The Best Foundations For Textured Skin
Spoiler alert: We all have textured skin.
Ask any makeup artist or skin care professional, and they'll tell you that all skin is textured in some way. Despite what over-edited photos on social media or in magazines depict, uneven skin texture is totally normal, and anything from acne to sun damage to congested pores can contribute to it. While you can't make it completely disappear IRL, you can promote a smoother complexion by wearing sunscreen daily and using exfoliating skin care products. And you can also help camouflage it with the right makeup. The best foundations for textured skin offer buildable coverage, and come in the form of liquids and creams so as not to cling to dry or bumpy patches. When picking out a foundation, you’ll also want to consider your skin type, and even the cause of your uneven texture.
Makeup Tips For Textured Skin
How you apply your makeup can also make a difference when it comes to disguising, rather than highlighting, your textured skin:
- Always start with sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage, which can contribute to an uneven skin tone and texture.
- Prior to applying your foundation, try using a makeup primer, which will help create a smoother surface before you even get started.
- Because too much product can lead to a cakey finish that highlights the texture of your skin, apply your foundation (and concealer) in thin layers, patting it into your skin as you build your way up to your desired level of coverage.
- Avoid powders with shimmer or glitter, as they can draw attention to rough or bumpy texture.
- Set your makeup with a spray (you can find mattifying options for oily skin and dewy setting sprays for dry skin).
Shop The Best Foundations For Textured Skin
In a hurry? Here are the best foundations for textured skin:
- Best For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin: Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation
- Best For Dry Skin: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare
- Best For Dark Skin Tones: Black Opal True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation
- Best Foundation With Exfoliating Ingredients: PÜR Love Your Selfie Longwear Foundation & Concealer
- Best Serum-Foundation For Textured Skin: ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation
- Best Serum-Foundation Under $20: L'Oréal Paris True Match Hyaluronic Tinted Serum
1. Best Foundation For Oily, Acne-Prone Skin
Oily skin types may find that their increased texture is due to congested pores, acne, and signs of past breakouts. Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation was designed with all of this in mind, and its formula is a tried-and-true Amazon favorite. With more than 75,000 five-star ratings for its buildable-coverage formula, the foundation mattifies skin and blurs the appearance of your pores with micro-powders. It's also an ideal foundation for acne-prone skin because it's oil-free and noncomedogenic, which the American Academy of Dermatology Association says is important for those with acne.
Finish: Matte Available Shades: 40 Key Ingredients: Vitamin E, Glycerin Cruelty-Free: No
Relevant Review: "This stuff is pretty amazing. I have textured combo skin with large pores and this takes the cake as my fave. [...] It doesn't even feel like I have makeup on. Legit. Thin with awesome coverage. [...] It's a holy grail for sure."
2. Best Foundation For Dry Skin
Those with skin that tends to be dry or patchy should stay away from foundations that have a matte finish. Instead, opt for a foundation with a natural or dewy finish, such as this one from IT Cosmetics. Not only does it give you buildable, medium coverage to even out your skin tone, but it's also infused with moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extract, panthenol, and vitamin E to plump up your skin and leave it feeling smoother, which helps prevent creasing and dry patches from occurring.
Finish: Natural Available Shades: 17 Key Ingredients: Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera Extract, Vitamin E, Panthenol Cruelty-Free: Yes
Relevant Review: "[…] I have seborrheic dermatitis, and all foundation clings to my dry, flaky patches. I also have an oily forehead, and this is the one and only foundation I have ever tried in my 36 years that actually looks amazing on my skin (on both my dry and oily areas). It has a good medium coverage that is very buildable. It doesn't appear cakey at all, even after adding more layers when you are wanting a fuller coverage look. I have some acne scarring on my chin, and this covers it flawlessly. It doesn't feel heavy on the skin at all, very lightweight. […]"
3. Best Foundation For Dark Skin Tones
If you struggle to find a foundation shade that matches your complexion, Black Opal's True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation is a collection of 12 matte-finish foundations that were developed with darker skin tones in mind. The lightweight foundation is nice and buildable, and it works well with most skin types, regardless of what’s causing your increased texture. For those with enlarged pores, the foundation is oil-free and contains kaolin clay to help keep pores clear (clogged pores can make them appear larger and more noticeable). Despite its matte finish, the foundation also contains moisturizing glycerin, shea butter, and vitamin E to ensure that it doesn't turn cakey or patchy on drier skin types.
