7 soothing foundations for calming and concealing sensitive skin
Comforting coverage at its finest
Digital Beauty Editor / June 29 2022
Finding a foundation for sensitive skin is always a struggle. The desire to cover up redness is constantly competing with a reluctance to apply anything but soothing skin care.
But what if we told you there are actually foundations that won't make a bad issue worse? Like, there are even some that can help matters while still providing an even, flawless base. Your sensitive face will practically squeal in delighted relief, we're sure.
The key is to pick out formulas that feature some of the same comforting ingredients you seek when shopping for skin care - think things like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. The best foundations for sensitive skin will always hero some of those soothing superheroes to ensure they're keeping your complexion calm.
Don't think that your limited list of approved ingredients means your coverage or finish options will be stuck in one box, though; there are actually variants from sprays to serums (with finishes ranging from dewy to mattifying and coverage levels from light to full) that still fall under 'gentle'.
So if you've been scouring the web in search of the best foundations for sensitive skin, both you and your face can now relax - we're bringing them to you right here, right now.
The best foundations for sensitive skin
ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation
A silky-smooth formula with a genuine featherlight feel, it heroes a pairing of aloe (the OG skin-soother) and allantoin (another redness-reducing star). As for the finish, expect a coating of brightening, medium-coverage goodness – and while you're busy enjoying that, niacinamide will be hard at work in the wings, helping to regulate blotchiness and strengthen skin.
$81 at MECCA
Dior Backstage Airflash Foundation
In times of need (like during particularly painful flare-ups), a fluid spray foundation like this luminous, soothing aerosol option will be your greatest ally. Not only will it mean no fingers or brushes dragging across moody skin, but the flawlessly dewy nature of the airbrushed effect is impossible to beat.
$94 at Myer
Rimmel London Kind & Free Moisturising Skin Tint Foundation
Heroing a hydrating hybrid of aloe vera and antioxidants (E and B5 to be exact, AKA the very ones able to restore sensitive skin to a 'settled' state), this budget-friendly blurring base is a soothing steal. Long story short, it'll help you swap 'flushed' for 'fresh' in seconds.
$9.97 at Chemist Warehouse
Clarins Milky Boost Foundation
Want to smooth and soothe skin in a single step? Try this. 'Milky' is a buzzword anyone with reactive skin knows to look for, and this foundation formula lives up to the calming, conditioning and comfortable-to-wear hype. It sits on the lighter side coverage-wise (due to the fact its pigment is diluted by moisturising ingredients), but is perfect for an everyday face.
$53 at Myer
Ere Perez Quinoa Water Foundation
A breathable water-based foundation is always a friend to an angry complexion, but this one's fresh matte finish sets it apart from the pack. Well, that and the fact that it features both elasticity-enhancing, irritation-alleviating quinoa and antioxidant-rich blackberries (heralded for their tone-evening talents, which aid them to combat everything from dark spots to general redness).
$48 at Myer
NARS Light Reflecting Foundation
Inflammation-easing oat extracts, environmental stressor-fighting milk thistle and skin-strengthening Japanese lilyturf unite to build a base that conceals like a dream but feels like nothing on the face. Capable of delivering medium, buildable coverage, it'll disguise and diminish redness all at once (making it a reactive skin type's dream come true).
$73 at MECCA
Esmi Liquid Mineral Foundation
Nourishing niacinamide, moisturising hyaluronic acid/shea butter and calming vitamin E/aloe vera all in one formula? How's a distressed complexion supposed to stand up to that? Exactly; it can't. This liquid mineral foundation is as healing and hydrating as they come, but still manages to nail the 'full but not flat' coverage brief.
$49 at Esmi
Delaney Loane is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor (and resident winged liner lover). An expert in everything from sensitive skin solutions to superior lip gloss formulas, her words have also appeared across mastheads such as ELLE and marie claire.