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9+ Compact Powders for Oily Skin Reviewed

These are mini-reviews of face powders / compact powders in India for acne prone and oily skin. The face powders reviewed include Maybelline Dream Matte Powder, Rimmel Stay Matte, MAC Studio Fix and L’Oreal True Match Powder among others.

If you are looking for liquid foundations, see this post for reviews of liquid foundations in India for oily skin.

Things to remember with face powders

  1. Face powders don’t generally give coverage to dark spots or uneven skin tone let alone acne scars. Layering on too much powder that only provides sheer coverage will result in a cakey, artificial look. If you want more coverage, use a foundation.
  2. You will need to do touch-ups at regular intervals during the day.
  3. Some powders oxidize on oily skin, meaning they make the face look darker, orange, gray or tired.
  4. Face powders, even if they contain sunscreen ingredients, do not provide enough sun protection.
  5. Most compact powders contain talc. Talc is mildly comedogenic. Some forms of talc can cause cancer.

Benefits of using face powder for oily skin

Deciding what purpose you want your face powder to serve will help you pick the right one for you. A good face powder should provide one or more of these benefits.

  1. As a mattifying, oil-control powder to keep the face shine-free. Oil-absorbing ingredients absorb excess sebum / oil from the skin and keep the skin looking matte.
  2. As a finishing powder or setting powder on top of liquid / cream foundation to make the foundation stay put longer.
  3. To provide sheer coverage when worn alone or additional coverage on top of foundation.

Tips on using face powder / compact

  1. If you are using it for additional coverage or setting your foundation, swirl a powder brush in the pan and sweep it all over the face in gentle strokes, taking care not to deposit too much on any single area.
  2. If you are using a compact / face powder for oil-control and a matte look, use the sponge that comes with it and pat on the oily areas of the face, pressing the powder into the skin. This method is best used on small areas such as the T-zone. If used all over the face, it can result in a cakey look.

Reviews of Popular Compact Powders in India

If you want to know about a face powder not covered here, let us know in the comments.

Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder

Rimmel Stay Matte powder review

Rimmel Stay Matte compact powder

Ingredients: talc, mica, magnesium Stearate, polyethylene, petrolatum, phenyl trimethicone, dimethicone, polybutene, isostearyl neopentanoate, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, tocpherol acetate, methylparaben, coconut oil, mineral oil, propylparaben, zinc oxide, fragrance, aloe barbadensis, polysorbate 20, BHT, butylphenyl methylpropional, benzyl salicylate, citronellol, hexyl cinnamal, hydroisohexyl 3-cyclohexane carboxaldehyde, linalool, butylparaben.

May Contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides, ultramarines

  • Good mattifier
  • Good setting powder

  • Chalky consistency easily gives a cakey look
  • Contains coconut oil which is highly comedogenic (pore clogging, acne causing). It doesn’t claim to be non-comedogenic though. May still work for oily skin that is not prone to breakouts.

The price of Rimmel Stay Matte Powder is Rs. 195.

Maybelline Dream Matte Pressed Powder

Maybelline Dream Matte Powder review

Maybelline Dream Matte Compact Powder

Ingredients: talc, nylon-12, isodecyl neopentanoate, magnesium stearate, dimethicone, phenoxyethanol, cetyl dimethocone, trimethylsiloxysilicate, methyparaben, triisocetylcitrate, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben. May contain mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides

  • Finely milled powder
  • Good setting powder
  • Good oil control
  • Long-lasting matte look
  • Blends easily
  • Oil-free and non-comedogenic

  • Easy to go overboard and get a cakey look
  • Flies everywhere if you use a brush to pick up
  • It does contain mildly comedogenic ingredients magnesium stearate and jojoba oil in addition to talc. Most people do fine, but for some even these ingredients can cause problems.

The price of Maybelline Dream Matte Powder is Rs. 475.

L’Oreal True Match Super-blended Powder

L'Oreal True Match Powder review

L’Oreal True Match Compact Powder

Ingredients: talc, corn starch, dimethicone, zinc stearate, pentaerythrityl tetraisostearate, octyldodecyl stearoyl stearate, zeolite, sorbic acid, methylparaben, propylparaben, tocopheryl acetate, tetrasodium EDTA, butylparaben, BHT, panthenol, dyes.

  • Very finely milled powder prevents cakey look
  • Blends easily
  • Better coverage than some of the other face powders
  • Buildable coverage
  • Mattifies decently
  • Warm undertone shades available to better match Indian skin tones (choose W shades instead of C or N. W=Warm, C=Cool, N=Neutral)
  • Oil-free and non-comedogenic (although corn starch can break out some people)

  • Oxidizes on some people
  • Chemical smell

The price of L’Oreal True Match Super-blendable Powder is Rs. 850.

