Finding the right makeup when you have sensitive skin is not an easy task. Breaking out, redness, dry patches, and stinging --these are all signs of skin sensitivity. It gets really frustrating when your skin reacts to makeup especially when you have blemishes you’d rather hide.
Even if you do find the right foundation that matches your skin type, the brand might have a limited range of shades making it difficult to find the right color for you.
So, we’ve narrowed things down for you! Here’s our 2020 list and reviews of the best foundations for sensitive skin.
Best Foundation for Sensitive Skin Reviews
1. Dermablend Flawless Creator Multi-Use Liquid Foundation
Dermablend’s Flawless Creator is a lightweight, oil-free, and water-free liquid foundation. It is non-comedogenic and suitable for acne-prone and sensitive skin. There’s no need to worry about Dermablend’s ingredient list as it’s free from alcohol, fragrances, and essential oils. Plus, it’s vegan and cruelty-free.
The pigments are super concentrated for coverage that is buildable and long-lasting. With over 22 shades available, finding the right shade for you shouldn’t be a problem.
One thing you have to be careful about is application. The product needs to be blended out quickly and keep in mind that a little goes a long way with Flawless Creator. Adding on too much of the product will only leave you with a cakey base that creases and moves.
2. Dermablend Smooth Liquid Camo Foundation
Another gem for sensitive skin from Dermablend is their Liquid Camo Foundation that’s specially formulated for dry skin. It is fragrance-free, allergy-tested, and non-comedogenic. It also has SPF 25 sun protection which is great for heat sensitive and dehydrated skin.
This comes in fewer shades than the Flawless Creator with only 15 options to choose from but it is still a good number of shades to work with.
The application is smooth and creamy and provides buildable coverage. Although sunscreen is a win for sensitive skin, it does make the product a bit heavy and not very long-lasting. If you’re going for this one, try setting it with a powder for longer wear.
3. Honest Beauty Everything Cream Foundation
Nourishing ingredients can give a little bit of TLC for sensitive skin. Honest Beauty’s Everything Cream Foundation is infused with vitamin E for weightless and moisturizing coverage. This isn’t the product for oily skin types as it contains several oil ingredients like sunflower and jojoba oil. But no need to fret, these oils are considered non-comedogenic.
The coverage is buildable but it comes out more of a light natural finish. There are 15 shades available and the packaging is a handy compact that’s easy to carry around.
4. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup Foundation
When you say Neutrogena, skincare is the first thing to come to mind. And that is exactly why the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup Foundation is a great choice for sensitive skin.
The foundation offers SPF 20 broad-spectrum sun protection. It is lightweight, non-greasy, and it contains antioxidants to improve skin tone and texture. Its light to medium coverage lasts without caking or moving.
5. Covergirl Clean Sensitive Skin Foundation
Fragrance-Free and oil-free. Covergirl Clean Sensitive Skin Foundation is safe for sensitive skin. It also has variants for normal skin (Clean) and oily skin (Clean Matte).
This is a breathable foundation that gives medium coverage that is buildable to get full coverage. The creamy formula is also pore-minimizing so it makes your skin look naturally healthy and flawless.
The shade range isn’t that great with only 9 shades available. The shade variety is enough but it can be limiting for those who are in-between skin tones.
6. The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation
You automatically think natural and healthy when it comes to The Body Shop. Their Fresh Nude Foundation has 16 shades that give light to medium coverage.
Aloe vera and English rose water makes this product hydrating and fresh so it soothes sensitive skin. It also protects with SPF 15 sunscreen.
The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation is nourishing for your skin and it gives more of a natural, fresh glow. Don’t try to get more than that as piling on to get full coverage will only make it cakey and heavy.
7. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation
This one has had plenty of great reviews everywhere and for good reason. The Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation gives buildable coverage and comes with a whopping 40 shades!
Probably the best thing about it is its pore-minimizing formula that makes you look like you really have naturally flawless skin. Sensitive skin comes with a lot of issues like textured skin and blemishes and this offers good, long-lasting coverage for a drug store makeup brand.
If there was an issue with it, it would have to be the bottle, it looks nice and sleek but it’s difficult to get the right amount of product out.
