What skin type is water based foundation best for?

Author: Ingrid

Feb. 04, 2024



Tags: Beauty & Personal Care

There are many different types of foundation out there, which have different ingredients and varying textures. The primary categories of foundation, in that sense, are water-based, oil-based, and silicone-based. Each of these have different finishes and blend differently, working best on specific skin types.

So, if you’re confused about which one would perform the best per your needs and skin type, we explain the differences between all of these, how they each perform, and the look and feel they give.

Difference in the look, formula and feel of water, oil & silicone-based foundations

What makes a foundation water-based

If you look at the first ingredient of a foundation and it is Aqua or Water, and there are no silicones or oils in the next four to five ingredients, then it is probably water-based. This doesn’t mean it cannot have silicones or oils in it at all to qualify as a water-based foundation, but that the main ingredients at the beginning should not be silicones or oils. That will mean water is the primary ingredient in it. You can also check if a foundation is water-based by squeezing it out into a glass of water to see if it dissolves, as oil-based foundations don’t, but water-based ones do.

iDiva loves:The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation used to have silicone in the older formulas, but now after being reformulated, the first ingredient Aqua is followed by many emollients. The formula is really good for dry and normal skin, and the product looks refreshingly dewy on the skin, thanks to the presence of skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerine, and aloe leaf juice.

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Features of water-based foundations and which skin types they are for

• Water-based foundations feel lightweight, and can be on the sheer side.

• Water-based foundations also oxidise less than very oily foundations.

• They are easy to blend, and get absorbed into the skin easily instead of feeling like a heavy coat of product on the skin.

• They don’t clog pores as much as silicone or oil-based foundations.

• So they’re better for oily, acne-prone skin.

• However, if you’re using a water-based foundation, avoid using a silicone primer underneath, as that can break the product up.

What are oil-based foundations?

Oil-based foundations can be in liquid form, but can also be creamy, stick foundations. They are less common than silicone or water-based foundations. In fact, even foundations which contain oil aren’t necessarily oil-based, because the oils are pretty low in the ingredients list. But, if you see a foundation with sunflower oil, almond oil, mineral oil, argan oil, or vitamin E oil appear in the first five ingredients, and there’s no silicone or water there, it’s probably oil-based.

iDiva loves: The Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick contains a lot of very moisturising ingredients. The first ingredient in this is Caprylic Triglyceride, which is derived from coconut oil and glycerine, and the second ingredient is Ethylhexyl Palmitate, which is derived from palmitic acid that comes from palm oil. In addition to that, it has beeswax, shea butter, candelilla wax, and squalane. So, it is really nourishing and oil-rich.

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What oil-based foundations are like and the skin type they’re for

• Oil-based foundations tend to be thicker, and leave a film of product on the skin instead of getting absorbed the way water-based ones do.

• Oil-based foundations usually look dewy on the skin, and are not matte.

• It’s a no-brainer that oil-based foundations are best for dry skin and flaky areas.

• Oil-based foundations can separate on oily skin and melt off, thanks to all the lipids on the skin.

• It’s best to pair oil-based foundations with a nourishing, creamy, oil-based primer.

How to identify silicone-based foundations

Silicone-based foundations are really common, and make up the majority of the foundations in the market. If the first four to five ingredients in your foundation include names like dimethicone, trimethicone, cyclomethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, or other words which end with suffixes like “-conol,” “-siloxane,” or the most common, “-icone”, those are probably silicones. So, even if the first ingredient is water, if the next two or three are silicones, it qualifies as a silicone-based foundation.

iDiva loves: The NYX Professional Makeup Total Control Pro Drop Foundationis

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What silicone-based foundations are like and the skin type they’re for

• Silicone-based foundations are skin-smoothening, pore-filling, and have a velvety, silky, dry-to-the-touch feel as opposed to sticky.

• These give a blurring effect, and make the skin feel more even-textured.

• Most of the time, you don’t need a primer with a silicone-based foundation.

• These can be mattifying, so make sure the skin is well-prepped with moisturiser before using them.

• These foundations last longer on the skin and are less likely to come off when you get oily or sweaty.

So, which of these types of foundations would you like to try?

Lead image credit: Instagram.com/janhvikapoor, Instagram.com/khushi05k

Read iDiva for the latest in Bollywood, fashion looks, beauty and lifestyle news.

Finding the right foundation for your skin type and tone is more difficult than finding Mr Right! Add to it the seasonal changes, and it becomes more complicated than rocket science to figure it all out. So we are going to start at the basics. There are water, oil and silicone based foundations and they all have their own benefits and specific functions.

So before you step out to buy a foundation, decide what base you want in the formula!

What skin type is water based foundation best for?

What’s the difference between oil, water and silicone based foundations?

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