Best Foundations Without Sunscreen
*Includes Liquid, Cream, Pressed-Powder, Cream-to-Powder, and Stick Foundations
We cannot emphasize enough how much foundation has improved lately. Companies continue to raise the bar, which only means better foundations for you! In order for a foundation without sunscreen to make the Best Products list, it must:
- Have an exemplary texture that blends beautifully
- Come in a range of neutral, "real skin" colors
- Wear with minimal to no signs of problems
The foundations on this list, whether cream, liquid, cream-to-powder, or powder all have exemplary, class-leading textures, beautiful finishes, reliable coverage, and a selection of neutral shades that match real skin tones (rather than masking skin with an odd shade of pink, rose, or peach). For the health of your skin, we strongly recommend applying a daytime moisturizer with sunscreen rated SPF 15 or greater before applying your foundation.
If you have stayed away from foundation because of a previous misstep or negative experience, there has never been a safer time to try it again; the right one can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin. And if you have oily to very oily skin, choosing a foundation with sunscreen is a great idea because it will help keep excess shine in check while eliminating the need for you to apply two products (when it comes to very oily skin, fewer products is better).
Choosing the right foundation color is not only time-consuming, but also exceedingly frustrating. The only way to discover your ideal match is to apply the foundation on your facial skin, perhaps two different colors on either side of your face, and then to check it in daylight. If the color isn’t an exact match, you have to go back in and try again.
Another hurdle is to find a foundation with a pleasing texture, one that feels soft and silky, but doesn’t streak, cake, or look thick, and that takes experimentation, too.
Determining how much coverage you want is another factor, and then there’s what type of foundation (liquid, powder, cream, or stick formulas). Now tell us that isn’t a challenge!
Financially, if you can splurge on only one cosmetic product, foundation is it. This is the one category where spending a little bit more is the best option, not because expensive means better, but because it’s just way too risky to buy a foundation you can’t try on first, either with a tester at the cosmetics counter or with samples you can take home or, in some cases, order online.
Still, many mass-market outlets and drugstores have very good hassle-free return policies for used makeup, and it’s wise to inquire about that before purchasing makeup in these environments (note: all of them require you to keep your receipt as proof of purchase). Do not keep a foundation that ends up being the wrong color—return it and keep trying until you get it right.
Remember that most cream-to-powder foundations or stick foundations are best for those with normal to slightly dry or slightly oily skin because the ingredients that keep these types of foundations in their cream or stick form can be problematic for oily or blemish-prone skin, and the often-powdery finish isn’t flattering on dry skin.