8. Ere Perez All Natural Oat Milk Foundation
The Ere Perez All Natural Oat Milk Foundation is non-greasy, long-lasting, and it gives a natural finish. What makes it different is it’s formulated with skin-friendly and hydrating ingredients like oat milk, peach, and vitamin E. It doesn’t only give you medium to full coverage, it also improves your skin as you wear it. It is also non-comedogenic, paraben, sulfate, and cruelty-free.
You don’t need much of the product to get great coverage so you don’t have to go all out with the application. It’s also better to blend quickly as you apply because the formula dries up fast. No luck with the shade range as well as it only comes in 5 shades.
9. Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation
Natural cosmetics are easier on sensitive skin and mineral-based makeup is friendlier on textured skin. The Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation is both mineral-based and made from natural ingredients. The formula is free from parabens, talc, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, and phthalates. You also don’t have to worry about animal testing as it’s a cruelty-free product.
Its nourishing ingredients of pomegranate, white tea, red tea, sea kelp, and vitamins C & E help fight free radicals for age-defying benefits.
The Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation offers blendable and buildable coverage and is soothing to sensitive skin. One more plus is that they offer up to 24 shades!
10. L'Oreal Paris True Match Mineral Loose Powder Foundation
The L’Oreal Paris True Match Mineral Loose Powder Foundation has been available for years and it’s truly a classic product that is gentle on sensitive skin. It offers flawless coverage with SPF 19 sun protection.
The formula is also long-lasting and comes out with a soft, even finish. If you’re just starting to use makeup, this is an easy product to work with as it is buildable and easy to blend. You can choose from the 12 shades available to find your true match.
If there’s one thing people are not crazy about this product it would be the unique packaging that comes with a built-in brush. It is difficult to control the amount of product you get. This is also not a good idea for sensitive skin since it can be hard to sanitize.
11. Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup
Clinique has been known for its gentle range of products that are formulated for sensitive skin so it’s no surprise that they ended up on our list.
This one is more for acne-prone and oily skin. It is non-irritating, oil, and fragrance-free. Their 16 shades give up to medium coverage and are aimed at neutralizing redness and blending out blemishes.
It can look like the product oxidizes so this shouldn’t be a blind buy. Take note that the foundation is medicated with salicylic acid for acne-prone skin so it can be drying for other skin types.
12. Almay Clear Complexion Makeup
This weightless foundation is also formulated with salicylic acid to manage blemishes, oiliness, and breakouts. It gives a poreless soft-matte finish that’s enough to cover up acne marks and other blemishes. This is, again, best for those with acne-prone and oily skin so stay away from this if you have dry, parched skin.
The shade range includes 14 light, medium, and deep shades. The formula is also dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and vegan. Another winner for sensitive skin!
13. Covergirl & Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation
This is a collaboration of a skincare and drugstore makeup brand that have both proven to come up with reliable skin-friendly products.
The Covergirl & Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation is another skincare and makeup combo on our list that gives coverage while making your skin better. It improves skin tone, reduces wrinkles, and hydrates your skin with the combination of hyaluronic complex and vitamin C. You can choose between 12 different shades to match your skin tone.
With this one, though, it comes out more of a moisturizer than a foundation. The coverage is sheer and it tends to settle into fine lines.
14. Mirabella Skin Tint Crème Medium Coverage Liquid Mineral-Based Foundation
Mineral-based makeup is great for blurring out textured skin and that’s what you can expect from the Mirabella Skin Tint Crème Medium Coverage Liquid Mineral-Based Foundation.
It works especially great to cover up redness and dark spots that often occur with sensitive skin. No need to worry about additional flare-ups, though. Its formula is free from oil and it also contains anti-inflammatory ingredients to soothe sensitive skin. Skin is left feeling hydrated and fresh since it is infused with hyaluronic acid.
You can get the Mirabella Skin Tint Crème Medium Coverage Liquid Mineral-Based Foundation in 14 shades. The foundation is buildable and can get you seamless, full coverage. Apply with caution though as it can get cakey with too much application.
15. Mary Kay TimeWise Matte-Wear Liquid Foundation
Peptides and vitamin E make the Mary Kay TimeWise Matte-Wear Liquid Foundation a nourishing formula for sensitive skin. It is anti-aging and great for combination to oily skin. It provides oil and shine control with a matte finish.
