Finding the best foundation for combination skin is no easy feat. Besides looking for a shade that matches your skin tone, there’s the other big challenge: making sure it’s actually compatible with — and complements — your finicky half-oily, half-dry skin type.
“Usually the oily areas are in the T-zone, which is the forehead, nose, and chin,” says Morgan Rabach, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. “The shine represents excess oil production, and there may be an addition of whiteheads or blackheads in the area.” As for the other areas on the face (like the cheeks), she says they’re usually dry and can be prone to flakiness.
There are, however, some benefits to having combination skin. According to Dr. Rabach, the oil in the skin helps it stay moisturized and softer. “It also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and keeps skin protected in cold or windy weather,” she adds.
Especially with such abundant foundation options in the market, and new ones constantly launching (hello, choice overload), it helps to know what to look for when you have combination or oily skin. “Oil-free foundations always help particularly if you find that wearing makeup clogs your pores and causes breakouts,” says Tobi Henney, a makeup artist based in New York City. “Mattifying foundations can also be great as they will give you more longevity throughout the day and avoid looking too shiny.”
Furthermore, opt for products without fragrance or dye as these can irritate the dry areas, adds Dr. Rabach. Application-wise, remember: You can always use more or less foundation on certain parts of your face, depending on where you need more coverage.
To make your shopping process easier, we tapped makeup pros to share their tried-and-true formulas that leave behind a gorgeous, long-lasting tint without compromising the health of your pores. From drugstore gems like Maybelline New York to department-store favorites like Shiseido, read on for 13 of the best foundations for combination skin, ever.