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Do you have sensitive skin? You may think you’re alone. In reality, as many as 70% of women and 60% of men struggle with sensitive skin. I myself know these pains. I can only use specific makeup products or else I will break out. I also used body care products that made me break out. I still have scars on my arm from one of my breakouts.
If you’re like me and have sensitive/problematic skin on the face, finding a foundation can be challenging. Fortunately, more brands are making high-quality foundation that is friendly to the most sensitive skin types. Here is my best foundation for sensitive skin guide and recommendations to try.
Bottom line up front
I recommend both the Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation and MUFE Matte Velvet Foundation for sensitive skin. Neither foundation irritated my sensitive skin or broke me out. However, both foundations are better for those with different skin types. The MUFE foundation is better for oily skin types while the Tarte foundation is better for dry skin types.
My Top Picks Up Front
- Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation
- Make Up For Ever HD Foundation
- Make Up For Ever Velvet Matte Foundation
- Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream
- NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
- L’Oreal Paris True Match Foundation
- EX1 Cosmetics Invisiwear Liquid Foundation
- Dior Forever Foundation Matte
- IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream With SPF 50
Tips to Choose the Best Foundation for Sensitive Skin
- Cater to brands that use skincare ingredients in their foundation
- Choose the right coverage
- Do a patch test
- Know your skin type
How I Chose the Best Foundations for Sensitive Skin
I’m recommending the foundation I use now and the ones I have used. I also tried to diversify my selection, including foundations of all types, finishes, and price ranges.
Best Foundations for Sensitive Skin
Let’s get right into it!
Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation
First, I want to recommend the entire Tarte line for sensitive skin. My face is not only sensitive but so are my eyes and lips. I say at least half of the makeup products I use are in the Tarte line. The Amazonian Clay Foundation is one of Tarte’s most iconic products. It’s shade-inclusive and offers full coverage.
The only problem I have with this foundation is I feel it makes my face look greasy. Tarte says it’s lightweight, but I have to disagree. It feels heavy on the skin. I will say, it does look natural. And it never broke me out, so that’s a plus!
- Great for sensitive skin
- Never broke me out
- Received the stamp of approval from estheticians and dermatologists
- Easy to apply and blend
- Looks natural
- Tarte changed their formula and I don’t like it as much
- Makes my face look greasy
- It lasts everywhere except my nose
Make Up For Ever HD Foundation
This has been my HG for YEARS! Keep in mind that I have not tried their new formula. I actually switched to the Velvet Matte Foundation, which I will cover next.
I always loved this foundation because it’s so lightweight and natural-looking. Even though it only offers medium coverage, it does a good job of blurring imperfections. It also lasts all day, especially if you use a good primer with it. It’s great for a variety of skin types and has never broken my skin out. I wouldn’t say it has a matte finish but it doesn’t have a dewy finish, just makes your complexion look radiant and amazing.
- Does a good job at covering, even for a medium-coverage foundation
- Natural finish
- The new formula hasn’t been getting good reviews
- MUFE changed the shades with the new formula
- Not good for those with texture problems — I have acne scars, so that’s why I switched
- Reviewers have said the new formula is heavy on the skin
Make Up For Ever Velvet Matte Foundation
As I stated previously, this is the foundation I’m using now. I do have to say, I was expecting more. MUFE says this is a full-coverage foundation, but you have to build it up to get the coverage you need.
One thing I will say about the Tarte Amazonian Clay is only a tiny bit of product does the job and offers the coverage you need. I also don’t think this foundation is as long-lasting, but it does last longer than the Tarte foundation.
The one thing I will say about this foundation is I love the finish. As odd as it sounds, I have dry skin yet love a matte finish. But so many matte products make my skin feel tight. This foundation doesn’t do that; it feels very comfortable and lightweight on the skin. It also doesn’t look cakey.
Plus, the shade I use (Y235) is literally perfect for my skin tone. I have light skin with neutral undertones. I don’t often find my EXACT shade, so foundations can either make me look too yellow or red. However, this shade is as close as I could find.
