Most foundations are designed to cover and conceal irregularities and unevenness in skin color. But the truth is that unevenness in skin texture is just as common and can be more challenging to address. While we all want a smooth, even skin surface, enlarged pores, scarring, and even simple aging can cause the skin to have an uneven texture. Even worse, many foundations can exacerbate these irregularities, making them more noticeable instead of less. Let’s look at the best foundations for textured skin in 2021.
Best Foundation for Textured Skin Table
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Christian Dior Diorskin Forever Extreme Control Matte
BECCA Ultimate Coverage 24 Hour Foundation
Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Makeup Foundation
Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation
Flower Beauty Pore Perfect Instant Blur Stick
it Cosmetics CC+ Oil-Free Poreless Finish Full Coverage Cream
Origins Silk Screen Refining Powder Makeup
Dermablend Smooth Liquid Foundation with SPF 25
10 Best Foundation for Textured Skin Reviews
Dior Forever Extreme Control is a powder makeup that can be used alone as a foundation or used as a setting powder over foundation for perfect coverage. The compact is lightweight and portable, perfect for mid-day touchups, and the pore-refining formula improves the visibility of pores and texture imperfections over time.
Dior Forever Extreme Control has medium coverage but can be layered or blended for more coverage. It has a finely milled ultra-absorbent powder formula that provides an extra-matte finish and blocks shine all day long. Skincare mineral ingredients provide light SPF 20 and improve and perfect skin texture over time. It comes in 12 shades, and the compact is refillable to reduce environmental impact.
- Medium to high buildable coverage
- All-day wear with light sun protection
- The pore-refining formula improves skin texture over time
- Refillable compact
- The compact is relatively small and shallow, causing some spill out when applied with a brush
- Extra matte finish may not suit every skin type
BECCA Ultimate Coverage provides full coverage with a light, breathable cream formula that doesn’t feel heavy on the skin and lasts all day. This makeup is water and transfer-resistant but also non-acnegenic with a natural-looking finish. According to a survey of users, 92% say that it has an undetectable, natural finish, 92% say it has full coverage without looking heavy, and 92% say it evens skin texture.
BECCA Ultimate Coverage 24 Hour Foundation comes in BECCA’s signature selection of over 40 expert shades, so you can match both your skin tones and undertones to find the perfect shade for your skin. The Ultimate Coverage foundation conceals redness and dark spots while camouflaging uneven texture. It’s also free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, alcohol, and fragrances, so it’s suitable for people with sensitive skin.
- Full, buildable coverage with a light, natural feel
- Huge range of shades and undertones for perfect matching
- Long-wearing resists water and transfer
- Cruelty-free, paraben and sulfate-free, alcohol and fragrance-free
- May require setting and baking to remain matte all-day
Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions Foundation combines medium coverage with an oil-free formula containing salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin, refine pores, reduce blemishes, and cover redness and irritation. The natural matte finish is long-wearing and buildable.
Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions makeup is perfect for fighting blemishes, but the exfoliating power of salicylic acid also helps to improve and refine skin texture over time. Developed by dermatologists, it goes on smoothly and lasts all day. The oil-free formula actually prevents breakouts while looking natural and creating great coverage. It’s an excellent choice for people who find that other full-coverage makeups cause breakouts in sensitive skin.
- Natural, buildable coverage
- Contains salicylic acid to exfoliate, refine pores, and reduce breakouts
- Suitable for all skin types
- Only 10 shades, with limited options in darker tones
- Works best when paired with concealer for severe breakouts
People with rough, acne-prone skin love Amazonian clay for its ability to absorb excess oils, remove impurities, and refine pores. Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation combines the skin-healing benefits of Amazonian clay in a long-wear, full coverage foundation. Tarte cosmetics are always free of gluten, parabens, phthalates, and other harmful ingredients, and this foundation is oil-free, vegan, and uses natural mineral pigments.
Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation gives instant full coverage with a long-lasting, cake-free, matte finish. The makeup lasts all day long without creasing or settling in fine lines, and the foundation is blendable and buildable. Amazonian clay and vitamin E help protect and nourish skin, and it also has SPF 15 for added protection.
