water-based foundation

Is A Water-Based Foundation Right For Your Skin Type?

Amidst the sea of choices in different types of foundations, one has been making waves, literally, and that’s water-based foundations.

The average makeup wearers makeup IQ has gone up and there’s a growing awareness of what works best for different skin types. People want more than just great-looking makeup and know that even the highest quality products won’t produce the same results for all. 

water-based foundation

If you’re just walking through the makeup aisle and choosing a foundation solely based on the shade, you’re really doing your skin a disservice. It’s important to see what the main ingredients are used in your foundation and if they’re oil, silicone, or water-based

We’ll look into the benefits of water-based foundation, what skin types they benefit the most, and give our picks for the top water-based foundations.

Benefits of Water-Based Foundation

water-based foundation

Hydration Without Oil:
Water-based foundations are like a big drink of water for your skin. They make your skin feel clean and moisturized without using any oils or creams. Great for those who are trying to control already oily skin.

Lightweight and Natural:
Unlike oil or silicone-based foundations, water-based foundations are super lightweight and more natural in appearance. They allow long, all-day wear with minimal touch-ups and provide a natural, dewy finish that mimics the appearance of healthy skin.

Water-based foundations are less likely to clog pores compared to oil and silicone-based foundations, making them suitable for sensitive or acne-prone skin. They reduce the risk of breakouts and are generally gentle on the skin.

Buildable Coverage:
Water-based foundations are easy to layer, allowing you to build up the coverage to your liking. Whether you want a sheer, natural look or full coverage for special occasions, water-based foundations provide flexibility without appearing cakey.

Skin Types that Benefit from Water-Based Foundation

The versatility of water-based foundations makes them suitable for a wide array of skin types, each reaping their own benefits:

  • Oily Skin: If oil, cream, or silicone based foundations tend to make your skin oilier or breakout, a lightweight water-based foundation can help cleanse and moisturize your face without using any oils or leaving greasy residue.
  • Sensitive Skin: Water-based foundations can be beneficial for those with sensitive skin that’s prone to breakouts. The light weight formula cleanses and moisturizes without clogging pores.
  • Normal to Combination Skin: Those with normal to combination skin types can also benefit from water-based foundations which are typically packed with skin-benefiting nutrients along with water as their main ingredients.

Those with dry skin types can also find water-based foundations beneficial for their moisturizing and nourishing capabilities, although people with more severe dry skin types may benefit from heavier oil or silicone-based foundations for more potent hydration and coverage.

The Best Water-Based Foundations – Top Picks

L’Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup

A classic that continues to impress, this foundation boasts a water-based formula that seamlessly blends with your skin. It’s renowned for its extensive shade range and ability to provide buildable, natural coverage. An affordable option that can be found at most drug stores.

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation

Offering a dewy, skin-like finish, this foundation’s water-based formula hydrates while delivering a flawless, natural look. It’s ideal for those looking to achieve a radiant, no-makeup makeup effect.

NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Drop Foundation

A game-changer in customization, this water-based foundation comes in a dropper bottle, allowing you to control the coverage. It’s a go-to for a customizable, flawless complexion, giving you sheer to complete coverage.

Smashbox Studio Skin 24 Hour Hydra Foundation

This foundation lives up to its name by offering 24-hour wear with a water-based formula that keeps your skin hydrated all day. It’s ideal for those who need long-lasting coverage without sacrificing comfort.

Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation

A beloved drugstore gem, this water-based foundation delivers a dewy finish that’s perfect for dry skin. Its lightweight feel and ability to blur imperfections make it a go-to for a luminous, photo-finish look.

How To Know If Your Foundation Is Water-Based?

It may be difficult to assess if your foundation is water-based since many may not advertise them as so. You can easily look on the foundation bottle and check out the ingredient list on the label. Water or aqua is usually one of the very first ingredients in water-based foundations. This is because water forms the base of the product.

Water-based foundations are known for their lightweight and hydrating properties. They contain water-soluble ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, which are great for your skin. When you apply them, you’ll notice they have a thinner, more liquidy texture compared to other foundations. This makes them easy to spread across your skin, and they often give you a natural or matte finish, which means you won’t look too shiny.

But if you’re still not sure, try a little test! Dab a small amount of your foundation on the back of your hand and feel its texture. Water-based foundations tend to be thin, runny, and they glide on smoothly. So, if you see “water” near the top of the ingredient list and it feels light and liquidy, you’ve probably got yourself a water-based foundation. Perfect for a fresh, natural look!

What Primer To Use With Water-Based Foundations

Water-Based Primer

When using water-based foundations, it’s generally a good idea to use a water-based primer. These primers are formulated to complement water-based foundations, helping to enhance their performance and makeup adherence to the skin while maintaining a lightweight, oil-free texture.

Top Pick:
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Marshmellow Smoothing Primer – Water-based primer that smooths, softens, hydrates, and blurs lines and wrinkles, extending your makeup wear all day.

Hydrating Primer

You don’t need to just stick to water-based primers. Pairing water-based foundations with any hydrating primer can further boost moisture, leaving your skin looking fresh and dewy. Look for primers containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin.

Top Pick:
e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer – Its formula is infused with grape and vitamins A, C, & E to help boost complexion and hydrate your skin.

Oil-Free Primer

If you have oily or combination skin and prefer a matte finish, consider using an oil-free primer. This type of primer helps control excess oil production and minimizes shine, ensuring your makeup stays in place throughout the day.

Top Pick:
Smashbox Mini Photo Finish Oil-Free Primer – Reduces the look of pores and mattifies shine and oil, while prepping skin for makeup.

SPF Primer

For daytime, outdoor wear, consider a primer with built-in SPF protection. It helps shield your skin from harmful UV rays while providing a smooth base for your makeup.

Top Pick:
Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Blurring Face Primer – Preps your face for lasting makeup application while protecting against harmful UVA and UVB rays.

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