I was blessed with oily skin and a shelf full of the best makeup setting sprays out there… that only added hydration and moisture. Aka, they did a whole lotta nothing. Hell, they sometimes made my skin even shinier. Dewy = like I’d just run a marathon in 110° weather.
So, I just didn’t wear setting spray for years, terrified it would make my oily skin look all the more obvious. (I know, please don’t murder me, I was a fool.)
I have since stopped being ignorant and invested in a variety of oil-controlling setting sprays, and it’s been a TOTAL game-changer. My makeup lasts forever, and I don’t look like I was doing push-ups during dinner.
Wondering what did it? Let me enlighten you with the products that have filled my cabinet multiple times, because I cannot live without them. (Like, my makeup literally cannot live unless I want it to smudge in an hour.) You’re welcome, oily friends. Let’s banish sebum forever.
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It’s a NYX-Certified Cult Favorite for a reason. This setting spray is lightweight, so you won’t notice it on top of your makeup; still, it’ll keep your whole face in place with a matte finish. With 4.5 stars out of 578 reviews, you best believe it works.
While they have plenty of options based on your needs, Urban Decay truly comes through with their De-Slick Oil Control Spray. It lowers the temperature of your other makeup, so it’s less likely to slide off, while also mattifying your face – aka, it works double time to give you that flawless finish.
Oh Patrick Starr, you absolute genius. Don’t settle for a setting spray that leaves you a lil gooey after supposedly clearing up that oily skin. On ‘Til Dawn instead uses ingredients such as witch hazel to even out texture and banish oil, while also smelling fresh with notes of green tea, cucumber, citrus, and melon.
Yes, it’s important to have your makeup stay throughout the day, but it’s also super important to protect it. And not just from the sun – I’m talking blue light, too! e.l.f. has you covered with their Stay All Day mist, which will protect you using Glucosylrutin, a powerful antioxidant. Throw in some soothing aloe and vitamin-filled elderflower extract, and you have a mist that sets, protects, and banishes extra oil.
It’s the professional Porefessional, here because its popularity is well-deserved. It meets all of Ulta’s standards to be considered “Clean,” using ingredients like protective and reparative vitamin E and softening castor oil. Lasting for up to 16 hours, your oil will be kept in control while your makeup will be kept in place.
If you’re looking for a setting spray that won’t just mattify your face, but will also provide it with delicious ingredients rather than acne-infestors, Makeup Revolution’s Conceal and Define is for you. Coming with soothing ingredients like aloe and horse chestnut extract, protective vitamin E, and moisturizing vitamin B5 and sunflower seed oil, you’ll feel comfortable instead of creasing. Plus, 16-hour wear won’t feel like a thing.
A matte finish for up to 16 hours? That’s an entire day of a non-greasy face, and we’re a little obsessed with that. It’s dermatologist- and allergy-tested, receiving approval for sensitive skin – aka, even those who tend to feel itchy or red after setting will look all-natural. This is surprising, considering it has talc in it, but we trust derms wholeheartedly, so we’re recommending it.
I love the tongue-in-cheek name, because, yes, I will absolutely be thanking my makeup setting spray after a wild night out. Elizabeth Mott’s setting spray is paraben- and sulfate-free, as well as Leaping Bunny certified. The formula is practically weightless – spray it on and fuggedaboutit.
Need a soothing setting spray without 84,234 ingredients? L.A. Girl has you covered – literally – with theirs, which is also clean by Target’s standards. Just shake, apply, and enjoy a shine-free face with locked-in makeup. Glycerin and the botanical purslane provide the ultimate hydration, while provitamin B5 acts as a softening, conditioning anti-inflammatory.
I love when setting sprays have before and afters, showing the way they hit back at oil. And the one for Make Up For Ever’s option? Impressive, to say the least. You can thank aloe vera for its soothing, green lentil extract to perform magic on pore size, and mattifying powders to slick back the oil and give you your best face.
You’ll often find cosmetics that fight oil by using alcohol. It works, but it also totally dries skin out, which can make it red and flaky – ugh. Cover FX’s setting spray uses kaolin clay instead to stop and absorb excess sebum, and ancient African tree bark helps by reducing pores’ appearance and minimizing shine.
One ingredient that I personally don’t believe receives enough love: vitamin B. But in Beauty Bay’s Priming Mist, the vitamin – specifically, vitamin B6 – gets the spotlight. Helping to fight redness, acne, inflammation, and hormonal skin problems, this setting spray is the one you want when your hormones are acting up and your face won’t quit that oil-slick shit.
If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my setting spray preferences, which obvs include Ulta’s own Wannabe Free. Whether as a primer or setting spray, Wannabe Free protects makeup and controls shine for an all-day application. Catch the conditioning vitamin B5, soothing aloe, and exfoliating sugarcane extract do the heavy lifting, while chondrus crispus creates a protective film that battles dryness. Look dry without being dry, ya know?
It should be obvious that a mattifying setting spray shouldn’t contain oil, right? And yet… but that’s not the case here, in Natural Outcome’s mattifying setting spray! That doesn’t mean it isn’t soothing (it’s got aloe) or hydrating (hello rose!) – it simply means that witch hazel dries out that oil that doesn’t belong. Throw in pomegranate for its anti-aging and anti-acne properties, and you have the perfect vegan, oil-free setting spray – for less than $10!
If you still don’t trust that talc in Maybelline’s mixture, let us introduce you to beyou. Their setting spray is more of a facial mist, helping to soothe with glycerin, battle dryness with chondrus crispus extract, and revitalizes with green tea – which also helps fight environmental damage. It mattifies skin by removing excess oil and blurring pores, so your complexion? Not a drip of sebum in sight.
Unlike the vast majority of the setting sprays on this list, Valjean Labs uses kaolin to dry out skin and fight excess sebum. However, you don’t have to worry about a dry face – vitamin E doesn’t just protect, but moisturizes, too. The result: a matte face with locked-in makeup that lasts for hours without drying out your skin in the process.
Do you have a setting spray you love for your oily skin? Share with us below!