- Amazonian clay and vitamin E help to protect and refine textured skin
- All-day full coverage
- Matte finish that doesn’t settle in creases
- Comes in 40 shades for matching all skin tones
- Not as easily blendable as some other foundations
Estee Lauder’s Double Wear is explicitly designed to unity skin tone, cover imperfections, and stay in place all day long. This foundation is waterproof and transfer-proof with total 24-hour wear and resists sweat, heat, and humidity for all-day control. The formula is oil-free and semi-matte and comes in over 55 shades, so you can find a perfect match without unwanted grey or orange undertones.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup provides medium-to-full, buildable coverage that stays in place all day. The formula doesn’t cake or settle into pores and fine lines and is non-acnegenic. It’s free of oil, gluten, synthetic fragrances, alcohols, and parabens and contains no animal-derived ingredients.
- Makeup stays in place with great coverage until you take it off at night
- Huge range of shades for excellent matching
- Full, buildable, semi-matte coverage
- Resists water, sweat, humidity, and transfers
- A bit pricey, but worth it
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation Makeup is arguably the best drugstore foundation for textured skin. The vast range of 40 shades makes it easy to find your match, and it provides blendable, buildable medium coverage that doesn’t settle into lines, doesn’t block pores and creates a smooth finish.
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation Makeup is a great foundation for oily skin, with a smooth, matte finish that doesn’t look cakey. It creates light to medium coverage, but the buildable, blendable formula can provide more coverage when needed. The range of colors and undertones makes it easy to find a perfect match, and it’s an affordable foundation.
- Buildable light-to-medium coverage
- Smooth, poreless finish
- Matte but not cakey
- Large range of shades
- Works best when layered with primer and setting powder; otherwise, it may develop shine over time
Flower Beauty Pore Perfect Instant Blur Stick is a perfect solution for correcting textured skin on the go. It contains a blur stick primer on one end and a medium coverage foundation on the other. The primer refines pores and creates a soft matte finish, while the makeup provides fresh, lightweight pigments that conceal imperfections. It’s buildable, long-lasting, and perfect for travel or on-the-go touchups.
Flower Beauty Pore Perfect Instant Blur Stick is cruelty-free and has a light, weightless feel that refines texture and conceals imperfections without settling into creases. It’s blendable and buildable and lasts all day. The convenient 2-in-1 stick can go anywhere you do, and it doesn’t dry or irritate the skin.
- Compact and portable
- Sheer, smoothing, pore-refining coverage
- Doesn’t dry skin or settle into creases
- Blendable and buildable
- May require a setting powder for longer wear on oily skin or in hot weather
- Only 9 shades, but it’s also a light coverage, blendable makeup where more shade selection may not be necessary
it Cosmetics CC+ Oil-Free Poreless Finish Full Coverage Cream combines an oil-free formula, full color-correcting coverage, anti-aging hydration, and SPF 40 for everything you need in one product. This makeup was developed with plastic surgeons and dermatologists to correct redness, scarring, and large pores without creasing or cracking. It’s a great choice to cover under-eye dark circles, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation and create a smooth skin texture.
It Cosmetics CC+ Oil-Free Poreless Finish Full Coverage Cream is a full coverage makeup infused with skin-pampering ingredients. It contains charcoal to detoxify skin, colloidal clay, and tea tree oil to absorb oil and fight blemishes, and an anti-aging serum with collagen, peptides, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals to nourish aging skin. The physical sun protection helps to keep skin smooth and healthy for years to come. This multitasking makeup has everything you need in a single step.
- Full coverage with a matte finish
- Anti-aging and skin-perfecting ingredients improve skin over time
- Includes high SPF for excellent protection
- Addresses a wide range of skin problems in one product
- The range of 12 shades has a limited selection in darker tones
The Origins Silk Screen Refining Powder Makeup is a light, silky powder that blurs pores and perfects skin. It can be used alone for light coverage of texture problems or as a setting powder over a foundation with more pigment. The pure, natural formula contains mica and corn starch to help filter flaws and reduce shine, without any parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, or other unwanted ingredients.
Origins cosmetics are 100% vegetarian but not vegan because some of their products use cruelty-free honey and/or beeswax.
