The vastness of the makeup world comes with its pros and cons. The biggest pro is that there’s no shortage of the number of products you can try and the looks you can create.
However, if you’re not knowledgeable about compatible formulas and your personal skin type, you could be left with a makeup faux pas rather than an instagrammable #MOTD!
Among the most common makeup issues are when the silicone in your foundation causes pilling, or when your skin isn’t too happy about the addition of the ingredient in the first place. Whatever it may be, finding the right formula can be a challenge!
So, what is the best silicone-free foundation? A good silicone-free foundation will have a high-quality ingredient list, provide optimum coverage, be long-wearing, and most importantly, be compatible with your skin type.
Silicone-free foundations aren’t hard to get your hands on, but finding your perfect fit can be a challenge. Here, find our top picks for silicone-free foundations, ranging in coverage, compatibility with skin sensitivity, and more!
Qualities Of A Good Silicone-Free Foundation
If a foundation is silicone-free, that typically means you can count on it being free of any other harmful chemicals, parabens, phthalates, and other unpronounceable additives!
More and more makeup brands are leaning towards formulating “clean” products, meaning that their ingredient lists are kept as simple as possible.
Brands that are truly dedicated to keeping simple formula lists are likely also committed to their products being sustainable, cruelty-free, and vegan. While these products are fantastic for the environment in general, they could also work wonders on sensitive or acne-prone skin.
However, it’s important to note that silicone-free doesn’t necessarily encapsulate all of these features, so take a close look at the formula list and packaging your foundation comes in to be sure of what you’re putting on your skin.
There’s a common misconception that silicone-free foundations are all sheer coverage, or can only be considered as “CC creams” rather than true foundations. Let us be the first to tell you that this is absolutely not true.
Silicone-based foundations plump the skin, fill fine lines, and repel the oil on the skin, making them a good choice for oily skin types. Most matte, full-coverage foundations are silicone-based, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a water-based formula that provides the same coverage!
The best part about water-based formulas is that they are often buildable without looking cakey or heavy on the skin. That means you can buy a cc cream or serum-like formula and can wear it with different levels of coverage depending on what kind of look you’re going for.
Take a look at your formula to see what your wear time is. A good rule of thumb is that creams, serums, and tints won’t last as long as something labeled as a foundation. In the same way, you’ll find that a foundation won’t settle into your pores or wrinkles as much as a lighter formula would.
Skin Type Compatibility
Water-based foundations look incredible on dry to normal skin types. Due to their hydrating formula, they nourish the skin with wear and keep dry patches and texture at bay. Those with oilier skin types may find that water-based formulas exaggerate the look of grease on the face.
Do you have acne-prone skin types? Some people with acne-prone or sensitive skin find that silicone-based foundations trap dirt, grease, and bacteria onto the surface of their face, aggravating any skin concerns. Water-based foundations are light and gentle, making them compatible with unpredictable skin conditions.
Best Silicone-Free foundations
|BareMinerals BarePro Foundation
|Blurring, matte finish, nourishes skin
|ILIA Super Serum Tint Foundation
|SPF 40, cruelty-free, vegan
|Pacifica Beauty CC Cream
|SPF 17, natural coverage, coconut water
|CoverFX Natural Finish Foundation
|Full coverage, natural finish, vitamin C/E
|Dermablend Cover Creme
|Full coverage, SPF 30, velvet finish
|Wet N Wild Tinted Skin Veil
|Affordable, lightweight, hyaluronic acid
|Juice Beauty Flawless Foundation
|Full coverage, grapeseed, vegan
|Honest Beauty CCC Cream
|SPF 30, vegan, blue light defense
|CoverGirl Simply Ageless Foundation
|Reduces wrinkles, cruelty-free, hydrating
1. BareMinerals BarePro Foundation
This foundation is incredible for sensitive skin types and those with heavy risk to allergens.
Boasting an ultra-clean formula that’s free of common triggers like tree nuts, the BareMinerals BarePro Foundation offers breathable, buildable coverage that will make it a holy grail product in your makeup collection.