Plus, it hasn’t irritated my skin. It’s obviously recommended for oily skin, but I think normal skin types can also use this foundation. I wouldn’t recommend this to others with dry skin, I’m just a weirdo and like matte finishes.
- Has a matte finish that isn’t cakey
- Buildable full coverage, though it doesn’t cover everything
- Perfect color on me
- Doesn’t feel heavy on the skin
- Pretty long-lasting
- Need to use a lot of foundation
- Has a chalky texture, not the easiest to blend
- Oxidizes slightly
- Doesn’t cover everything
Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream
I’m not the biggest fan of Bare Minerals but I also liked the tinted moisturizer. It combines the best of makeup and skincare, plus has SPF 30, which is pretty good for a makeup product. It’s extremely hydrating yet lightweight — doesn’t make your skin look dewy. Rather, makes your skin look fresh. I definitely recommend this to dry skin types like mine.
As with all Bare Minerals products, this one didn’t break me out. It has more coverage than your average tinted moisturizer — medium and buildable coverage, to be exact. I loved using this as a primer, too. It applies and blends really well. I haven’t used it on its own so I can’t say how long it lasts, but it was lightweight enough to use as a primer.
- Very moisturizing, perfect for dry skin types
- Non-comedogenic and didn’t break me out
- Radiant finish
- No fragrance
- Doesn’t have as good of coverage as other products on this list, why I used it as a primer
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
I used this one for a bit and I liked it overall. I loved the finish — it made my skin look glowing as opposed to radiant. It also didn’t break me out, didn’t flake, or irritate my skin. It was easy to apply and blend. This foundation lasted for a long time and felt lightweight on the skin. It’s ideal for a variety of skin types, especially dry skin. However, I’m also reading that this isn’t the best option for very oily skin.
This foundation doesn’t contain fragrances or other ingredients that irritate the skin. While it only has medium coverage, it does a great job at evening out skin tone and has a natural finish. I also love how it’s so inclusive with a massive shade range.
- Ideal for dry
- Won’t break out or irritate the skin
- Massive shade range
- No fragrance
- Not the best coverage
- It may not be the greatest option for oily skin types
- I didn’t like the packaging
L’Oreal Paris True Match Foundation
I have to say, I’m very weird about using drugstore foundation brands. I’ve never found a single drugstore foundation that worked for my skin. Physician’s Formula is the exception; even with that being said, I think their foundation is really cakey. However, I do think it’s important to recommend an affordable foundation.
From my research, this is the best drugstore foundation for sensitive skin. It’s lightweight, hydrating, and packed with skin-friendly ingredients. It has medium-buildable coverage with a natural finish. It is a better foundation for dry skin since it has moisturizing ingredients with a glowing finish.
The biggest complaints I’m seeing are actually the shade selection; a lot of reviewers are saying the shade is different than expected. L’Oreal does offer a virtual try-on tool to find your perfect shade.
- Very moisturizing foundation
- I’m reading it won’t break out your skin
- Massive shade range
- Difficult to find your exact shade
- Not a lot of SPF, may have to wear a separate sunscreen
EX1 Cosmetics Invisiwear Liquid Foundation
This is a product I’ve never used. Actually, I never heard of this brand. Looking at their website, I think it’s only sold in the UK. I’m based in North America, which is probably why I’ve never heard of this company. But people are raving that this foundation is amazing for sensitive skin and I think it’s important to include brands from around the world.
Back to the product. This foundation is great for a variety of skin types, including acne-prone skin. While it doesn’t have a dewy finish, it does have a luminous finish, which may not be ideal for oily skin types.
It’s free of common irritants, such as fragrance, that can breakout the most sensitive skin. It has a good level of coverage without feeling too heavy on the skin, truly feeling like your skin.
This foundation has an impressive shade range, but it is tailored to women with a yellow undertone. If you’re unsure if EX1 Cosmetics Invisiwear Foundation is right for you, you can use their shade match tool to find your perfect shade.
