ensure a fine mist hits your skin and not too much liquid), spray in an ‘X’ then ‘T’ shape. This will concentrate most of the product on the areas of your face that tend to get the oiliest.

To find the best setting sprays for oily skin, we conducted hours of research—evaluating each on how well they were able to absorb oil, cut shine, and keep makeup fresh throughout the day. We also looked for any extra features, like if they were waterproof or weather resistant. Our product testers tried out a couple top-rated picks, sharing their insights with our team. After consulting an expert and considering dozens of options, we landed on these top-rated picks.

Ahead, find the best setting sprays for oily skin to keep makeup in place with a cool, matte finish.

Best Overall

NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray Matte

4.2
NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray, Matte

Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Controls oil

  • Feels light on the skin

What We Don’t Like
  • Can feel sticky initially

You’ve likely seen this touted somewhere on the Internet; it repeatedly gets tons of online buzz from devoted fans. Lightweight and long-lasting, it leaves the best matte finish. Also nice: The formula is completely vegan and cruelty-free, too. The ultra-affordable price is the icing on the cake.

Reviewers loved that this setting spray locked their makeup in place all day, without drying out their skin. They also noticed that held its own against hot and humid weather.

Price at time of publish: $8

Size: 0.68 ounces, 2.03 ounces, 6.08 ounces | Finish: Matte | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

nyx professional makeup matte setting spray

Byrdie / Khera Alexander

What Our Testers Say

"By mid-day, my forehead and nose are usually pretty oily, and I use blot tissue to minimize the shine, but I found that the spray did a good job of keeping my skin fairly matte that I didn’t need to blot my skin until the early evening. Needless to say, I was impressed." Khera Alexander, Product Tester

Best Budget

Wet n Wild Photo Focus Matte Finish Setting Spray

Wet N Wild Photo Focus Matte Finish Setting Spray
What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like
  • Smaller than other options

The bottle may be small and the price low, but that doesn’t mean that this bargain buy can’t pack a makeup setting, oil-absorbing punch. It helps to prevent cracking, creasing, and the like, and has a soft-focus matte finish, thanks to the addition of hydrating (but not greasy) aloe vera in the mix. 

Price at time of publish: $7

Size: 1.52 ounces | Finish: Matte | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore

Maybelline Lasting Fix Makeup Setting Spray

Maybelline Lasting Fix Makeup Setting Spray
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Lightweight

What We Don’t Like
  • Spray could be more of a mist

Once upon a time, not so long ago, you may have been hard-pressed to find an effective setting spray at the drugstore. Happily, that’s not the case anymore. A few quick spritzes of this drugstore staple keep makeup in place and skin matte all day long, no big spending required.

Price at time of publish: $10

Size: 3.4 ounces | Finish: Matte | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Cooling

Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray

Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Pleasantly cooling

  • Kaolin clay helps absorb excess oil

What We Don’t Like
  • Reviewers note that it has an unpleasant smell

Setting sprays may come and go, but this one remains a perpetual fan favorite among Byrdie editors and pro makeup artists alike. Not only does it reduce shine and keep your skin matte (Fun fact: In a study, 85% of participants said it was the longest-lasting oil-control product they’ve ever used), but it also truly locks makeup in place. Credit temperature control technology, which cools it to ensure it doesn’t budge. Cool, indeed. Makeup artist and StyleSeat Pro Manuel Espinoza is a fan, pointing out that it also contains kaolin clay, a great ingredient for absorbing excess oil. 

Price at time of publish: $33

Size: 4 ounces, 1 ounce | Finish: Matte | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Lightweight

Skindinavia The Makeup Oil Control Finishing Spray

Skindinavia Makeup Setting Spray

Amazon

What We Like
  • Pro-favored formula

  • Non-comedogenic

What We Don’t Like
  • Smaller than other options

Working to effectively set both powders and liquids in place, this pick is a staple for many makeup artists who work on film and TV sets (because hot lights are a recipe for makeup meltdown). It works by essentially forming a lightweight film on top of the skin, which slowly evaporates and removes heat with it to keep products in place. We know, "film" sounds like a recipe for clogged pores, but don’t stress, the product is non-comedogenic.

Price at time of publish: $11

Size: 0.66 ounces, 4 ounces, 8 ounces | Finish: Matte | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Soothing

Volition Beauty Oil-Control Mattifying Mist

Volition Oil Control Mattifying Mist

Volition Beauty

What We Like
  • Gentle and non-irritating

  • pH balanced

What We Don’t Like
  • Glass bottle

For those dealing with the oh-so-fun combo of oily and sensitive skin, this is a major win. Infused with rose water to tamp down redness, it also has an amino acid complex that helps keep your skin’s pH balanced, a major component in the quest for a balanced complexion. But yes, it combats oil, too. A humectant powder does the seemingly oxymoronic job of both removing excess oil and simultaneously attracting just the right amount of moisture to the skin because matte is good but chalky and cracking is not.

Price at time of publish: $36

Size: 1.7 ounces | Finish: Matte | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best With SPF

Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30

COOLA Organic Makeup Setting Spray with SPF 30

Ulta

What We Like
  • Multi-tasking formula

  • Lightweight

What We Don’t Like
  • Contains chemical sunscreen

In case you haven't heard, you're supposed to reapply sunscreen every two hours. It's an admittedly tough goal, but one made notably easier thanks to this spray. The formula (which is 70% organic, we should add) offers all-important SPF 30 while also absorbing shine and minimizing the look of pores. While sprays aren't the most effective formula for solely protecting your skin from damaging rays, they can help ward off rays, keep grease at bay, and makeup set.