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

  • Very finely milled
  • Many shades available, warm shades suitable for Indian skin tones
  • Gives the most coverage of all powders mentioned here
  • Complete matte look
  • Blends easily
  • Safe for acne prone skin

  • Oxidizes on some people
  • Can easily look cakey
  • Can give a very matte look, making the face look flat

The price of MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation is Rs. 1600. It is available at MAC stores.

Lakme Perfect Radiance Multi-Mineral Skin Lightening Compact

Lakme Perfect Radiance Compact review

Lakme Perfect Radiance Compact Powder

  • Oil-free
  • Blends easily
  • Good oil-control
  • Yellow undertones suitable for Indian skin tones
  • Coverage is better than some of the other face powders
  • Many shades (6) to choose from
  • Reported to not cause breakouts on acne prone skin

  • In-vitro (means only in laboratory) SPF 23 may not translate to SPF 23 actually when only a thin layer is applied on the skin. Not a substitute for a proper sunscreen.
  • Full list of ingredients not given, so you cannot tell if it is really non-comedogenic
  • Powder flies everywhere if picked up with a brush

The price of Lakme Perfect Radiance compact is Rs. 160.

Revlon Photo Ready Powder

Revlon Photoready Powder review

Revlon Photoready Compact Powder

Ingredients: Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate) (20%), mica, bismuth oxychloride, zinc stearate, silica, dimethicone, nylon-12, polymethyl methacrylate, polyethylene, octyldodecyl glycol grapeseedate, cyclopentasiloxane, trimethylsiloxysilicate, triethoxycaprylylsilane, calcium aluminum borosilicate, saccharomyces/calcium ferment, saccharomyces/zinc ferment, saccharomyces/potassium ferment, saccharomyces/iron ferment, saccharomyces/copper ferment, saccharomyces/magnesium ferment, pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, hydrogenated lecithin, lauroyl lysine, dimethiconol, methoxypropylgluconamide, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, tocopheryl acetate, hydrolyzed rice protein, lecithin, camellia sinensis leaf extract, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, chamomilia recutita (Matricaria) flower extract, punica granatum extract, laminaria japonica extract, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) seed extract, methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, alumina, phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid

May contain: mica, iron oxides, titanium dioxide, bismuth oxychloride

  • Decent setting powder
  • Glowy finish

  • Easy to get a cakey look
  • Not everyone likes shimmer in their face powder
  • Overload of ingredients makes for a high chance of skin breaking out
  • May contain bismuth oxychloride which can cause itching on the skin

The price of Revlon Photoready Powder is Rs. 900.

Revlon Touch & Glow Moisturising Powder

Key ingredients: talc, fragrance, titanium dioxide

  • No clue what the moisturizing ingredient is because the full ingredient list is not disclosed. This powder has been known to cause breakouts.

The price of Revlon Touch & Glow Moisturizing Powder is Rs. 415.

Streetwear All Day Wear Compact

Streetwear All Day Wear Compact review

Streetwear All Day Wear Compact

Only key ingredients: mineral oil, lanolin alcohol, titanium dioxide, nylon 12
Lanolin alcohol is not the drying type of alcohol. It soothes and softens skin. Lanolin alcohol is comedogenic and can cause acne.(for the curious soul: acetylated form of lanolin alcohol is majorly comedogenic)

The list of key ingredients gives an impression that there is no talc in it.

  • Powder is fine milled and does not fly off
  • Because of mineral oil and lanolin alcohol, works well for skin that is borderline dry
  • Will stay put and not slip off too soon
  • While not the safest option for acne prone skin, it is a budget compact powder for oily skin with no pimples

  • Not oil-free. Although mineral oil is non-comedogenic, it can trap pore clogging ingredients underneath and lead to acne.
  • Lanolin alcohol is comedogenic
  • Not suitable for very oily skin

The price of Streetwear All Day Wear Compact is Rs. 215. Available at general stores, grocery stores and online shopping websites.

Lakme Rose Powder with Sunscreen

Ingredients: talc, zinc stearate, cyclopentasiloxane, titanium dioxide, aluminium hydroxide, stearic acid, perfume, rosa damascena extract, colours, phenoxy ethanol, butyl paraben, ethyl paraben, methyl paraben, propyl paraben

Lakme Rose Powder with Sunscreen is a loose powder that contains real rose extract. Oil-control or matte look is not one of the claims. The claim is to give a pink, glowing finish to the face.

  • Chalky consistency gives a “powdery” look
  • Shades are all pink based which can look unnatural on Indian skin tone
  • No mention of SPF even though it is sold as a sunscreen based product. This cannot replace a sunscreen
  • Loose powder formula makes it difficult to use and travel with
  • Contains stearic acid, which is a comedogenic ingredient.

The price of Lakme Rose Powder is Rs. 95. Available at general stores, grocery stores and online shopping websites.

