It's hard to find a foundation that doesn't dry out your skin.

Most foundations are oil-based and can end up making your skin feel dry and tight.

We will review 8 of the best water-based foundations that will keep your skin hydrated all day long. These foundations are lightweight, blend easily, and won't cause your skin to feel oily or heavy.

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How We Choose the Best Water-Based Foundation for You

The world of skincare can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to finding the perfect foundation. With so many options on the market, it's hard to know which one is right for you.

That's why we've done the work for you! Our team of beauty experts has combed through hundreds of reviews on Amazon to select the 8 best water-based foundations available.

When selecting these products, we considered numerous factors, including skin type, coverage level, finish, and price.

This way, we can ensure that whatever your individual needs are in a foundation (whether you're looking for light or full coverage or just want something that hydrates your skin while still providing great coverage), there is an option available for you.

COVERGIRL Clean Makeup Foundation

Best Non-Comedogenic Foundation

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Why We Love It

For a look that's totally yours and not weighed down by heavy makeup, look no further than COVERGIRL Clean Makeup Foundation.

This lightweight, water-based foundation blends effortlessly into your skin to give you the look of visibly smoother, younger-looking skin without blocking your pores.

The non-comedogenic formula means you won't suffer from an accumulation of residual makeup, so you can keep running around looking flawless.

Available in both matte and sensitive formulas, this clean foundation is sure to revolutionize your go-to makeup routine.

What You Should Know

With COVERGIRL Clean Makeup Foundation, you can obtain the perfect complexion you've always desired - why not make every day look like a good skin day? Get ready to experience medium-light coverage and a natural finish.

Plus, its water-based, lightweight formula allows your skin to breathe so you can remain flawless every day. And don’t worry about it clogging up your pores—this foundation is non-comedogenic for easy wear, no matter the humidity or temperature.

Keep your makeup looking fresh with COVERGIRL Clean Makeup Foundation.

Kosas Foundation

Best Skin-Improving Foundation

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Why We Love It

With Summer just around the corner and warm (sometimes, too warm!) days already upon us, the Kosas Foundation is the perfect choice when it comes to a medium coverage foundation with built-in SPF protection.

Plus, you don't need to worry about it looking heavy or cakey, either. Not only does it have an incredibly natural finish and feel like a second skin, but its powerhouse blend of hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, peptides, squalane, vitamin B5, arnica, and caffeine work together to hydrate, visibly smooth texture, and minimize pores.

So don't wait until then - get access to that glow-up now with Koas Foundation by your side.

What You Should Know

Kosas Foundation has been clinically tested and is safe for sensitive skin, so you can feel secure when applying it. The lightweight formula makes it neither stiff nor cakey while providing breathable and comfortable coverage.

With its 96% natural origin ingredients, Vegan and cruelty-free properties, plus the absence of mineral oil, talc, silicones, fragrance, and more, this foundational product is a great choice for many users.

For an airbrushed finish, we recommend partnering the foundation with a Revealer Dual-Ended Makeup Blender.

Harvest Natural Beauty Foundation

Best Organic Liquid Foundation

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Why We Love It

Harvest Natural Beauty Foundation works to provide a full coverage experience with a naturally derived and certified organic product.

It includes collagen, vitamin E, and aloe vera to treat your skin while also helping to manage redness and improving your skin's natural tone and texture.

Not only does it provide a full coverage look for up to 16 hours, but it is non-toxic, vegan, gluten-free, and sustainably formulated, ensuring that you can maximize your beauty without the presence of parabens, petroleum, PEGs/GMOs/mercury/ Phthlates/Diazolidinyl Urea/Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Propylene Glycol or EDTA's.

Leaping Bunny Certified, this foundation is sure to provide both confidence and protection from harsh ingredients all day long.

What You Should Know

This certified organic liquid foundation is lightweight and color-adjustable, so you can find your ideal shade.

It also packs a powerful punch of Vitamin E and other organic ingredients to smooth, moisturize and nourish your face. It contains no harsh chemicals or pore-clogging ingredients, making it suitable for even those with sensitive skin.