Finish: Matte Available Shades: 12 Key Ingredients: Glycerin, Shea Butter, Kaolin, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Panthenol Cruelty-Free: Yes
Relevant Review: "Black Opal True Color Pore Perfecting Foundation is the right makeup for my skin. It covers and corrects imperfections with ease. It's also long-wearing, even through humid weather. Goes on smooth and looks great for hours!"
4. Best Foundation With Exfoliating Ingredients
If you've already been trying to target texture with your skin care products, chances are you've at least heard of (if not tried) adding a retinol or alpha hydroxy acid into your routine. PÜR’s Love Your Selfie Longwear Foundation & Concealer is formulated with an encapsulated blend of retinol and lactic acid, as well as shea butter and ceramides to prevent the exfoliating ingredients from causing dryness and irritation. The matte-finish foundation also contains antioxidant-rich ingredients like green tea leaf extract, ginseng root extract, sunflower seed oil, and grape fruit extract to moisturize and protect your skin. Just be sure that you pair this foundation with plenty of SPF, as the retinol and lactic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun and susceptible to burning.
Finish: Matte Available Shades: 18 Key Ingredients: Ceramide, Retinol, Lactic Acid, Shea Butter, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Ginseng Root Extract, Panthenol, Sunflower Seed Oil, Grape Fruit Extract, Glycerin Cruelty-Free: Yes
Relevant Review: "[...] This foundation is PERFECT. It doesn't settle in the big pores [...] doesn't cake up at the dry spots, and doesn't slide off the oily spots (although I use a matte primer to help with this, but it works very nicely on its own without primer). My skin looks almost airbrushed after I apply this stuff...it actually covers like a thick concealer yet doesn't feel heavy on my skin - a makeup miracle! [...]"
5. Best Serum-Foundation For Textured Skin
ILIA is known for formulating its makeup with naturally derived, good-for-skin ingredients. The brand's True Skin Serum Foundation is a medium-coverage formula that contains moisturizing and soothing ingredients like squalane, aloe vera extract, and allantoin. But the star ingredient in this foundation is niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 that, with continued use, can help with everything from hyperpigmentation and inflammation to acne and congested pores. It's also noncomedogenic, fragrance-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.
Finish: Natural Available Shades: 29 Key Ingredients: Aloe Vera Extract, Niacinamide, Allantoin Jojoba Seed Oil, Squalane, Vitamin E Cruelty-Free: Yes
Relevant Review: "[…] I can normally see my nose pores after a full day of work, but they were still covered with this ILIA foundation, so that's a good sign. […] More than anything else, I love how this foundation does not dry out my skin. It's been years since I've used a foundation that didn't leave me with dry spots on my nose and around my mouth within two to three hours. With ILIA, I have no issues with flakes. It's an absolute game-changer for me. […]"
6. Best Serum-Foundation Under $20
As a cheaper (and even lighter-weight) alternative to the ILIA serum foundation above, there’s this L'Oréal Paris True Match Hyaluronic Tinted Serum. A favorite with beauty editors and Amazon shoppers alike, the tinted serum contains 1% hyaluronic acid to infuse skin with hydration and give it a more plumped-up appearance. It also uses luminous mineral pigments to give you light coverage with a hint of radiance that makes your skin tone look brighter. Despite all that, it feels as light as water on your skin.
Finish: Natural Available Shades: 14 Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E, Moroccan Lava Clay, Glycerin Cruelty-Free: No
Relevant Review: "I have extremely dry, textured skin and rosacea. Almost no kind of cover-up works on my skin as a result. Heard much great things about this product and decided to try it out. No trace of powdery look anywhere on my skin, didn't settle into any pores [...] looks just like skin in person. I don't think there's any product on the market that can match this one. It's incredibly durable/long-lasting as well. […]"
About The Author:
Marissa DeSantis has worked as a beauty writer and editor for nearly 10 years. Her pieces can be found across print and digital publications like Bustle, Evening Standard, Teen Vogue, and InStyle.