Finding the best foundation is hard enough, let alone when you struggle with sensitive, red or irritated skin. This throws everything else up in the air and can be a downright pain when searching for makeup bag essentials.
However, never fear as the Cosmetify beauty queens are here to save the day. We’ve rounded up all our favorite formulas for sensitive complexions. Plus, we’ve categorized them so you can find the best coverage and price point, as well search by specific skin concerns.
A few top tips before we start:
- What works for one person may not work for you, so it’s all about trial and error
- Look out for hypoallergenic formulas as these have as little allergens as possible
- Dermatologically tested foundations are also a good choice as these have undergone tolerance trials to make sure they are kind to the skin
- ALWAYS patch test any new products before you use them to check they are compatible with your specific skin type
Now, what are you waiting for? Dive in and discover the best foundations for your sensitive skin.
Best full coverage foundation for sensitive skin
This hypoallergenic formula from Inglot Cosmetics is a great full coverage option for sensitive skin types. It easily buffs into the skin and gives you a natural, satin finish. Plus, it’s a long-lasting formulation that helps minimize the appearance of blemishes, breakouts and uneven skin tone.
Best lightweight foundation for sensitive skin
Want something a little lighter? Take a look at this non-greasy formula which provides a sheer, yet buildable coverage. As it’s free from nasties and fragrance, it’s suitable for delicate complexions. Better yet, it contains a blend of plant-based oils to moisturize parched skin.
Best luxury foundation for sensitive skin
We love splurging on makeup essentials that will stand the test of time, especially when it comes to finding the perfect foundation for our sensitive complexions. This luxury option from Yves Saint Laurent is a great choice as it’s dermatologically tested and is non-comedogenic, so we know it’ll be gentle on our skin. Not to mention, it has long-lasting coverage with a flawless finish – what’s not to love?
Best affordable foundation for sensitive skin
But you don’t always have to break the bank to find a fabulous formula. This purse-friendly, cult-favorite option from The Ordinary is an ideal solution for beauty lovers who want a semi-matte finish. It’s suitable for all skin types and has a diverse array of shades from fair to deep. Plus, it’s free from parabens, alcohol, and gluten.
Best cruelty-free foundation for sensitive skin
Milk Makeup are a great ‘clean beauty’ brand to keep your eye on. Not only are their products free from nasties (so kind-to-skin) but they are also entirely cruelty-free and vegan-friendly! This foundation is no exception and helps you achieve a beautiful medium coverage finish. It also contains a winning combo of blue lotus and chamomile which helps soothe and hydrate your skin.
Another great cruelty-free option for sensitive skin types is this stick foundation from bareMinerals. The non-chemical and water-based formula feels comfortable on the skin. Better yet, it has all the benefits of a tinted moisturizer while also minimizing the look of blemishes and imperfections for a natural-looking finish.
Best foundation for rosacea
This foundation is a favorite among beauty editors and professional MUAs alike. Not only does it provide a high coverage that looks great all day long, but it’s also free from parabens, phthalates, sulfates and fragrance. It’s the perfect choice for for concealing everything from rosacea to scarring, while still feeling comfortable on the skin for 16-hour coverage.
The Future Skin Foundation is perfect for beauty lovers who struggle with redness and irritation, thanks to soothing combination of aloe leaf, green tea and chamomile. It helps calm the complexion and blur blemishes, while ensuring radiant results. The gel texture also feels super refreshing and hydrating on the skin, which is always a big plus.
Best foundation for acne
Blemishes can be a pain, especially when paired with sensitivities. However, this non-comedogenic formula won’t block your pores and instead helps you achieve a mattified complexion that looks flawless all day long. It’s also paraben, phthalates and oil free which means it’s gentle on your skin. Better yet, it contains cashmere kaolinite which draws out any impurities without over-drying your skin for a refined and shine-free look.
For sensitive and acne prone skin, we recommend this beauty from IT Cosmetics. It combines all the skin care benefits and foundation coverage in one handy formula to help refine texture, minimize pores and blur imperfections. The combo of hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, vitamin E and B5 also helps soothe the skin.
Best foundation for dry sensitive skin
Sensitivities and dryness combined is a big no go. But this hydrating skin tint is a great way to soothe dryness with its mixture of hyaluronic acid, moringa seed extract and vegetal glycerin. Blend across the skin with a beauty sponge for a natural, radiant coverage.
The MAC Studio Face & Body Foundation is a classic formula everyone knows and loves. It has a water-based formulation, which feels super lightweight on the skin and blends effortlessly for a buildable coverage. It’s also been dermatologist tested so we know it’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin types.
Best foundation for oily sensitive skin
This fragrance-free foundation is ideal for sensitive and oily complexions. It provides a non-cakey, matte finish that blurs any imperfections. It’s also non-comedogenic, so won’t clog your pores which is great if your struggle with blemishes. Better yet, they have a diverse range of shades so there’s an option for every skin tone.
Best foundation for sensitive combination skin
Combination skin is a tricky one, but Clinique have a plethora of foundation options for every skin type. This particular foundation helps balance the skin as suggested by the name and helps you achieve a healthier-looking complexion. And of course, it's hypoallergenic, non-acnegenic and dermatologically tested.
Best foundation for dull sensitive skin
Tired, lackluster and sensitive complexion? No problem, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Luminous Foundation is exactly what you need. Again, it’s dermatologically tested and is free from alcohol which may irritate your skin. It also contains light-reflecting particles which helps perk up your skin and gives you a radiant glow all day long.
There you have it – all the best foundations for sensitive skin. Have you added any to your wish list yet?
For more tips for sensitive-prone skin take a look at the Best Face Masks for Redness and Irritation.
Written by Rebecca Jenkinson
Rebecca is a content writer with over three years’ experience and a keen interest in cosmetics. Cosmetify allows her to combine her blogging skills with her passion for beauty.