It can be very frustrating trying to find the right makeup for oily skin. While your face may look matte when you leave the house, throughout the day an oil slick can develop. It may feel as if your makeup is melting away, especially in warm weather. However, there are several primers and other products that absorb excess oil, as well as different types of makeup formulated to keep your skin looking matte all day long.

Primers for Oily Skin

Before you even apply makeup, start with a foundation primer. Choose a primer formulated especially for oily skin. The benefit of using a primer is that it forms a layer between the skin and makeup, so the makeup glides on more easily. Laura Mercier makes an oil-free foundation primer that is lightweight and won’t clog pores, and claims that its “high water content soothes surface dehydration around active blemishes.” Another primer made for oily skin is Smashbox’s Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer, which also contains good-for-your-skin vitamin C and peptides.

Liquid Makeup for Oily Skin

Liquid foundations are easy to apply, making them a favorite for many women. Many liquid foundations, however, contain oil or other ingredients that contribute to clogged pores. Fortunately, there are many liquid foundations formulated for oily skin. Make Up For Ever’s Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation claims to control shine while providing full coverage. Laura Mercier’s Oil Free Foundation can be applied lightly for sheer coverage, or you can add more layers when you need a little more help. NARS and Clinique also make great liquid foundations that work well for oily skin.

Mineral Makeup for Oily Skin

Mineral makeup is one of the best types for oily skin. L’Oreal makes an affordable drugstore version, and Bare Escentuals is the leading mineral makeup brand, though a bit pricier. Mineral makeup makers claim that it not only absorbs excess oil since it is in a powder form, but it also contains vitamins that are good for the skin and improve your complexion over time. Bare Escentuals also makes a very popular Mineral Veil that provides a finishing touch over makeup—mineral, liquid or any other finish—that is lightweight and minimizes pores as well as shine.

Mattifiers for OIly Skin

If using the right primer and foundation still doesn’t curb the excess oil, there are a few more products that may help. Purchase blotting papers to keep in your desk or purse to touch up your T-zone midday. They absorb oil without disturbing your makeup.

If you don’t like to wear foundation, consider using a mattifying lotion, such as Clinique Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector or Cosmedicine Medi-Matte Oil Control Lotion SPF 20. Finally, there are several translucent mattifiers in the form of cakes and powders that instantly eliminate oil without a trace. Try Laura Geller Matte Maker, Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder or Smashbox Compact Anti-Shine.

Ingredients to Avoid

Obviously, you should avoid any products containing oil of any sort, so you don’t exacerbate your problem. Makeups can contain mineral oil, coconut oil or essential oils. Also, avoid lanolin, an emollient that can make skin feel oilier. Avoid makeup containing alcohol, which is drying and is not good for any skin type, and can even cause your pores to go into oil producing overdrive. Two other ingredients that can clog pores include bismuth oxychloride and dimenthicone.

References and Resources

Makeup for Oily Skin