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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best concealers for oily skin

Last Updated July 2019

Whether you have acne spots, hyperpigmentation, or dark circles under your eyes, a quality concealer can help. But if you have oily skin, you may have encountered concealers that crease or melt on your face, ruining your look. Fear not: if you choose the right concealer for oily skin, you can sidestep these problems.

Oily skin concealer is formulated with ingredients that won’t stimulate oil production or add shine to your complexion. The best of these concealers can be worn for long periods of time without needing a touch-up, and they can camouflage the darkest of spots. But to find the best, you need to know which formulas, ingredients, and features would make your skin look satiny smooth instead of greasy or cakey.

With our helpful shopping guide, you’ll have all the facts you need to choose the best concealer for oily skin. We’ve also included some specific product recommendations to make shopping as easy as possible.

In addition to covering up acne and dark spots, you can use your concealer to hide makeup mistakes like a mascara smudge on your cheek or an eyeliner wing that’s too thick.

Key considerations

Formula

Concealer is available in cream, stick, and liquid form. If you have oily skin, you need to be choosy about which formula you pick. As a general rule, liquid concealers are best for oily skin. Here’s a breakdown of how each formula behaves on oily skin.

  • Cream concealer comes in a small pot or compact and can be applied with a brush or clean fingers. People with oily skin should avoid cream-based concealers, as they are too moist for skin that already produces a significant amount of oil. Cream concealer is more likely to emphasize large pores, and in fact, the cream could worsen clogged pores.

  • Stick concealer comes in the form of a pencil or a lipstick-like tube. To apply, you can dot the product directly onto your skin. However, a person with oily skin may want to avoid stick concealer, as it’s a lot like cream concealer. Furthermore, stick concealer tends to clog pores and look greasy on the skin.

  • Liquid concealer typically comes in squeeze tube or a tube with a wand applicator. As mentioned, for the freshest complexion, a person with oily skin will probably want to opt for a liquid concealer. It dries quickly, so it’s more likely to stay in place than other options. Its consistency is usually thinner, too, which means you don’t have to worry about it looking cakey.

Ingredients

Selecting a concealer with the right ingredients is key to helping oily skin look great and minimizing clogged pores. First and foremost, choose an oil-free concealer to avoid adding extra oil to the skin. Be sure to choose a non-comedogenic concealer; products with this designation are less likely to clog pores and cause breakouts.

If you have acne, you may want to choose a concealer that contains acne-fighting ingredients. For example, a concealer with salicylic acid encourages exfoliation and helps clear debris from the pores. A concealer with sulfur can help reduce the inflammation that’s associated with acne.

Finish

Concealer is available in several finishes, including matte, dewy, and satin. Dewy and satin-finish concealers are ideal for dry skin that looks a little dull, but they’re a poor option for oily skin because they can make your skin look even greasier.

A concealer for oily skin should have a matte finish, so it doesn’t add shine. A matte concealer can actually help reduce your skin’s natural shine, and it wears longer on the skin because it’s less likely to be broken down by facial oil.

Lightweight, comfortable coverage

The bareMinerals bareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer is the ideal concealer for anyone with oily skin who prefers a natural look. While it offers medium buildable coverage, the serum formula feels incredibly light and looks extremely natural on the skin. We also love that it works just as well under the eyes as it does for spots on the face.

Features

Coverage

Concealers for oily skin offer varying degrees of coverage. You’ll need to choose between concealers that provide light coverage, medium coverage, and full coverage.

  • A light-coverage concealer is ideal if you prefer a natural look. It can’t cover particularly dark spots or red acne marks, but it can certainly even out your skin tone. Many light-coverage concealers can be applied in layers, so you can achieve a little more coverage on the days you need it.

  • A medium-coverage concealer can cover most dark spots and acne breakouts, but it still allows some of your natural skin to show through. Like light-coverage options, it can be layered if you need additional coverage.

  • A full-coverage concealer can cover nearly any spot or acne mark on your face, no matter how dark, because it’s so highly pigmented. It’s an ideal option if you suffer from regular acne breakouts, but it’s important to use a small amount because a little goes a long way.

Shade

Concealer doesn’t typically come in as many different shades as foundations does. However, you can usually still choose from eight to ten shades. When choosing a shade, opt for one that matches your foundation exactly. If you don’t wear foundation, match it precisely to your skin tone. Otherwise, the spots you’re trying to conceal will only stand out more by appearing too light or too dark.

