When it comes to having a favourite foundation, everyone has different needs and wants. My top priority? A natural foundation that’s good for my skin; I want something that makes my skin look better without compromising its health. For me, natural is the only way forward.
But, what is a natural foundation? Like you’d expect, it’s a formula that is predominantly made up of natural ingredients. The benefits? A high-naturality formula means that it will include less man-made ingredients such as parabens, alcohol, phthalates, fragrances, and mineral oil known to irritate the skin. Translated, this means there’ll be little to no chance of sensitivity as a result of using it from the get-go. Even when you take it off, your skin will look and feel just as good, if not better than it did before.
Where can you find one? Don’t worry, I’ve shortlisted three of my favourites; in this edit, you’ll see my top trio of natural foundations from the likes of GUERLAIN, Vichy and bareMinerals put to the test with some before and after shots so you can see the results first-hand. From glow to matte, sheer to full-coverage, powder to liquid foundations, I can promise that they’ll be something within my line-up to suit your foundation preference. Now, I’ll let the numbers do the talking…
Best Natural Foundation Under £20
The 70% Mineral Water Foundation
Coverage: Light but buildable
Finish: Fresh-glow with no shine
Longevity: 16 hours – I touched up after 8 hours
Values: Hypo-allergenic, paraben-free, non-comedogenic, dermatologically-tested
Best For: Dry, dehydrated and sensitive skin
Meet my everyday foundation: Vichy Mineralblend Hydrating fluid. This foundation bagged a place as my day foundation all because of its make up of 70% hydrating Vichy Thermal Water (a key ingredient in their iconic Mineral 89 skincare collection). The natural mineral pigments are second to none for creating a smooth finish, as well as being gentle on the skin.
Vichy experts paid a visit to Escentual HQ before this foundation first released last year, and I’ve been a sworn advocate ever since; I have persuaded several friends to buy it as a result (with glowing reviews I’ll add). As you can see from my before and after shots, my skin tends to air on the dull, tired and sometimes dry side. So, a glow foundation with additional hydrating natural hyaluronic acid is perfect for waking up my complexion. The lightweight fluid seamlessly unifies my skin tone; and if for whatever reason, my skin isn’t at it’s best, its buildable coverage stands up to the test against any imperfections. Its watery texture takes a few seconds to buff in, but when it dries down, there’s no shine. Your glow will come to life throughout the day, but oily skin types may find themselves powdering at midday.
Note: Oily skin-types, if you like the sound of a mineral base and glow finish, and you prefer the matte look. Why not pair it with the Vichy Mineralblend Healthy Glow Powder for a shineless glow?
Co-Editor Ceryn has dry, Eczema-prone skin, and she loves it. See her before and after shots using Vichy Mineralblend foundation with a full review.
Best Natural Foundation Under £25
The 90% Vitamin and Mineral Foundation
Coverage: Medium to full (buildable)
Finish: Natural matte
Texture: Pressed powder
Longevity: 12-hour long wear – I touched up after 8 hours
Values: Hypo-allergenic, paraben-free, non-comedogenic, dermatologically-tested and cruelty-free.
Best For: Oily skin types
Known as a trail-blazer in the world of clean beauty, it’s no surprise that one of bareMinerals foundations is featured in my good for skin line-up. bareMinerals’ BAREPRO Powder Foundation is a great option if you’re on the hunt for a matte or powdered foundation that’s also good for your skin. I’ll confess, I usually steer well-clear of powder because I tend to opt for a liquid glow foundation. But, its 90% mineral and vitamin formula pushed me to try it – and I’m so glad I did!
The BAREPRO’s skin-loving formula is my choice in the summer months when my skin needs some extra help with shine and enlarged pores. Oily skin types will love the silica ingredient for absorbing excess oil, and will have mica to thank for the silky soft skin you’ll have afterwards.
Breathable and light, the powder mattifies, covers imperfections without looking cakey or feeling dry. Natural or full-coverage, the buildable formula lends itself to a full-face flawless foundation, or a light powder buffed into a tinted moisturiser or BB cream.
How does it wear? After a few hours your natural oils will start to peak through giving it an added glow – which you can correct using the mess-free touch-up sponge hidden inside the mirror compact. For me, a brush works best for first application; I like the finish to be lighter and more natural. And, for anyone who wants a full-coverage effect; a few swipes of the sponge will do the trick (or blot for precise touch-ups).
Tip: Use a damp brush or sponge before applying the Bare Pro foundation for extra coverage.
Best Natural Foundation Under £40
The 97% Natural Foundation
Coverage: Light to medium
Finish: Natural glow
Longevity: 16 hours – I touched up after 8 hours
Values: Hypo-allergenic, dermatologically-tested, alcohol-free, silicone-free, oil-free.
Best For: Dry and sensitive skin
If you’re anything like me, and your first thought when buying a foundation is whether it’s kind to skin, GUERLAIN L’Essentiel is for you. With an impressive 97% natural formula, it takes first prize for the highest percentage of naturality in this edit.
Throughout the day, L’Essentiel becomes more glowy as I wear it, giving my skin a naturally flawless appearance. And, thanks to antioxidants, probiotics and prebiotics (white cocoa beans and red algae ingredients), my skin is hydrated and nourished, even when I take my makeup off. As for protection? The foundation is infused with SPF 20, so my skin is shielded from harmful UV rays linked to premature ageing at all times.
If you have sensitive or dry skin, you may overlook foundations from high-end brands, but don’t dismiss this one. A closer inspection of the ingredients will show you that there’s no alcohol present, so you can be sure of no irritation. It has a pleasant neutral aroma, which follows on from the clean feeling of the foundation; a good-to-skin scent that GUERLAIN describes as a musky-woody fragrance with white almond, white tea and sandalwood facets.
Read why this formula is even gentle and hydrating enough for Co-Editor’s Ceryn’s Eczema-prone skin, here.