Need full coverage? Redness relief? Something super gentle? Here are foundation picks from the pros.

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For those with easily irritated skin, it can be hard to find good makeup, and harder yet to find the right foundation.

To help, we reached out to skin experts Dendy Engelman, a dermatologist, and Derek Selby, Cover FX’s global ambassador, for their guidance on choosing foundations that won’t cause a reaction on sensitive skin.

Overall, Engelman advises users to “opt for mineral or powder foundations, unless the formula specifies that it is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and designed for sensitive skin.”

Selby suggests looking for a formula that contains anti-inflammatory properties that “reduce redness and inflammation in the skin.”

Here are some specific recommendations for fragile-skin foundations.


Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation ($42 at Cover FX foundations are free of mineral oil, fragrance, parabens, gluten and talc. The foundation works to cover redness and blemishes, and it evens out skin tone, thanks to its buildable consistency.


Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full-Coverage Foundation SPF 15 ($39 at Free of mineral oil, this hypoallergenic foundation provides a full-coverage matte finish that smooths over blemishes and redness. The formula is made with Amazonian clay to prevent oil buildup.


Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 20 ($40 at “Mineral and powder formulas sit on the surface of the skin and are less likely to get into the pores and cause irritation,” Engelman says. She specifically recommends using this loose powder foundation from Elizabeth Arden with sea water minerals.


Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation ($42 at This powder foundation glides on easily for a non-cakey, buildable, light-to-full-coverage finish. A slight green tint counteracts pink patches.


Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation ($36 at Engelman suggests this oil-absorbing pressed powder as an alternative to loose-powder formulas. It provides buildable coverage without irritation thanks to its mineral oil-free, paraben-free and fragrance-free formula.