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2023 Best Oil Free Foundations Guide

by Sandy Taylor

Is oil free foundation good for oily skin? Yes! Oil free foundations are among the best foundations for oily skin. Oil free foundations help you control shine by absorbing excess oil. Some have matte properties that keep shine away longer, allowing you more time in between touch-ups. In this post, I will discuss this type of foundation in more detail. I will go over common topics and provide recommendations on the best oil free foundations.


Our Picks For The Best Oil Free Foundations

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Foundation Stick

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Foundation Stick is one of the best oil free full coverage foundations. It’s compact “stick” form allows it to be an ideal foundation that can also be used as a concealer or contour. This is a lightweight oil-free foundation and doesn’t feel cakey. If you’re looking for an oil free non-comedogenic makeup, this one is definitely worth a try. 

This contains hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that is known for its superior hydrating properties. It’s hypoallergenic and tested by dermatologists. The formula is designed to provide you with a smooth and dewy finish. It comes in 8 different shades and is one of the best oil free hydrating foundations around. 

bareMinerals Original Loose Powder foundation

The best mineral oil free foundation is the bareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation.  This foundation contains 5 clean minerals: titanium dioxide, mica,  iron oxides, zinc oxides, and bismuth oxychloride. It’s hypoallergenic and non-acnegenic because it is formulated without talc, parabens, phthalates, fragrance, preservatives, oils and chemical sunscreen. 

This oil-free powder foundation does a great job of absorbing oil throughout the day. This foundation is non-comedogenic and will not settle into fine lines or wrinkles. In addition, this is an oil free foundation with  SPF 15 (mineral-based sunscreen). It’s gluten-free, vegan and never test on animals. 

It’s a lightweight oil free foundation with a buildable coverage! I highly recommend this foundation if you’re looking for an oil free mineral foundation.

EVXO Organic Liquid Mineral Foundation

The EVXO Organic Liquid Mineral Foundation is one of the best natural oil free foundations.  This foundation contains certified organic and natural ingredients like Aloe leaf juice, rice powder, shea butter, and olive leaf extract. It is also gluten-free, cruelty-free, vegan and non-comedogenic. This vegan foundation also includes gluten-free vitamin E. The super-smooth formula makes application easy and it comes in a bottle with a dropper, so you can control the amount of foundation to use.

All of the ingredients are plant-derived to avoid harmful chemicals that are bad for your skin. The foundation does not contain:

  • Oils
  • Plastic
  • Fillers
  • Alcohol
  • Silicone
  • Perfume
  • Synthetic Toxins
  • Parabens
  • Sulfates
  • Nano Particles

This is a buildable coverage foundation with a dewy finish. There are 12 shades to choose from and it’s 100% made in the USA. It’s also one of the best oil free foundation for dry skin as the natural ingredients does a great job of nourishing your skin.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup

The Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation is Oil Free. This is foundation can last up to 24 hours in humid weather and has a natural matte finish. It’s a great oil free foundation for combination skin and it’s very lightweight. It is also fragrance-free and transfer-free.

If you’re in need of some extra coverage, the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation is one of the best full coverage oil free foundation. There are over 55 shades to choose from and you will for sure be able to find one that matches your skin tone.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift & Firm Makeup

The Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift & Firm Makeup is one of the best oil free cream foundations. This foundation is ultra-creamy and uses Ceramide Plumping Technology (CPT), which is a ceramide triple complex that helps your skin look more relaxed and smooth in appearance.

Other Notable ingredients include:

  • Vitamin A,C & E – A superior blend of antioxidants to help protect your skin from the body’s free radicals.
  • Mica and Alumina – Reflective light diffusers that helps to blur the appearance of fine lines. This effect is especially noticeable in photo shoots.

This is a medium to full coverage foundation with radiant finish. It contains SPF 15 broad spectrum sunscreen.

Best Oil Free Drugstore Foundations

I love shopping at the drugstore for oil free foundations because they are easily accessible. It’s also possible to find some that are of good quality and at an affordable price. Here are some of the best oil free drugstore foundations:

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

The L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation is a lightweight drugstore oil free foundation that can last up to 24 hours. This is a great oil-free matte foundation with medium coverage. This foundation does a great job of resisting heat, sweat, and humidity to ensure that you can get through the day with little touch-ups. It also comes in 22 shades which means there is probably a shade that will match your skin tone.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation

The Maybelline Fit Me Matte foundation is one of the best drugstore oil free liquid foundations. It has medium coverage with a matte finish and it is best used on normal, combination and oily skin.

