Flickr Photo 'Face Powder and Sponge' by incurable_hippieCredit: Flickr username incurable_hippie

Searching for that ‘holy grail’ foundation can be work, especially for those with problem or sensitive skin. Not every skin type will respond the same to any one makeup brand. In general, the best foundations for oily, sensitive, acne-prone skin are oil-free, non-comedogenic (won't clog pores), dermatologist recommended or tested, hypoallergenic and/or top rated by consumer reviews. Being aware of ingredients is helpful. For sensitive skin, synthetic dyes, preservatives, fragrances, talc, and parabens are irritating. Further, pore clogging ingredients, such as isopropyl myristate, cetyl acetate, and sodium lauryl sulfate may cause break outs. A universally good-for-most-skin-types ingredient is silicone because of its non-comdegoneic, non-greasy, and skin protecting qualities (it acts like a barrier on the skin).

Pure Mineral Makeup

All-natural mineral makeup has mostly minerals and not much else, unlike traditional makeup. Kathryn Frew, MD, a dermatologist out of New York, explains in an article on, ‘The Lowdown on Mineral Makeup”, that pure mineral makeup is free of fragrances and other synthetic ingredients and has minerals, such as mica, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide, which have anti-inflammatory effects. Zinc Oxide is even used in topical pharmaceuticals to treat minor skin irritations and in high amounts helps keep pimples at bay. Pure mineral makeup is non-comedogenic and oil free.

The Supernatural Airbrushed Canvas SPF 15 by Philosophy, $35

This natural mineral makeup foundation has high amounts of zinc oxide, making it good for sensitive skin due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It has 7 shades to choose from. According to, it is oil-free, talc-free, water-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free. It does contain bismuth oxychloride, which is irritating to some.  As of April 2011, it has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 on

Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation, $49.50

This pressed mineral foundation is free of talc, dyes, oil, synthetic preservatives, bismuth oxychloride, and fragrance. It is a foundation, concealer, powder and sunscreen in one. It has 24 shades to choose from and is animal-cruelty free. For those allergic to plant extracts, Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals does contain willow bark and white tea leaf extracts. It has a rating of 4 out of 5 on out of 504 reviews, as of April 2011. It won the ‘2009 Beauty with a Conscience Award’ for Best Powder Foundation by Natural Solutions magazine (, proving its non-irritating ingredients.

Bare Escentuals bareMinerals SPF 15 Matte Foundations, $28

bareMinerals Matte is easily one of the best foundations for oily, sensitive, acne-prone skin. According to’s description of the product, it’s clinically proven with its RareMinerals ActivSoil Complex, which promotes cell turnover and minimizes pores. Ingredients that help speed up cell turnover are excellent in preventing breakouts. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is excessive oil production, bacteria, and irregular skin shedding that attribute to blemishes. As of April 2011, bareMinerals Matte has am impressive 4.4 out of 5 out of 5,458 reviews on This foundation does contain bismuth oxychloride.

Liquid Makeup

Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals, $46

Jane’s FAQ states that their liquid foundation is completely non-comedogenic, easily covers redness of the skin, and has soothing aloe vera. It is free of fragrance and synthetic preservatives and is oil-free. It does contain algae and plankton extracts. For oily skin, recommends using very little and wearing their Absence 2 Oil Control Primer before applying.

Makeup For Ever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation, $34

For oily skin, this liquid makeup has staying power. According to, it is oil-free, non-comedogenic, water-resistant, and suited to sensitive skin. It has 16 shades to choose from and has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 on, as of April 2011.

Illuminare Ultimate All Day (Mattifying) Foundation/Concealer, $27

This mattifying liquid mineral makeup is for oily, sensitive skin. It is non-comedogenic and has 5 available shades. Ruthie Molloy, an esthetician, created the Illuminare cosmetics line, which consists of 3 formulas. It is free of talc, dye, fragrance, oil, gluten, bismuth oxychloride, alcohol, and is safe for sensitive skin (

Monave Liquid Matte Foundation, $32

For purists and those with highly sensitive skin, this mineral foundation is as natural as it gets. It is all natural, contains essential oils, such as Ylang Ylang and Myrrh, controls shine, and is non-pore clogging. It is not as well-known as most of the foundations mentioned, but won the '2009 Beauty with a Conscience Award' by Natural Solutions magazine along with Jane Iredale's PurePressed Base. It has 20 shades to choose from.

Photo Credit

Face Powder and Sponge by user incurable_hippie