With its impressive list of all-natural ingredients, this foundation is definitely the way to go for flawless coverage while taking care of yourself

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Foundation

Best Moisturizing Foundation

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Why We Love It

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Foundation is a perfect choice for those with dry skin. Its lightweight formula works by using hyaluronic acid to form a barrier against moisture loss, helping keep skin feeling hydrated and plump.

The 1.0oz tinted product also evens out complexions as it boosts hydration - leaving you looking glowing and radiant.

With its incredibly bendable, long-lasting finish, this foundation provides great coverage without being heavy or cakey- perfect for anyone looking to treat dry skin while letting their natural beauty shine through.

What You Should Know

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Foundation offers ultra-hydrating and lightweight coverage that is ideal for all skincare routines.

Non-comedogenic and oil-free, the foundation is even better for your skin than not wearing it at all.

Not only does this amazing product bring refreshing hydration to your skin for up to 24 hours - but it also comes in 10 different blendable shades that provide enough coverage to help even out your complexion.

You won't look back when you do this moisture-quenching makeup designed to keep your skin healthy and looking its best.

Carter Beauty Foundation

Best Ultra Hydrating Foundation

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Why We Love It

Carter Beauty Foundation provides the perfect foundation for any look. Its sheer formula creates an impression of no-makeup makeup while still providing coverage and concealing blemishes.

This drugstore water-based foundation is ultra-hydrating and won't weigh your skin down with a caked-on feeling.

It is designed to provide a poreless finish and moisturize your skin at the same time, perfect for anyone looking for a natural dewy look that covers up redness and discoloration.

For those searching for lightweight coverage, this foundation is an ideal option to achieve maximum results with minimal effort.

What You Should Know

Carter Beauty Foundation promises an incredibly long-lasting makeup look with its blendable, buildable superfine formula that can be applied in thin layers for a barely-there finish or layered for a dewy, medium coverage.

The beauty of it is you don't have to sacrifice quality to save money; most products are Earth-friendly and diverse and deliver the desired results without breaking the bank.

Designed in Ireland, Carter Beauty's cosmetics prove popular for modern makeup lovers everywhere who want trendy products without having to pay too much.

Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation

Best Antioxidant Protection Foundation

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Why We Love It

Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation is an excellent addition to any beauty routine. It provides a natural, second-skin finish and up to 12-hour coverage, so you can look and feel your best all day long.

The formula is created with vegan and cruelty-free ingredients that include emollients for hydration, as well as Vitamins C, E, and F, which not only moisturize but also protect against environmental stressors.

Applying it is easy: use a foundation brush, sponge, or fingertips and blend until smooth; layer for more coverage if desired.

With its antioxidant protection and long-lasting coverage, this water-based and oil-free foundation will help you create the perfect complexion every day.

What You Should Know

Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation is the perfect addition to anyone's makeup routine.

It was created with clean ingredients that are free of potential irritants like talc, parabens, fragrance, mineral oil, gluten, sulfates, and phthalates.

This means it's gentle on the skin for even sensitive people. Moreover, this foundation creates a natural-looking coverage, and its creamy formulation ensures a comfortable application process and an impressive lasting finish without any creasing or caking.

e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation

Best for Uneven Skin Tone

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Why We Love It

e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation is the perfect choice for hydrated, luminous skin all day - without sacrificing coverage and a soft finish! The lightweight liquid naturally blends into the skin to create a natural-looking canvas and improve uneven skin tone and texture.

Available in the shade Beige, which has light cool pink undertones, this foundation has medium-to-full buildable coverage that effortlessly stays on your skin throughout the day.

It's oil-free, so it won't clog pores or cause excess oil or greasiness, and the added glycerin helps to restore and soften your complexion.

With e.l.f.'s Flawless Finish Foundation, you can achieve an even, glowing look - minus any of the heavy, cakey feel sometimes associated with the foundation.