The Mary Kay TimeWise Matte-Wear Liquid Foundation effectively blurs out pores, fine lines, and blemishes with medium coverage that looks natural. They also carry a wide range of shades offering a total of 23 swatches to choose from.
The product tends to be on the watery side and It’s better to set this one with a powder for better longevity and additional coverage.
Choosing the Best Foundation for Sensitive Skin
Getting everything right when it comes to foundations becomes an expensive and exhausting venture. Buying the wrong foundation makes things even more annoying. But how do you choose the right foundation for your sensitive skin?
Read the Labels
When dealing with sensitive skin, the first thing you should do is to read the labels. Look through the packaging and you will find tags like hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and made from natural ingredients. This somehow gives you a clue on how the makeup is formulated.
Hypoallergenic means that the ingredients were tested for allergic reactions. Dermatologist-tested signifies that the product has been approved by at least one dermatologist. And made from natural ingredients means no synthetics were used in the product formulation.
Ingredients to Avoid
Besides browsing for tags, look out for ingredients your skin type may be sensitive to by reading the labels or the literature that comes with your product.
The usual culprits when it comes to makeup ingredients are fragrances, essential oils, harsh exfoliants, alcohol, and sodium lauryl sulfates. It is a safe bet to avoid products that contain these ingredients.
Your Skin Type
Simply going for hypoallergenic options can be better but it isn’t enough. The term hypoallergenic isn’t exactly regulated by the FDA and it can mean a variety of things to different makeup brands. Everyone’s skin is different and what your skin is allergic or sensitive to may not be the same for others.
If you have oily skin, it’s better to avoid products that have oils listed in their ingredients. This will feel much heavier on your skin and it can even lead to breakouts on acne-prone skin. Use a primer to prep your skin so that the natural oils from your face won’t disturb your foundation throughout its wear. A setting spray can also help lengthen the life of makeup on oily skin.
For dry skin, avoid mattifying foundations and use a moisturizing primer under your face makeup. This is to avoid rough patches on the dry areas of your face. It is also better to go for cream and liquid foundations for more longevity. Foundations that are nourishing and hydrating should also help soothe dry skin under makeup.
Do a Patch Test
Once you decide to try out a foundation, do a patch test to see how your skin reacts to the actual product before fully committing to wearing it.
If your skin reacts to the product negatively, it is better to just shelve the product and try another brand. Stop worrying about the money that went to it. Treating flared up and broken skin won’t be worth it in the long run.
Right Amount of Coverage
Foundations are meant to give coverage and act as your makeup’s base. If you look at foundation descriptions, you’ll see tags like light, medium, buildable on full coverage. This is your makeup’s ability to conceal or hide flaws.
Light coverage: Foundations with light coverage aims to even out skin tone more than hide blemishes or skin imperfections. This is a good choice for those with clear skin.
Medium coverage: Medium coverage foundations offer more coverage to hide small flaws and even out skin tone at the same time. Major flaws can still be visible when wearing medium coverage foundations.
Heavy or full coverage: This will cover your skin completely. Skin imperfections will no longer be visible and the tone will be even throughout the face.
Buildable coverage: Buildable coverage means you can gradually add more foundation if you want more coverage. Foundations that give buildable coverage won’t look heavy and thick after adding one or two applications.
There are three steps in choosing the right foundation shade for you.
1. Find Your Skin Tone
Your skin tone can be light, medium, or deep. These are usually the basic foundation shades you can choose from.
2. Find Your Skin Undertone
Our skin has veins underneath it and some of them can be visible on the skin’s surface. The three types of skin undertones are warm, neutral, and cool.
You can check your skin undertone through the wrist test and the sun test.
Wrist test - Take a look at the color of the visible veins on your wrist. If they look purple or blue, then your undertone is cool. If they look olive or green, you have a warm undertone. If you can’t tell between the two, then you must have a neutral undertone.
Sun test - Skin that experiences redness after sun exposure is considered a cool undertone. Those who tan easily have a warm undertone.
3. Check the Swatch
Finding your skin tone and undertone will narrow down your swatch selection. You can then start testing the swatch on your skin to see which swatch suits you best. Test your top three swatches on your jawline and match the shade with your face and neck as your reference.
Sensitive skin is better taken care of and soothed than covered up. Aim for healthier skin instead of heavily piling on makeup to hide skin issues. Your skin will thank you for it too!