The right foundation makeup gives your complexion a beauty boost. It smoothes over imperfections, evens out skin tone, and gives you a healthy radiance. But wearing a foundation may be a challenge if you have sensitive skin.
There’s a lot of foundations that market themselves for people with “sensitive skin”. Sadly most don’t live up to the hype…
Let’s make your shopping experience easier today. In this article, we’ve listed the top foundations for sensitive skin and more. Take a look below to find the perfect match for your skincare concern.
- Best Foundations for Sensitive Skin
- 1. Vichy Dermafinish High Coverage Foundation Makeup with SPF 30
- 2. L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Foundation Makeup
- 3. COVERGIRL Clean Sensitive Skin Foundation
- 4. The Body Shop Fresh Foundation
- 5. Ere Perez – Natural Oat Milk Liquid Foundation
- 6. Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
- 7. Dermablend Smooth Liquid Foundation Makeup with SPF 25
- 8. Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation
- 9. Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation
- 10. Dermablend Intense Powder Foundation Makeup for Matte Finish
- 11. Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation
- 12. COVERGIRL Clean Matte Liquid Foundation
- 13. L’Oréal Paris True Match Loose Powder Mineral Foundation
- 14. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Teint Mattifying Mousse Matte Foundation
- 15. L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation Makeup
- 16. Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup
- 17. Dermablend Blurring Mousse Camo Oil-Free Foundation Makeup with SPF 25
- 18. Almay Clear Complexion Liquid Makeup
- 19. Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation
- 20. Revlon ColorStay Liquid Makeup
- 21. LORAC POREfection Foundation
- 22. Maybelline Makeup Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation Makeup
- 23. Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation SPF 25
- 24. Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation
- 25. COVERGIRL + Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation
- 26. Mirabella Skin Tint Crème Full Coverage Liquid Mineral Foundation
- 27. Mary Kay TimeWise Matte-Wear Liquid Foundation
- 28. Philosophy Miracle Worker Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 30
- 29. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Foundation
- 30. Paula’s Choice RESIST Serum Foundation – Matte
- How to choose the best foundation for your sensitive skin
Best Foundations for Sensitive Skin
1. Vichy Dermafinish High Coverage Foundation Makeup with SPF 30
Vichy’s Dermafinish is high-coverage foundation that contains sunscreen. If you want a photo-finish look that hides blemishes, fine lines, and uneven skin pigmentation, try this makeup.
There are a number of benefits to Dermafinish, like the fact that it lasts up to 16 hours. And its sunscreen effect comes from titanium dioxide, not a chemical filter. Finally, it’s been tested and shown to be safe for sensitive skin and eyes, and even for contact lens wearers.
There are no artificial fragrances or parabens, and the formula is non-comedogenic to avoid clogging pores.
2. L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Foundation Makeup
L’Oreal’s True Match foundation is a favorite for folks who can never find a makeup that matches their skin tone. There are 45 shades available, and you can also blend those colors to create something unique. This super-blendable makeup is guaranteed to fit both your skin color and undertone, whether cool, warm, or neutral.
But there’s more to love about this foundation. First, it has SPF 19 to prevent sun damage. Then, it contains wheat germ, grapefruit extract, and Vitamins A and C to nourish your skin. And finally, the oil-free formula doesn’t clog pores or cause breakouts.
3. COVERGIRL Clean Sensitive Skin Foundation
COVERGIRL’s Clean Sensitive Skin Foundation is available in Clean Matte too. Either way, both formulas avoid oils and fragrances to protect your skin from irritation. And this lightweight foundation gives just enough coverage to enhance your beauty and still look natural.
4. The Body Shop Fresh Foundation
If you prefer makeup that feels and looks like it’s barely there, try the Fresh Foundation from the Body Shop. It provides light to medium coverage plus SPF 15 protection from the sun. And it leaves your skin looking semi-matte, not unnaturally irritated.
The foundation is available in 16 shades to match almost any skin tone. And it hydrates your skin with aloe and English rose water for up to a full day after you apply it.
5. Ere Perez – Natural Oat Milk Liquid Foundation
Ere Perez’s Natural Oat Milk Foundation offers four main shades, from fair to medium-dark tones. But you might startle when you put it on for the first time because it may appear rather gray. In seconds, the foundation will blend into your natural skin color to provide a flawless finish.
One of the highlights of this Australian company’s products is that they avoid using toxins. There are no parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates, paraffin, nano-particles, or lead in this makeup. It was also never tested on animals.
6. Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea Foundation is excellent for rejuvenating sensitive skin. It hydrates with a special blend of antioxidants that work to reverse early signs of getting older. And it protects against damage from UV rays with SPF 15. Finally, it comes in twelve colors to match a variety of complexions.
