The Most Breathable Foundations for Every Skin Type
Like a nourishing cleanser or moisturizer, a great foundation enhances your complexion and creates a glowing canvas for the rest of your makeup. These skin-perfecting products have come a long way since the days of cakey and powdery formulas, and they now offer a more natural result to boot. While there are many types of foundations on the market, opting for one with a breathable formulation will not only serve you well during the summer months (hello, humidity!), but can also improve the overall health of your skin.
Luckily, breathable foundations come in a myriad of finishes—from luminous to matte—and shades to address all skin types and concerns. If you favor a full-coverage look, consider highly-pigmented formulas that offer buildable color for comfortable all-day wear. More of a makeup minimalist? Liquid foundations with sheer finishes look radiant and dewy and feel like next to nothing when worn. And for those with aging complexions, featherlight foundations that blur fine lines and wrinkles will leave your visage feeling fresh. Whether you're looking for a lightweight foundation for the summer or a formula that simply won't clog your pores, we've researched the best breathable foundations for all skin types and budgets. Discover them below.
- Best Breathable Foundation for Oily Skin: Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation
- Best Breathable Foundation with Sun Protection: ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation
- Best Breathable Foundation for Dry Skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint Foundation with Hyaluronic Acid
- Best Breathable Foundation for Darker Skin Tones: black Up Matifying Fluid Foundation
- Best Breathable Foundation for Mature Skin: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare
Best for Oily Skin: Armani
Inspired by the soft texture of charmeuse silk, this formula instantly transforms skin from dull to luminous. High-performance pigments match your complexion seamlessly while hydrating ingredients work to sculpt, brighten, and improve texture.
Shop Now: Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation, $64, sephora.com.
Best Budget: CoverGirl
Put your best face forward with this lighter-than-air foundation from CoverGirl. Infused with ingredients like milky coconut and calming aloe, this product leaves your skin healthy and dewy while creating a more even complexion. For a smooth and flawless application, wear "Skin Milk" over your favorite primer.
Shop Now: CoverGirl Clean "Fresh Skin Milk" Foundation, $11.99, ulta.com.
Best with SPF: ILIA
This cult classic is a favorite among makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts alike. Its weightless formula contains a blend of hydrating ingredients, including hyaluronic acids and squalene. As an added bonus, it also features SPF 40 to shield complexions from harmful UVA, UVB, UVC, blue light, and infrared rays.
Shop Now: ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation, $48, sephora.com.
Best Buildable Coverage: L'Oreal
If you're looking for medium-to-full buildable coverage, this foundation has you covered—literally. The ultra-thin liquid formula promises to stay put for up to 24 hours and blends evenly for a natural, flawless finish.
Shop Now: L'Oreal Paris "Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear" Foundation, $14.99, cvs.com.
Best for Blurring Imperfections: Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown has a reputation for creating makeup that enhances—not hides—your natural beauty and this light foundation is no exception. Its lightweight formula goes on silky smooth and was designed to effectively blur imperfections without feeling too heavy.
Shop Now: Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15, $49, sephora.com.
Best for Dry Skin: Neutrogena
We love this foundation for its skin-boosting properties and water-gel formula. As the name would suggest, this complexion-perfecting product is infused with hydrating ingredients, making it a smart pick for those with dry skin.
Shop Now: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint Foundation with Hyaluronic Acid, $12.79, target.com.
Best Longwear Formula: Laura Mercier
If you're looking for a medium-coverage foundation that's breathable and sweat-proof, this one from Laura Mercier won't let you down. While some long-lasting formulas tend to look flat or caked on once applied, this weightless foundation acts as a second skin for comfortable all-day wear.
Shop Now: Flawless Fusion Ultra Long Lasting Foundation, $48, macys.com.
Best Splurge: Pat McGrath
Silky and luxurious, Pat McGrath's foundation delivers controlled and buildable coverage with a satin-like finish. Touted as a hybrid of skin care and makeup, this product works to emulate the look of natural and healthy skin while blurring the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Shop Now: Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Foundation, $68, sephora.com.
Most Sheer: Glossier
Perfect for makeup minimalists, this sheer tint instantly melts into the skin, leaving you with a fresh, glowing complexion. Its ultra-thin formula won't hide your natural features, like freckles or rosy cheeks, and comes in 12 adaptable shades to enhance all tones.
Shop Now: Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint, $26, glossier.com.
Best for Dark Skin Tones: Black Up
Designed specifically for darker tones, black Up's matte foundation is enriched with sebum-regulating and astringent ingredients to balance combination to oily skin types. Just a single pump of this formula is all you need for an even and glowing complexion.
Shop Now: black Up Matifying Fluid Foundation, $41.50, macys.com.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Chantecaille
When it comes to achieving an effortless no-makeup look, you can't go wrong with this game-changing foundation. Thanks to a blend of aloe, chamomile, and arnica, the featherweight formula is surprisingly nourishing. Together, these soothing ingredients work to calm irritation and neutralize redness, which is why Future Skin is a great option for those with sensitive complexions.
Shop Now: Chantecaille Future Skin Gel Foundation, $79, nordstrom.com.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Lancôme
Most Smoothing: Charlotte Tilbury
There is so much to love about this Charlotte Tilbury liquid foundation. For one, it's formulated with skin-smoothing ingredients that minimize enlarged pores and reduce the appearance of fine lines—especially on the forehead and around the mouth. Plus, its magic mix of mica, silicones, and pseudo-ceramides keeps skin moisturized and plumped for up to 24 hrs.
Shop Now: Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation, $46, sephora.com.
Most Natural: Dior
Dior's natural nude foundation quickly vanishes into the skin, leaving behind the perfect amount of sheer coverage. Even better? Its formula is infused with a high concentration of water that simultaneously hydrates while letting skin breathe.
Shop Now: Dior Forever Natural Nude, $52, dior.com.
Best Powder: Bare Minerals
Powder foundations are a great choice for the hot and humid summer months. Their mineral formulas are lighter than air, won't clog pores, and work to combat oily skin.
Shop Now: BareMinerals BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation SPF 15, $17.99, walmart.com.
Best for Aging Skin: IT Cosmetics
This ultra-light foundation covers up imperfections while still letting your skin shine through. We love this product in particular for its dynamic blend of hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extract, vitamins E, and B5, which work to soothe and visibly refine texture and tone.
Shop Now: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare, $39.50, ulta.com.