How to Stop Foundation Settling in Pores

Some foundations can leave you feeling frustrated and discouraged. No matter how hard you work to create a perfect look, it never seems right. 

The pores in your skin make an application so tricky, as the foundation settles into them and leaves a streaky finish. This can be especially infuriating if you have large, prominent pores on harsher areas such as your forehead or nose. 

Finding ways to prevent this from happening is key to achieving a flawless complexion every single time and that’s why I am here today. With my experience as a makeup artist, I will explore the many effective ways how to stop foundation settling in pores and create a smooth and flawless finish effortlessly.

But first, let us explore why foundation sinks in pores. 

Why Foundation Settle Into Pores

Here are a few possible reasons why your foundation settles into pores:

Using powder products over a liquid foundation

Powder products are designed to sit on the skin’s surface and absorb any excess oils, which create a matte finish. However, when powder products are applied over a liquid foundation, this creates an uneven layer that can eventually sink into larger pores, creating a cakey appearance.

Enlarged pores

Pores enlarge when the skin produces too much sebum, an oily substance that helps keep your skin and hair hydrated. When excess oil clogs the pores, it causes them to stretch out and appear larger than normal. Applying a powder product can result in a buildup of product in the pores, exacerbating the appearance of enlarged pores. 

Enlarged pores

Using too much foundation

Applying too much foundation can also cause it to settle into the pores. The excess product can weigh down the skin,  making it difficult for pores to stay closed and resulting in a cakey, uneven finish.

Oily skin

Oily skin is commonly associated with enlarged pores, as the excess sebum causes them to stretch out. Applying any type of makeup over oil-prone skin can result in the product settling into the pores due to the slippery surface.

Dry Skin

While dry skin is less prone to foundation settling into the pores, using a powder product can still cause some settling. This is because when powder products are used on dry skin, they clump together in areas where dry skin cells and other impurities accumulate. 

Dead skin cells/Old age

As we age, our skin naturally produces less sebum which can cause the pores to appear more noticeable. Dead skin cells accumulate in the pores, and when the foundation is applied, it settles into these dead skin cells, making them even more visible. 

How to Stop Foundation Settling in Pores

Try the following makeup routine to keep your foundation from settling in your pores:

Clean your skin

It is important to clean your face before applying any makeup or foundation, as this will help remove oil, dirt, and bacteria from the surface of your skin. 

This will reduce the chances of foundation settling into your pores and causing breakouts. Use a gentle cleanser twice daily and use lukewarm water when washing.

Exfoliate your face

Exfoliating your skin regularly will help to remove dead skin cells and other debris that can clog pores and lead to foundation settling into them. 

Choose an exfoliant specifically designed for the face and use it twice or thrice a week. Be gentle when rubbing the product onto your skin, using circular motions.

Moisturize your face

Using a good moisturizer will help keep the skin hydrated and create a barrier between your skin and the foundation you are applying, preventing it from settling into pores. Choose an oil-free moisturizer designed for use on the face and apply it daily.

Use a primer

Primer helps to create an even surface for foundation application and also creates a barrier between your skin and the foundation, preventing it from settling into pores. Opt for one with a matte finish if you have oily skin, as this will allow makeup to stay in place longer.

Finish your makeup with a setting spray

Setting spray will help your makeup stay in place and keep it from settling into pores. It helps to create a smooth and even look, allowing the foundation to last longer. Be sure to choose one specifically designed for use on the face, as other types of setting sprays may be too harsh for sensitive skin.


Applying toner to your skin before applying foundation can also help prevent it from settling into pores. Toners remove excess dirt and oil that can cause foundation to look patchy or settle into pores. Select a toner specifically designed for use on the face and apply it after cleansing and moisturizing.

Use sunscreen

Sunscreen is an important step in any skincare routine, as it helps to protect the skin from sun damage. It also creates a barrier between you and your foundation, which can help prevent it from settling into pores. Choose Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher and apply it daily before applying makeup.