7. Dermablend Smooth Liquid Foundation Makeup with SPF 25
If you’re struggling to cover up scars or hyper-pigmentation, try Dermablend’s Smooth Liquid Foundation. It offers medium to full-coverage for up to 16 hours. And it comes in fifteen shades to help you achieve a perfect match for your skin.
Of course, there are no pore-clogging ingredients and no artificial fragrances. And although the formula is quite thick, it blends well to avoid looking cakey.
8. Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation
Maybelline’s Fit Me foundation is a hot topic on beauty blogs. Their Dewy + Smooth version is ideal for normal to sensitive skin because it creates a radiant finish. Plus, it has SPF 18, too.
The formula was allergy-tested and non-comedogenic. And it’s fragrance-free, too.
9. Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation
Tarte’s Amazonian Clay full-coverage foundation keeps oiliness under control for up to twelve hours. Plus, it relies on natural ingredients and avoids fragrances and other irritants. Customers have commented that the power of this foundation lasts even longer if you apply a primer underneath and set your makeup with powder.
10. Dermablend Intense Powder Foundation Makeup for Matte Finish
Dermablend started making makeup for patients recovering from scars and surgery. As a result, when they release a makeup, it has good pigmentation to it. And the Intense Powder Foundation not only offers medium to full coverage, but it also keeps oil under control for all-day wear.
While someone with very sensitive skin wouldn’t benefit from a powdered foundation, other people can enjoy this lightweight makeup without it looking caked-on or chalky. It hides acne, freckles, and uneven skin color with no problem. And although it contains talc, it’s fragrance-free and non-comedogenic.
11. Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation
Mineral Fusion’s Pressed Powder Foundation avoids all the no-no ingredients that irritate, like artificial dyes and fragrances, parabens, and talc. Instead, it contains minerals and botanical extracts like aloe, licorice, and cucumber to soothe skin. Plus, with Vitamin C, red tea, and Vitamin E, it fights the free radicals that damage skin.
12. COVERGIRL Clean Matte Liquid Foundation
COVERGIRL’s Clean Matte Liquid Foundation offers oil control for all-day wear. It won’t clog pores, and it’s unscented. The only downside is that there are only six colors available.
13. L’Oréal Paris True Match Loose Powder Mineral Foundation
L’Oreal’s Loose Powder Mineral Foundation keeps oil at bay with special absorbing ingredients like Kaolin clay. Plus, it disguises pores without creasing. And its formula is especially gentle to skin as it lacks a fragrance, preservatives, and talc, too.
14. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Teint Mattifying Mousse Matte Foundation
One of the most trusted names in skincare is La Roche-Posay from France. Their Toleriane Teint Mattifying Mousse contains an effective ingredient called Airlicium, a mattifier that absorbs oil to keep skin looking clean. And there are no parabens, no fragrances, and no oils in this lightweight formula.
15. L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation Makeup
How does 24-hour wear sound? Impossible? Not, just Infallible. L’Oreal’s Pro-Matte Foundation does the improbable—it keeps your face looking its best for up to a full day after you apply it. And the finish is semi-matte, which looks natural.
16. Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup
Fans of Clinique’s Acne Solutions foundation report that the medium coverage looks natural on their face and it keeps shine under control all day long. They also like that it not only hides redness, it reduces inflammation, too.
17. Dermablend Blurring Mousse Camo Oil-Free Foundation Makeup with SPF 25
If you have acne scars, not just any foundation will hide them. But the Dermablend Burring Mousse will disguise pores and blemishes without causing pimples or irritating your face.
The magic of the Blurring Mousse is that feels light and breathable, and it absorbs oil and lasts up to eighteen hours. It also provides SPF 25 to filter out harmful UV rays.
The formula has been tested by dermatologists to be safe for sensitive skin. It contains no oils and no fragrances. Even the sunscreen is mineral-based, not chemical.
18. Almay Clear Complexion Liquid Makeup
The hypoallergenic Almay Clear Complexion foundation clears up pimples while it hides them from view. It contains salicylic acid to destroy the bacteria that causes acne. And the lightweight formula doesn’t leave your skin flaky, cakey. If your skin is extra sensitive, try setting the foundation with Almay’s Clear Complexion Pressed Powder.
19. Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation
It’s called the Oxygenating Foundation, but this makeup from Oxygenetix started as a treatment for burn patients. It doesn’t even contain water. Instead, it uses aloe vera juice and a patented matrix called Cerevisiae. The matrix heals skin with Vitamin E and clears up pimples with 2% salicylic acid.