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32 Responses to 9+ Compact Powders for Oily Skin Reviewed

  1. Profile photo of TejuPriya
    TejuPriya May 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    thank u acne mantra..i was waiting for this review!!

  2. Profile photo of keepcalmandcureacne
    keepcalmandcureacne May 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    THe chambor silver shadow is the only one which never gave me breakouts and looked flawless , but the shade range is too pink and it gives no oil control. It`s meant for good skinned people. Same goes for most premium brands. Givenchy`s powder is meant for actresses who treat their skin with exfoliating machines regularly , it`s like a veil of light. :P Oh and yes , the maybelline clearglow works okay , but gets cakey.

    • Profile photo of AM
      AM May 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

      Chambor Silver Shadow compact shares many of its ingredients with L’Oreal True Match:
      talc, corn starch, pentaerythityl tetraisostearate, zinc stearate, dimethicone, octyldodecyl steroyl stearate, methyl paraben, sorbic acid, fragrance, propylparaben, tetrasodium EDTA, butylparaben, retinyl palmitate, tocoperyl acetate, BHT, dyes

      The Chambor one also contains retinyl palmitate which may explain the absence of breakouts. I’m going to add it to the list, thanks. Yeah, pink undertones is a big problem. I’ll also dig out a review of Maybelline Clear Glow, I’m sure I posted something about it in the Q&A a long time ago.

      What I’ve noticed is that some of the high end brands like Elizabeth Arden, Givenchy, Estee Lauder are targeted toward women who are no longer in their teens or twenties or thirties. So they don’t have to pay much attention to comedogenicity since that is not a problem their clientele is usually facing. Their products are rich, emollient, glow-inducing, breakthrough anti-aging etc. Not to mention really expensive. :-)

  3. Profile photo of keepcalmandcureacne
    keepcalmandcureacne May 28, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    You can include the inglot amc compact foundation as well. It gives the coverage of Mac studiofix without causing breakouts according to many reviews. Mac studiofix has broken some people out , though it is definitely a bankable product (which can also break teens` banks :P , but that`s a small price to pay to look acne free I suppose XD )

  4. Profile photo of keepcalmandcureacne
    keepcalmandcureacne May 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    It would be so amazing if you wrote an article listing comedogenic ingredients on the level of catastrophic abilities on skin ranging from Apst3 to 1 .Just a humble request.

    And Inglot Amc pressed powder is talc free and Vit E enriched , and they have cream powders with jojoba oil (for dry skinned people ) and a decent shade range that has warm tones as well. The price isnt cheap. Almost a grand.

    And everyone who`s using makeup , please so a thorough oil cleanse later , I wish someone told me that when they slathered heavy makeup during my dance performances and I just simply washed my face later , and scrubbed thinking it was all gone. :P Sighs. A huge mistake.

    • Profile photo of AM
      AM May 29, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      Inglot AMC looks worth checking out. I’ve tried their YSM foundation, but no powders yet. Keepcalm, stay tuned as something major about the level of catastrophic abilities is coming up soon. How is double cleansing coming along for you?

  5. itsme May 30, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    Any take on Clinique compacts ?

  6. Profile photo of keepcalmandcureacne
    keepcalmandcureacne May 31, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    @Acne Mantra – Keepcalm deserves a lot of tight Facepalms , cause Keepcalm realised that clogged pores was one of the prime cause that turned her occassional pimples into bad acne flareups . Double cleansing is working like a charm , and instead of using fancy oils I`m using johnson and johnson`s baby oil only. (I`m a college student. so. Cant spend the money I dont have. ) But it`s working SO well. With my retino A 0.04% (nexret ) and Aha glow wash , it`s clearing up my skin. But the spots and scars are stil there. I have noticed since I have a few indented scars , Retino A plumps them up , while glyco A makes them more pitted. So I use glyco A sparingly now , and mostly retino A , and I hope my skin would look decent in the near future… sighs. Thank you though , acne mantra.

    • Profile photo of AM
      AM June 2, 2013 at 6:12 am #

      Hi Keepcalm, I’m happy things are “looking clearer” for you with double cleansing. If Glyco A isn’t working so well, you might consider replacing it with Kaya Skin Clinic Pigmentation Night Cream. It is a bit pricey, but works pretty well for reducing spots. There are other non-comedogenic spot reducing options as well.

      Sadly, indented scarring does not respond dramatically to skin care, except to tretinoin which is pretty much the best thing one can do for truly plumping up the skin. It has to be used for about a year to see results.

    • Profile photo of TejuPriya
      TejuPriya June 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

      kaya pigmenation reducer is effective but costs 5oo rupees for 25g

  7. Profile photo of gswey059
    gswey059 July 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    Hey does the X mean the product fails with that point ?

    • Profile photo of AM
      AM July 23, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

      Yes, you guessed it.

