Difference Between Oil, Water And Silicone-based Foundations – All You Need To Know


Finding the most suitable foundation for a skin type and tone is a little difficult than finding any other thing. If you add an unsuitable product to your personal care regimen to take care of the seasonal changes, it becomes complicated than rocket science to get the things right. So, we will start with the basics. There are oil, water, and silicone-based foundations which have their own benefits as well as specific functions.

What is oil-based makeup foundation?

When oils act as the base of a foundation, it would mean that the makeup would be usually a little greasier or thicker than a water based-foundation. But, it doesn’t mean that oil-based foundation would look greasy as soon as applied to skin. With proper use and attention, oil-based foundations can generally act lightly on the skin.

An oil-based foundation is not the right choice for everyone as oil penetrates deep into the skin more slowly than the water. Also, it has the potential to sit on top of the skin and make us to feel shiny and slick if we do not need an extra quantity of moisture. For women with very dry skin, the oil-based foundation could be the main difference between a flat, dull finish and a dewy, healthy glow.

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If you find the skin is dying due to lack of some more moisture during day, using the oil-based foundation might be real the thing you need.

Water based foundation


So, before you go out to buy a foundation of your choice, it is important to decide which base you want in the product.

  • They are suited for the oily skin since they are light on skin and won’t clog the pores. You could also use these on the dry skin as they provide an excellent moisturisation.
  • They usually give a sheer effect and appear like the second skin on the face.
  • They have super blending property and also leave dewy finish like a ‘just-had-a-facial’ kind of glow.
  • They easily melt into the skin and look close to natural.
  • If you are more prone to acne and breakouts, this is a very good option as it is very gentle on the skin.

Oil based foundation


  • The oil-based foundation ensures that the consistency would be little thicker and also need proper use so that it looks smoother and light on the skin.
  • Oil-based products generally take longer to go deep into the skin as compared to any water-based products. So, these sit on the skin for longer period. This might make the products seem very greasy and heavy on the skin.
  • If you have very dry skin, using an oil-based foundation can be your way to get dewy, healthy glow. The oil-based foundation will always prevent the skin appear dull and flat.
  • We would suggest you to stay away from any oil-based foundations in case you have an oily skin. But, oil in a product could mix with natural oils on the skin and it might work if you use a thin layer.

Silicon-based foundation


  • Silicon-based foundation will have silicone-based ingredient and this means it would act as built in primer.
  • They are good for mattifying the skin and also for controlling shine.
  • Silicone foundations are generally waterproof so you need not worry about sweating the makeup away. These products are best suited for special occasions like wedding ceremonies and other such events when the makeup has to last for a long time.
  • These also form a very fine layer on the skin and so would prevent the moistures from escaping the skin.
  • These are also best for providing a smooth and wrinkle-free finish to the skin.

Choosing a right primer for a foundation is very important. You need to make that sure you are using a water-based primer if the foundation is water based too. If the foundation is silicone-based, make sure that your primer is also silicone based. The two main different bases could cause your foundations to separate if layered on the top of each other. Using the silicone-based primer along with the water-based foundation on the top of it causes a foundation to separate. The primer will always create a silicone barrier that repels the water in foundation not allowing it to absorb properly into the skin, causing unevenness.

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To find whether a particular product is silicone-based or water-based, you have to look carefully at all the ingredients. Ingredients are usually listed in order starting with which is primarily in a product and ending with what is least important for the product.

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