7 Best Waterproof Foundation Options for Sensitive Skin

7 tiny pools of liquid foundation in different shades aligned in a horizontal row against a white background

Our summer season is officially in full swing, and with the advent of this hot, sweaty season come some unique challenges for keeping your makeup looking refreshed and beautiful. Many people seek to swap out regular formulas for waterproof versions of their favorite products that can hold up against water, sweat, humidity, and even your sister’s wedding. What makes that waterproof mascara stick to your lashes like superglue? How can a waterproof foundation remain steadfast through several dips in a vacation hot tub? Let’s look at the unique attributes of waterproof makeup and what makes it different from traditional makeup products.

The Waterproof Difference

“Waterproof” refers to makeup and skincare products specifically formulated to resist moisture and remain in place when exposed to water. Waterproof formulas can contain ingredients that give them adhesive properties so they can stick to lashes, brows, lips, and skin. 

The degree of waterproofing varies from product to product. Some brands are intended for short periods of water or moisture exposure, such as crying or sweating. Others can be so highly sticky that they withstand laps in a swimming competition. You choose the coverage and long-wearing properties you need for your daily activities.

Waterproof Makeup Composition

Many companies that manufacture waterproof makeup use a combination of the following ingredients to create formulas that look good, resist moisture, and stay in place until you remove them.

Film Formers

A film former is the most popular kind of waterproofing ingredient. These synthetic molecules include PVP, acrylamides, silicones, copolymers, and acrylates. All these elements create an adhesive cover over the surface that they are applied to, which locks in the cosmetic and helps to protect it from water erosion.


Silicone is a specific type of film added to a product to help water bead and roll off the skin. Those with sensitive skin should consider steering clear of silicones, as they can be comedogenic, causing the skin to break out. Silicones can also irritate skin and cause allergic reactions. If you are unsure whether a product containing silicone will work for you, patch test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the skin to determine if it is safe for your skin.


A polymer works to create a coating on a product to protect it from water intrusion. Polymers are unique and different from film formers because they evaporate over time. A product containing polymers would not be “waterproof” but “long-wearing.” Delicate and sensitive skin typically reacts well to polymers rather than film formers.


Natural, plant-based waxes are an excellent option for making products long-lasting without exposing the skin or eyes to harsh chemicals. Plant waxes easily create a water-resistant barrier. Evidence of this is found in nature on the leaves of the plants from which they get harvested.


Dimethicone is a silicone-based polymer added to makeup products to keep them from sliding off when exposed to water. Dimethicone is the most volatile of these additives, being a known skin sensitizer that has potentially toxic complications for the body and the environment. Generally, the longer and more vigorously a product resists moisture, the more potentially harmful it is for our skin. Choose your products and ingredients carefully, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Most Common Types of Waterproof Makeup

Waterproof makeup evolved with eye products, as there was a need to provide products that would resist smudging, smearing, and tear-jerkers. Waterproof options have since expanded to include nearly every type of makeup one could need for a polished presentation.


Mascara was considered the OG of waterproof makeup products, still ranking up in popularity and demand. Unfortunately, these formulas take a lot of work and development to remove. Wearing waterproof mascara daily will result in lashes that become brittle, break, and fall out.


An excellent waterproof eyeliner can help you avoid dark circles around the eyes that form when your makeup mixes with your skin’s natural oils. Waterproof eyeliner and other types of eye makeup can be particularly dangerous for sensitive eyes; ensure you apply it carefully and avoid wearing it inside your lash line if possible.


An excellent waterproof lipstick gives long-lasting color in a formula that stays put. Many blends of waterproof lipstick are infused with primer oils to give them more strength and staying power. The more long-lasting the procedure, the more likely it is to be matte, which may disappoint those who love a glossier, moist look.


A waterproof foundation is a sticky product that adheres to the face and can only be removed with special cleansers. Many of these formulas are occlusive, forming a moisture-proof barrier on the skin that sweat, tears, or water cannot easily penetrate.

The Difference Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant

With the evolution of waterproof formulas come varying degrees of lasting wear and coverage. Waterproof blends can withstand continual exposure to moisture, such as swimming or vigorous sweating. If a product is water-resistant, this usually means that the product is only able to withstand exposure to water or moisture for a short time. Waterproof makeup should also be sweat-proof, even though sweat contains salts and other compounds that might break down your makeup.

A Word About Non-Comedogenic

Waterproof makeup could clog your pores. Chemical compounds that result in their occlusive nature may create a barrier that traps impurities. If you choose to wear waterproof makeup, follow specific directions for removing and cleaning the skin to avoid ongoing irritation. 

