Your makeup will never run again.

By Audrey Noble
March 12, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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woman spraying fine setting spray on face
Credit: Courtesy of Target

If you have oily skin, you likely already have a stockpile of products that address your concerns and help you achieve your brightest, clearest complexion. But there's one product your routine might be missing, and that's a setting spray. The main purpose of these products is to make sure your makeup stays in place, which can be a major issue for those with oily skin, but it does a whole lot more, too: "A good hydrating spray can serve a number of functions beyond finishing your makeup," says MAC Cosmetics makeup artist Fatima Thomas. "[It] can be used as a skin care and priming step." An oil-controlling setting spray can also help slow down the overall production of oil throughout the day, says New York City-based makeup artist and beauty expert Neil Scibelli. "It basically creates a seal over the top layer of your skin and the environment, whether it be humidity or climate."

The best setting sprays for oily skin are often the ones that promise to give you a matte finish. "I would suggest avoiding any pearlized or shimmery pigments in the spray," says Scibelli. "That will only give more of an oily look to the skin since it will reflect light and look shiny." Instead, he suggests looking for iterations with ingredients like dimethicone (to seal the pores and create a barrier between makeup and your skin), silica (which Thomas says is an oil-absorbing mineral), and both sodium hyaluronate and glycerin (to help keep skin plump and hydrated). Another ingredient to look for is kaolin clay, which Cover FX educator and makeup artist Megan Curtin describes as a smart clay that will absorb excess oil without leaving the skin dehydrated. "It's a great ingredient to help with oily skin," Curtin says. Ahead, we spoke with three makeup artists to find the best setting sprays for oily skin, no matter your budget.

The Best Setting Sprays for Oily Skin

urban decay cosmetics setting spray can
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Best for Temperature Control

Scibelli loves Urban Decay's All Night Long Lasting Setting Spray, and says that it has become a staple in his makeup kit. "It's oil-free, cruelty-free, and vegan," he says. "Another amazing thing about [it] is that it uses temperature control technology, which stays activated in various climates you wear it in."

Shop Now: Urban Decay "All Night" Long Lasting Setting Spray $33, ulta.com.

benefit cosmetics the pore fessional setting spray bottle
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Best for Hydration

Scibelli also recommends Benefit's Pore-fessional Super Setter. "It mattifies the skin for 16 hours instantly but it also offers a bit of hydration so you're not feeling dry," he says. "The really special thing about this one is that it actually uses pore blurring powders that disperse out the spray, so you get a soft-focus finish on your makeup."

Shop Now: Benefit "Pore-fessional Super Setter" Setting Spray, $32, ulta.com.

mac prep prime fix primer and setting spray bottle
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Best for Versatility

Scibelli and Thomas both love MAC Cosmetic's Prep Prime Fix Mattifying Mist. "This is one of my favorite setting sprays because it's so versatile," says Sciibelli. "It's packed with antioxidants and skin-loving nutrients so you can use it directly onto the skin before makeup and then add it over your final look to lock it all in. It helps to minimize the look of pores, reduce shine, yet feels like a light mist of water sprayed onto the skin."

Shop Now: MAC "Prep Prime Fix" Mattifying Mist, $29, ulta.com.

cover fx mattifying setting spray bottle
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Best for a Matte Finish

While Curtin suggests using Cover FX Mattifying Setting Spray. "It's the perfect setting spray for oily skin," she says. "It's alcohol-free, clean, and vegan. Plus it has the kaolin clay for oil absorption and leaves the skin with a perfect matte finish."

Shop Now: Cover FX Mattifying Setting Spray, $31, ulta.com.

Orpheus Bio-Luminous Essence bottle
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best for Refining Pores

"One of my go-to setting sprays for pore refining is Orpheus' Bio-Luminous Essence," says Scibelli. "The sensitive skin-savvy line was actually created for reactive, and acne-prone skin, so I always feel confident about using it on clients." This is a great option for someone who prefers gentle ingredients, he explains. "Orpheus uses flower cell peptides to energize the skin, along with a handful of vitamins (C, B3, B5, E) which help to both prep the skin, keep the pores shielded from the environment, and also sets makeup."

Shop Now: Orpheus Bio-Luminous Essence, $65, amazon.com.

Trilogy Vitamin C Energising Mist bottle
Credit: courtesy of Amazon

Best Natural Base

Trilogy's Vitamin C Energising Mist is a win-win for both oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin because it contains the ingredient ylang-ylang, which helps to balance and normalize sebum secretion. That means it actually balances oil production throughout the day, says Scibelli. "This one is great for someone who wants oil control without silicones and pore-clogging ingredients. The vitamin C formula also helps to brighten and fade any post-acne marks while you're wearing it. I would suggest using this one before you apply your makeup, as well as over it."

Shop Now: Trilogy Vitamin C Energising Mist, $29, amazon.com.

Elf Stay All Night Setting Mist bottle
Credit: Courtesy of Target

Best Affordable Option

A drugstore favorite, E.L.F.'s Stay All Night Setting Mist is a budget-friendly buy that holds it own against spendier options. It locks makeup in for 16 hours, using cucumber extract, green tea, and aloe to balance and hydrate the skin.

Shop Now: E.L.F. "Stay All Night" Setting Mist, $10, target.com.

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