Test Drive Diaries: The Best Mattifying Products for Oil Control
Five takes, one goal: to de-grease and keep skin shine-free
Sebum, the naturally occurring oil produced and secreted by the sebaceous glands, is the frenemy we have to love, but also love to hate. Love, because it, at the very core, fulfills a physiological necessity: It fortifies the protective barrier on our skin and, in the long run, is the handy first line of defense against early skin ageing. Hate, because sebum in excess wreaks havoc on skin. Think: enlarged, clogged pores, breakouts and a sheen so pronounced, it could virtually be mistaken for highlighter.
Those with combination and oily skin types—statistically speaking, most of us—are no stranger to this sebum conundrum. Luckily, it’s one that has now become a lot easier to keep in check with a proper skincare routine in place and the right mattifying product to the rescue.
Ahead, we take five variations of the oil-busting, corrective product and take them for a test drive. These five certified favorites by beauty girls during our crowd sourcing came highly recommended; now it’s a matter of finding out how each one fares after eight hours on oily skin with no touchups. We’ll let the results from the oil film blot test do the talking.
Brand: Benefit Cosmetics
Product: The POREfessional Face Primer
Claim to Fame: “A lightweight balm that mattifies shine and minimizes the appearance of pores when worn alone or under makeup. Creates a smooth canvas that lessens the look of pores while creating a silky surface.”
Thoughts: In one word: impressive. This one is easy to overlook since its main selling point is that it minimizes pores, but its oil control capabilities are just as fantastic. The smooth, super-fine powdery feel of this is unlike anything else we’ve tried before; makeup glides on beautifully and seamlessly and the finish is noticeably matte but doesn’t make the skin look dull. It doesn’t cause any drying either, which means it manages to strike that rare balance: absorbs oil but doesn’t overdo it.
The Verdict: Great for achieving budge-proof makeup.
BENEFIT COSMETICS The POREfessional Face Primer, P1,900
Product: No Sebum Mineral Powder
Claim to Fame: “An oil-absorbing mineral powder formulated with Jeju mineral powder and Jeju mint that controls shine and sebum while keeping skin moisturized.”
Thoughts: Once again, Innisfree delivers. Free of parabens, benzophenone, artificial fragrances, ethanol, animal ingredients and mineral oil, this loose powder is great for those with sensitive skin looking for a gentle, non-irritating mattifying product that still packs a punch; it’s a no-fuss, lightweight product suitable for all ages. The only hang-up is that the powder puff this comes with applies product too liberally. It may be better to apply this with a buffing brush.
The Verdict: The best in the skin-caring category.
INNISFREE No Sebum Mineral Powder, P375
Brand: Laura Mercier
Product: Shine Control Pressed Setting Powder
Claim to Fame: “An oil-free, oil-controlling, ultra-sheer setting powder that minimizes shine and visible breakthrough with a naturally derived Shine Control Complex. The subtle mint green tint helps tone down redness. Makeup stays fresh, flawless, and shine-free.”
Thoughts: Pricey, but worth it… if you’re alright with frequent touchups. We feel that this product will hold up just fine for five to six hours and not any longer than that, making it an effective mattifying product nonetheless. What’s truly great about this pressed powder is how makeup looks when set using it: matte yet does not look cakey and does not budge.
The Verdict: Seals the shine-free deal with a fantastic color correcting bonus.
LAURA MERCIER Shine Control Pressed Setting Powder, P1,850
Brand: The Body Shop
Product: Tea Tree Oil Mattifying Moisturizer
Claim to Fame: “A light, non-oily moisturizing lotion for blemished skin that provides lightweight hydration, is easily absorbed and provides shine control for a matte finish with antibacterial action.”
Thoughts: We’re suckers for multitasking beauty products like this one. This mattifying moisturizer nourishes, corrects, protects and can even double as a makeup primer. If this isn’t a godsend for acne-prone ladies and lads on the go, we don’t know what is.
The Verdict: Best option for blemished skin.
THE BODY SHOP Tea Tree Oil Mattifying Moisturizer, P795
Brand: L’Oréal Paris
Product: Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation
Claim to Fame: “Delivers picture-perfect, buildable coverage; enriched with perlite technology to absorb excess oil and shine; creates a dimensional (rather than flat) matte effect; reduces the appearance of shine up to 24 hours; luxurious texture is lightweight and feels comfortable; ultra-melting emulsion glides on smoothly to adhere closely to skin; waterproof and steam-proof formula won’t cake.”
Thoughts: This foundation dries matte and more importantly stays matte, so the Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation is very much true to its name and claim. The velvety smooth finish gives off a subtle glow, making skin look healthy and nourished. You get a second-skin look no matter how much coverage you build. An excellent bonus.
The Verdict: The top performing mattifying makeup item in the drugstore beauty department
L’OREAL PARIS Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation, P499
Featured Photo Jean Baptiste Mondino
Art Alexandra Lara