Removal of Waterproof Makeup

Removing waterproof makeup can be a messy business. Foundations, in particular, are ridiculously sticky and challenging to remove. It might be tempting to scrub and rub your way to clean cheeks again, but this will only irritate and create more skin issues. Consider using the following products for safe and effective removal.


Most waterproof makeup products require an oil-based cleanser to remove them. Organic coconut oil is a potent tool to help waterproof products slide right off lashes, brows, and skin. You’ll be conditioning, hydrating, and nourishing your skin with every application. 

Micellar Water

Micellar water is a lovely blend of glycerin, purified water, and mild surfactants that can help gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin. Micellar water forms micelles-small, sphere-shaped chemical compounds that adhere to dirt, oil, and makeup, sweeping it off the skin. Micellar water is effective in removing water-resistant formulas, but it may not be effective at removing more adhesive procedures.


Skin balm can remove long-lasting and waterproof makeup, which is especially effective if you have dry skin. A cream typically includes oils and waxes that help break down waterproof compounds while moisturizing and providing hydration for dehydrated skin.

Cleansing Milk

Cleansing milk is so named due to its milky, light texture, and color. Cleansing milk is typically cleaner in terms of the ingredients used, and it is more gentle on the skin than standard cleansers containing sulfates and other irritating chemicals. A rich blend of emollients and oils effectively removes makeup while nourishing the skin. If cleansing milk is ineffective at cleansing your skin, look at the oil ratio to the other ingredients and consider using something thicker and more substantial.

Waterproof Foundation and Sensitive Skin

If you are blessed with sensitive skin, finding any foundation that works for you, let alone a waterproof version, may be challenging. Products must pass strict testing protocols to be deemed “suitable for sensitive skin.” Yet, the unique combination of ingredients can make anyone second guess adding a waterproof or water-resistant foundation to the beauty bag. 

If this situation sounds all too familiar, you’re not alone. Dermatologists and skin experts have all weighed in for their top picks for the best foundation for your delicate skin. Whether you have a few dry patches or you endure angry red eczema flare-ups from time to time, we have you covered. Look at these best waterproof foundations for your sensitive yet beautiful skin.

1. Sace Lady Waterproof Full Coverage Concealer With Primer Sponge

Sace Lady products have a stellar reputation for providing full coverage and correction for the most sensitive, blemish-prone skin. Provide seamless color that addresses tone, tattoos, and problematic under-eye circles. Lightweight, waterproof formula glides on smoothly and provides a natural finish for all of your most vigorous activities. A fresh matte finish quickly absorbs excess oil and minimizes the look of blemishes and breakouts, leaving you fresh-faced and confident all day long. Easy-to-use applicator puff is perfect for application and blending and is gentle on skin that needs a light touch. Space Foundation contains full spectrum SPF sunscreen to protect your delicate skin from harmful UV rays. Wear confidently for those long days at the beach, enjoying the sun, wind, and water.

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03/07/2024 03:09 pm GMT

Sace Lady Waterproof Full Coverage Concealer

Photo source: amazon.com

2. MKYUHP Face Liquid Foundation: Waterproof Foundation And Concealer

MKYUHP Face Liquid Waterproof Foundation has a buttery-soft feel that provides lightweight, natural coverage for all skin types and tones. Smoothing liquid offers a full range, correcting and perfecting issues such as uneven skin tone and under-eye circles. Waterproof foundation glides on effortlessly, leaving no greasy, heavy feel to the skin. 

Convenient to store and carry with you, this formula is ideal for home makeup sessions or on-the-go touch-ups. Soothe irritated skin, control oily breakouts, and leave your skin fresh and naturally breathable with every application. 

MKYUHP Face Liquid Foundation

Photo source: amazon.com

3. Ynzon Waterproof Poreless Liquid Foundation Makeup: Oil-Free Formula

Oily and combination skin wearers unite; Ynzon Waterproof Poreless Liquid Formula is your answer for smooth, flawless skin. A variety of colors provides blendable, water-resistant, and waterproof coverage to carry you through every saturated situation. This unique formula is best for normal to oily skin and helps refine pores for a natural-looking, matte finish that lasts until you take it off.

Beautiful shades of ivory, golden, and mocha provide mix and match, buildable options to customize the right color for you. Breathable and waterproof, this complexion-perfecting foundation will be your go-to product for days of sun, fun, sweat, and plenty of water exposure. 

