Which Foundation Is Best For Combination Skin?

Struggling to find the best foundation for combination skin? Do not worry, this article is all about the foundation that will suit your skin the best!

There are multiple formulas, and textures to choose from. Choosing a foundation can be difficult if you’re experimenting with coverage types and finding the right share to match your skin tone.

Which Foundation Is Best For Combination Skin

Selecting the right shade and formula type (full coverage, medium coverage, lightweight formula, etc.) are important because they can create a perfect, air-brushed complexion. However, getting the wrong foundation for your skin can have the opposite effect – especially if you apply it incorrectly.

In this post, we cover (ha!) ways to identify combo skin types as well as provide you with suggestions on what foundation for combination skin will work best. 

See Related: What Does Face Toner Do?


If you have oil in some areas of your face, but the rest of your skin appears and feels dry, you most likely have combination skin. To be more precise, look for oil in the T-zone (consisting of the chin, nose, and forehead) and the areas that are dry generally persist on the cheeks, around the jawline, and around the hairline.

Climate and/or weather changes can make combination skin types a little more challenging to deal with.

A regular skincare routine is a MUST for combination skin. Also, combination skin is more prone to breakouts (because of the literal combination of factors being oily and dry) so choosing the correct type of foundation is crucial.


  1. Know about your skin type.
  2. Choose the desired finish (look, feel, consistency and texture) of the foundation.
  3. The foundation should match your skin complexion or tone.
  4. Identify your skin undertone.
  5. Test the foundation before buying.


Choosing the best foundation for combination skin can be a bit tricky. But, the following process should help!

If you are not sure about your skin type, use a gentle, water-based cleanser and wash your face. Wait 15 to 30 minutes to observe how your skin is acting or behaving.

If you want natural looking coverage choose foundation with a natural finish

If you find your skin to be tight and dry with no signs of oil then you have dry skin. If your face has a glossy appearance with no signs of dryness then, you have oily skin. If the T-zone appears oily but your jaw area and cheeks feel moderately dry then your skin type is combination.

Once you’ve determined that you have combination skin, you’ll want to avoid foundations that are oil-rich or emollient-based. Instead, go for a matte or powder foundation. This will make your T-zone look natural and oil-free but it also won’t strip off any oil from the dry areas of your face.

An important note for those with combination skin:

You can choose a liquid foundation, stick foundation, or a moisturizing foundation if you are having a dry skin type. The creamy texture of the foundation will provide great coverage and will provide moisture and hydration that will compensate for the dryness of the skin.

If you have sensitive skin, or skin that is prone to acne or a combination plus sensitive skin then we recommend you stay away from any foundations that contain harsh chemicals such as alcohol. You should also say no to foundations that contain fragrance.

These will strip your skin off the natural oils and can lead to further irritation. Another big no is talc and mineral oil if present in the foundation.


Do you typically swatch the foundation on your forearm? Stop doing that. The shade of your face and forearm differ quite a bit.

Instead of applying it on your forearm, you can swatch them on your neck. The shade need not be of the exact match but it can be a lighter shade as the color of the foundation will change throughout the day (because the foundation will oxidize and darken with time).

Just the right amount of foundation blurs imperfections while providing a natural looking finish

You might also take some time and play around by applying swatches of different shades of foundation until you find the shade that suits you best. The oils on your face and the environment play an important role in oxidizing the foundation hence it results in the darkening of the shade with time.

An extra tip for you:

Just use one shade lighter foundation than your face’s shade and not any more light as you do not wish your face to appear pale, or too dark in comparison to your neck, body, etc.


Color correction is an alternative if you go against your natural skin’s undertones. Choose a foundation for your combination skin that has a yellow undertone if you have a warm complexion. Choose a foundation that has a pink undertone if you have a cool complexion.


Clean off excess oil from the T-Zone area of your face (where you have oil).

Consider how pink-toned (rosy) or yellow-toned (golden) your skin appears when you are bare-faced. You have a warm undertone if it’s golden and you’ve a super cool undertone if it’s rosy. If it is a mixture of two then you have a neutral undertone.

Another technique is by identifying the color of your veins. You have a cool undertone if the veins appear bluish or purple and you have a warm undertone if veins appear greenish.


The ultimate shine or look that a foundation will leave on your skin is known as the “finish”. Foundations give the following finishes: Matte, Dewy, Luminous, and Semi-Matte.

It is a matter of individual preference which finish you should wear. But, in the case of combination skin type, you can pull off the matte finish effortlessly.

