Powder vs. Liquid Foundation: Which One You Should Choose

Foundation is one of the trickiest makeup purchases you will encounter and it can take so much trial and error to find an option that actually works well for your skin. Not only are there a seemingly endless amount of foundations to choose from, but there are also heaps of brands that all do things a bit differently with their formulas.

Furthermore, there are two categories of foundations, which include conventional and natural options. Conventional foundations are ones that are not necessarily made with natural ingredients and contain a lot of chemicals, preservatives, fragrances, and more.

Natural and organic foundations are made with wholesome ingredients, use natural dyes, and there are limited to no chemicals and synthetic preservatives. It is important to choose a foundation that is natural and organic first and foremost.

On the other side, you also have two main types of foundations, which are liquid foundation and powder foundation. Both of these forms of foundation have their benefits and their drawbacks. It will completely depend on the type of skin you have and the type of finish you are seeking.

In this post, we will explore all there is to know about both liquid and powder foundations and how to choose which option is the best for your skin type!

Liquid Foundation

Applying Liquid Foundation

A liquid foundation is a great option if you are looking for a glowy and dewier look to your skin. Liquid tends to leave a little bit of a sheen on the skin that gives you that natural pretty glow. It is important to keep in mind that if you have skin on the oilier side, you may run into some issues with liquid foundation.

The combination of liquid foundation and oily skin can mean your skin will appear wet, oily, or sweaty looking throughout the day. To combat this issue, you may want to use a powder over your liquid foundation to minimize the oily effect.

You can also carry around oil-blotting wipes for your skin. The sheets will soak up the excess oil that lies on top of your skin leaving a smooth and matte finish to your skin.

Liquid foundation is better to use if you have dry skin. The liquid provides extra moisture to dry skin. Using a powder foundation on dry skin can make your skin feel and look even drier. The powder will also adhere to dry skin and make it look flaky and unflattering.

A liquid foundation also tends to provide more full coverage when compared with powder. Depending on the type of liquid foundation you buy, it can be quite thick and cover pretty much any flaw on your skin. A liquid is also easier to build layers with, creating an even fuller coverage look. The liquid is also more effective at filling in fine lines and wrinkles if you are looking to cover some signs of aging.

You also have the option to choose a lightweight liquid foundation if you are simply looking to even out your skin tone, but do not want that heavy look and feel. BB and CC creams are a type of liquid foundation that provides light coverage, even skin tone, and give you a pretty dewy complexion that looks lovely on everyone.

Powder Foundation

Applying Powder Foundation

Powder foundation is another great option, yet completely different than a liquid foundation. Powder foundation generally provides light coverage and it not as effective at covering marks and blemishes. If you have clear skin and are not looking to cover spots and pimples, a powder is a great lightweight option.

Furthermore, if you have oily skin, a powder foundation is better for your skin type. Powder foundation has no oil, so it does not make your skin look even more greasy than it already is. Powder also helps absorb excess oil, so your skin does not look too greasy and shiny throughout the day.

Keep in mind that while powder foundation has this advantage, especially for oily skin, the powder foundation is less blendable and can go on patchy and streaky if you are not careful. Using a good powder brush, having exfoliated moisturized skin, and a color that matches your skin nearly exactly can all help with the blotchiness issue of powder foundation.

A powder will give your skin a matte finish in general, but you can find powder foundation options that come in an illuminating finish. Which gives you skin more of a glow. Using a liquid foundation with oily skin can often be a disaster. It will make your skin look overly greasy.

Oily skin is also more prone to acne and pimples, so using a liquid can make your acne even worse due to the excess amount of oil. Therefore, a powder option is more effective at keeping your acne and breakouts at bay.

Ingredients found in liquid foundation vs powder foundation

Overall, there are no strict ingredient differences between liquid and powder foundations. The ingredients in each option are going to vary and differ by brand. Of course, liquid foundation will have certain liquid ingredients that a powder foundation does not have. These ingredients may include, water, moisturizers, or different types of natural oils like coconut oil or apricot oil.

A powder foundation is not going to have liquid ingredients since it is a dry powdery substance. Powder foundations may include ingredients like clays or pigments in powdered forms from minerals to produce the skin tone color of the foundation.

Therefore, if you are trying to choose a foundation that is the healthiest and safest, picking between liquid foundation and powder foundation is not going to make much of a difference. The difference between each option is going to go by brand and what ingredients they are choosing to use.

Since both options have similar ingredients, you need to use the foundation you are the most comfortable with and what works the best for your skin type.


Is liquid foundation bad for your skin?

No, liquid foundation is not bad for your skin. When you use a natural and organic liquid foundation with healthy ingredients, it can actually be good for your skin. Always remove foundation at night before bed though.

Do I need powder over liquid foundation?

You can if you want, but it is not necessary. However, putting powder over liquid foundation, if you have oily skin, can prevent your skin from getting too shiny throughout the course of the day.

Is pressed powder the same as powder foundation?

Powder foundation can come in the form of loose powder or a pressed powder that is compacted into a small container. So, pressed powder is the same thing as powder foundation – it is just a particular form of powder foundation.


With all that being said, there is truly no hard and fast rule for picking out a foundation for your skin. Sometimes a liquid foundation and a special formula will work perfectly for your acne-prone oily skin. Other times a powder foundation may work great for drier skin and for those looking for lighter coverage without any heavy greasy feel.

In the end, it all depends on what you are looking for and what feels the best on your skin! However, if you are torn between what to do or where to start, the tips above will provide you with the ideal starting point.

If you are looking for some healthy natural and organic foundations, check out these best options here! If you are feeling in the DIY mood, you can even learn to make your own foundation right at home.

This article was last updated on May 6, 2022 .

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