Ynzon Waterproof Poreless Liquid Foundation

Photo source: amazon.com

4. Wunder2 Last Foundation Makeup With Hyaluronic Acid

It is possible to condition your skin while wearing waterproof; Wunder2 Last Foundation proves that waterproofing can be good for your skin. This long-lasting, full-coverage liquid makeup transforms your complexion for at least 24 hours. Build a natural glow and enjoy the look of flawless skin as this flexible formula moves with your skin rather than masking its beauty. Transfer-proof, smudge-proof, and waterproof, this foundation is the gold standard of coverage that provides superior wear and premium conditioning for your skin. Specifically formulated with hyaluronic acid, this long-wearing wonder will hydrate skin and plump up fine lines and wrinkles, revealing improved, healthy skin from the inside out.

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03/07/2024 03:08 pm GMT

Wunder2 Last Foundation Makeup

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5. KILLFE Makeup Concealer Foundation Powder Cream

KILLFE Powder Cream Foundation and Concealer is a rich blend of botanical ingredients specifically formulated to secure your makeup and care for your skin simultaneously. A must-have for any beauty bag, this long-wearing waterproof formula acts as a concealing cream and powder, providing you with full coverage and a matte finish that hides the most glaring imperfections. Powdery cream sweeps across the nose, cheeks, and chin effortlessly to provide soft, natural-looking medium coverage that stays where you want it. Suitable for all-over wear or quick touch-ups, it will fast become a favorite product as it delivers beautiful results as promised. 

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KILLFE Makeup Concealer Foundation Powder Cream

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6. MAC Pro Longwear Foundation

Get back to basics and care for your skin while wearing high-quality MAC cosmetics products. MAC Pro Longwear Foundation provides up to 36 hours of medium-to-full buildable coverage, oil-absorbing properties, and a satiny smooth finish. Non-caking, non-creasing, and non-streaking formula stays in place yet is easily blended into existing makeup and used in combination with the rest of your beauty products. MAC Pro Longwear Foundation will condition even problematic, acne-prone skin and provide instant and long-term hydration to soothe and protect the most delicate skin.

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03/07/2024 03:21 pm GMT

MAC Pro Longwear Foundation Waterproof

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7. Dermacol Full Coverage Long Lasting Waterproof Foundation

Flawless, even coverage is a few swipes away with Dermacol Full Coverage Long Lasting Waterproof Foundation. This natural, long-wearing formula deals with every skin imperfection, from under-eye circles and discoloration to acne scars and even tattoos. Say goodbye to retouches and makeup that slide off during vigorous activity; this 24-hour formula stays in place till you take it off. Nineteen customized color shades range from very light pale to warm brown tones; mix and match to find your perfect blend that matches your skin tone.

A little goes a long way with Dermacol full-coverage technology. Richly pigmented, ultra-moisturizing compounds simultaneously blend away imperfections while hydrating and conditioning skin. Your complexion will get healthier with every application of this superior formula.

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03/07/2024 03:21 pm GMT

Dermacol Full Coverage Foundation

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Tips for Going Waterproof With Sensitive Skin

Trying new makeup products on sensitive skin can be a daunting process. If your skin is not prepped correctly and cared for beforehand, it can result in rashes, hives, breakouts, and a host of over issues. Makeup will not “fix” your skin, but consistent care and hydration will. Take these tips to heart when preparing your skin for long-lasting, waterproof beauty.

Prep and Clean

Sensitive skin needs to be cleaned and moisturized regularly. A good skincare routine goes way beyond slapping on some hydration. Find soothing formulas that gently cleanse and moisturize without clogging pores. Follow all steps for correctly removing waterproof foundations and other makeup to ensure that your skin stays fresh and healthy.

Pay Attention to Expiration Dates

Pay attention to expiration dates as makeup begins to break down and release toxic sub-particles that can irritate the skin. Makeup that has sat on a shelf for six months to a year can also harbor harmful bacteria that’s made its way into bottles, brushes, and the like. When in doubt, switch out your makeup products to ensure you get the best product possible.

Use Clean Makeup Tools

Sponges and brushes are great tools for applying and blending makeup, but abrasive products can irritate the skin. Be mindful of your cleaning protocol for these tools, as excess product and bacteria can clog pores and cause breakouts.

Steer Clear of Highly Pigmented Formulations

Products such as eye shadow and full coverage foundation are highly pigmented and more likely to cause redness, irritation, and allergic reactions than opaque-finish products. Test anything you wish to use on a small area of the cheek or forehead, and see how you react before spreading it across cheeks, eyes, and lips.

Ready to Get Wet and Wild

Now more than ever, it’s possible for those with sensitive skin to find waterproof products that provide beautiful, full coverage to carry you through all of life’s wet and wild activities. These products will see you through weddings, gym sessions, waterparks, and the most vigorous play you can engage in. Choose your favorites and start creating a flawless, fresh look.

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