When you have sensitive skin, choosing the right foundation is much harder than it should be.
After all, the last thing you want is to put something on your face that is going to cause redness, irritation, or breakouts.
And if you have a skin condition like rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis, you don’t want to put on any makeup that will make it worse!
Fortunately, we’ve researched for you. And in this article, we’ve put together a list of the 15 best powder foundations to use for sensitive skin. Enjoy!
Foundation and sensitive skin – a dangerous combo?
If you have sensitive skin, you might be hesitant to use a powder foundation. After all, a lot of foundations contain harsh ingredients that can irritate and aggravate your skin.
When you have sensitive skin, you need to be very careful with the products you use. Using the wrong foundation for even just a few minutes can lead to several days of inflamed skin.
But don’t lose hope just yet! As we’ll see in the later sections, powder foundations and sensitive skin are like a match made in heaven. And lucky for you, we’ve made an extensive list that includes the best powder foundation for sensitive skin for every situation.
Powder vs liquid foundation for sensitive skin
When it comes to finding the right foundation for sensitive skin, you have two main options: powder or liquid.
Powder foundations are the superior choice for those with sensitive skin because they are much less likely to contain harsh chemicals. Also, powder foundations tend to sit on top of the surface of the skin, whereas liquid gets deeper into the pores.
This isn’t always a bad thing. High absorption is great when it comes to using a night cream, for example. But if you are using a liquid foundation with unpronounceable chemicals, then just imagine what you’re doing to your skin in the process.
Mineral oil vs mineral powder
Before we dive into the list, let’s just make one distinction:
- Mineral oil is bad
- Mineral powder is good
The reason we bring this up is because liquid foundations frequently contain mineral oil – a synthetic oil made usually from petroleum. It’s thick, heavy, and will clog pores like nobody’s business.
Mineral powder, on the other hand, is natural and more gentle. It provides sheer to medium coverage and is suitable for all skin tones. Mineral powder foundation is extremely popular these days, especially with people who have oily or acne-prone skin.
Choosing the best powder foundation for sensitive skin
Now that we know that powder foundations are the best choice for those with sensitive skin, let’s take a look at our top picks.
Best overall: Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Original Powder Foundation
If we could only pick one powder foundation to use for sensitive skin, it would be this one from BareMinerals. As a brand that was created around the use of powder foundation, it’s clear why they’re sitting at the top of this list.
This powder foundation is a cult favorite and for good reason. It contains all-natural ingredients, it doesn’t contain any parabens, and it is made without any artificial fragrances or colors.
It’s lightweight formula provides a natural look without clogging pores. And because it’s oil-free, it works wonders on sensitive skin types.
Best for dry skin: L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Powder Foundation
Beauty and skincare giant L’Oreal isn’t content to just sit on the sidelines and not make amazing powder foundations. This is why we’ve placed them in the top spot for the best powder foundation for dry and sensitive skin.
If you have dry skin, you’ll love the L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Powder. It contains a gentle formula that is designed to absorb excess oil and keep your face looking matte all day long.
Best for oily skin: e.l.f. Studio Mineral Glow Face Powder
Using a powder foundation with oily or acne-prone skin can be a real pain – especially when it leads to frequent breakouts.
If you have oily skin, you know the struggle is real when it comes to finding a foundation that doesn’t make your skin look even more oily.
That’s why we’ve included the e.l.f. Studio Mineral Glow Face Powder as one of our top picks for powder foundations for sensitive skin. This foundation contains ingredients that help oily skin look matte without making your skin feel dry or tight.
Best for combination skin: L’Oreal Paris True Match Powder Foundation
Remember how we told you not to sleep on L’Oreal? We meant it. And as you can see, they’ve claimed another top spot on our list of the top powder foundations.
If you have combination skin, the L’Oreal Paris True Match Powder is a great foundation to try. It’s designed to adjust to your unique skin type, so it will give you the perfect level of coverage without making your skin feel too dry or too oily.
Best for mature skin: Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten Powder Foundation
Who is Laura Geller, you ask? She’s a makeup artist with over 20 years of experience in the industry. She knows a thing or two about beauty, which is why her foundation ranks as one of the best powder foundations for mature skin.
This foundation contains SPF 25 to help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and it also contains ingredients that help to brighten and illuminate your skin.
Not only does this powder foundation do an excellent job of hiding skin imperfections, but thanks to its gentle formula, it can be used on easily-irritated skin. While it doesn’t have any anti-inflammatory properties per se, it won’t irritate sensitive skin in most cases.