You can count on BareMinerals to formulate products that achieve a natural-looking coverage, which can be impossible to find in a full-coverage formula. Somehow, they balanced the two features when they made their BarePro Foundation.
This foundation blurs any skin issues, features SPF 20, and can be worn for up to 24 hours (though we wouldn’t recommend testing that). However, one of our favorite qualities this foundation has is that it’s deeply nourishing to the skin, actually improving texture and acne with continued use.
In terms of how it wears, this foundation is transfer-proof, sweatproof, and crease-resident, so it will look beautiful until the moment you decide to take it off.
2. ILIA Super Serum Tint Foundation
If you haven’t yet heard of the brand ILIA, take it from us that this foundation is an incredible one to test the waters with.
Labeled a “serum tint foundation”, this formula offers a gorgeous, skin-like finish that makes it look like you’re glowing from within.
The brand claims that this product can be thought of as a makeup+skincare+SPF hybrid, blending together the beautifying properties of foundation, texture-reducing tendencies of a serum, and sun-protecting factors of sunscreen to create one beautiful product.
We’re big fans of the SPF of 40 this foundation has (that’s higher of a factor than most foundations on the market), but we’re also supporters of the ingredient list! Some of the additives we love include niacinamide (to improve texture), hyaluronic acid (to plump up the skin), and plant-based squalene (to keep skin bouncy and elastic).
3. Pacifica Beauty CC Cream
If your skin is lacking life, looking sallow, or you’re just yearning for a sun-kissed glow, there’s no better product to reach for than Pacifica Beauty’s CC Cream.
It has a medium to buildable coverage, but its purpose isn’t to cover your skin. Instead of acting like a mask on your face, it gives you that “your skin but better” look that’s perfect for summer!
Not only will it have you looking so fresh and so clean, but it’ll also keep your skin protected from damage from the sun with its SPF 17 formula (it’s broad-spectrum protection, so you’ll be 100% covered from any damage).
CC cream is fantastic for those with sensitive skin types, or those who are trying to opt for more nourishing formulas. Not only do they double as skincare, but they adapt to your skin type so you don’t have to worry too much about matching your shade perfectly.
4. CoverFX Natural Finish Foundation
Oil-free, second-skin look, and 12-hour long coverage? Sign us up! CoverFX is known for its high-performance, superiorly saturated foundations and formulas, and though this foundation is water-based, it doesn’t lack in that department whatsoever.
The antioxidant protection and added emollients and vitamins truly set this foundation apart from any others, as it wears on the skin beautifully. Makeup lovers can attest that when you wear buildable coverage foundations for long hours, they can leave your skin feeling dry, cakey, or heavy.
However, this foundation keeps your skin feeling healthy and hydrated, while also preserving your dewy glow and even complexion. This is due to the added squalene, and vitamins C, E, and F in the formula.
Another features about this foundation that earned it a place on this list is the incredible shade range. Coming in at 40 different shades (with 4 different undertone types), CoverFX showcases their dedication to making accessible makeup products through this feat alone.
5. Dermablend Cover Creme
This creme foundation from Dermablend has a super short, super simple ingredient list that makes it such a fantastic choice for sensitive skin types, or those who are trying to keep their skincare regimens as clean as possible.
When we tell you that this product is the pick for full-coverage foundation fans, we’re not joking! This cream formula is thick, pigmented, and perfect for those with vitiligo, discoloration, hyperpigmentation, or any other color-correcting concerns with their face.
This foundation has an SPF of 30, but despite its extreme coverage, it sits lightly on the skin and doesn’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles. You’ll love the natural finish of this cream, and how it never looks or feels cakey on the skin.
The formula of this foundation is made up of almost 50% pigment, so you’re not short of coverage, while the rest of the ingredient list is deeply nourishing, with expertly concocted additives that keep your skin feeling strong. With continued use, you’ll notice a major difference in your skin’s first line of defense: the moisture barrier.
