8 Skin-Friendly Foundations That Dermatologists Love

Whether your skin is dry, oily, acne-prone or mature, these makeup picks won't undo the benefits of your skin care routine.
Neutrogena/Clinique/IT

You spend a lot of time, effort and money curating the perfect skin care routine, but it may be time to consider that your makeup choices are just as important when trying to maintain a smooth, blemish-free complexion. Think about it ― if you slather your pristinely cared-for skin with a foundation that contains pore-clogging ingredients, that stuff is sitting on your skin all day.

Not only can you find foundations that are formulated to cater to your skin type ― dry, oily, acne-prone or mature ― but according to Anna Karp, a board-certified dermatologist from New York City, you can even find a foundation that’s formulated with ingredients that help fight common skin problems.

For example, Karp told HuffPost, “Look for titanium dioxide or micronized zinc in at least 7-10% strength. This will help to prevent hyperpigmentation of any type from getting worse, including melasma, help to prevent photodamage and photoaging.”

She adds that it’s “best to avoid foundations with mineral oil, which is petroleum-based, thus having some safety concerns. It also is comedogenic.”

We spoke to more experts to get their picks for the best skin-friendly foundations. If you want to keep looking glam without sacrificing your skin, check out their suggestions below.

Best Foundations For Dry Skin

<strong>Left to right: <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=38395X987171&xs=1&xcust=DermFoundation-KristenAiken-04-15021-&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ulta.com%2Fmineral-tinted-compact-spf-50%3FproductId%3Dpimprod2020808%26sku%3D2577169%26cmpid%3DPS_Non%21google%21Product_Listing_Ads%26cagpspn%3Dpla%26CATCI%3Dpla-447687583901%26CAAGID%3D115951169169%26CAWELAID%3D330000200002704046%26CATARGETID%3D330000200002640781%26CADevice%3Dc%26gclid%3DCj0KCQjwmcWDBhCOARIsALgJ2Qd8--A8ZkEZZuGTtMF1KDdkzLafyHIfBL6D8IjvrVIGBFWU_RAd01saAnMiEALw_wcB" target="_blank" role="link" rel="sponsored" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link">Avène mineral tinted compact SPF 50, $36</a>; <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=38395X987171&xs=1&xcust=DermFoundation-KristenAiken-04-15021-&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dermstore.com%2Fproduct_UV%2BDaily%2BTinted%2BBroadSpectrum%2BSPF%2B40_58357.htm%3Futm_egbu%3DDermstore-US_Google-Search_Core_EltaMD_CONV_B_DTM_tROAS%26utm_egb%3D500300%26utm_ega%3DCONV%26utm_egc%3DUV%2520Daily%2520Tinted%2520Broad%2520Spectrum%2520SPF%252040%26gclid%3DCj0KCQjwmcWDBhCOARIsALgJ2QdG-kjNDZouGa5ycEDVFvHNQojRR_kL0pHIkWUk3oP5v2nUJxWq4dEaAr0-EALw_wcB%26gclsrc%3Daw.ds%26AID%3D13463631%26PID%3D100107412%26URL%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.dermstore.com%252Fproduct_UV%252BDaily%252BTinted%252BBroadSpectrum%252BSPF%252B40_58357.htm%253Futm_egbu%253DDermstore-US_Google-Search_Core_EltaMD_CONV_B_DTM_tROAS%2526utm_egb%253D500300%2526utm_ega%253DCONV%2526utm_egc%253DUV%252520Daily%252520Tinted%252520Broad%252520Spectrum%252520SPF%25252040%2526gclid%253DCj0KCQjwmcWDBhCOARIsALgJ2QdG-kjNDZouGa5ycEDVFvHNQojRR_kL0pHIkWUk3oP5v2nUJxWq4dEaAr0-EALw_wcB%2526gclsrc%253Daw.ds%26source%3Dcj%26CID%3D5370367%26utm_source%3Dcj%26utm_medium%3Daffiliate%26cjevent%3D02f6cd0b9e2411eb81d300110a82b838" target="_blank" role="link" rel="sponsored" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link">Elta MD UV Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40, $32.50</a></strong>

Avène Mineral Tinted Compact SPF 50

Robin Evans, a board-certified dermatologist in Stamford, Connecticut, told HuffPost to “look for fragrance-free products like Avène’s mineral tinted compact, as fragrance can be allergenic and also cause irritant reactions in people with sensitive skin types.” This cream-to-powder formula contains titanium oxide and zinc oxide and provides a matte finish and great coverage.

Elta MD UV Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

Evans also suggests this tinted formulation, as it “functions as a moisturizer with great sunscreen protection, since it has SPF 40 and zinc oxide in 9%. It also has hyaluronic acid, which helps for moisturization.”

