If K-beauty is all about having a dewy complexion, what’s the best Korean foundation for oily skin?
Western makeup has mattifying foundations. Are there Korean foundations that reduce shine?
Today, we’ll discuss the benefits and limitations of using Korean makeup when you have an oily complexion.
You may fall in love with these breathable, comfortable, and attractive foundations.
The benefits of Korean foundation for oily skin
Korean foundation doesn’t just provide coverage. Most of the time, it includes sunscreen plus ingredients to improve the health of the skin.
Korean consumers are discerning customers that want the most for their money. They want to look their best without sacrificing their complexion. That’s why most foundations include anti-aging and moisturizing components, even the ones made for oily skin.
Therefore, oil-control foundation isn’t nearly as drying as some American brands are. You can find it in both compact cushion and liquid formats.
If you find that you need more shine control, try applying a primer and using powder. We’ve included the best Korean primer and powder at the end of the reviews.
The limitations of Korean foundation for oily skin
The main con we found when purchasing Korean makeup is a lack of shades for deep skin tones.
Alongside that, you’ll need to make sure your foundation matches your undertone, whether it’s cool, warm, or neutral. All three are available in light to medium shades, depending on the brand.
Finally, there aren’t many truly full coverage foundations, but most are buildable. This is a feature, not a failing because it allows the skin to breathe.
Four tips for managing oily skin
If you’re tired of your makeup melting off by midday, try these tips (1).
- Prime first. At the least, prime the T-zone.
- Apply powder only on the shiny spots. It keeps the pores from overreacting and overproducing sebum.
- Freshen up in a flash: press blotting paper onto the greasy spot and roll it off without rubbing it around.
- Switch to a non-irritating cleanser and lightweight moisturizer. Products with salicylic acid help keep pores clear.
When you use makeup that’s made for oily skin, that helps too.
Best Korean Foundation for Oily Skin in 2023
Now, let’s start with the best Korean foundation for oily skin.
Troiareuke A+ Cushion Foundation
It may be difficult to pronounce, but this is an award-winning brand that’s been featured in beauty magazines.
For example, Allure was thrilled with the A+ cushion compact because it’s one of the best Korean foundations for acne-prone skin. It has a matte finish that keeps shine under control for up to ten hours.
Moreover, it has healing ingredients like tea tree and cica (Centella asiatica) that clear up blemishes. That way, you don’t have to choose between makeup and pimples.
Before you get too excited, you need to know that this comes in only two shades: light beige and natural beige. But if that’s your color, you’ll get a cushion compact with a Mochi sponge and an extra refill.
Did we mention that it also has sunscreen? It’s a high protection level of SPF 50 PA++++ that guards against sunburn and photo-aging.
ETUDE HOUSE New Double Lasting Liquid Foundation
Etude House offers two versions of this foundation, a liquid and a cushion (see below).
The liquid has excellent coverage so that a single layer instantly enhances the complexion. It lasts up to 24 hours since it resists sweat and oil. It also has a moderate amount of sunscreen, SPF 34.
For a dewy appearance, tap it on with a damp sponge or puff. For a matte finish, use a dry applicator.
Happily, there are a dozen shades available, taking into account different undertones. Unfortunately, all are light colors.
ETUDE HOUSE Double Lasting Cushion
Here’s the cushion compact version with a semi-matte finish. The coverage lasts up to 24 hours. If you have trouble believing that claim, just know it was clinically tested by a third-party agency.
It’s a time-saving foundation because one layer should be enough to hide redness and blemishes. It also contains sunscreen.
Although all the available shades are suitable for light skin, they come in different undertones, making it easy to find the right match.
I’M MEME I’M Genius Foundation All Cover
If you want long-wearing liquid makeup with a velvety finish, stop here. It has medium to full coverage that looks natural and clean.
Since it’s non-comedogenic, it won’t trigger breakouts. But even better, it has sebum control powder. This ingredient keeps shine to a minimum.
Clinical tests show that the foundation lasts up to 30 hours. During that time, it kept redness, melasma, and dark circles from view.
We checked with an actual Korean who uses this product. She was enthusiastic about how well it hid blemishes without looking cakey. It didn’t melt or go patchy, either. She suggested a second layer over the T-zone for extra oil control if desired.
Laneige BB Cushion Pore Control
It’s nice to find a sheer foundation that erases pores. It also mattifies without dehydrating the skin. It leaves a powdery finish that feels freshly-washed.
The foundation offers SPF 50 as well.
GIVERNY Milchak Cover Cushion SPF50+ PA++++
Don’t be afraid to moisturize because hydration helps the skin relax and stop producing so much oil. This cushion foundation has hyaluronic acid for a dose of moisture that won’t clog pores.
It’s a little confusing because it’s described as having a “Moist-Glow Formula”. That makes it sound like it’s better for dry skin. Yet, it still manages to mattify.
What’s more, it contains collagen to plump the skin and give it a younger appearance.
The formula is buildable but only available in light and medium beige. It comes with a refill.
Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening
This cushion foundation stays gorgeous for up to 12 hours. While you wear it, botanicals work behind the scenes to brighten the complexion. For example, it has both apricot seed and magnolia.