This foundation comes in 40 shades and it’s almost guaranteed that you will be able to find a shade for your skin tone, which is great news for those of us who don’t like mixing colors.

The coverage is buildable, simply start off with a few light layers and add on more for troubled areas. It is made with Maybelline’s exclusive formula with micro-powders that help to control shine and blur pores (that’s why it’s called “poreless”).

This product is dermatologist and allergy-tested. The Maybelline Fit Me Matte foundation is non-comedogenic.

Neutrogena Skinclearing Makeup Foundation

The Neutrogena Skinclearing Makeup Foundation is the best oil free foundation for acne prone skin. It contains Neutrogena’s Microclear technology, which is an acne-fighting formula that helps to treat blemishes and prevent new acne breakouts. Microclear technology also helps to break down oils and unclog pores.

This foundation has a natural finish with buildable coverage. It works great on oily and combination skin. Neutrogena Skinclearing Makeup Foundation is non-comedogenic. It is a oil free foundation with salicylic acid and it’s very effective for acne treatment.

It comes in 14 different shades.

Btw, salicylic acid can also be used to lighten dark spots. I’ve written a post about why salicylic acid is good for dark spots. That’s why it’s great that Neutrogena added salicylic acid into their formulas.

Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Liquid Makeup

The Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Liquid Makeup is one of the best long-lasting oil-free foundations. This foundation can last up to 12 hours and is formulated with titanium dioxide sunscreen (SPF 20).

It contains anti-oxidants like soy and vitamins A,C and E to help combat the effects of the body’s free-radicals. It contains light diffusing powders that can help the skin appear smoother and minimizes the appearance of fine lines.

This foundation is non-comedogenic. It is a medium to full-coverage buildable foundation with a natural finish.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint is one of the best oil free moisturizing foundations. This foundation contains hyaluronic acid, a superior hydrating and moisturizing ingredient that helps to lock moisture in your skin. Once applied, this foundation helps to plump your skin for 24 hours.

This is a sheer to medium coverage foundation with a dewy finish. It is non-comedogenic and oil free. It doesn’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles. It feels lightweight and is very easy to blend.

There are 10 shades to choose from.

Selecting Oil Free Foundations: What You Need To Know

What Does Oil free Foundation Mean?

Oil free foundations are a type of makeup that does not contain any oil. Common oil ingredients used in cosmetics and skin care products include:

  • Mineral Oil
  • Paraffin Oil
  • Petroleum Oil
  • White Oil
  • Argan Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil

Note that this is not a complete list.

If you find any of the above-listed oils on the label of your makeup, it means it is NOT oil free. However, there are certain benefits of having oils in your makeup. If you’re interested in finding out more, check my detailed guide on oil-based foundations.

Why Use an Oil Free Foundation?

The main benefits of using an oil free foundation are that they have great oil control which is important for people with oily skin. Both powder and liquid formulas have mattifying properties that can help to control shine, especially in the T-zone.

Who Should Use Oil Free Foundation?

People with oily skin should use oil based foundations because this type of foundation is usually mattifying and helps to control shine on the skin throughout the day. They are also great for soaking of excess oil and will not contribute to the oils already on your face.

There are hydrating formulas available for people with dry skin. However, people with dry skin should consider an oil based foundation instead. I’ve written a guide on oil based foundations if you are interested to find out more.

How to Apply Oil Free Foundations

I’ve actually written a detailed guide on applying foundations. The goes through all the steps and tools you need to apply any type of foundation. It also covers the application of primers and concealers. Check it out if you have time!

How Long does Oil free Foundation Last?

An Oil free foundation can last 4-6 hours. Depending on the brand, formula and skin type, some oil free foundations can last up to 24 hours.

Should You Use Oil Free Foundations For Full Coverage?

Yes, using oil free foundations for full coverage is a great idea. If you’re like me, then you have an oily complexion that produces a shine in the middle of the face known as the T-zone. It runs from the forehead down the nose and bottom of the chin. You apply makeup in the morning, and three hours later, the “greasies” appear.

Maybe you thought about not wearing a foundation at all. After all, it is very difficult to get the makeup to “mattify” if you have oily skin.  However, I would not steer clear from foundations simply due to an oily complexion. The function of a foundation in your makeup routine is critical. Instead, people with oily complexions should consider oil free foundations (and at full coverage).

