Natural and Organic Foundations for All Skin Types

If you’re hunting for the perfect natural, organic foundation – look no further. Holistic make-up artist and nutritional therapist Sjaniël Turrell shares her comprehensive guide to finding the perfect clean foundation according to your skin type and level of coverage required:

Finding a clean foundation that is just right for you can be a challenging process as colours and textures can vary quite a bit from the commercial norm. The main difference in formulation for clean foundations is the omission (as much as possible) of silicone as one of the main ingredients. As a base, these foundations will use different types of plant-based oils or water-based formulas that are made to try and mimic the texture and feel of the smoothness of silicone. The ins and outs of silicone needs an article of it’s own, but simply put, it is a non-biodegradable, man-made substance that does not allow the skin to breathe.

Natural and organic products focus on nourishing ingredients for skin’s health, but also avoid synthetic ingredients that we now know are harmful to us or the environment such as parabens, mineral oils, PEGs and a myriad of other laboratory-designed cheap ‘filler’ synthetic chemicals. Often your foundation is the product that is causing much of the skin issues you are trying to cover with that exact product. 

So how to find the right one for you? After over five years of doing makeup on all people of all ages (not only those genetically gifted models) with only natural products, I have discovered which bases and brands work best for different skin types. You may need to try a few samples to begin with because every person’s preference and skin is different, but with this guide you will have a good idea where to start. 


If you have skin that doesn’t give you too much upset other than the odd hormonal breakout here and there, one; count yourself very blessed and two, finding what works for you will be more about individual preference and colour than anything else. Below are my favourite options for normal skin, but you are certainly not limited to trying only these options as many different textures can work on this skin type and it will depend more on how different types of oils absorb into your individual skin. 

Sheer coverage 

ERE PEREZ Quinoa Water Foundation

This is literally a simple tint for the skin – it evens out the skin tone without leaving any residue and perfect if you want the super sheer cover with colour. 

MADARA Tinting Fluid

Comes in two tones – one that adds a rose tan and one that adds a golden tan – it is not going to work for very pale or very dark skin, but is sheer enough to blend into most mid skin tones and give you an overall evening out. 

INIKA Certified Organic Liquid Foundation

It’s called a foundation but it has a very lovely sheer and natural feel and coverage – enough for an everyday look if you don’t want to look or feel like you’re wearing makeup but still need a bit of coverage. 

RMS BEAUTY ‘un-cover’ up

I love ‘un-cover’ ups as they are really great multi-use foundations. The coverage is easy to adjust to suit your needs. These are highly pigmented so a little goes a long way. Use a foundation brush for lighter coverage and add more by dabbing on with your fingers to achieve thicker coverage in needed areas like a concealer. You may need to use a setting powder if you want it to have longer lasting wear. They also work very well if you only want to spot cover certain areas because the sheen mimics natural skin.

ERE PEREZ Oat Milk Foundation

Possibly my favourite “all-round” foundation at the moment – it lends itself to easy everyday coverage that sets to a lovely satin finish – not too matte and not too much sheen. If you need more coverage it is buildable and relatively long lasting. 

ABSOLUTION La Crème du Teint

Marketed as a tint, the coverage on these are still more than what you would expect. They have a lovely creamy consistency and are easy to use for every day. Sadly only available in two colours – the ‘light’ is not for very pale tones and the medium is definitely more for Mediterranean skin tones – often the best option is to have both and mix. 

Full coverage 

GRESSA SKIN Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation

A serum and foundation in one, this luxuriously silky foundation is based on a formulation of nourishing and healing oils. It glides onto the skin and gives really good coverage whilst still feeling like you’ve only added the essential skincare. Fast becoming the sought after cult product for those in the know.

KJAER WEISS Cream Foundation

This cream-based foundation will give you very full coverage if that is what you’re after, because of the way it’s formulated you have control over the level you want depending on how you apply and how many layers you need. Brushes for lighter coverage and fingers for more substantial coverage. 

ESSE Foundation SPF30

You heard it here first! This yet to launch organic foundation has pretty much blown me away. The first colour cosmetic from Probiotic skincare brand ESSE, it will be the first probiotic-focused foundation that takes the skin’s microbiome into account. Besides excellent coverage, it is smooth, silky and long-lasting and somehow all of this without any added silicones. International launch date is set for 25 May 2019. 


If your skin is delicate and thin, or tends to be on the dehydrated side, you can opt for waxier and oilier textures. Avoid products that contain alcohol (also written as alcohol denat or ethyl/ethanol and not to be confused with – cetearyl alcohol and benzyl alcohol that are components of other substances and not alcohol) as these will further dehydrate your skin. Creamier and oil based or waxy textures work best because they also moisturise – though your skincare regime is the first port of call. If you have very delicate or fair skin you may find that even ‘sheer’ or ‘tinted’ products appear way more makeup-like on your skin than it would on others. If you prefer a simple even tone without too much coverage go for the lightest textures. 

