Is the Fenty Beauty Foundation Water-Based?

I’ve been a huge fan of Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line since it launched. As someone with sensitive combination skin, I’m always on the hunt for foundations that provide coverage without clogging my pores or irritating my skin. Fenty Beauty made waves a few years ago for its groundbreaking range of 50 shades, making it one of the most inclusive foundation lines on the market.

I was curious whether Fenty Foundation has a water or silicone base, as this can make a big difference in the feel and wear of a foundation formula. As I researched the ingredients and read analysis, I discovered that Fenty Foundation is not water-based. Read on to find out what base it uses instead and whether it could work for your skin type.

What Makes a Foundation Water-Based?

To draw moisture into the skin, humectants like glycerin are typically the second ingredient in water-based foundations. This gives them a lightweight, hydrating feel that tends to work well for normal to dry skin types.

Some common ingredients in water-based foundations include:

  • Water
  • Glycerin
  • Aloe vera
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Plant oils and extracts

Water-based foundations feel lightweight and comfortable on the skin. They blend in easily and create a fresh, dewy finish. Those with dry or mature skin often prefer water-based formulas because they are moisturizing. However, they may not have the staying power or mattifying effects that oilier skin types need.

Why Fenty Foundation Isn’t Water-Based

After checking out the ingredients list and reading numerous analysis, I can definitively say that Fenty Foundation is not water-based. Instead, it uses silicone as its primary base ingredient.

Fenty Foundation contains high levels of silicones like dimethicone along with film-forming agents. This gives the formula a smooth, silky texture that feels almost weightless on the skin. It applies like a dream and creates a soft matte finish that lasts all day without settling into fine lines or pores.

So if Fenty Foundation isn’t water-based, does that mean it’s bad for dry or normal skin? Not necessarily! While silicones create more of a matte, smoothing effect, the Fenty formula contains emollients as well to prevent it from drying out the skin. Its lightweight feel also makes it suitable for most skin types.

Who Is Fenty Foundation Best Suited For?

Fenty Foundation is ideal for combination and oily skin, as its oil-free formula helps control shine throughout the day. It goes on smoothly without emphasizing dry spots. The silicone base is also great for acne-prone skin because it won’t clog pores or contribute to breakouts.

In addition to the silicone base, Fenty Foundation contains clay and other oil-absorbing ingredients to mattify skin long term without over-drying. Those with an oily T-zone will appreciate how this keeps unwanted shine at bay. Even in hot and humid conditions, the transfer-resistant formula lasts for up to 24 hours.

Another perk is that Fenty Foundation is non-comedogenic, meaning it is specifically formulated not to clog pores. Acne sufferers can rejoice knowing this foundation won’t make breakouts worse. The oil-free formula gives you flawless coverage without any greasy residue.

People with sensitive skin can also use Fenty Foundation, as it is free of parabens, fragrances, and other common irritants. The brand avoids including unnecessary additives. As someone with rosacea, I appreciate how gentle this formula feels while still perfecting my complexion.

How to Tell If a Foundation is Water-Based

If you aren’t sure whether a foundation formula is water or silicone-based, here are a few telltale signs to examine further:

1. Check the ingredients list

Scan the ingredients label and look for water, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid near the top of the list. For silicone-based foundations, you’ll see chemicals like dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, or trimethylsiloxysilicate instead.

2. Observe the texture

Water-based foundations tend to feel lightweight, almost liquidy when you apply them. They have more slip and blend into a dewier finish. Silicone formulas are smoother with more “grip.” They become almost powdery as they set.

3. See how it reacts with your skin

Water-based foundations add hydration to dry skin while silicone formulas have more of a mattifying effect. Check for any tightness, flaking, oil breakthrough or irritation after several hours of wear. This can help you determine if the base agrees with your skin type.

Key Ingredients in Fenty Foundation

To understand how Fenty Foundation achieves its lightweight, shine-free finish, let’s break down a few of the key ingredients:


Dimethicone is the silicone that gives the Fenty formula its silky smooth texture. It fills in fine lines, blurs pores, and creates a matte finish when it sets. Dimethicone also protects skin from environmental aggressors.


Fenty Foundation contains several different clays like kaolin and yellow clays. These oil-absorbing minerals maintain the stay-put matte finish throughout wear without stripping natural moisture from the skin.