What You Should Know

The e.l.f Flawless Finish Foundation is perfect for creating a beautiful semi-matte satin finish that will last all day long.

It blends easily into the skin, making it ideal for all skin types, and provides sheer coverage when mixed with the daily hydration moisturizer or added glow when combined with the beautifully bare natural glow lotion.

Combining two products to create your own personalized foundation look is both simple and cost-efficient, guaranteeing you a beautiful complexion.

Ere Perez Foundation

Best Cruelty-Free Foundation

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Why We Love It

Ere Perez's foundation is perfect for achieving a natural glow without ever feeling caked on.

The lightweight, water-based vegan formula contains incredible ingredients like quinoa and blackcurrant to help heal inflammation and increase elasticity while providing your skin with the antioxidants and vitamins it needs to stay healthy.

As though that wasn't enough, the light coverage it offers isn’t just great for keeping you looking gorgeous all day - it's easy to apply and gives you the perfect polished complexion, whatever your skin type.

What You Should Know

The Ere Perez Foundation is an amazing product for achieving a beautiful, matte finish.

It has a water-based consistency that makes the foundation glide on easily and blend into your skin, rejuvenating while helping to reduce redness, pigmentation, and fine lines.

It provides light to medium coverage and is perfect for those who want an even complexion without caking their face in foundation.

All in all, it's the ideal product for anyone looking for a natural glow that won't budge throughout the day.

Best Water-Based Foundation - Buying Guide

When it comes to finding the perfect foundation can be tricky. There are so many different types of foundations, ranging from oil and silicone-based foundations to water and cream-based products.

If you’re looking for a light and natural foundation, then a water-based formula is your best bet. Here’s our comprehensive guide on how to choose the right water-based foundation for you.

Skin Type

The first step in choosing any type of foundation is to consider your skin type.

Generally, people with oily or combination skin will benefit most from a water-based or oil-free formula, as these formulas tend to be lighter and more breathable than other types of foundation.

If you have dry skin, however, you may find that oils or silicone help add a bit of extra hydration and nourishment.


Once you’ve established your skin type, it’s time to decide how much coverage you want from your foundation.

Some water-based formulas come with light coverage, while others offer fuller coverage that better conceals blemishes or dark spots.

It’s important to note that full coverage tends to be harder to achieve with a water-based formula than an oil-based one, so if full coverage is what you need, be sure to read through product reviews beforehand.


There are countless ingredients used in different types of foundations – some good for the skin while others less so.

When shopping for a water-based foundation specifically, pay attention to the ingredients list and look out for natural items such as aloe vera and Hyaluronic Acid.

They can help keep your acne-prone skin feeling hydrated and nourished throughout the day. Avoid anything too heavy, like mineral oil or synthetic fragrances, which could end up clogging your pores.

Sun Protection

It goes without saying that sun protection should always factor into any skincare routine – especially when wearing makeup.

Look out for foundations with SPF in their formulation, as this will provide an extra layer of protection against sun damage throughout the day.

Make sure not to miss any parts when applying though; no SPF is 100% effective unless applied properly.


Price can sometimes be tricky when comparing different foundations; a higher price doesn't necessarily mean better quality, but cheaper options can also contain fewer beneficial ingredients (or none at all).

Deciding on a budget ahead of time makes it easier narrow down suitable options; remember that just because something costs more doesn’t mean it will work better for you specifically.

Testing It Out

Before making a final decision on any type of foundation, make sure you put it through its paces by testing it on both clean skin and over moisturizer/primer, etc.,

This gives you a chance to see how long-lasting it is as well as how well it matches your natural skin tone, etc.

Don't forget: whatever works great today might not work tomorrow as weather conditions change - so make sure to stock up accordingly.

Best Water-Based Foundation - FAQs

Finding the right foundation can be a challenge, especially when there are so many different types of formulas available.

Water-based foundations offer a lightweight and natural look that is perfect for those with oily or combination skin, but how do you know which one to choose?

In this section, we will answer some frequently asked questions about what to look out for when shopping for these products.