If you don’t need full coverage but want to knock back the shine, blur pores, and make your skin look smoother and more refined, Origins Silk Screen Refining Powder Makeup is an excellent choice. It can be used alone as a sheer coverage makeup or layered over other foundations as a setting powder. It’s an excellent choice for aging skin because it doesn’t settle into pores, cake, or crack but can be used on dry and oily skin for invisible smoothing.
- Sheer and lightweight blurring
- Natural ingredients and cruelty-free, vegetarian products
- It can be used in place of makeup for light coverage
- Only six shades
Dermablend Smooth Liquid Foundation delivers coverage, hydration, and sun protection in a single product. High-performance pigments are buildable, from medium to full coverage, so you can easily cover redness, hyperpigmentation, or uneven tone, without becoming cakey. This foundation provides 16 hours of smudge and transfer-resistant coverage and up to 24 hours of hydration.
Dermablend Smooth Liquid Camo Foundation is explicitly designed to smooth skin texture and cover uneven skin tone while soothing and protecting dry, dehydrated skin. It’s cruelty-free, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, non-allergenic, and safe for sensitive skin. It’s available in 15 shades, and Dermablend’s shade finder helps to create the perfect match every time.
SPF 25 protects the skin with a physical titanium dioxide barrier that is more skin-friendly than chemical sun protection. It’s a long-wearing makeup that hydrates while smoothing texture, making it a great choice for dry or aging skin.
- 16-hour wear and 24-hour hydration
- Smoothing finish with medium coverage
- SPF 25 for skin protection
- May slide on oily skin or in high heat
When looking for a foundation to smooth the texture of your skin, here are a few things to look for.
Choosing Your Shade
To match your skin, look for shades that match both your skin color and undertone. To find your undertone, look at the inside of your wrist. Look at the color of the veins that are visible beneath the skin on your wrist.
- If your veins are blue or purple, you have cool skin undertones
- If your veins are green or olive-colored, you have warm skin undertones
- If your veins are an indeterminate blue-green, you have neutral undertones
In brands with a limited selection of shades, matching your undertone is actually more important than matching your skin color. Your superficial skin color may change with the seasons, sun exposure, or different coverage levels and makeup options, but your undertones stay the same.
Choosing the wrong undertone can give pale skin an orange tone or provide a dull grey cast to deeper skin colors. When in doubt, choose the lightest shade that matches your skin so that it will blend well in winter, and you can add blush, bronzer, or other warming accents in the summer.
Type of Foundation for Your Skin Type
No matter which foundation you choose and how well it goes on, it can’t wear well unless it matches your skin type. If you have oily skin, makeup may start to move, shine, or wear away in a short time. If you have dry skin, makeup may settle into lines and creases, cake up, or start to look rough and flakey.
However, many women have combination skin or skin that changes with the seasons. Look for a matte or semi-matte finish for combination skin, and add highlights to create a glow. Remember that, even when your makeup perfectly matches your skin type, helping makeup wear well all day long is 50% product and 50% preparation and application.
Read the Ingredients
Our top picks for makeup for textured skin all avoid unwanted elements. Look for makeup that doesn’t include parabens, sodium lauryl or Laureth sulfates, phthalates, and artificial fragrances.
These ingredients can exacerbate skin texture problems and irritate sensitive skin. When possible, choose physical/mineral sun protection from zinc and titanium dioxide, and avoid chemical UV blockers like oxybenzone.
SPF should be used daily to protect your skin and maintain a more youthful appearance. If the perfect makeup for your textured skin doesn’t have sun protection in it already, layer your foundation over a broad spectrum, mineral-based, sun-protecting primer, like this one from Age 20’s.
While dewy finishes are fashionable, light reflections exaggerate uneven texture in the skin and make it more noticeable. Choose a matte or semi-matte finish to create a smooth surface, and then add highlights if you want to create a glow.
What Causes Textured Skin?
There are many different types of skin texture problems, and there are various causes. Here are the biggest culprits.
Dead skin cells can make skin look rough, uneven, and flaky.
Tip: Exfoliate regularly and consider fruit acid products to remove dead skin cells.
Like dead skin, dry skin can look patchy and flakey, with a rough texture.
Tip: Use a moisturizing foundation and a night cream to fight dry skin.
Large pores can be caused by your skin type and genetics, an improper skincare regimen, or simple aging.