Like many other foundations, this one has SPF 25 to filter out UV rays. And it does not contain oils, preservatives, or a fragrance. Its lightweight coverage stands up to sweat and lasts all day long.
20. Revlon ColorStay Liquid Makeup
Revlon’s ColorStay Liquid Makeup lasts up to 24 hours after you apply it. Plus, it comes in twenty-two shades. Those two facts are part of why this inexpensive drugstore foundation is very popular. But there’s more to it than that.
The velvety smooth formula comes out of a pump-top bottle for easy application. And it contains salicylic acid to shrink pores and reduce shine without harming your skin. Finally, there is no artificial fragrance, but the foundation filters out UV radiation to protect you from sun damage.
21. LORAC POREfection Foundation
LORAC’s POREfection Foundation stays aware of unnecessary components like parabens, oils, and fragrances. Instead, it revives your skin with Vitamins A and E, olive leaf, lemon, and papaya fruit extract. These same ingredients strengthen skin while the medium-weight coverage perfects your complexion.
22. Maybelline Makeup Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation Makeup
Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation controls shine with micro-powders. As a result, your skin enjoys a natural appearance that lasts all day long. And the velvety formula doesn’t crease, but provides medium coverage and hides imperfections.
There are forty shades to choose from, from the fairest of fair to rich dark tones. The only downside is that the formula contains parabens.
23. Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation SPF 25
Koh Gen Do’s Aqua Foundation could easily fit into multiple categories in our review today. It’s nourishing to sensitive skin, but it also pleases other skin types. And wearers with problem skin appreciate its dewy finish.
There are no parabens, petroleum products, artificial fragrances or dyes. To the contrary, the ingredients include jojoba seed oil, shea butter, and squalane to soften and refresh your skin. And wearers say the mineral foundation stays on all day long.
24. Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous Foundation
The Luminous Foundation stick from Vapour Organic Beauty also fits into a variety of categories. It suits so many skin types because it provides a lustrous finish that feels light and breathable.
After you apply it, it reduces redness and hides blemishes with rich mineral pigmentation. Then, the mixture of frankincense, lotus, and Tulsi herbal extracts rejuvenate your skin.
25. COVERGIRL + Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation
COVERGIRL and Olay teamed up to create the Simply Ageless Liquid Foundation. Now you can instantaneously disguise fine lines and blemishes while you hydrate and firm up your face.
This makeup is available in twelve shades to help you find a match for your skin color. And it’s pigmented enough to hide age spots, too. But if you’re sensitive to fragrances or parabens, try the next foundation below.
26. Mirabella Skin Tint Crème Full Coverage Liquid Mineral Foundation
Mirabella’s Skin Tint Crème Foundation offers a solution for reddened, irritated skin. It contains ingredients like allantoin that calm inflammation and control excess oil. And the mineral-laden formula sets to a satin finish with full coverage that lasts all day without creasing.
There are no parabens, synthetic fragrances, talc, or dyes in the bottle. And you can choose from fourteen shades to find the perfect match.
27. Mary Kay TimeWise Matte-Wear Liquid Foundation
Mary Kay’s TimeWise Foundation is available in twenty-three shades. It contains microspheres that reduce shine all day long. As a result, your pores look smaller and your skin enjoys a matte finish. And this makeup resists both humidity and transferring to your clothes.
28. Philosophy Miracle Worker Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 30
PHILOSOPHY’s Miracle Worker makeup promises to take five years off your face. The SPF 30 formula doesn’t crease or clog pores. And it works all day long to keep your skin looking flawless.
29. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Foundation
Neutrogena is a trusted brand often recommended by dermatologists. So it’s not surprising that their Healthy Skin Enhancer foundation protects against UV rays. It contains Retinol to erase fine lines and make skin look younger. And it comes in six sheer-coverage shades.
30. Paula’s Choice RESIST Serum Foundation – Matte
The RESIST Serum Foundation is intended to help you achieve smoother, younger-looking skin. Its buildable medium coverage disguises pores and blemishes with a blurred matte finish. And while you wear it, the ceramides, peptides, and Vitamin A help heal skin.
How to choose the best foundation for your sensitive skin
Choosing the right makeup can be a little tricky if you have sensitive skin. It helps if you already know what components trigger irritation. Some people react to fragrances or dyes; others break out because of oils. The list of potential triggers is long and includes chemicals like preservatives, too. Even herbal or botanical extracts might cause a flare-up if you’re allergic to them.