But there’s a little cheating going on. The formula includes pearl powder for instant radiance. Those with mature skin like how it smooths uneven texture, hiding lines and wrinkles.
It starts out sheer, but it’s buildable. Tap it on with the included puff until you’re satisfied. Although it appears dewy at first, it settles down to a satin finish.
MISSHA M Magic Cushion SPF50+/PA+++
This cushion features a soft silica bead powder with tiny particles that absorb oil and sweat. It helps the foundation adhere to the skin without looking cakey.
Not only does it keep the complexion from getting shiny or sweaty, but it also lasts for hours without oxidizing.
What’s also nice is that the applicator holds plenty of product and doesn’t dry out or harden.
Choose from four shades for different undertones, including light, medium, warm, and honey beige.
[KARADIUM] Collagen Smart Sun Pact SPF50+ PA+++
Fans of this foundation describe it as silky and subtly fragranced. It melts with the skin in such a way that looks completely natural – like your face but better.
Since it absorbs sebum and sweat, it keeps shine under control for hours. But it also has collagen to plump the skin.
CATKIN BB Cream Air Cushion Foundation
If you have combination skin, this is the ideal foundation. It has a lightweight matte finish that doesn’t emphasize dry cheeks. Instead, it keeps the T-zone under control.
The formula is crafted to moisturize while balancing sebum production. As a result, it helps reduce acne.
Similar to the MISSHA M cushion above, it has silica bead powder that absorbs oil and sweat, leaving the complexion clean and soft.
AGE 20’s Signature Essence Long Stay To Go Foundation
It’s a sheer foundation in a compact. The lightweight liquid sets quickly to a satin finish. Although you may need to do a touchup at some point, it holds up well for hours. That’s due to the special powder that absorbs sebum.
Meanwhile, there’s a hydration essence with hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture without clogging pores.
PONY EFFECT Coverstay Liquid Foundation
The soft matte finish of this foundation should last throughout the day. It’s sheer and buildable.
Although it has a powder-infused formula to manage shine, it’s not as good at oil control as we hoped.
For best results, remember to shake the bottle before pumping out what you need. It comes in 4 shades for all skin undertones.
DHC Blotting Paper
We liked these blotting papers because they are made of hemp, which is renewable and sustainable.
Each one is about 4 x 2.5 inches, and they come 100 to a box.
Remember to press them onto the shiny spots, then roll or peel them off without rubbing them across the skin.
Users say that the papers are absorbent and don’t rip easily.
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
CORSX made the original pimple patches, and the design has only improved since then. This package comes with 96 round patches total in small, medium, and large sizes.
So, what is a pimple patch? It’s a hydrocolloid dressing that works miracles overnight.
Cleanse your skin, dry it, and peel a patch off the paper. Press it into place and go to bed. While you sleep, it calms redness and swelling. It also moisturizes the skin to accelerate healing.
You’ll see in the morning that the patch has turned white. The acne spot will have reduced in size, making it effortless to disguise with foundation.
[INNISFREE]NO-SEBUM Blur Primer
Allow us to quote what someone said. “In regards to reducing oil, I think this primer does wonders”.
If you have an oily complexion and you haven’t tried using primer yet, now’s the time. It may be the missing piece of the puzzle.
Even if you only treat the forehead, nose, and chin, it’s going to make a huge impact. This formula, for example, doesn’t just camp down oil production. It also blurs pores and wrinkles.
It makes the job that much easier for your foundation. Moreover, it will make your foundation go further you won’t have to use as much.
The primer is slightly tinted, in just a little bit goes a long way. Users recommend allowing it to dry completely, which takes anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes.
ETUDE HOUSE Sebum Soak Pore Primer
Here’s one of our favorite Korean primers. It smooths uneven texture and blurs pores and blemishes.
Furthermore, it mattifies the skin by absorbing sebum. The layer of primer keeps the oil from making foundation and concealer go patchy.
It’s a transparent formula that feels lightweight and silky on the skin.
ETUDE HOUSE Sebum Soak T-zone Base
If you have very oily skin, we highly recommend this special primer. It goes on first before regular primer or foundation.
Apply it to the forehead, nose, and chin. Tap it on and let it dry.
It creates a barrier and tamps down sebum like nobody’s business. The formula features witch hazel and tea tree to manage acne, too.
Testimonials from customers are filled with praise for the product. They say the oil control lasts throughout the day, saving them from having to blot.
ETUDE HOUSE Zero Sebum Drying Powder
Which Korean product is best for oily skin? We wholly recommend the Zero Sebum Drying Powder from Etude House. It works so well that it helps reduce oiliness even after you remove the makeup.
If you’ve struggled with blotting, touching up, and reapplying makeup, you’ve got to try this powder. It will keep you as smooth and clean as a china doll.
The formula is 80% mineral with cotton extract and sugar polymer. The ingredients work together to absorb oil without clogging pores or clumping. There’s no white cast, either.
It’s free of talc, artificial fragrances, synthetic pigment, and animal derivatives.
We’re fans of K-beauty cosmetics because they perform well and promote healthy skin.
We hope the reviews helped you find the best Korean foundation for your complexion. If so, please feel free to tell us about it in the comments below.
1. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/oily-skin-how-to-make-makeup-last#1 by Ayren Jackson-Cannady, accessed March 17, 2021