Best Foundations For Oily Skin

Left to right: <strong><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=38395X987171&xs=1&xcust=DermFoundation-KristenAiken-04-15021-&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com%2Fproduct%2Facne-solutions-liquid-makeup-P259605%3Fom_mmc%3Daff-linkshare-redirect-tv2R4u9rImY%26c3ch%3DLinkshare%26c3nid%3Dtv2R4u9rImY%26affid%3Dtv2R4u9rImY-fmWseEaci1JFduX8MqHy0A%26ranEAID%3Dtv2R4u9rImY%26ranMID%3D2417%26ranSiteID%3Dtv2R4u9rImY-fmWseEaci1JFduX8MqHy0A%26ranLinkID%3D10-1%26browserdefault%3Dtrue%26c3ch%3DLinkshare%26c3nid%3Dtv2R4u9rImY%26affid%3Dtv2R4u9rImY-2Oi6shTUS4Hr3VfnK6gKyw%26ranEAID%3Dtv2R4u9rImY%26ranMID%3D2417%26ranSiteID%3Dtv2R4u9rImY-2Oi6shTUS4Hr3VfnK6gKyw%26ranLinkID%3D10-1%26browserdefault%3Dtrue" target="_blank" role="link" rel="sponsored" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link">Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup Foundation, $31</a>; <a href="https://amzn.to/3wWPjmD" target="_blank" role="link" rel="sponsored" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link">L’Oreal Paris True Match Loose Powder Mineral Foundation, $11.97 </a> </strong>

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup Foundation

Dermatologist Shereene Idriss of New York City recommends this medium-coverage formula created for oily and combination skin because it is “oil free and loaded with salicylic acid to clear your pores, in addition to caffeine to calm redness.”

L’Oreal Paris True Match Loose Powder Mineral Foundation

Memphis-based dermatologist Purvisha Patel told HuffPost, “For inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea, skin disease, sensitive skin or acne, I prefer mineral foundations, as they are noncomedogenic and contain less total ingredients.” She recommends this wallet-friendly skin-improving formula which contains both titanium dioxide (3%) and zinc oxide (5%) and offers buildable coverage in 12 shades.

Best Foundations For Acne-Prone Skin

Left to right: <strong><a href="https://amzn.to/3ah5npD" target="_blank" role="link" rel="sponsored" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link">Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup, $11.29</a>;</strong><strong><a href="https://amzn.to/3gdnZuh" target="_blank" role="link" rel="sponsored" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link">Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup, $10.59</a></strong>

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup

If you’ve ever experienced acne scarring, sun protection is crucial to prevent the the accumulation of photodamage that leads to brown spots ― also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) ― that can later develop. Idriss says this is the formula for you, as it includes light SPF coverage. She adds that “the antioxidant blend protects your skin from daily stressors that if left alone can worsen hyperpigmentation over time.”

Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup

Karp also recommends that people with acne-prone skin look for a product with salicylic acid, an ingredient that helps clear out pores. “Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup is a great option ― it contains 0.5% salicylic acid and aloe vera to soothe inflammation,” she added.

Best foundations for mature skin

Left to right: <a href="https://amzn.to/3abayHl" target="_blank" role="link" rel="sponsored" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link"><strong>Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Skintone Matching Makeup, </strong></a><strong><a href="https://amzn.to/3abayHl" target="_blank" role="link" rel="sponsored" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link">$10</a><a href="https://www.target.com/p/almay-smart-shade-anti-aging-skintone-matching-makeup-with-spf-20-300-straight-up-medium-2-1-fl-oz/-/A-14840518" target="_blank" role="link" rel="sponsored" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link"> </a>;</strong><a href="https://amzn.to/3tmV22F" target="_blank" role="link" rel="sponsored" data-ylk="subsec:paragraph;itc:0;cpos:__RAPID_INDEX__;pos:__RAPID_SUBINDEX__;elm:context_link"><strong>IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare, </strong><strong>$39.50 </strong></a>

Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Skintone Matching Makeup

This formula provides hydration and helps reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” said Rina Allawh, a board-certified dermatologist in the Philadelphia suburbs with a special interest in the unique challenges for pigmented skin with regards to anti-aging, sun care and acne. “Oil free, SPF 20, talc-, fragrance- and paraben-free, this foundation has six different shades with a soft satin finish, allowing an elegant application. I find that the lightweight liquid formula and buildable texture is ideal for both darker and lighter skin types.”

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare

Karp recommends this foundation because “it has hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extract, plus vitamins E & B5. All of these ingredients help moisturize the skin, especially hyaluronic acid, which attracts 1,000 times its weight in water.” Karp recommends this moisturizing formula for combo, dry and mature skin types and adds that “it helps with hyperpigmentation by providing light even coverage to smooth out discolorations.”

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