Salicylic Acid

You’ll also find the acne-fighting ingredient salicylic acid in Fenty Foundation, which gently exfoliates to keep pores clear while also reducing oil. This makes it an optimal choice for breakout-prone complexions.


Another beneficial skincare ingredient Fenty Foundation boasts is niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3. Niacinamide visibly improves skin tone and texture while minimizing the look of enlarged pores and dullness.


Finally, Fenty Foundation contains silica which blurs the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a filtered, perfected look. The silica particles also absorb oil without over-drying.

What I Love About Fenty Foundation

Between the thoughtful ingredient list and rave analysis, there’s a lot to enjoy about this foundation. Here are some of my favorite benefits:

The inclusive range of 50 shades ensures you can find an exact color match for your complexion. It’s expertly designed to work across many different skin tones.

The formula is very customizable – you can sheer it out for light coverage or build it up to full without it becoming cakey or thick-looking.

It performs incredibly well in hot, humid climates. The formula is sweat and humidity-resistant so it truly lasts all day without fading or melting off.

The matte finish never crosses over into flat or dull territory. It reduces shine while still looking fresh and natural, not completely dehydrated.

A little goes a long way! You only need a couple of pumps to achieve flawless coverage across your whole face.

It layers beautifully over skin care and grips onto serums without pilling or lifting.

Does Fenty Beauty Foundation uses water as base?

Potential Drawbacks to Consider

No foundation is completely perfect for every single person. Here are a couple of potential drawbacks of Fenty Foundation to think about:

It lacks SPF, so you’ll need to apply a separate sunscreen underneath during the day.

The matte finish could feel slightly drying on certain dry skin types, especially in cold winter months. This may require additional hydration and moisturizing prep.

There is a strong fragrance some people may find too heavily perfumed, although I personally enjoy the scent.

A small number of users experienced acne breakouts from the formula. As always when trying a new product, patch test first.

Is Fenty Foundation Good For Oily Skin?

In one emphatic word – YES!

Between the oil-absorbing clay, mattifying silicones, and sebum regulation from niacinamide and salicylic acid, Fenty Foundation is specially formulated for oily and acne-prone complexions.

These ingredients keep excess shine at bay without over-drying the skin or leading to dehydration and increased oil production. Fenty Foundation gives you shine control and flawless coverage in one simple step.

Even if you have very oily skin, you won’t have to worry about this foundation melting off midday or settling into your pores. It truly stays locked into place for up to 24 hours of wear.

The lightweight texture also never feels heavy or greasy, which is ideal for highly reactive and acneic skin. Blemish-prone complexions need breathable formulas that won’t exacerbate clogged pores or blackheads and Fenty Foundation delivers.

Plus, the inclusion of salicylic acid helps gently exfoliate and keep pores clear while you wear it. This prevents future breakouts caused by foundation build-up in the skin. Overall, it’s one of the best options for oily and acne-prone skin types.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fenty Foundation

Is Fenty Foundation good for dry skin?

While very dry skin types may prefer something more hydrating, Fenty Foundation contains emollients to avoid excessive dryness. Most people can make it work with moisturizer underneath.

What skin types does Fenty Foundation work for?

It is formulated especially for oily, combination, and blemish-prone complexions but normal and sensitive skin types can wear it as well. Very dry skin may require extra hydration underneath.

Is it non-comedogenic?

Yes, Fenty Foundation is non-comedogenic so it won’t clog pores or lead to increased breakouts.

How long does it last on combination skin?

Expect a good 10 to 12 hours of perfect coverage, even if you have an oily T-zone. It resists fading, sliding, and all types of transfer!

The Verdict: Not Water-Based but Still Amazing

After plenty of first-hand testing and research, I can definitively say Fenty Foundation is not water-based. Rihanna’s brand opted for a smooth, silicone-based formula instead to create the ultimate full coverage, shine-free finish.

While the silicone and oil-absorbers make Fenty Foundation uniquely suited for acne-prone and oily skin types, its lightweight feel and buildable coverage still work for a wide variety of complexions. This explains why it remains a top seller!

So if you have oily, sensitive skin like mine, I highly recommend giving Fenty Foundation a try for flawless, hydrated matte coverage. Even though it isn’t water-based, the smooth formula won’t clog pores or lead to new breakouts.

It really helps perfect and smooth over textured areas while controlling shine and lasting all day beautifully. I’m so glad I switched to it as my daily foundation for a confident, happy complexion!

Similar Posts