Ingredients to avoid
Here are some ingredients to avoid when you have sensitive skin:
- Perfumes or other synthetic fragrances (look for “fragrance-free,” not “unscented”)
- Dyes (it’s true that they aren’t necessary even in a tinted foundation)
- Preservatives like parabens, Phenoxyethanol, imidazolidinyl urea, and methylchloroisothiazolinone
The list gets more complicated if you take into account special situations. For example, some makeup wearers are allergic to sunscreens, so they have to find a foundation that meets all their needs but does not offer protection from UV rays.
Then, some makeup wearers end up with contact dermatitis if they use a product containing Retin-A or a Vitamin A derivative. Some foundations include this component, making it essential to read labels.
The shortcut to reading labels
When you need to be choosy about which foundation you buy, there’s no substitute for reading the ingredients listed on the container. But there are a couple of shortcuts you can take.
The scandal over fake online reviews has shaken the faith of a lot of shoppers. And sometimes dermatologists and doctors don’t keep up with the market. So that leaves you to get recommendations from others you trust. And you can check places like the EWG’s Skin Deep Database for products with low hazard ratings.
Finally, it’s up to you to test the foundation before you apply it to your full face. Put a dab behind an ear at night and wait until morning to see how your skin is reacting. Then try a little by an eye the next night. If all goes well, that’s a good sign. But keep in mind that you might have to wear it as you normally would to see if you break out with pimples.
Makeup labels decoded
But you don’t need a chemistry degree to understand a label on cosmetics. The first thing to know is that the ingredients with the greatest volume appear first. Then the rest are listed in order of decreasing amounts. That’s why an irritant like a preservative might not be as harmful if it’s at the end of the list.
Next, although a formula might be described as “hypoallergenic” or “natural,” that’s no guarantee. The USA doesn’t have enforceable standards for these terms as they do for “certified organic.” You might trust a product a little more if the manufacturer has a good reputation.
Finally, expiration dates matter with cosmetics. They either have a date or a symbol to tell you how long you can use the makeup after you open it. The symbol looks like a jar with an open lid and a number like “6M.” That means you have six months to use the foundation to avoid problems.
In the end, you might prefer to try an app like EWG’s database that lets you scan a barcode and evaluate the safety of a product.
Skin type affects the choice between powder and liquid
Next, once you’re aware of what to avoid, and how to check the label for issues, it’s time to decide what type of skin you have. Think about these questions to narrow down the choices:
- Is your skin prone to flaking?
- Do you have problem areas on your nose, forehead, and chin?
- Or is your skin shiny all over?
- Are you concerned about breaking out in pimples?
- Are you dissatisfied with the appearance of fine lines and other issues?
If you have sensitive skin, you’ll benefit from a liquid foundation instead of a powder. Liquids are less likely to flake and crease. And many of them have hydrating properties that revive your skin while you wear the makeup.
Meanwhile, those with different types of skin might also prefer a stick foundation or a liquid. It’s a little challenging to strike a balance that keeps your skin patches looking dewy fresh without spots getting too shiny. If your foundation is struggling to keep the balance, try using a powder to set it over the problem areas.
Next, people who are prone to acne might have other issues, so they have two factors to consider. Many of the acne-fighting foundations are aimed at those with excess oil, and they can make skin look flat. In that case, be sure to apply a high-quality moisturizer to balance things.
Fourth, makeup wearers with problem skin are spoiled for choices. They can benefit from either a powder or a liquid foundation. Loose powder is a little easier to blend than pressed powder. And there are many appealing liquids that offer oil control for all-day wear. For best results, apply a primer, then foundation, then set your makeup with a powder.
Finally, as you grow older, your skin type might change. And you can profit from choosing a foundation designed to help with this. Many of these hydrate and firm up your skin while they disguise lines and spots.
Choosing the right amount of coverage
There are various degrees of coverage, from sheer or nude to full coverage for those wishing to hide scars and birthmarks. If you’re a fan of barely there at all makeup, you might prefer a tinted moisturizer or a BB cream.
Or if you want a flawless finish, you might look for medium to full coverage finishes, especially if they are buildable foundations that let you layer and fill in blemishes.
Choosing the right color
Picking a shade of foundation from the sample display isn’t easy. It’s better if you can place a small amount on your jawline to view how it blends with your skin. Or better yet, treat yourself to a makeover and you can view the results right away.
For a quick way to choose the best tone, look at the veins in your wrist under daylight. If they appear blue or purple, you have cool undertones. A greener color means you have warm undertones. And if you can’t decide, or see both colors, you might be neutral. You might also be neutral if you look good with both gold and silver jewelry.
As you can see in our review, many foundations are gentle enough for sensitive skin. They will enhance the natural beauty you already have. No matter what your skin concern is, we hope you discovered your new favorite makeup today.