Base makeup tips for oily skin, acne prone and combination skin

With most challenges, there is usually more than one solution and sometimes, even many steps to those solutions.

In the case of choosing the right makeup for oily skin, it is not just cosmetics that have to be considered. Skin care, diet, sleep, stress, water intake and your environment are important factors in treating problematic skin. However, since we are the makeup experts, we have some solutions to offer make up tips for oily skin.
Today, the favored look is dewy, dewy, dewy and at first you would think that those with oily skin would rejoice, but the reality is quite different. Many makeup formulas just don’t work well for oily skin as they are glycerin-based and often tend to disintegrate and eventually, slide off the face. The effect halfway through the morning includes the skin appearing greasy, often with outbreaks and large pores highlighted – the exact opposite of your intention. It is a real challenge to walk that fine line between dewy and just plain oily… We feel your pain!

Close up model with oily skin natural makeup on light blue background

Dewy skin done right for you.

What is required here is a clean foundation that blends with the skin, is long-lasting, buildable, dries to a light satin finish and can accommodate a skin luminizer, if required, strategically placed to create a halo effect rather than a slick sheen. What is needed is a foundation and color products that work for oily skin.
Here’s where we come in: SAPPHO has all you need to achieve a glowing dewy skin look that’s suitable for oily skin types. Read on for our best advice in creating a natural makeup base that works for you! We'll cover:

  • Primer
  • Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Face Powder

Makeup Primer for Oily Skin Tube and Open Box, link to shop

1. Prepping the skin

    We recommend our makeup primer to use for oily skin. Our Skin Perfecting Primer for Oily Skin is free of coconut oil yet offers luxurious hydration, leaving the skin feeling soft and supple. Another amazing attribute is that among all-natural primers, this one stands out by helping to make large pores appear smaller. Also, the use of a makeup primer, especially for skin prone to acne, benefits the wearer as it helps foundation to last longer. Those with combination skin may choose to apply it only to the areas that tend to get oily, or to the entire face.
    Formulated to work especially well together, applied before the Essential Foundation, this primer is truly exceptional.

    Natural Foundation for Oily Skin Bottle with Swatch in medium shade Jennifer, link to shop

    2. Your perfect match in foundation

      SAPPHO’s Essential Foundation line is made for performance: this organic foundation dries to a satin finish allowing the skin to breathe, feels like wearing nothing and yet offers a buildable coverage. Applied with our buffer brush, the finish is flawless, minimizing the look of pores in the process. Get added coverage by softly patting on a little extra, using fingers or a slightly damp makeup sponge, over breakouts and areas that need it.
      This foundation does not appear or feel either mask-like or greasy; it will allow natural oils to come through eventually but to a soft glow, not an oily slick and over time, this effect often improves.  Utilizing the benefits of jojoba oil, which is not actually an oil but a wax ester, said to help the skin balance hormones for sebum production and also helps to hold in its natural moisture.
      Our formula also contains organic alcohol, which gently helps to keep the pores clean, preserves the product naturally, with any potential dryness superseded by the generous use of non-comedogenic jojoba oil and organic shea butter. For this reason, this formula works for both oily and dry skin – none of the emollients are comedogenic and so the skin is clean and hydrated. (More on that topic here)
      Further to this, the Essential Foundation has a number of essential oils and herb extracts designed specifically to help keep the skin looking and feeling clear and healthy. 


      Vegan Concealers for Oily Skin, Open and Scattered, link to shop 

      3. When more coverage is needed

        Another product that is useful for extra coverage for oily skin or acne is our Cream Concealer, as it dries to a slightly powdered finish and so, it stays on all day.  Designed by a makeup artist, this high coverage natural concealer utilizes a generous content of ethical minerals for coloration, so that the least amount of product can be used to counteract breakouts and skin discolorations effectively. Apply as needed with fingers or a precision brush, set it with a bit of powder and you are good to go!


        Open Organic Loose Setting Powder for Oily Skin on Cherry Pink, link to shop Powders 

        4. Finish with powder

        Last but not least is the use of face powders for oily skin or oily areas.
        All SAPPHO powders are made with low heavy metal minerals that are ethically mined.  Our Shine Patrol Pressed Powder, offered with refillable compacts, comes in 5 global tones which are deeply pigmented, so a little goes a long way. You can brush them lightly with a blush or shader brush or use a powder puff. You can also spot use powder so that you are not mattifying your whole face but possibly only certain areas that you want to bring less attention to or to keep covered.
        (Pro makeup tip: these powders can also be used wet as a foundation – more on that topic another day.)

        We also recommend our Silky Setting Powder: a best-selling organic loose face powder and staple of our line, it is light as a feather and translucent. Suitable for all skin tones, it does not leave the skin matte but offers a beautiful silky finish with reduced shine. It can be used all over or in specific places to soften desired areas. This is especially helpful with combo skin makeup, to help control shine only where needed. Some like to sweep this powder across their oily eyelids to keep eyeshadows in place as well.


        Bonus Make Up Tip for Oily Skin Types: Something useful to carry around for people with oily or combination skin is blotting papers, which can be used to remove some of the excess sebum off your face throughout the day, if needed.


        Feel free to drop us a line if you have any specific questions or need personalized advice at