Water-Based VS Silicone Foundation Guide: How to Tell Which Is Which?

Have you ever stopped to consider what formula your foundation is and if it’s best suited for your skin type? If not, you could be missing out on a flawless foundation finish you didn’t even realize was possible! We’re discussing Water-Based VS Silicone Foundation, how to tell which is which, and what formula is best suited for your skin type.

Say bye-bye to foundation pilling and hello to your best glam yet.

What Is Silicone Foundation?

You might be surprised to know that you already have beauty products containing silicone lining your shelf! Silicone – derived from silica, is a popular ingredient added to cosmetic beauty products, from moisturizers, foundations, to hair care. Silicone gives the products a soft, smooth finish, thus feeling luxurious when applied to the skin. 

What Are The Benefits of Using a Silicone Foundation?

Besides the lush, smooth finish, there are other reasons to add a silicone-based foundation to your kit. There’s nothing worse than when your foundation sets into creases in your skin, especially under the eyes or in smile lines!

Well, silicone can actually fill in those creases and crevices in the skin. Plus, it can blur large pores, fine lines and conceal wrinkles leading to a smoother finish. 

Silicone also forms a barrier over your skin due to its large molecule size. ​​ As a result, it locks in moisture, preventing dehydrated, dry skin. Plus, it can protect your skin from environmental stressors like pollution and free radicals. 

Girl figuring out the Complete Guide to Finding Applying the Perfect Silicone Based Foundation

What Is Water-Based Foundation?

Water-based foundations typically contain little to no silicones or oils in their formula. Instead, they have a water base. (Some water-based foundations may contain silicones and oils. However, they’re usually listed way down in the ingredients list in small amounts). Since water is the main ingredient, you’ll find water-based foundations come in liquid formulas. 

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Water-Based Foundation?

Water-based foundations suit a range of skin types! They’re perfect for those with dry skin as the water base provides much-needed hydration. Water-based foundations typically come in a lighter coverage, so they’re great for anyone looking for a lightweight, natural finish.

Since water-based foundations contain little to no oil in their formulas, they are also well suited for those with oily, acne-prone skin.

Water-Based VS Silicone Foundation: How to Tell Which Is Which?

Figuring out if a foundation is water or silicone-based is actually very simple! All you need to do is check the ingredients list and look for what ingredients feature at the top of the list.

If your foundation has ingredients ending in -cone/methicone or siloxane at the top of the ingredients list, it is a silicone-based foundation.

However, one important thing to note is that silicone-based foundations may also feature water as the first ingredient. But that doesn’t mean that the product is water-based! If you see silicones listed as the second or third ingredient, that signals that your foundation is indeed silicone-based. The water is what makes the product a “liquid formula.”

If your foundation features water as the first ingredient (without silicone near the top of the ingredients list), then your foundation is water-based.

Remember, your foundation may contain silicones at the end of the ingredients list. But since they are in such small quantities, your foundation is still considered water-based. Those with acne-prone skin shouldn’t stress about the added silicones since they’re not primary ingredients. 

Our Fave ​​Water-Based Foundations

Have you decided that water-based foundations are the best choice for you and your skin? Here are our top picks to help you shop for your new water-based foundation!

BareMinerals barePRO Liquid Foundation

BareMinerals is renowned for not only providing amazing coverage but for including good-for-you ingredients in all of its products. This oil-free foundation contains papaya enzymes that work to resurface uneven texture. PLUS the unique addition of natural bamboo stem extract that gives the foundation a smooth finish. It is ultra-lightweight on the skin but provides perfect photo-ready coverage that lasts all day. 

Clinique Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF15 

This multitasking foundation works to improve clarity, even out your skin tone, and diminish age spots, all while offering a flawless finish. The formula is lightweight, creamy, and hydrating, perfect for dry skin. On top of that, the foundation is oil-free, SPF15, and dermatologist-developed, making this a product you can feel really good about wearing.

Our Fave Silicone-Based Foundations

Want to make the switch to a silicone-based foundation? Get ready for smooth, flawless coverage with our silicone foundation recommendations!

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup

The famous Double Wear foundation by Estee Lauder has achieved cult status for a reason. It offers a flawless-looking natural finish that hides imperfections and blurs fine lines. It doesn’t smudge on clothes or come off in the humidity. Plus, it lasts for up to 15 hours and doesn’t require any touch-ups throughout the day. As the name suggests, it truly does stay in place!

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream

Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream is an award-winning foundation/CC cream/sunscreen! The CC cream gives you a luminous, flawless complexion, all while protecting your skin from UV damage and reducing the appearance of blemishes. On top of that, it’s infused with niacin, hyaluronic acid, collagen, peptides, antioxidants, and vitamins. What can’t it do!? With over 15,000 5-star reviews, you won’t be disappointed.

Water-Based VS Silicone Foundation: The Key To A Flawless Foundation Application

What is the key to a flawless foundation application? Using the right primer! If you want your foundation to look divine, you should always use primers with the same base as your foundation.

So, if you’re using a silicone-based foundation, opt for a silicone-based primer. And for water-based foundations, choose a water-based primer. 

If you use a water-based primer with a silicone-based foundation, it may cause the foundation to lift off and appear patchy and uneven. Trust us; this is a rule you won’t want to break. 

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About Jurnee

Jurnee is a writer and creative from New Zealand passionate about covering health, wellness, and fashion.