A matte foundation should give your skin a pore-less, powdered, silky finish without feeling heavy or weighed down. You will not require a dewy finish foundation as the oil in your T-zone will compensate for that.

Be sure to check the ingredients! Choose a cruelty-free, vegan, and gluten-free skin care option whenever possible.

You could opt for a powder foundation or even an oil-free liquid foundation. These foundations will contain some oil-absorbing properties that will ultimately give your face a smooth, airbrushed look.

Mineral liquid foundations available are also great for combination skin as the dry particles of the minerals can absorb moisture and can keep your skin from shining (due to the oiliness) at the T-zone. This will leave your skin appropriately hydrated.

An additional tip:

DON’T go for too much shine and shimmer even if you like dewy makeup because it might make your skin look super oily. You should always go for a hydrated look with a tad bit of shimmer and sheen so that the dewiness of the skin looks natural and not overly done. The minimal moisture will ensure that your foundation base does not get cakey.

Choose a foundation with an oil free formula if you have combination skin

If your foundation feels too dry, try this hack: Mix a little moisturizer or face serum with your powder foundation or dry foundation. This will get you the required hydration you need.

You can even add a little liquid highlighter or any strobe cream to your powder foundation or to your matte foundation. This will give you all the shimmer, sheen, and a glass-skin-like appearance without even having to add any water based moisturizer, oil, or serum. Your combination skin will stay as it is without excess oiliness.


Never buy foundation for combination skin before trying it out or before doing a patch test on your skin. You have to keep in mind not to test the color on your hand or forearm because it does not have the exact color or complexion as your face skin.

You should swatch the foundation on your jawline or on your neck to get a better match. You should look forward to the most natural-looking color of the foundation. If you skip this step of swatching then you might end up having lighter or darker shades of foundation and your money will go to waste.

Applying swatches of foundation does not only mean color checking, it also means trying the formula. The formula should suit your combination skin (your oily areas and dry cheek and jawline area).

You should always look for a formula that does not clog your pores. This will ensure no breakouts, as we know that combination skin is prone to acne and other breakouts.

It is important to choose a non-comedogenic foundation that will not clog pores and allowing them to breathe freely. Non-comedogenic won’t feel heavy on your skin as well.

Bonus: When To Use Bio-Oil In Your Skin Care Routine


  • Your foundation should be lightweight and breathable for your skin. That means you should not feel that you are wearing heavy, thick or greasy makeup at all.
  • Your foundation should oxidize the bare minimum otherwise the more oxidized it gets the darker the color of the foundation gets. This will result in a complexion mismatch.
  • Your foundation should not clog your pores which means it is needed to be non-comedogenic in nature.
  • It should have a silky formula so that it can glide on your face seamlessly whether it is a matte formula or a dewy formula.
  • The best foundations for combination skin are mineral-based, cruelty-free, and vegan whenever possible.
  • The formula should be able to give a smooth matte or an even look all around your face and should minimize excess oil production from the T-zone of your face.
  • Irrespective of being powdery, matte, or dewy, it should provide optimum hydration to your skin
  • No harsh or toxic chemicals should be there that can strip off your skin’s natural glow totally, and offer sun protection.
  • Select an oil-free foundation with a natural matte finish
  • It should contain SPF protection and an all-day stay formula.
  • Choose a full-coverage foundation or even coverage finish despite having a combination skin type.
  • A soft matte finish should blur the pores and minimize the skin texture to a certain extent that is visible by naked eyes.
  • It should be humidity resistant as combination skin will affect the application in different facial areas.
  • You should buy your foundation shade after knowing your skin undertone. This can save you from color correcting.


Apply the appropriate formula to suit your combination skin type the best and select a formula that will wear best. Whenever possible choose a foundation that also protects your skin against harmful and harsh pollutants.

Lightweight foundation that allows for buildable coverage will help you achieve the desired look

Choosing the correct foundation will make your skin bright and radiant without stripping it of moisture. Your foundation should blend easily and glide easily across your face when you use a blender, brush, or clean hands. And lastly, it should never look cakey or greasy.

We hope you have learned something new and feel more informed on how to buy the correct foundation for your combination skin type. Now, it is time to put this information to good use and find your perfect shade. Happy swatching!

Keep Reading: An Effective Skincare Routine To Improve Acne-Prone Skin

For over 60 years, Viviane Woodard has represented “The Purity of Skincare”. We are the leading beauty brand for skin care products and promote the importance of good skin hydration. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest for skin care tips, product discounts, and more.