Tired of your makeup sliding off or melting away in hot weather? You need to try a setting powder!
Today, I’m sharing my 17 favorite setting powders for oily skin. If you have dry skin, check out my post on the best setting powders for dry skin.
If you have a different skin type, don’t worry! Just use this list as a guide. We all have different needs and textures when it comes to makeup, so take these as suggestions as opposed to hard-and-fast rules.
What is setting powder?
Setting powder is a translucent, finely-milled mineral powder that goes on after you’ve finished your makeup routine. This layer of powder will set your foundation and concealer, helping to ensure it lasts all day.
(NOTE: Did you know that they make concealer for oily skin too?)
It works by absorbing excess oil from the skin’s surface, allowing your foundation to stay matte longer. In addition, setting powders for oily skin contain light-reflecting particles that act like a micro-mesh, filling in pores and fine lines.
What is setting powder made of?
Several different ingredients come together to set your foundation, creating a matte finish so your skin doesn’t look shiny.
One of the most popular ingredients is talc, which absorbs oil and sweat to keep your makeup in place. Other ingredients that can be used to set your makeup include silica, kaolin clay, and rice powder.
Prefer a setting spray instead? Check out our article on the best setting sprays for oily skin here.
How do I use setting powder?
Before you apply your makeup, make sure your skin is clean and free of any oils or serums (bonus points if you’re using one of our DIY face serums). Dip a fluffy brush into the product, tap off excess powder, and do a light dusting over your face. I like to concentrate on my T-zone, which is typically where foundation breaks down the quickest.
What are some products that work well as setting powders?
Not all powder is created equal—despite being called “setting” powder, it can sometimes leave your skin looking dry and cakey. That’s why it’s important to look for an ultra-fine formula when you’re shopping.
Can you use setting powder if you have mature skin?
Anyone with mature skin knows that they need to be extra careful what kinds of beauty products they use. That said, these powders are usually pretty benign – even for this skin type.
Where should I apply setting powder?
Most people use this translucent powder to absorb excess oil and keep their makeup in place. If you have very oily skin, you can use a loose powder to mattify your complexion and minimize the appearance of oil all day long.
Setting powders usually come in lightweight formulas that absorb unwanted oil and create a shine-free finish—this makes them great for sensitive skin types.
One common area to apply the translucent powder is around your T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), where you tend to get shinier throughout the day. You can also apply it all over your face, depending on how much oil you have.
Who should use setting powder?
Most people with combination skin find that loose powders well for them because it keeps their makeup from sliding around or fading throughout the day. In addition to absorbing excess oil, setting powder can also create a matte look.
People with normal skin types won’t have much use for loose powder because they don’t produce as much oil.
However, if you have dry skin that tends to look dull throughout the day, a little bit of powder might help give your complexion some life.
It’s important to note that most setting powders are not designed to give the skin a matte finish, so if you have dry skin, you might want to opt for one of the powders on this list.
On a budget but want to do more to control your oily skin? Check out our article on the best drugstore foundations for oily skin to see what else you can do.
Who shouldn’t use setting powder?
While most people with oily skin report good results from using either loose or pressed powder, it’s important to note that they could make your skin even oiler if you aren’t careful about the product you choose.
It’s also important to note that loose powders will not cover up acne or other skin conditions. If you have open sores or active breakouts, it’s best to skip the powder and use something else until your acne clears up.
Picking a setting powder based on your skin tone
Choosing the right tone of powder can be tricky. If you have dark skin, makeup can give you an ashy look if it’s too light. But powders made for fair complexions might not blend well or match your skin tones, leaving you looking chalky instead of polished.
Here are some tips for finding the perfect shade:
– Look for a pressed powder that matches your skin tone as closely as possible.
– If you’re between two shades, choose the darker option if you tend to get oily and the lighter one if you’re on the dry side.
– The best way to test out a pressed powder is to take it home and use it for a couple of days. Check it out in different lighting conditions to see what works best for you.
– If you’re buying online, refer to the color swatch on a model’s arm instead of the shade name to get a better idea of how it will look on your skin tone.
Can a setting powder get rid of unwanted shine?
In a word, no. Loose powder can absorb oil and prevent your face from getting shiny throughout the day. However, it won’t necessarily make you less oily in general—you’ll still sweat and produce sebum throughout the day. Because of this, it’s important to use a setting powder that matches your skin tone so you don’t end up with an ashy or chalky effect.
Can a setting powder help my makeup last longer?
Yes, it can! Setting powders usually come in lightweight formulations that will prolong the wear of your makeup without making you look dry or dull. In fact, many people use powder when they have a special event to attend so their makeup will stay fresh for the entire event – and the afterparty!
