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
- 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.
- You will need to do touch-ups at regular intervals during the day.
- Some powders oxidize on oily skin, meaning they make the face look darker, orange, gray or tired.
- Face powders, even if they contain sunscreen ingredients, do not provide enough sun protection.
- 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.
- 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.
- As a finishing powder or setting powder on top of liquid / cream foundation to make the foundation stay put longer.
- To provide sheer coverage when worn alone or additional coverage on top of foundation.
Tips on using face powder / compact
- 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.
- 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
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
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
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
- 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
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
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.