It’s one thing to find a foundation you love, but finding a foundation that works on oily skin? That can be quite the feat. Case in point: Lots of foundations can be love at first swipe, but after a couple of hours you're either looking more cakey than a bakery or greasier than an oil spill. 

But all hope isn’t lost! Instead of trying to find the best foundation for oily skin, the key is to integrate skincare and makeup tips that’ll work with — instead of against — your oily skin.


Here are the best foundation tips you can implement into your routine to have your foundation look flawless *and* stay on all day long.

  • Often oily skin occurs because the skin is actually trying to overcompensate for lack of oil or sebum (the more technical term). Most products aimed at helping oily skin — whether it’s makeup or skincare — work by drying out the skin and minimizing oil production. But this can actually be counterintuitive because the skin then produces more oil to try and make up for it. 

    One of the biggest offenders of this is face wash. A lot of cleansers tend to dry out the skin in their attempt to cleanse, so it’s important to avoid formulas that contain harsh surfactants and other skin-drying ingredients like alcohol. 

    Night Off Face Wash formula ph level

    Starting out your routine with tight, dry skin from your face wash isn’t going to allow your foundation to lay seamlessly on the skin. For a better foundation finish, try switching to a more gentle cleanser that won’t strip the skin. Our Night Off Face Wash contains gentle plant-based surfactants, along with real green tea leaves and apricot seed oil, to effectively break down makeup and impurities while still keeping skin hydrated. 

  • One of the biggest pains with foundation on oily skin is the dreaded nose separation. 

    Image courtesy of Reddit

    This is an issue that’s all too familiar among the oily skin community. This can be better or worse depending on the foundation you use, but will likely happen with any foundation unless you prep your skin accordingly. Your skin’s oils (or sebum for the technical term) cause foundation formulas to dissolve. The nose area specifically tends to produce a lot of oils which is why this region is where most people tend to notice separation.

    The best way to combat this is to add in a transition layer between your skin and your makeup. Our favorite method is to use a primer that contains ingredients that actively protect the skin. Using a protective formula, like our Pregame Primer, prior to foundation helps to create a barrier between your skin and your makeup. That way your skin’s oils don’t interfere with your foundation causing it to break down during the day. 

  • Because it’s such a challenge to try to get foundation to last on oily skin, it can be easy to go overboard with setting your face. The most commonly recommended format to set foundation on oily skin is to use a setting powder, but similar to the note above on face washes that can be counterintuitive. Most setting powders will end up drying out the skin, causing the skin to produce more oils. Plus, it’s easy to go overboard with setting powder which can lead to a cakey look.

    Image courtesy of Reddit

    Instead of using a setting powder, opt for a hydrating setting spray such as our Pregame Setting Spray. Using a finishing spray that’s hydrating will give your skin the moisture it needs to avoid producing more oils throughout the day — plus you’ll get the same staying power that a setting powder would give. 


    So no, you don’t need the best foundation on the market to get a flawless face with oily skin. With these few simple adjustments to your routine, you can score the seamless base you’ve been after.