DE MAMIEL Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar SPF30

This adds minimal colour but leaves and even toned finish on the skin whilst leaving it nourished and protected from the elements. It is packed with healing, nourishing and hydrating ingredients. 

JOSH ROSEBROOK Nutrient Day Cream SPF30

Super hydrating and nourishing this tinted day cream gives the lightest feel of tint, it gives a lovely natural glow to the skin and provides the needed everyday protective barrier. Great for any skin that’s feeling under the weather. 

JOSH ROSEBROOK Nutrient Day Cream SPF30

Super hydrating and nourishing this tinted day cream gives the lightest feel of tint, it gives a lovely natural glow to the skin and provides the needed everyday protective barrier. Great for any skin that’s feeling under the weather. 

Natural coverage

VAPOUR Atmosphere Luminous Foundation

Natural glow combined with natural coverage – these handy cream stick foundations are great for dehydrated or delicate skin because their creamy texture is hydrating and soft in texture. Apply directly to the skin and blend in or use your favourite makeup tool, whether that be a brush or your fingers. 

RMS BEAUTY ‘un-cover’ up

As mentioned before, ‘un-cover’ up can be used in a myriad of ways and because it has one of the most clean and natural formulations based in oils such as coconut and jojoba it is truly a great option for sensitive and delicate skins. 

ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation

This latest offering from ILIA is the natural answer for those who have really struggled with finding an alternative to their silky commercial favourites. It glides onto the skin and gives a lovely glow whilst still feeling lightweight. It combines the best of both worlds by combining the benefits of natural ingredients with the effectiveness of some added dimethicone to give it staying power.

Full Coverage

(M)ANASI 7 Skin Enhancer

This has great coverage and is long lasting without dehydrating the skin. It has a satin matte finish without drying the skin. Blend and mix the colours to achieve your perfect tone – start with the colour closest to your skin tone and then add a drop of either one colour lighter or darker, depending on what your needs are.

HIRO No Doubt Natural Foundation

This silky smooth liquid formula is hydrating and gives a beautifully finished look on the skin. It works on pretty much any skin type but has a lovely, creamy texture that gives great coverage that doesn’t look powdery on the skin, but rather gives a natural glow all day.


Whether your skin has an oily T-zone or a waxier surface texture, oilier skin types tend to have larger pores and often find it difficult to find products that stay on. With natural formulations you want to choose either finer oils that won’t clog pores or water based textures as they have a thinner base and will stay on longer. If you suffer from acne or breakouts often, switching to a cleaner foundation may help your skin in the long run but might create the conundrum of not having quite as much long-lasting coverage as commercial options. If you need optimum coverage, opt for a sheer hydrating formula, followed by a powder foundation that will give you the coverage you need. Some water-based formulas contain alcohol as it evaporates fast and leaves a more long lasting finish on the skin – if you do have broken, painful or reactive skin, look at ingredients lists to avoid alcohol (see the section for dehydrated skin for the explanation on alcohol ingredients). 


Sheer Coverage

ALIMA PURE Liquid Silk Foundation

This water-based foundation gives a lovely sheer finish of colour on the skin without much residue. Great for those who love a minimal but effective finish and with 10 colours to choose from, a great option for every day wear. 

ILIA Sheer Vivid Tinted Moisturiser SPF20

Another barely there water-based formula that gives you the option of six different colours to choose from. It gives great even tone on the skin and a good option if you like wearing makeup but don’t want others to notice it. 

Natural coverage

GRESSA SKIN Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation

This fine serum oil base that dries to more of a powder finish feels soft and luxurious on the skin. You will find that this product helps to balance out the skin while giving you skin perfecting coverage – it is buildable so you can control it to be very natural or more full coverage. 

VAPOUR Soft Focus Foundation

This is an oil-based foundation, but it can work for oily skin because it is specifically formulated with sunflower seed oil that does not clog pores but heals and hydrates. If you like silky texture and a glowing finish then this is a good option. Keep in mind that any natural oil based foundation needs a couple of minutes to absorb before you can see the final texture result. This goes on creamy but finishes off to a silky, powder finish and looks incredible on skin. I’ve added it in this section because many people with oily skin are afraid of oils when they don’t need to be. 

SAPPHO Essential Foundation

This is a great product for those who struggle to find anything natural that doesn’t slide off. It was designed to be as long lasting as possible for use on movie sets where lights and long hours are constantly degrading makeup. If you want a liquid that stays without needing to add any powder, then this is the foundation to try. 