Choose the right type of foundation

Different types of foundations are designed for different skin types. For example, those with oily skin should choose a matte finish foundation or an oil-free one, while those with dryer skin may opt for a more hydrating formula. 

Choosing the right foundation for your skin will help it stay in place and keep it from settling into pores.

Apply foundation correctly

Applying foundation correctly can also help prevent it from settling into your pores. Start by applying a makeup brush or a beauty blender to apply the product, and make sure to blend in an outward motion away from the center of your face. 

Use light strokes so that you don’t cake the foundation onto your face, and blend it down to your neck for an even look. Place a light dusting of powder over the top to help set the makeup and prevent it from settling into pores. 

How to Stop Foundation Settling in Pores Image

How to Apply Foundation For Hiding  Pores

Prep your skin: Start by cleansing your face and applying a moisturizer. This will help to create a smooth surface for the foundation application.

Apply a primer: Apply a pore-minimizing primer to the areas where you have larger pores, such as the T-zone. A primer will help to fill in pores and create a smooth base for your foundation.

Choose the right foundation: Look for a foundation that is oil-free and non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores. Choose a foundation that matches your skin tone and is the right texture for your skin type.

Apply foundation: Apply the foundation to your face using a brush or sponge. Start at the center of your face and blend outwards. Use a light hand and don’t apply too much product, as this can clog your pores and create a cakey appearance.

Set your foundation: Use a loose powder to set your foundation. This will help to prevent your foundation from settling into your pores and creating an uneven appearance. Use a powder brush to apply the powder lightly to your face.

Finish with a setting spray: Finish your look using a setting spray. This will help to keep your makeup in place and prevent it from settling into your pores.

How to Get Foundation Out of Clogged Pores

Suppose the foundation does manage to settle into the pores on your face, there are certain products you can use or techniques to restore the appearance of your skin.

Use face cleanser

A gentle, non-abrasive cleanser is one of the easiest and most effective ways to remove the foundation from clogged pores. This helps to loosen up any remnants of makeup and provide a deep cleanse that gets rid of dirt and impurities. For best results, use a cleanser that contains natural ingredients. 


The heat and steam will help to open up your pores, making it easier for makeup remnants to come out. You can use a facial steam machine or just a bowl of hot water and a towel. Make sure to keep your face at least 6 inches away from the heat source to avoid burns.

Steaming to get foundation out of pores

Gently press

You can also gently press your fingertips against your skin for about 10 seconds to force out any residual foundation. This should be done after steaming and cleansing your skin. Apply gentle pressure since applying too much pressure may cause the clogged pores to become inflamed. 


Using an exfoliating scrub or a facial brush is another way to get the foundation out of clogged pores. This helps to remove any dead skin cells on your facial skin that are clogging the pores and can also help to slough off any stubborn bits of makeup. Remember to use gentle circular motions when scrubbing your face, as too much pressure could irritate your skin.

Session at sauna

If all else fails, you can always visit a sauna for an intense session that will help to open up your pores and get rid of any makeup residue or dirt that is clogging them. This should be done for no longer than 15 minutes at a time because the intense heat could cause skin irritation if you stay too long.

Best Foundation Types For Big Pore

While shopping for foundation, it’s important to consider your skin type and the size of your pores. The best  foundation for large pores should have the following properties: 

Improves Adhesion

Foundations for big pores should be specifically formulated to improve adhesion and create a smooth finish, such as those made with a silicone base that helps fill in the larger pores and allows the foundation to better cling to the skin. 

Pore-minimizing foundations contain oil-absorbing ingredients, like silica and dimethicone, to help minimize the appearance of large pores. 

Better Compatibility

Find a foundation that has ingredients that will not irritate or dry out your skin, while still providing adequate coverage. 

When looking for foundations to cover large pores, look for products labelled “non-comedogenic” meaning they won’t block pores and create breakouts.

Enhanced Effectiveness

The best foundation types for large pores should have a high concentration of pigment to provide optimal coverage. 

This helps hide imperfections, including large pores and provides a long-lasting finish that won’t slip or move throughout the day.