The trick here is “skin prepping” before putting on foundation. That means applying a decent primer on the face first. That small addition can work miracles, stretching out your foundation’s longevity, even through heat and humidity. The primer keeps makeup in place. I have written a complete guide on applying foundations and primers. Using oil free foundations for full coverage is definitely a great solution for oily complexions.

Women with oily skin should always use oil free makeup. It’s a great way to ensure oil control throughout the day.

Is Oil Free Foundations Good For Oily Skin?

Yes! Oil free foundations in general, are best for those with oily complexions because they glide on to the skin with a fluid, silk-like texture when water-based. This makeup isn’t heavy but has enough build-able texture to it. I wear oil free, can control the coverage, from sheer to medium and most importantly, oil free keeps sebum production at a minimum and allows my pores to appear tiny.

Many professional makeup artists also recommend an oil free foundation only for oily complexions. They also add in another step following the foundation base. I suggest using a loose powder to seal in the makeup by lightly patting and pushing the powder into your skin.

Some of us are stuck with combination/oily skin, but luckily, cosmetics brands feature foundations designed for both of those complexion types. Many of these makeup bottles will print the label for “combination/oily skin.” These special formulas control oil, yet gently hydrate where needed.

Is Oil Free Foundations Good For Acne and Acne-Prone Skin?

Oil Free foundations are good for acne and acne-prone skin and are not known to cause breakouts. Look for oil free foundations that contain noncomedogenic formulas and zero harsh chemicals if you have acne-prone skin. Oil free mineral foundations are also excellent for acne-prone complexions. Many of these come in powder form, but there are others in liquid form. Best of all, most of these mineral makeups are pure and free of parabens, mineral oil, talc, and fragrance.

Some professional makeup artists even suggest trying an unusual product before applying an oil free foundation. If you suffer from oily skin and develop acne, they suggest that Milk of Magnesia could act as a primer and protectant. I’ve written a guide on how to apply milk of magnesia as a primer if you’re interested to find out more.

Famous YouTube makeup guru Wayne Goss also uses Milk of Magnesia as a natural primer to sop up oil and clear the complexion on some of his clients, especially nervous brides on their wedding day. It works beautifully, Wayne Goss reveals, and he’s been using this trick for 10 years now. Check out this video on this topic:

Is Oil Free Foundation Good for Dry Skin?

Some oil free foundations are good for dry skin. Although most oil free foundations are designed to suck up oil on the surface of the skin, there are certain ones that contain hyaluronic acid, a hydrating ingredient, for keeping your skin smooth and retaining its moisture.

If someone with dry skin uses an oil free foundation, their complexion would appear flaky, tight on the skin and even dull. Their faces would lack the luminosity that their complexions so badly require. If you’ve got dry skin and want to try oil free foundations, be sure to find one that has hydrating properties.

Avoid powder or mineral oil free foundation if you have dry skin because these types of foundations will soak up the little oil on your skin and drying it up even more.

Oil Free Foundation vs Water Based Foundation: What’s the Difference

Oil free foundations are free of oils (like mineral oil) but may be formulated with water. This means that some oil free foundations are water based. On the other hand, water based foundations have “water” as the main ingredient and may also have oils in them.

Both oil free foundations and water based foundations are best used for oily skin. Water based foundations work well because water doesn’t mix well with oil, which means your water based foundations will not likely mix with the oils on your skin and causing a messy look. On the other hand oil free foundations are designed to soak up excel oil on your skin. Oil free foundations are usually mattifying while water based foundations can provide a dewy finish.

Your choice will depend on the coverage you need, the shades that are available, your skin type and your personal preferences.

Btw, I wrote a detailed guide on water based foundations if you are interested to find out more about them.

How to Get Oil Free Foundation Out of Clothes

If your oil free foundation accidentally rubbed off on your clothes, follow these steps to get it out:

*Do these steps right before you do your laundry. You will need some dish soup.

  • Step 1 – Add a dab of dish soap on the area and spread it around.
  • Step 2 – Use your fingers to rub the soap into the fabric. Do not use brushes or wash clothes as their rough surfaces will ruin your fabric.
  • Step 3 – You may have noticed by this point that the makeup has loosened and started to lift. Put your garment in the washing machine and wash it as part of your next laundry cycle.



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