  8. noori August 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    What would you suggest if I want light coverage for everyday use ? Don’t want the heavy look of Mac Studio fix, that’s the only one I have used till date. I am NC 42.

    • Profile photo of TejuPriya
      TejuPriya August 7, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

      Noori try revlon photo reeady two way foundation powder..

    • Profile photo of AM
      AM August 9, 2013 at 11:41 am #

      Hi Noori, Revlon PhotoReady Two Way Powder Foundation is getting lots of praise in this thread about foundations. Maybe jump into that conversation.

  9. noori August 7, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    Thx Teju, have you used it ? How does it compare with other barnds like Maybelline, Colorbar, Chambor or Inglot ?

    • Profile photo of TejuPriya
      TejuPriya August 22, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

      Hi Noori..Sorry I missed your comment..I bought it but I am yet to try..
      I have color triple act compact which is on the same lines and its good..Also non comedogenic..
      Maybelline matte finish compact is good as well..
      Colorbar all compacts are good except time plus compact..I normally dont prefer spf in make up products as they tend to give powdery and white effect..
      I havent tried Inglot,But they are some positive reviews around it..
      Chambor is awesome,oil free,non comedogenic..But only three shades which is the only disadvantage..If you arent dusky like me,you might find a match..

  10. nimi August 22, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    Hi, any views about Lotus Purestay foundation and Compact ? There seem to be good reviews on the net

    • Profile photo of TejuPriya
      TejuPriya August 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      Hi Nimi..Lotus pure stay foundation does not disclose full ingredient list..
      So difficult to tell from acne skin point of view,since its does not say ” oil free” or “non comedogenic”

  11. kalz August 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    Hi.can u plz review anna andre signature poudre compact and also can u tell me whether it is oil free and non comedogenic.

  12. Profile photo of dipikasundesha
    dipikasundesha September 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    the products stated above are acne causing n i have acne prone skin …help?

    • Profile photo of AM
      AM September 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

      Which of the above products are you talking about Dipika? This post reviews popular compacts to see which ones are acne-causing and which ones are not. From these, Maybelline Dream Matte Pressed Powder and L’Oreal True Match compact are relatively safe.

  13. Profile photo of dipikasundesha
    dipikasundesha September 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    plz suggest powder for very oily ,acne prone skin plz

  14. Profile photo of dipikasundesha
    dipikasundesha September 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    i m talking about powders?

    • Profile photo of AM
      AM September 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

      Yes Dipika, we are all talking about only powders in this post. A compact is nothing but powder pressed into a case. As I said, Maybelline Dream Matte and L’Oreal True Match are good compact powders.

  15. Profile photo of dipikasundesha
    dipikasundesha September 6, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    hey thanks….. :)

  16. Profile photo of kareena
    kareena December 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    hey i just bought chambor silver shadow compact RR1…thts d lighest shade.
    when applied it looks a bit white. as i have oily skin i heard its a pretty god one. but the powder shades away from the oily places like my t-tone, n my face look shaded. n it even oxidise on my face.. what to do. how to carry dis? n i cant leave it as its quite expensive.

  17. Profile photo of Priya
    Priya January 7, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    Hello AM,
    I want to use light compact powders for daily use, i have read this page and concluded with Revlon photoready powder as given in comments but in the above list, it says it has too many ingredients which may cause breakouts, and also revlon is too costly like Rs.1000 for me.
    Plz suggest me a best and budget friendly for daily use….
    Thanking u, <3

  18. Profile photo of pals12
    pals12 January 9, 2014 at 6:05 am #

    Hi AM, How about Lame 9 to 5 Flawless matte complexion compact??? Is it safe and any take on it??? Maybelline dream matte or Lakme 9 to 5 matte.. Unable to decide between the two.. need ur advice

    • Profile photo of AM
      AM January 9, 2014 at 10:44 am #

      Hi Pals, unfortunately, we don’t have access to the ingredient list of Lame 9 to 5 Flawless matte complexion compact, so it is difficult to say if it contains any comedogenic (pore-clogging, acne-causing) ingredients. Given Lakme’s history, it wouldn’t be surprising if it did.

      It also depends on how acne prone your skin is. If less than 10% of products break you out, you could probably still go for it, but not if every other product breaks you out. Maybelline Dream Matte is comedogenic. People here have reported no breakouts with Maybelline Clear Glow, but it is not good at oil-control. Another acne-safe, but slightly more expensive option with tons of shade choices is L’Oreal True Match Powder.

  19. Profile photo of pals12
    pals12 January 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    I’m gonna try Loreal one..

    Thank u AM.. For such a beautiful website and valuable suggestions.. Peeping into this site is now a part of my daily routine.. I am using almost all those suggested by you and they are working great for me: )

    • Profile photo of AM
      AM January 12, 2014 at 10:55 am #

      Thanks Pals, it’s nice to know you are benefiting. :)