Best for acne-prone skin: bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Foundation
The Kings of Powder Foundation, bareMinerals, have claimed another entry on our list. This time, it’s their Blemish Remedy Foundation that takes the cake.
Made specifically for acne-prone skin, this foundation is designed to help cover and conceal blemishes while also helping to treat and prevent them from happening in the first place.
It contains ingredients like tea tree oil and salicylic acid that help to get rid of any existing blemishes while also preventing new ones from forming. And because it’s non-comedogenic (meaning it doesn’t clog pores), you don’t have to worry about using it on your bare skin!
Best for a natural finish: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Foundation
If you’re looking for a powder foundation that will give you a natural, dewy finish, look no further than the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation.
This foundation is designed to give your skin a sheer layer of coverage while still letting your natural beauty shine through. It’s also long-wearing, so you won’t have to worry about it wearing off throughout the day.
Another good thing about this powder foundation from NARS is that it’s non-comedogenic – meaning it won’t cause clogged pores. A win-win for delicate skin! (Hey, that rhymes.)
Best for a matte finish: Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder Foundation
If you’re looking for a powder foundation that will give you a matte finish, the Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder Foundation is a great option.
This foundation is designed to help control oil and minimize the appearance of pores, so your skin will look matte all day long. Plus, it comes in a variety of shades so you can find the perfect one for your skin tone.
Best for combination skin: Clinique Superbalanced Powder Foundation
It’s not just balanced – it’s Superbalanced.
The Clinique Superbalanced Powder Foundation is designed for combination skin, so it will give you the perfect level of coverage without making your skin feel too dry or too oily.
This foundation comes in a variety of shades, so you can find the perfect one for your skin tone, and it contains SPF 15 to help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Best for buildable coverage: L’Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Powder Foundation
Are you surprised to see another entry from L’Oreal on here? Do you think it’s because we ran out of ideas? No! It’s because they’re just that awesome. And why wouldn’t they be? They’re a 100 year old company!
If you’re looking for a powder foundation that will give you medium to full coverage, the L’Oreal Paris True Match Super Blendable Powder Foundation is a great option.
This foundation is designed to adjust to your unique skin type, so it will give you the perfect level of coverage every time. Plus, it comes in a variety of shades so you can find the perfect one for your skin tone.
Best with natural ingredients: Jane Iredale Amazing Base Loose Mineral Powder
If you’re looking for a powder foundation that contains natural ingredients, this loose powder foundation from Jane Iredale is a great option.
This foundation is made with minerals like zinc and titanium dioxide that help to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. So not only does it help cover imperfections, but it protects your skin from sun damage – preventing further imperfections!
Best pressed powder foundation: bareMinerals Original Foundation
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
This motto doesn’t work so well if you like variety. But if you want to be as efficient as possible, then it is a credo to live by. And bareMinerals seems to have taken it to heart, judging by the popularity of their Original Mineral Foundation.
This pressed powder foundation is designed to give you a natural, luminous finish that will last all day long.
Best without titanium dioxide: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation
Titanium dioxide is a mineral that is often used in powder foundations to help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Most people don’t react poorly to it, but there are always exceptions.
And if you’re one of those people, then you’d do well to try this powder foundation from Tarte.
It’s made with 100% authentic Amazonian clay – a powerful natural ingredient that helps to control oil, shrink pores, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Best budget-friendly foundation: Maybelline New York Fit Me! Set & Smooth Powder
We know that not everyone has a bottomless pit of money to spend on makeup. So if you’re looking for a quality powder foundation that doesn’t break the bank, the Maybelline New York Fit Me! Set & Smooth Powder is a great option.
This foundation comes in a variety of shades, so you can find the perfect one for your skin tone, and it contains SPF 18 to help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Best splurge-worthy foundation: Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow
If you’re looking for a powder foundation that will give you an airbrushed finish, the Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow is a great option.
This foundation is made with finely milled pearls that help to blur imperfections and give your skin a radiant, glowy finish. But be warned: these pearls aren’t cheap! And Guerlain doesn’t exactly pass the “savings” on to the customer if you get what I’m saying.
Best drugstore foundation: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder
Let’s face it: sometimes you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to pop by the department store to replace your powder foundation. And in situations like that, if you have to get something at CVS or Walgreens, then you’re best off choosing this drugstore foundation from Neutrogena.
This powder foundation comes in a variety of shades, and it contains SPF 20 to help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Plus, it helps to control oil and minimize pores, so it’s perfect for oily or combination skin types.
We know that it can be tough to find a foundation that doesn’t irritate your skin, so we hope this list helps make your search a little bit easier.
Do you have a favorite powder foundation that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!