Price at time of publish: $36

Size: 1.5 ounces | Scent: Green tea aloe | Finish: Matte | Waterproof: No, but is water-resistant up to 80 minutes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Blurring

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray

Charlotte Tilbury

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Makes skin appear airbrushed

What We Don’t Like
  • Reviewers note that it can feel sticky

Espinoza also likes this formula, lauding it for being hydrating yet oil-free (and alcohol-free, too). Per the name, it delivers a blurring effect making skin look poreless, and contains film-forming polymers that lock makeup in place, warding off not only smudges and smears but caking and creasing, too. Still, as Espinoza points out, it’s very lightweight.

Price at time of publish: $36

Size: 3.3 ounces | Scent: Floral | Finish: Matte | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Long-Wear

Milani Make It Last 3-in-1 Setting Spray

Milani Make It Last 3-in-1 Setting Spray

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Lightweight

What We Don’t Like
  • Doesn’t have a specific mattifying claim

One of Byrdie editors' favorite drugstore setting sprays, you can spray this onto skin before or after makeup application (or both). Either way, you get up to a whopping 16 hours of staying power with no creases, smudges, caking, or creasing in sight.

Price at time of publish: $11

Size: 2.03 ounces | Finish: Natural | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Long-Wear, Runner-Up

JOAH Set-fection Transfer-Proof Setting Spray

JOAH Set-fection Transfer-Proof Setting Spray

JOAH Beauty

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Absorbs oil

  • Transfer-proof

What We Don’t Like
  • Smaller than other options

Another choice pick for long days and late nights, this boasts extreme lasting power while keeping the skin hydrated. This formula has hyaluronic acid and centella asiatica, so it's able to deliver a lovely matte finish without drying out the skin or leaving a sticky residue. Top tip: It’s best used as a prep step pre-makeup and then again as a final finishing step.

Price at time of publish: $13

Size: 1.69 ounces | Finish: Matte | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Waterproof

One/Size by Patrick Starr On ‘Till Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray

4.7
One/Size by Patrick Starr On ‘Till Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray

Kohl's

What We Like
  • Minimizes pores

  • Non-sticky

What We Don’t Like
  • Reviewers note it has a strong hairspray-like smell

Espinoza likes this because it not only keeps makeup in place for up to 16 hours, it also contains green tea extract and witch hazel which help absorb excess oils and make prominent pores appear smaller in the process, he says. (He also raves about how non-sticky it is.) Plus, it’s the only waterproof pick on the list, which is ideal for super hot, super sweaty days.

Price at time of publish: $30

Size: 3.4 ounces, 1 ounce | Scent: Green tea, cucumber, citrus, melon | Finish: Matte | Waterproof: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Combination Skin

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Setting Spray

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Setting Spray

Ulta

What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Lightweight

What We Don’t Like
  • Spray could be more of a mist

“This setting spray works great for oily skin and provides shine control for up to 16 hours,” says Espinoza of another one of his picks. That being said, if your skin skews more toward the combination skin side, or you only have certain spots that are slick, it’s still a great choice. “It also contains skin-soothing ingredients such as aloe vera extract, coconut water, and hyaluronic acid—all made to hydrate, revitalize, and plump skin,” he adds.

Price at time of publish: $15

Size: 3.4 ounces, 1 ounce | Scent: Coconut | Finish: Dewy | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Oil-Absorbing

Milani Make It Last 3-in-1 Charcoal Setting Spray

Milani Make It Last 3-in-1 Charcoal Setting Spray
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Charcoal helps absorb excess oil

What We Don’t Like
  • Smaller than other options

Charcoal is a well-known oil-fighting ingredient, and it’s the star of the show in this spritz. The formula is extremely absorbent, think of it as a liquid version of blotting papers. A micro-fine charcoal powder and silica both work to sop up excess sheen and, like the other Milani formula on the list, it also keeps makeup put for up to 16 hours.

Price at time of publish: $10

Size: 2.03 ounces | Finish: Matte | Waterproof: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Final Verdict

If you have oily skin, a mattifying makeup setting spray is pretty much a non-negotiable. The NYX Professional Setting Spray Matte gets our vote for overall best; it's extremely affective at cutting shine and locking in your makeup all day. We also love the budget-friendly Wet n Wild Photo Focus Matte Finish Setting Spray because its able to keep your makeup matte without drying you out.

Meet the Expert

Manuel Espinoza is a makeup artist and a StyleSeat Pro based in Los Angeles with over a decade of experience in the industry.

What to Look for in a Setting Spray for Oily Skin

The Word Matte

To be fair, any type of setting spray will help keep makeup from sliding off slick skin, but Espinoza underscores the fact that there are both hydrating and mattifying formulas out there. Make sure you’re using the latter since the former is meant to impart a dewy finish to the skin—probably not what you’re going for.

FAQ
  • What does setting spray do for oily skin?

    Setting sprays for oily skin ensure your makeup stays put all day and all night, says Espinoza. They work to lock in your makeup and add an extra layer of protection from outside factors, such as hot, humid weather.

  • When should you use a setting spray for oily skin?

    Make one of these sprays the final step in your makeup routine. A few spritzes will go a long way, and most are formulated to last throughout the day, so you likely won’t have to reapply (though you can if you want to). Read the directions of the particular product you choose, suggests Espinoza. Some work best if they’re applied onto skin both before and after makeup, he says.

Why Trust Byrdie

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. Since she doesn’t have oily skin, she relied on expert intel and tons of reviews and consumer input when researching this article.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any setting sprays for oily skin from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

Updated by Shannon Stubbs
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Kristeen C. What’s so important about skin ph? Healthline.

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