Provide Better Layering 

Some foundations come with primers built-in or can be used with a primer to further improve the longevity and coverage of the foundation. By layering, you can create a more natural look that won’t settle into pores, wrinkles, or fine lines throughout the day.

Makeup Tips That Can Hide Your Pores

  • Dab primer directly on pores.
  • For large pores and ice-pick scars, fill indented areas
  • Wait for your primer to dry 
  • Apply a silicone-based foundation
  • Set with powder

Why You Should Not Let Foundation Settle in Your Pores

Foundation settling in your pores can cause major skin issues. The following are the reasons why you should avoid letting foundation settle into your pores:

Appearance of acne scars

Foundation settling in pores can lead to the trapping of dirt, oils, and bacteria which may result in the appearance of acne scars. The foundation blocks the skin’s natural healing process, leading to infection and inflammation. In addition, it can also worsen existing acne breakouts and make them more visible.

Blackheads and whiteheads

When the foundation mixes with dirt and oil, it can create a blockage that prevents sweat or other fluids from exiting the pores. This can lead to black and whiteheads that are difficult to remove and may require professional treatment. They appear like polka-dot pores that have a dark center.

Clogged skin

Clogged skin is characterized by an accumulation of oils, dirt, and bacteria in the pores. When this happens, it can prevent the skin from being able to breathe properly and may lead to dryness and irritation.

Skin breathes poorly

Pores are important in allowing your skin to breathe and eliminate toxins. Since the foundation is not water-based, it may not allow the skin to breathe normally as well lead to build up of toxins. This causes a lack of oxygen to the skin, leading to inflammation and irritation. This can also cause the appearance of wrinkles and age lines to become more pronounced.

Interference with the skin’s natural oil

Foundation settling in pores can interfere with the skin’s natural oil production, which is important for keeping it healthy and hydrated. When the natural oils are blocked, it can lead to dryness and irritation.

Expensive treatment

If left untreated, clogged pores and breakouts can lead to more serious skin problems that may require expensive treatments such as chemical peels or laser therapy. It is much more cost-effective to take preventative measures to avoid these problems in the first place.


Why do pores look bigger with makeup?

Makeup can make the appearance of pores more visible due to the ingredients used in cosmetics, such as fillers that can clog and emphasize pores. Also, some foundation formulas are thicker and heavier than others and may have a greater tendency to settle into large or open pores creating a magnified effect.

Can foundation settling in pores cause acne or other skin problems?

Yes, if your makeup is not removed properly each night or if you are using a foundation that is too heavy for your skin type, it can lead to clogged pores and potentially develop into acne. The foundation ingredients can irritate and cause redness, itching, or other skin problems.

Will silicone-based products smoothen my face?

Absolutely! Silicone-based products are great for filling in wrinkles, pores, and fine lines on the face. For instance, silicone-based primers have a mattifying effect that can reduce the appearance of shine or oiliness on the skin.

Why does my foundation settle in my pores?

Foundation can settle into pores due to a combination of factors including the formula being too heavy for your skin type, using the wrong tool to apply (i.e. fingers instead of brushes), and not properly cleansing before application.

Are there any natural remedies for preventing foundation settling in pores?

Some natural remedies for preventing foundation from settling in pores include exfoliating the skin regularly to remove dead skin cells and applying a thin layer of aloe vera gel before foundation application. Additionally, using natural and non-comedogenic ingredients in skincare and makeup products can help prevent pore-clogging and settling.

Wrap-Up: Keep Foundation Away from Your Pores

Makeup can accentuate our beauty, but it’s important to remember that it should always be applied with care and technique. 

One of the most common mistakes that all makeup wearers should avoid is letting the foundation settle in their pores.  By ensuring you apply your foundation correctly and use a setting spray to lock in your look, your foundation won’t affect your pores. 

Of course, this advice also applies to any other type of makeup you might wear to keep the appearance of your skin healthy and smooth. All in all, preventing any makeup product from settling into your pores is essential to our beauty routine and should always be done with great care and consideration. 

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