Full Coverage

JANE IREDALE Purepressed Base Mineral Foundation SPF20

By far still my favourite mineral foundation powder for effectiveness. You can use this as a setting powder or as a full coverage foundation. It does not have a drying or powdery finish on the skin and lends itself to most skin types, though a really good option if what you need above all is staying power and coverage in one with a subtle glow. It does contain dimethicone, which is one of the reasons it works so well but set in a natural base that includes algae and pomegranate extracts. 

(M)ANASI 7 Skin Enhancer

This innovative product makes use of only 4 colours and is designed for you to mix to create your perfect match – white, light, yellow and brown. It goes on creamy but dries like a water based product without feeling drying in any way and gives excellent coverage. This is definitely one of the products that you can build up as much or little as you like with a dab of moisturiser. Once you have your own personal mix down, you’ll love it. 

INIKA Loose Mineral Powder

If you’re used to the loose mineral powders that made an entrance about a decade ago and give full coverage with that magic, smooth finish, then INIKA is your answer to that. Again, a great product to use as either a setting powder with colour or your full-face makeup. 


My number one tip for those with more mature or skin that has wrinkles is that less is always more. I have not added a ‘full coverage’ section here because full coverage on older skin, well just makes you look even older. This is the time to focus on natural glow and hydration rather than trying to cover up too much. These products below have a more waxy and creamy finish and therefore don’t sit or separate in wrinkles as easily as others. 


Sheer Coverage


This tinted moisturiser is really great for creating a lovely barely there finish on the skin. It has just enough to even out skin tone without looking like makeup. 

MADARA Anti-pollution City CC Cream SPF15

Another favourite, this is a great everyday option that blends into your skin tone without it needing to be an exact match. The waxier texture means it feels hydrating whilst staying on and not settling into wrinkles or pores.

MADARA Anti-pollution City CC Cream SPF15

Another favourite, this is a great everyday option that blends into your skin tone without it needing to be an exact match. The waxier texture means it feels hydrating whilst staying on and not settling into wrinkles or pores.

Natural Coverage

GREEN PEOPLE Age Defy+ Tinted DD Moisturiser SPF15

I love this product for myself but once I’d used it on my 65-year-old mum I realised it was an amazing product for older skin. It does not look cakey or powdery on the skin but gives a really natural light to medium coverage and a finished look. Since it only comes in three colours it’s one where you may need a drop each of two different colours to match your tone, but if you love it it will become a staple. 

JUICE BEAUTY Phyto-Pigments Flawless Serum Foundation

This foundation has an amazingly lightweight texture that gives great, smoothing coverage without settling into lines. A little goes a long way and you’ll be surprised that only a few drops cover the entire face effectively. You can definitely make this work as both a natural or full coverage product as it’s buildable and long lasting.


Flaky, dry patches can happen to people with irritated, dry and reactive skin or even those who have oily, acne prone breakouts but dry patches of skin around healing spots. If there is one thing that is almost impossible to hide with foundation it is dry skin patches. The more you try to cover them, the more obvious and caked on the product can look. Your first point of action is to make sure that you are not using a cleanser that is striping your skin of it’s natural oils and then have a good hydrating serum and moisturiser to prep your skin before makeup. Surface hydration and kindness to your skin are key, only then can you start looking at which foundation is right for you. The products below have a thicker, waxy consistency – it’s as if they are better at softening the dry skin bits rather than getting stuck between them. Don’t overwork dry patches, apply product by dabbing it onto those areas rather than rubbing it in. 

Sheer Coverage

MADARA Anti-pollution City CC Cream SPF15

Because of it’s waxy finish, it leaves a softening layer on the skin that looks glowing and fresh without appearing cake-y. This is a tint that simply enhances your skin tone and evening it out rather than covering it and is great for everyday wear. 

Natural Coverage


As with the one above, this product is creamy and waxy at the same time, it doesn’t separate easily on dryer skin and keeps an even tone. Blend colours together to get a good match for your skin if one of the 3 colours doesn’t seem to work alone. 

W3LL PEOPLE Bio Tint Mult-Action Moisturiser SPF30

Although W3ll People are not currently available in the UK, this product is still on my favourites list for flaky patches because it covers well without caking. If you are based in the US or are travelling there, it is a great foundation with good, natural coverage for everyday wear and lends itself to both dry and oily skin.

Full Coverage

ESSE Foundation SPF30

The silky smooth texture of this product is outstanding and it doesn’t easily separate or become engrained in flaky or loose skin, if you dab it onto those patches gently or use a duo fibre foundation brush you will get lovely long-lasting coverage with the added benefit of probiotics that feed and improve your skin’s health. Yet to be launched in the UK and EU. 

Online stockists for foundations listed:

Sjaniël offers personal product guidance consultations and organic makeup lessons 

Read Sjaniël’s guide to natural and organic foundations for dark skin tones.

For more beauty inspiration, see Sjaniël’s Top 10 Natural and Organic Mascaras and Liz McCarthy‘s Natural Beauty Heroes