The Best Setting Powder For Oily Skin: Our 15 Choices
1) Nars Light Reflecting Loose Powder
A favorite of many beauty gurus, the fine formula works to mattify your skin without looking dry or cakey. It comes with a built-in sifter that prevents you from accidentally dumping too much product into the powder pan. I also love that it’s paraben-, talc-, and fragrance-free!
2) Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder
A cult classic favored by professional makeup artists, this ultra-fine powder controls shine and sets your makeup all day long. It leaves you with a flawless matte finish, so I know why it’s been flying off the shelves. Plus, it has SPF!
3) Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
In my eyes, this is a dupe for the Nars setting powder. The fine powder has a silky texture that doesn’t leave a cakey finish on the skin. It comes with a mesh net to keep you from accidentally dumping out too much product while it’s stored in your makeup bag.
4) Rimmel Stay Matte Translucent Powder
This product is great for people who have oily skin, but who don’t like the feeling of a heavy layer on their skin. The fine powder is lightweight, but still effective at setting your makeup and keeping oily T-zones in check.
5) Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder (good for light skin tones)
While this is technically another loose translucent powder, I put it in this list because I’ve found people with oily skin tend to love this setting powder. It’s lightweight and long-wearing with a silky texture that won’t leave you feeling dry or cakey—and it has SPF!
6) NYX HD Finishing Powder (Studio Photogenic)
NYX’s HD finishing powder is my go-to pressed powder when I want something that offers light coverage without looking chalky. It’s formulated to absorb excess oil, which makes it perfect for people with oily skin!
7) NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray
While technically a setting spray and not a setting powder, this is one that I recommend to everyone! This makeup setting spray is unique in the fact that it contains witch hazel—a popular ingredient among beauty gurus for its oil-absorbing abilities.
Just spray it on your face before applying makeup, and enjoy flawless makeup all day long!
Need an extra boost in your acne-fighting skincare routine? Try one of these supplements for clear skin.
8) Dermablend Loose Setting Powder
This setting powder is great for people who don’t like the feeling of heavy makeup on their skin. It’s formulated to be ultra-thin and translucent, which makes it perfect for everyday wear.
9) Anastasia Beverly Hills – Loose Setting Powder
This ultra-fine powder is made to keep oily skin under control for up to 15 hours. It’s also formulated to work with all skin types, which makes it perfect for people with sensitive skin.
10) Flower Beauty Miracle Glow Satin Finishing Powder
This ultra-fine powder is infused with Vitamin E and grapefruit extract to provide a healthy-looking glow. The lightweight formula leaves your skin feeling fresh and clean, but not cakey.
These guys make great products for oily skin.
11) Bellapierre Banana Setting Powder
This ultra-fine powder is great for setting your makeup and mattifying skin without adding dryness or excess shine. It’s also colorless, so it looks great on most skin tones!
Bellapierre is one of my favorite brands to use for setting powder—the banana-infused formula works great and smells delicious!
12) Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder
This classic setting powder has been a favorite of beauty gurus for years. The ultra-fine loose powder works to mattify the skin and helps absorb excess oil, so it’s a great option if you want something affordable and effective.
13) e.l.f., Halo Glow Setting Powder
This illuminating setting powder will give your skin a silky smooth glow without adding shine. The finely milled talc-free formula is lightweight and works to keep oily skin at bay.
14) Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder Makeup
This flexible, oil-free powder is great for people with oily skin because it helps your makeup last all day without adding shine.
As the commercial says, “Maybe it’s Maybelline!”
15) Glo Skin Beauty Perfecting Powder
This fine setting powder is made for sensitive skin and helps to reduce shine all day long. It’s also infused with antioxidants, which helps protect your skin from environmental damage.
16) LORAC POREfection Baked Perfecting Powder
This lightweight, matte powder is formulated with rosemary extract to absorb excess oil and minimize shine. It also reflects light without adding shine, which makes it great for people who don’t like the look of flash photography.
17) Beauty Bakerie – Cassava (Yellow) Flour Setting Powder
This lightweight, vegan powder is made to absorb excess oil and give your skin a flawless finish. It’s ultra-fine and lasts for up to 16 hours, so you can forget about your oily complexion even if it’s a special occasion.
This powder is great for people who don’t like the feeling of heavy makeup on their skin. It’s formulated to be ultra-thin and translucent, which makes it perfect for everyday wear.
Whether it’s the summer heat or winter chills, an oily T-zone can wreak havoc on your makeup throughout the day. That’s why it’s important to find a quality setting powder that won’t make you look like a grease ball!
As you can see, there are plenty of great options out there to keep your makeup looking fresh all day long.
Just remember to use a setting powder after applying foundation and concealer throughout the day for best results!