The best foundation for oily skin to keep you shine-free all day

Feeling like an oily mess come lunchtime is never ideal, but these will ensure you stay matte all the day long

Is that midday shine your beauty nemesis? Do you battle with breakouts? If you haven’t got the best foundation for oily skin in your arsenal already, then look no further. 

Dr Ross Perry, cosmetic doctor and managing director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics, has words of caution when it comes to pairing oily, acne-prone skin with makeup. ‘Before thinking about makeup, review your skin regime. Getting one of the best face cleansers and a moisturiser for oily skin is key, so experiment to see what suits your skin.

‘Don’t be tempted to ditch the moisturiser as your skin still needs hydration, but choose a formulation which suits oily skin,’ he continues. ‘Exfoliate regularly to remove excess sebum as well as dead skin cells. Sleep, drink water, and eat your fruit and veg – do everything you can to improve your skin from within, making you less reliant on foundation.’

First up: prep responsibly. ‘Try one of the best primers that’s a mattifying water-based gel underneath your foundation to tackle oiliness and absorb shine, hiding pores and leaving skin looking and feeling smoother,’ says Dr Ross. 

Next, evaluate what exactly you want from your foundation. A full-coverage formula will mask hyper pigmentation from previous breakouts, while something designed to mattify will keep your skin shine-free all day. Oilier skin types often get along well with powder-based foundations like BareMinerals, while a liquid will glide on seamlessly whilst strategically locking in oil. 

No foundation will keep you matte until the end of time, so choose a powder foundation that’ll help fight shine throughout the day. “It’s tempting to load on lots of powder to absorb the oil, but this approach can tend to leave the skin looking chalky,” warns Dr Ross. “Choose a matte, translucent, loose powder and apply with a brush to avoid it looking too heavy.  For day-time touch-ups, oil blotting sheets are a handbag hero.”

Once you’ve found the right foundation for you, make you read our guide on how to apply foundation like a pro.

Now that we’ve got all the facts covered, allow us to help you find the best foundation for oily skin for you, and finally keep that shine under control.

Best foundation for oily skin with full coverage 

Giorgio Armani Power Fabric, £42, John Lewis

This lasts for hours and hours, offers great SPF protection, conceals pretty much every blemish and dark circle and locks down any excess sebum production. It’s a total all-rounder and an absolute must for oily skin.

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Best foundation for oily skin with large pores

Surratt Beauty Surreal Skin Foundation Wand, £62, Net-A-Porter

best foundation for oily skin Surratt

This handy all-in-one foundation brushes on seamlessly, minimising pores and fine lines – and it’s perfect for just chucking in your bag.

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Best foundation for oily skin with acne

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup, £28, Fabled

This lightweight, oil-free formula conceals blemishes whilst actively tackling them and preventing them from returning. Plus, its cooling sensation and skin-soothing ingredients help calm flare-ups and inflammation.

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Best long lasting foundation for oily skin

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, £35 from Fabled

best foundation for oily skin

If you like your coverage to feel weightless, then opt for NARS’ water-like formula. It’s oil free and doesn’t bring on shine throughout the day, a little goes a long way, and gives such a gorgeous, skin-like finish that lasts for hours upon hours.

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Best foundation for oily mature skin

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation, £34, John Lewis

best foundation for oily skin mature Bobbi Brown Long Wear

The oil-free formula is super hydrating without leaving you looking overly shiny, as well as the benefit of SPF 15 – which you still need during the winter months. Think youthful, radiant skin in a bottle.

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Best liquid foundation for oily skin

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup, £33.50, Fabled


best foundation for oily skin Estee Lauder Double Wear

Double Wear is pretty full coverage, making it perfect for anyone who wants a completely flawless base – but it can be easily lightened up when mixed with a dot of moisturiser. What’s more, it mattifies skin and lasts all day and into the night, without smudging or needing any touch-ups at all.

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Best matte foundation for oily skin

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation, £35, John Lewis


Perfectly matte thanks to its oil-free formula, this one packs some major pigment whilst still remaining lightweight.

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Best drugstore foundation for oily skin

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Foundation, £8 Fabled

best foundation for oily skin

Super, duper mattifying this one. And all for £8. Apply all over and buff from the centre of the face outwards.

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Best powder foundation for oily skin

bareMinerals Original SPF15 Foundation, £27, Fabled


best foundation for oily skin bareMinerals Original

Nothing really beats a powder foundation when it comes to oil control, and BareMinerals’ is a timeless favourite for a reason – the mineral formula is completely non-comedogenic, so there’s no risk of pores becoming blocked.

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Best glow-enhancing foundation for oily skin

SUQQU Extra Rich Glow Foundation, £62

Oily skin that craves glow? This may sound counter-productive, but just because you have oily skin, it doesn’t mean you always prefer a super matte finish. This formula by SUQQU is full coverage and never greasy, but provides a beautiful satin-glow finish, ideal even for oily skin.

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Your oily-skin foundation woes are officially fixed.

Shininess, be gone…

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