Mattifying Powders for Anyone with Oily Skin

In my experience, there's no faster way to ruin a layer of level foundation or a coat of imperceptible concealer than by introducing excess oil to the mix. What was once a smooth canvas of a complexion is now caked and creasy. That's why I swear by blotting papers (any standard set will do) and powders. They offer a quick and easy way to dial back shiny, oil-slick skin. I use both products in conjunction—blotting papers first, then powder afterward—to soak up excess sebum on my skin, do away with any tell-tale shine, and mattify my complexion. Because I love the way my skin looks after my ritualistic midday touchup—blurred and smooth, almost like velvet—I rounded up my favorite powders for oily-skinned folks like myself.

Best Overall: RMS Beauty "Un" Powder

Seeing as RMS is one of team ishonest's favorite natural brands, it's only fitting that its anti-shine powder makes the list. Although it comes with a puff applicator, which is designed to provide an even veil of powder, I like to use the brand's skin2skin Blush Brush—it deposits just enough of the product to take away shine without adding any weight or chalkiness to my skin.

Best for All Skin Tones: Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Powder

Fenty takes the power of a blotting sheet and puts it in a powder. We like the fact that it's made with inclusivity in mind, in that it's formulated to be traceless on all skin tones.

Best Tinted: Rimmel Stay Matte Long Lasting Pressed Powder

If I'm opting for a tinted moisturizer or a BB cream instead of a full-coverage foundation, I'll reach for this mattifying powder. It's tinted, so it provides a little bit of extra coverage without any weight. Because I have a minor case of rosacea, I like the fact that this product hides any excess shine and redness, simultaneously.

Best Loose Powder: MAC Loose Blot Powder

Usually, I prefer a pressed blotting powder, since loose powders can be hard to control, but this one was love at first try. The finely-milled powder is exceptionally light and silky without compromising on an oil-absorbing ability. I just tap the powder out into the lid, swirl my brush, and dust it across my T- zone for major shine reduction (I just have to make sure not to pour out more than I bargained for and create a small dust storm in my bathroom).

Best Waterproof: Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Setting Powder

I have two different powders I bring out when I need all of the extra mattifying power I can get, and this is one of them. It's less silky than other powders I've tried (probably because it's purportedly waterproof?), but it keeps shine at bay for hours at a time. I reach for this one if it's a particularly hot day in LA (during which I'm more prone to excess oil moving my makeup around).

Best Long-Lasting: SETZ Blot + Setting Powder

This is the other mattifying powder I reach for when I need long-lasting anti- shine results. It's unlike any others I own; instead of a single container, it's separated into individually wrapped packets. Each packet contains a small dose of mattifying powder along with a sponge-like applicator. Simply rip the package open, shake the powder loose, then dab it into your skin with the applicator. It smoothes makeup and takes away shine for hours. Again, the actual powder isn't a lightweight as others on the market, but it's worth it for the long-lasting results and velvety-smooth finish it offers.

What To Look For in a Powder for Oily Skin


Make sure you choose a formula that is finely-milled and lightweight. This will help keep your look in place while sitting comfortably on skin.


Looking to add a little bit of extra coverage in addition to shine control? Select a powder that's your skin tone (or one shade lighter) as it may add an extra bit of coverage. Translucent powder is also a great option, if you want to absorb any excess oil from your foundation.


If you want to keep oil at bay, opt for a matte or translucent powder (versus one with illuminating additives). These will keep you shine and worry-free.

Powder may help control shine and even out skin tone. Some powders may also help keep excess oil in check and absorb any unwanted greasiness.

You may use face powders daily, but don't use too much. Overdoing it with powder can cause your foundation or concealer to look cakey.

Face powders are a trusted sidekick of those with oily skin since they help keep excess oil at bay. This usually prevents new breakouts from forming.

Smith WP. Epidermal and dermal effects of topical lactic acid. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 1996;35(3): 388-391.

Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The roles of vitamin c in skin health. Nutrients. 2017;9(8): 866.

Read more on: oil, skin, oily skin