8 soothing foundations for calming and concealing sensitive skin
Comforting coverage at its finest
Editor / October 16 2023
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
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).
$52 at a-beauty
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.
$99 at David Jones
Clinique Even Better Refresh & Hydrating Makeup
This little dreamboat is a full-coverage foundation with 24-hour wear that revitalises skin for a more youthful look. With its superstar hydrator (hello hyaluronic acid!) and an oil free, long wearing formula, we're obsessed, and we think you will be too. It's free from fragrance, parabens and other potential irritants, making it a great choice for those with reactive skin.
$70 at Adore Beauty
L'Oreal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation
Get ready to meet your true match with this foundation. Delivering lightweight and medium coverage, it blends seamlessly into your skin, providing a flawless finish that lasts all day. With a range of shades to choose from, you'll easily find the perfect match for your skin tone. Plus, the formula is enriched with hyaluronic acid to keep your skin hydrated and looking its best.
$32.99 at Adore Beauty
Rimmel London Kind & Free 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.
$19.97 at ASOS
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
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
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Stick Foundation
This is an absolute must-have for anyone looking for a versatile, long-lasting pick that provides full coverage. It's easy to apply and blends seamlessly into your skin, providing a flawless, natural-looking finish that lasts for up to 24 hours. With its lightweight formula, you'll feel comfortable wearing it all day, and the convenient stick format makes it easy to touch up on the go.
$61 at Sephora
Delaney Loane is BEAUTYcrew's Editor (and resident cateye connoisseur). An expert in everything from sensitive skin solutions to lip oil options that won't leave your hair permanently attached to your face, her words have also appeared across mastheads such as ELLE and marie claire.