- Natural-looking foundation with a luminous finish
- Won’t break out your skin
- A good shade range, especially for those with yellow undertones
- No fragrance
- Has received packaging complaints
- Only sold in the UK
- Not the best foundation for those with cool and neutral undertones
Dior Forever Foundation Matte
I tried a Dior foundation a while ago and absolutely loved it. I can’t remember which one it was, but it may have been this one. Either way, the Dior foundation I used had beautiful coverage and looked completely natural. I wish I remembered which Dior foundation I tried, but want to recommend another matte foundation since I have only included one.
This is not only a recommended foundation for those with oily skin but those who also have sensitivity issues. Even though this foundation has a matte finish, it’s very light on the skin and looks natural.
Plus, the moisturizing ingredients will prevent any oil breakouts. It’s oil-free, so it won’t break out your skin. It has a great shade range for a variety of skin tones and undertones, so you’re bound to find your perfect shade.
As a Dior foundation, it is expensive. But I’m reading your get your money’s worth. Honestly, it’s only $10 more than the MUFE foundation, so you might as well settle for this one.
- Great matte foundation for oily and combination skin types
- Won’t break out your skin
- Great shade range
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream With SPF 50
For a CC cream, this product has impressive coverage. It’s a full-coverage product that acts more as a foundation than a traditional CC cream. While you can use it as a base for foundation, this is probably all you need for exceptional, buildable coverage. It has a creamy texture, making it easy to blend.
This CC cream is ideal for those with serious color issues, such as redness. Many with aging and acne-prone skin have also experienced benefits when using this product.
This foundation is especially beneficial to those with sensitive skin due to the calming and moisturizing ingredients and antioxidants, all without added fragrance. Plus, it has an SPF 50, which is more impressive than many makeup products.
While it doesn’t offer the greatest shade range, it does have more foundation shade options than other CC and BB creams. However, I still don’t think this is good enough. I really want to try this CC cream so badly but the Sephora website can’t find an exact match for me. I’ll have to go to a Sephora location and get color matched. Even so, there’s no guarantee I will find an exact match.
- Full coverage, impressive for a CC cream
- Contains skin-healthy ingredients and antioxidants
- Easy to build and blend
- Radiant yet natural finish
- Also great for dry skin
- Not the best shade selection
Question: I Have Dry Skin. What Type of Foundation Should I Use?
Answer: Avoid matte foundations. Stick to BB creams or tinted moisturizers, which are made with hydrating ingredients. If you do want a traditional foundation, choose one with a dewy finish. Read the ingredients or choose foundations that have messages such as “water-based.”
Question: What are Some of the Best Dermatologist-Recommended Foundations?
Answer: Most of the foundations I mentioned are recommended by dermatologists or estheticians. Here are a few others that I didn’t mention:
• Dermablend Cover Cream
• Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup
• Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation
• Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation SPF 20
Question: What are Some of the Best Foundations for Your Skin?
Answer: These are the healthiest foundations that I can find:
• Jane Iredale Amazing Base Loose Mineral Powder
• Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation
• Bare Minerals Loose Powder Foundation
• Monave Mineral Foundation
• Laws of Nature Foxy Finish Loose Mineral Foundation
• Bellapierre Mineral Foundation
• Au Naturale Semi-Matte Powder Foundation
• Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
• Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation
• Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation SPF 30
• Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
• Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
Dealing with sensitive skin is never fun, especially if you’re trying to find a foundation.
Out of all of these, my recommendation is a tie between Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation and MUFE Matte Velvet Foundation. Both have their pros and cons and are better suited for specific skin types. I recommend the Tarte foundation for those with dry skin. I love how much coverage this foundation offers and how easy it is to blend, but it gives your skin that dewy look and wears off during the day.
The MUFE Matte Velvet is a great matte foundation since it controls oil outbreaks without looking cakey. But I don’t think the coverage is as good as the Tarte one. The MUFE foundation lasts longer than the Tarte one, but not that much longer.
I hope I was able to help you recommend a foundation for sensitive skin!