Tip: Use non-comedogenic skincare products, cleanse and exfoliate gently, and avoid damage from sun exposure.
Acne can cause bumps and inflammation from breakouts and leave scars and damaged skin, all of which affect skin smoothness and texture.
Tip: Use a foundation with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, and use a non-acnegenic primer beneath the foundation for a smoother surface.
Over time, our skin naturally loses collagen, which reduces the skin surface’s tightness, smoothness, and firmness.
Tip: Use a retinoid to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and consider hyaluronic acid to boost collagen.
Sun damage can cause the skin to feel rough and patchy and exacerbate pore size and dry skin problems.
Tip: Use makeup with a broad-spectrum SPF or layer foundation over a sun-protecting primer. On days when you get a lot of sun exposure, touch up your SPF every few hours without disturbing your foundation with an SPF mineral powder like this one from Supergoop!
Is Powder or Liquid Foundation Better for Textured Skin?
A liquid foundation is better for smoothing textured skin and creating a more even surface in most cases. Liquid foundations usually have a broader range of shades for better color matching. However, a liquid foundation may not be the right choice for all skin types and conditions, and people with oily or sensitive skin may prefer a powder.
Is Matte or Dewy Foundation Better for Textured Skin?
Matte foundation is better for textured skin because it minimizes the natural light variations and definition around every irregularity in the skin surface. If you prefer a glowy, dewy look, choose a matte or semi-matte foundation, and then contour with a highlighter or top with a glow-finish setting powder or finishing spray.
How Can I Smooth My Face Texture?
No matter what the cause of an uneven skin texture and tone, there are several things you can do to create smoother skin:
Cleanse Often and Gently
Cleanse in the morning, and double cleanse in the evening with a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water. Keeping skin clean prevents debris from clogging and enlarging pores.
Instead of using a harsh scrub, consider using a chemical exfoliant like a fruit acid peel. They come in various strengths for different skin needs and sensitivities and help remove dry, dead skin and promote new, healthy skin cell growth.
Use a Retinoid
While we tend to associate retinoid products with anti-aging, they were initially developed to treat acne. In other words, all but the most sensitive skin types can benefit from retinoids: they promote exfoliation and skin cell turnover, boost production of collagen and elastin, unclog pores and reduce acne, and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Retinoids are skin-smoothing champions, no matter what your challenge is.
Consider Hyaluronic Acid
Another all-around hero, hyaluronic acid hydrates skin, promotes healing, fights inflammation, reduces wrinkles, promotes firmness, reduces roughness, and improves skin texture.
Take Care of Yourself
A healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables gives your body more free-radical fighting antioxidants that promote smooth skin. Eating foods high in collagen helps your body create collagen. Staying well hydrated helps your skin stay smooth and hydrated too. Regular moderate exercise boosts circulation, which nourishes the outer layers of the skin and removes toxins. Taking care of yourself is the best way to boost the health and look of your skin.
Use a Primer
While our top foundations for textured skin have great benefits and create smoother skin, a good primer is simply a must. Primer smooths over large pores and other texture imperfections, reduces shine, and works with a foundation to create a smoother, longer-lasting makeup finish.
In fact, for people who want a very light, sheer, natural makeup look and who only need to cover texture problems like large pores or fine lines, a good primer may be all the makeup they need.
Consider Two Foundations
While we often think we’ll find the one perfect foundation and use it forever, that may not always be the best solution. Our skin needs are different in summer than in winter or change with age, hormones, diet, and other factors.
Sometimes the best solution is to choose two foundations: two different shades and blend them to create the perfect medium; two different shades for summer or winter wear; one foundation for an oily T-zone with a different one for the rest of the face; one with more coverage for periodic breakouts and a lighter one for days when less is needed … your skin isn’t the same every day, so why should your makeup be?
Textured skin can be a considerable challenge because it has many different causes and affects many different skin types. It’s also hard to cover because natural light, skin oils, and many cosmetics exaggerate an uneven skin surface rather than conceal it.
Fortunately, there are great foundations explicitly designed to reduce the imperfections of textured skin, and they are available for all skin types and colors. Choose a great foundation for textured skin and have a more even, more refined, and smoother complexion, so you can feel beautiful and confident.