With our help, you’ll be able to find the perfect product that will give your complexion a healthy glow without making it feel heavy or greasy.

Are water-based foundations good for my skin?

Water-based foundations are a great option for those looking for a product that is lightweight, breathable, and won't clog your pores.

Water-based foundations provide sheer, natural-looking coverage that still allows your skin to breathe without sacrificing the desired level of coverage.

These foundations also blend in seamlessly with your skin tone, giving you an even and flawless finish. They are perfect for normal, combination, or oily skin types, as they won’t leave your face feeling greasy or heavy.

Is a water-based foundation better than an oil-based one?

It really depends on your specific needs and skin type to avoid any skin concerns. Oil-based foundations usually offer more coverage, but they can be difficult to apply and can feel greasy or heavy on the skin, especially for those with oily skin types.

Water-based foundations are lighter in texture than oil-based ones, so they are a great option if you want a natural finish that won’t feel overly greasy or heavy. They are also more breathable, so your skin can still breathe even when wearing foundation.

For those with combination or oily skin types, this is an extremely desirable feature.

Does a water-based foundation provide enough coverage?

Yes. Water-based foundations are designed to provide sheer, natural-looking coverage that won’t cake or look heavy.

These foundations also blend in seamlessly with your skin tone, giving you an even and flawless finish. So while they may not offer as much coverage as oil-based foundations, they can still provide the desired level of coverage without looking cakey.

What ingredients should I look out for when choosing a water-based foundation?

When choosing a water-based foundation, look out for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, which can help to hydrate the skin and protect it from environmental damage.

You should also make sure that the product is free of parabens, fragrances, sulfates, or other potentially irritating or harsh chemicals.

Check the ingredients list to make sure that your chosen foundation is packed full of nourishing and beneficial ingredients that will help to keep your skin looking its best.

By selecting a product with natural, non-toxic ingredients, you can be sure that you are providing your skin with just what it needs.

Should I get a foundation with SPF in it?

Yes, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. If you opt for a water-based foundation, look out for one that contains SPF, as this will give you an extra layer of protection against the sun's harmful rays.

It’s also a good idea to use a separate sunscreen if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, as foundation-based SPF is not enough to provide adequate protection.

How do I find the right shade of foundation for me?

Finding the perfect shade of foundation can be tricky, so it’s important to take your time and find a product that matches your oily and combination skin tone perfectly.

If you’re shopping online, try to read customer reviews about the shades and look for swatches of products on different skin tones. In a store, you should always test out the foundation on your jawline to make sure that it matches your skin perfectly.

Do I need to apply moisturizer before wearing my waterproof makeup?

Yes. It’s important to apply a moisturizer before wearing any type of makeup, as this helps to create a barrier between your skin and the product, preventing it from being absorbed too quickly.

This is especially true for water-based foundations, as they can absorb moisture from your skin if you don’t moisturize beforehand.

How long does good quality water-based makeup last on my face throughout the day?

High-quality water-based foundations can last up to 8 hours on the skin, depending on your individual skin type and how you apply it. To get the best results, make sure you are using a primer before applying the foundation and setting it with a powder afterward.

This will help to ensure that your foundation stays in place all day and doesn’t start to fade or slip off.

Can I use a water-based foundation for both day and night wear?

Yes. Water-based foundations are versatile enough to be used for both day and night wear, depending on the coverage you desire.

If you want a more natural look during the day, opt for a sheer layer of foundation with light coverage. For nighttime events or special occasions when you need full coverage, you can apply a few extra layers of foundation for a more dramatic look.


Water-based foundations are a great choice for those who want lightweight coverage that still provides the desired level of coverage.

When selecting a water-based foundation, it’s important to look out for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, which can help to nourish and protect your skin.

Also, make sure that you choose a product with natural, non-toxic ingredients, and check for SPF if you plan on wearing your foundation outdoors.

Always test out the shade of the product before purchasing to make sure it matches your skin perfectly. With these tips in mind, you can be sure to find the perfect water-based foundation for your needs.