6. Wet N Wild Tinted Skin Veil
Who says that quality foundations can’t be affordable? Wet n Wild has upped the ante with their formulas and products, while still keeping their prices reasonable and attainable.
Coming in at under $5, stocking up on their tinted skin veil isn’t so much an option as it is an absolute necessity.
This formula is oil-free and enriched with hyaluronic acid, so it’s compatible with all skin types (though we especially love it for dry skin). It dries down to a semi-matte finish and can offer sheer to medium coverage depending on how many layers you put on.
Animal lovers can rejoice at the fact that this skin veil is cruelty-free and never tested on animals, as all products from Wet N Wild are.
7. Juice Beauty Flawless Foundation
For those with mature skin types, making a switch to a water-based foundation could be beneficial to the overall look of your skin.
It doesn’t settle into your fine lines, cracks, and pores, therefore keeping your skin looking even, but not aged.
While formulated for older skin types, people of all ages will benefit from the lightweight formula with additional healthy ingredients, like grapeseed oil (that manages scarring and free radicals), fruit stem cells (which regenerate collagen), vitamins C and E (which provide antioxidant and free radical protection), aloe vera (to soothe skin), and tons more.
With this foundation being a cocktail of skin food, it’s almost surprising to think that it also offers a full-coverage finish. That’s right – this foundation can cover age spots, scarring, hyperpigmentation and more without having a cakey finish. How’s that for the best of both worlds?
8. Honest Beauty CCC Cream
No, no, this isn’t just a CC cream…this is a CCC cream, aka a tinted, color-correcting, vitamin C enriched moisturizer that’ll leave your skin feeling healthier and healthier with each use.
It may sound ambitious, but if anyone were to figure out a formula that keeps skin looking its best both inside and out, it would be Honest Beauty. They truly left no stone unturned with this formula.
It corrects an uneven complexion, protects against the sun with an SPF of 30, and also protects against radiation from your laptop or phone with additional blue light defense!
Whether you’re the outdoorsy type or working from home, consider yourself looking clear and feeling confident in your protection. Not only is this cream jam-packed with all the good stuff, but it also soothes skin issues without clogging the pores, making it especially fitting for sensitive skin types.
The foundation comes in 51% recycled packaging, is cruelty-free, and vegan, making it super environmentally friendly.
9. CoverGirl Simply Ageless Foundation
To finish off our list, we’re leaving you with a classic formula, as tried and true as it gets!
CoverGirl + Olay’s Simply Ageless Foundation has made rounds in the beauty community, and with its trustworthy formula being ever-reliable, we don’t see it leaving people’s holy grail lists anytime soon!
This foundation is another great pick for mature skin types, or those who have a lot of wrinkles or fine lines as it doesn’t settle into the skin. Instead, it refreshes it and keeps you looking youthful, healthy, and radiant!
Thanks to the addition of vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, your face will be left feeling plump, hydrated, and protected from free radicals and sun damage. With continued use, some beauty connoisseurs notice their skin feeling firmer and tighter as well!
As with all CoverGirl products, you can rest assured knowing that their formulas are all Leaping Bunny certified, meaning they have never, nor will they ever, be tested on animals!
Are silicones bad for the skin?
Silicones may not cause adverse reactions upon the first couple of uses, however, with continued use, you may find that your skin is more prone to acne, breakouts, or other forms of irritation. This isn’t guaranteed, though, as some may find that their skin doesn’t react to the ingredient at all.
Are wall water-based foundations silicone-free?
This is a common misconception. Though water-based foundation formulas don’t have silicone within the first couple of ingredients listed, it doesn’t mean their silicone-free altogether.
It can be said that any silicones found in water-based formulas are in extremely minuscule amounts, therefore not affecting the foundation whatsoever.
Do silicone-free foundations last on the skin?
Depending on the formula, finish, and your setting spray+powder, water-based formula can last you just as long as a silicone-based formula. To make the most out of your wear, use a water-based primer, translucent powder, and a good misting of dewy setting spray to keep everything in place.