The 7 best water based foundations for combination skin (2023)

The best Oil-free and silicone-free makeup for combination skin

If you have combination skin, you know the struggle of finding a foundation that doesn’t make your skin oily or dry. Typically, when there’s a mix of oily and dry areas on the different parts of the face, you need to use a balancing foundation that feels lightweight and doesn’t separate or settle in your pores.

There are many great water based foundations for combination skin that will help you create a smooth base without making your face look greasy. We’ve found some awesome options below that are oil-free and silicone-free!

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This 78% water foundation feels so lightweight and comfortable to wear. It gives the skin a very sheer coverage and a natural, fresh look.

It has a unique lightweight texture that is also water-proof.

This is an ideal option for anyone who wants a foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn’t even feel like you’re wearing makeup!

It doesn’t provide a lot of coverage so it might not be the best choice for covering redness or dark spots but it looks natural on the skin and it doesn’t make your makeup look dry.

Cover Fx natural finish foundation

Cover Fx natural finish foundation

The lightweight formula of this oil-free foundation helps giving you a natural looking skin. It’s  infused with squalane which is a powerful antioxidant. It’s also enriched with Vitamins C, E and F to lightly moisturize the complexion.

This foundation is available in 36 shades and it gives your skin a smooth finish that lasts all day long. 

Related: benefits of water-based foundations

MILK MAKEUP Blur Liquid Matte Foundation

MILK MAKEUP Blur Liquid Matte Foundation

Don’t let the word “matte” scare you! this foundation gives you a smooth velvet finish that looks like real skin .

It’s an oil-free, silicone-free formula and it’s one of the best full coverage foundations for combination skin.

It blends easily and it minimizes the appearance of pores for a flawless finish that lasts all day.

It’s available in 24 shades to suit many different skin tones. Make sure to select the best shade that suits your skintone and undertone. Finding your perfect match prevents your makeup from looking pink or grey.

For more options, check these best foundations for combination skin!

Guerlain L’Essentiel High Perfection Natural Matte Longwear Foundation

This foundation is made with 96 percent naturally derived ingredients. It has a blend of nourishing ingredients that help to mattify the skin while letting it breathe.

Use a damp makeup sponge to blend it and get a flawless look. It gives light to medium coverage and it doesn’t transfer or oxidize.

Set it with a powder to keep your look on all day long when the weather is hot and humid!

BareMinerals COMPLEXION RESCUE™ Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30

bareMinerals COMPLEXION RESCU Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30

Want a sheer coverage foundation for everyday? Try this tinted gel cream from bare minerals which gives the skin a natural and healthy look.

It moisturizes your skin without feeling too oily and it doesn’t emphasize dry pacthes or skin texture.

The formula is easy to blend and it protects against UV rays.

If you are looking for a lightweight tinted moisturizer to replace your heavier foundation, this one is absolutely worth checking out!

Tip: To make your makeup last longer, use a water based primer underneath your foundation. Avoid using water based primers with silicone based foundations as they might cause your makeup to separate on your face.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

The name doesn’t lie: This complexion booster makes the skin look like it’s wearing an Instagram Filter. It blurs and smooths the face to get a flawless glow.

You can use it alone or underneath foundation. You can also mix it with foundation or use it on top of it to illuminate the high points of the face.

It has a lightweight formula that hydrates the skin without making it look greasy or oily.

The product by itself is so sheer so you can mix it with any matte foundation to make it more dewy.

It doesn’t look like makeup on the skin and it’s totally worth the money!

Best drugstore water based foundation for combination skin



You don’t need to spend a ton of money to find a foundation that works with your combination skin. This tinted moisturizer from L’Oréal has a unique formula that is 70 percent water-infused with aloe vera plus witch hazel. 

Not only is it lightweight and easy to apply, but it also offers sunscreen protection!

Plus the second-skin finish that it gives you will look totally natural so no one will be able to tell that you’re wearing makeup at all.
For more drugstore options, check the best drugstore foundations for combination skin.

More on Water based foundations for combination skin

How do I know if a foundation is water based?

In order to know if a product is water-based or silicone-based, you have to look at the ingredients. Water is usually at the top of the list for any liquid product but water based foundations don’t contain any silicone or oils at the top of their ingredient list. 

Water/Aqua is the first ingredient and if any of these mentioned ingredients is on the top of the list, this means that the foundations is silicone based:





Other ingredients to look for in silicone based foundations are anything that ends in -cone or -siloxane.

Is water based foundation good for combination skin?

If you have combination skin, you need to look for a balancing foundation that feels lightweight and doesn’t make your oily t-zone feel greasy.

There are many water based foundations that can work very well for combination skin. The high water percentage in them makes them feel super nourishing without being heavy. That means they can keep your skin hydrated without becoming extremely greasy or shiny.  

Water based foundations can nourish your dry areas while keeping your face feeling fresh all day.

They melt into the skin and they can provide light, medium or full coverage without looking cakey.

Final thoughts on water based foundations for combination skin

We all know how frustrating it is to have one area of your face dry and another oily! The different needs in each part of your face makes it a little bit tricky to find the perfect foundation.

You want something that doesn’t look cakey, but isn’t oily either.That’s why water-based foundations can be a great choice for combination skin. They are lightweight enough and they won’t clog pores.

They can provide a natural finish without feeling heavy on the skin and they don’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles.

This tinted gel cream is one of the best water-based foundations for combination skin. It feels lightweight on the skin and it provides light coverage.

For a smooth velvet finish, check this liquid Matte Foundation. It blends easily on the skin and it lasts all day.

To prolong the wear of your foundation on your oily zone, set the makeup with a setting powder that provides oil control. Use blotting paper to soak up any excess oil during the day and go for a setting spray on hot days!

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Claire is a beauty enthusiast and lover of all things makeup. Her blog is a resource for makeup tips and tricks, product reviews and beauty tutorials.

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