If you’re purchasing an oily skin concealer for under your eyes, go with something that’s slightly lighter than the rest of your face to help brighten dark circles. Don’t go too light, though, or you could end up with white rings beneath your eyes.

Sun protection

We all know how important it is to wear sunscreen daily, but you may not want to pile too many products on your skin every day. Choosing an oily skin concealer with SPF can help give you some sun protection even if you skip the sunscreen.

If you have acne-prone skin, SPF is especially important because many acne medications and topical products make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

EXPERT TIP

After you apply concealer, let it sit for about a minute before blending it in. The heat from your skin will warm it up, allowing it to blend more easily.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

To prevent the spread of bacteria, don’t touch the wand from a liquid concealer directly to an acne breakout. Instead, use a brush that you can wash afterward.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

To highlight with concealer, go one shade lighter than your skin tone. To contour with concealer, go two shades darker than your skin tone.


Staff  | BestReviews

Concealer for oily skin: prices

Price varies based on the coverage offered by the concealer and the quality of the ingredients. You can find a decent product for anywhere from $4 to $44.

The most affordable concealers for oily skin are usually light-coverage formulas that feature lower-quality ingredients. They usually cost between $4 and $13.

Mid-range concealers for oily skin usually offer medium coverage. The ingredients are of average quality and may be waterproof and/or contain SPF. Prices range from $13 to $27.

The most expensive concealers for oily skin are typically full-coverage formulas that feature high-quality ingredients. They are often waterproof and feature SPF, as well. Expect to pay between $27 and $44 for one of these high-end concealers.

Multitasking, photo-ready concealer

This concealer is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores. But what really sets it apart is the fact that it also works for contouring and highlighting. There’s no flashback when you take photos, either, so you don’t have to worry about white splotches in your selfies.

Tips

  • To prepare your skin for concealer and other makeup, wash your face with a gentle facial cleanser that removes excess oil from your skin.

  • Even if you choose a concealer formulated for oily skin, it’s best to apply an oil-absorbing or mattifying foundation primer beforehand. This will prevent the oils in your skin from breaking through and causing your concealer to fade or melt.

  • Before you apply concealer to oily skin, use blotting papers to absorb any surface oil from your face that might prevent your makeup from setting properly.

  • To prevent your concealer from looking cakey or greasy, start with a thin layer. Only apply more if it doesn’t cover as well as you’d like.

  • For the best coverage, use a patting motion when you apply the concealer to spots on your face. You can use a brush or clean finger to dab the makeup and blend it in.

  • Even a concealer for oily skin should be set with powder to help it last all day. Use a small, fluffy brush to lightly dust the areas where you’ve applied concealer; this will help lock it in place.

Other products we considered

With plenty of concealers for oily skin on the market, chances are you’ll have no trouble finding an effective option that meets all of your makeup preferences. The Make Up For Ever Full Coverage Concealer is an ideal choice if you need to cover acne, scars, hyperpigmentation, and/or burns. It’s an oil-free, waterproof formula that even works for sensitive skin and can hold up all day long.

We also love Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Concealer if you want major coverage in a lightweight formula. Because it’s so rich in pigment, you only need a pea-size amount for your entire face. Its natural matte finish helps to cut down on shine, too.

Avoid touching your face throughout the day. Touching your face can move your makeup around — especially once the natural oils in your skin start breaking through.

FAQ

Q. Should I apply an oily skin concealer before or after my foundation?
A.
It depends on the type of foundation you’re using. If you’re using liquid or cream foundation, makeup artists typically advise applying your concealer after your foundation. That’s because the foundation may cover some discoloration, minimizing your need for concealer. If you were to apply concealer first, you’d run the risk of using too much.

If you’re using powder foundation, however, you should apply your concealer first. That’s because applying liquid or cream products over powder products usually results in a cakey look.

Q. Does concealer go bad?
A.
All makeup products expire over time. A good rule of thumb is to toss liquid and cream products after six months to a year. You can usually tell that a concealer has gone bad if you notice changes in its smell, color, or consistency.

Q. What does a color-correcting concealer for oily skin do?
A.
Instead of skin tone colors, color-correcting concealers are available in different shades that use color theory to counteract specific tones in your skin you want to hide. For example, green is opposite red on the color wheel, so a green concealer can correct redness in the skin, such as acne spots. Orange and peach can counteract blue tones, so an orange or peach concealer can help hide bruises or dark circles under the eyes. Purple can cancel out yellow tones, so a purple concealer can help hide sallowness in the skin.

The team that worked on this review
  • Amber
    Amber
    Writer
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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