the best clean foundation ever
Flakiness, patchiness, caking, and cracking. Hearing these terms instantly brings one thing to mind: a foundation that’s just not sitting right. A common cause of those issues is wearing a foundation that doesn't suit your skin type, accentuating texture and working against it rather than with it.
Our skin-loving foundations are just like a second moisturizer + coverage. The ingredients they’re made from are nourishing and healthy, feeding your skin throughout the day. Switching to an ethical foundation is not only better for both your skin and the planet, but also supports fair labour practices and supply chains. To cap it all off, they perform just as well (if not better).
Reading through the ingredients of your current foundation can help you understand what you’re applying onto your skin every day. Look up any ingredients you’re unfamiliar with, keeping a special eye out for this dirty half dozen. If you find any of them, it may be a sign to make the switch to a clean alternative.
- Alcohol or Alcohol Denat
- Siloxanes: Dimethicone, Trimethicone, or other silicone derivatives
- BHAs or BHTs (butylated compounds)
- PEGs (polyethylene glycols)
skin types & foundations
The very best foundation I have ever used may not work for you. It was fantastic for me because I chose it according to my skin type and not according to an ad that told me it was great.
Scroll down to your skin type to find out exactly which foundation will give you the beautiful healthy finish you're looking for!
Oily Skin - Throughout the day, your skin produces oils which can affect your makeup. Foundation often slips off and can look greasy or shiny, so you need a foundation that works with the oils while helping to minimize pores if they're a concern. Enter Flawless Foundation and Prep, Prime & Powder. These are water-based foundations that work best with oily skin to maintain a matte to natural finish, while hydrating and balancing your skin. They provide medium to full coverage that's lightweight and high-performance, so they'll stay put all day long. Whether you set with powder or not, these foundations have smooth finishes that conceal pores, true matches for oily skin made in heaven!
Dry Skin - The challenge for dry skin is that often foundations look patchy, flaky, or cakey over time. This is because the skin lacks oils and moisture, and many foundations just sit on the surface and dry out the skin further. The answer? Using hydrating, nourishing formulas instead. The Essential Foundation and Tinted Moisturizer do just this, and clients love them both for dry skin even throughout wintertime. They're both rich in nourishment, they glide right onto the skin where the oils and hydrating extracts can be absorbed, smoothing out any flakes, cracks, or fine lines, while leaving only a natural to glowy finish on the surface. This makes them fantastic for skin of any age, including mature.
Textured Skin - Whether it's acne, scarring, eczema, psoriasis, or other skin conditions, the goal is to find a foundation that provides coverage and won't accentuate texture. This can be achieved with nourishing, thicker formulas that were designed to sit on top of texture, filling in and smoothing over any imperfections rather than highlighting them. The Skin Care Cover is the best candidate for this task. A cream/cushion-style foundation that was made especially for textured skin, it's high-coverage and highly buildable so you can feel your most confident as you wear it. If you prefer a liquid option, Smooth & Conceal has you covered and provides similar, buildable high-coverage.
Sensitive Skin - Since foundation sits on your skin all day long, it's important to use one that doesn't cause irritation. Because sensitive skin can be any skin type and require any amount of coverage, we have 3 different options listed, all of which are soothing, calming, and reduce inflammation. From lightest coverage to fullest, Refresh Foundation, Purely Tinted Moisturizer, and Skin Care Cover are our top picks for sensitivity due to their skin-calming and restoring ingredients. Green tea and rosehip extracts, hyaluronic acid, and jojoba and grapeseed oils help to strengthen the skin's resilience and reduce sensitivity long-term.
Balanced Skin - If you've got skin that's easy to maintain and healthily plump, chances are you have balanced skin. Most foundations work beautifully on balanced skin, but we want you to show off your natural glow as best as possible! The Silk to Matte and Essential Foundations are both effortless to use, gliding onto the skin like a dream and setting to a flawless natural finish that highlights your skin without overwhelming it. Both have amazing stay-power and buildable coverage, so you're set no matter your preference.
troubleshooting + tips & tricks
I prefer wearing a powder foundation - If powder foundation is more your thing, we've got 2 amazing options for you. Our normal to oily skin clients have loved these silky powders for years, working well even for those with sensitivity and mild texture. Loose Mineral Foundation has buildable medium to full coverage and is a favourite for oilier skin, while Sweet Leilani's Pressed Powders work beautifully as light to medium coverage powder foundation or as a setting powder on top of liquid.
My texture is still showing through - No worries— we've got the fix. Before applying your texture-smoothing foundation, go in with a silky primer like Primer for Dry Skin or Perfecting Primer. Both of these primers contain hydrating, calming, and protective extracts. Perfecting Primer creates a thin barrier, leaving you with a virtually poreless, cloud-like soft finish and Primer for Dry Skin leaves you with more plump and even skin.
I love a super matte finish - To get an extra-matte finish, primers and setting powders are go-tos. Primer for Oily Skin helps to control oil production and reduces shine, while Perfecting Primer creates a barrier, smoothes over pores, and reduces the effect oils have on your foundation throughout the day. To set those oilier areas on the face, try Shine Patrol or Unify Matte Setting Powder.
I love a super dewy/glowy finish - On the opposite end of the spectrum, getting that glowing goddess skin can be achieved through both skin and makeup tweaks. Face Glow is an all-time favourite to layer under foundation for a dewy look, or to combine with your liquid foundation for the ultimate glow. For glowy skin with or without makeup, try layering a Facial Oil on as the last step of your skincare routine, it can make a world of difference!
*featured photo from Elate Clean Cosmetics