Here’s How To Stop Foundation From Settling In Your Pores

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Okay, we all know that to achieve flawless makeup, your skin has to be set. However, this is easier said than done, especially when your pores are so large that makeup settles in them. So how do you stop foundation from settling in your pores?

If you are thinking there is no hope for your skin to look flawless, even with large pores, then you need to refresh your knowledge of skincare and beauty routines.

You can stop foundation from settling in your skin pores, and I will show you how with this guide right here.

How to stop foundation settling in pores

1. Cleanse your skin

This should be the first step in any routine you practice. Whether in your morning or evening skincare routine, start with a gentle cleanser to remove debris, excess oil, and bacteria from your skin.  

You also need to cleanse your skin for makeup residue hiding in the pores. When the pores are cleared, they shrink or close up, reducing the probability of your foundation settling in open pores.

However, get a cleanser based on your skin’s needs. For instance, dry and sensitive skin types need a gentle cleanser that wouldn’t be harsh on their skin. Meanwhile, oily and acne-prone would need a foaming cleanser that gets rid of excess oil and bacteria.

Use a product that would help, not harm your skin.

2. Exfoliate

Exfoliation is the act of using a product or tool to remove excess sebum, dirt, and dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. These particles are what cause acne and whiteheads to form on the skin. And acne appears when the skin is clogged and expanded.

Expanded pores do not make a great canvas for makeup. Therefore, without removing these residues, you would get blotchy makeup.

Ingredients like salicylic acid, green tea, turmeric, honey, and baking soda are great exfoliators.

Whether you use a physical (scrubs) or chemical (peels) method to exfoliate, do so according to your skin’s requirements. That is, choose exfoliating products based on being dry, oily, sensitive, acne-prone, normal, or combination skin.

After exfoliating, the skin pores visibly reduce, becoming tighter and firmer, thereby preventing foundation from settling in pores.

3. Use skin-firming products

To get makeup from settling in, use products that work to firm your skin. Toners and serums are the best choices then. They are also essential in a skincare routine.

Toners work to fill the skin with quick hydration and ingredients to prep the skin for other powerful ingredients. Meanwhile, serums are concentrated products meant to provide one or two active ingredients to treat a particular skin issue.

Therefore, use these products to close or firm your skin, making your skin pore tighter. Ingredients that work to smoothen and close skin pores include niacinamide, vitamin C, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, retinoids, and others.

Pick products with enough of these ingredients to minimize the size of your pores.

4. Use moisturizer as a layer

Moisturizers help to fill up your skin, smoothening out the layers and adding a rich texture that consistently provides suppleness.

Moisturizer boosts skin moisture, thereby preventing pores from being open. The pores are filled in already, so when foundation or makeup is layered, there won’t be space to slip through.

However, if you have oily skin, stick to moisturizers that would mattify (without using oil) your skin. Too many skincare products on oily skin can clog the pores.

5. Before makeup, prime

A primer is like a film that separates the skin from makeup. It works as a base or coating on your skin to prevent makeup from slipping into the skin.

If you do not want foundation to settle in your skin, invest in a good – mattifying – primer that would not only hold your makeup in place but would also prevent it from settling in your skin pores.  

Primer works by filling the skin pores, completely shutting it out from makeup products. This will also make your large pores look small. If you want to create a flawless makeup look, apply your primer – after sunscreen – before applying pigmented products.

6. Change foundations

Foundations are meant to provide light to full natural overage. However, it does not work for everyone either because they are the wrong skin type for that foundation or because the formula does not fit their skin.

Whatever the reason, the foundation is not right for you. What do you do then? Change.

If you were using full to medium coverage, switch it up to a lighter one or mix your thick foundation with a bit of moisturizer.

Light and medium coverages blend well with the skin, and even if they do settle, they will still look natural, unlike full coverage where there needs to be consistency to maintain coverage.

And as mentioned, if you must use thick foundations for full coverage, mix with moisturizer to give it a lighter and smoother feel on the skin when applied.

However, if you have large pores, go with a powder foundation because it layers, gives the illusion of shrunk pores, and does not settle. Do not go for glossy or oil foundations because they can clog your pores.

7. Apply foundation correctly

The trick is to start from the center of the face and move to the edges, blending in circular motions. After, blot with a paper towel and setting spray to make it stick or remove excess foundation, then use a setting powder to finish up your look.

If you want to keep your foundation from settling, apply your foundation using a foundation brush for a smooth finish.

Additionally, the foundation brush should be round and dense with enough bristles to cover a large area evenly.

8. Use a setting spray

You might be wondering what a setting spray has to do with foundation settling in pores, but it does matter.

Once your makeup is set with the spray, the foundation sticks or mattes. This will prevent it from slipping or melting into the skin.

Setting sprays are used to prevent the makeup from transferring or breaking down, therefore, it will not let the foundation settle in pores.

What causes foundation to settle in pores?

Prevention is better than cure, they say. And knowing the following reasons will help prevent foundation from settling into your pores.

  • You have large pores that attract particles easily.
  • You do not give your foundation time to dry before applying other products like setting powder.
  • When you use too much foundation, it is pressed into the pores.
  • Aging skin with weak pores.
  • Using the wrong foundation for your skin.
  • If you do not protect your pores by moisturizing and priming, they are left in the open, which makes it easy for foundation to settle in.


how to stop foundation settling in pores

Can matte foundation settle in pores?

Yes, it can.

While matte foundation is supposed to create a dry finish on the skin, it can settle into your pores if you use too much. To avoid this, use in bits then blend and layer until you get your coverage.

Can you get acne breakout when foundation settles in pores?

Yes, you can.

Letting foundation settle in pores consistently will cause acne breakout because the leftover residue will build up in the skin pores.

Is it natural to have open pores?

Yes, it is.

Some people are born with open pores. However, this does not mean their skin is lacking.

Nonetheless, it would be hard to retain skincare and beauty products. Therefore, it is necessary to keep the pores closed using pore-closing products.

What type of foundation settles in skin pores the most?

Oily foundation.

Foundations made with oil bases tend to clog the pores the most because of their composition to slip into the skin and stick to the pores.

Therefore, if you have open pores or oily skin, stay away from oily foundations. Instead, use powder or stick foundations.


Foundation settling in your pores can be the beginning of an uncomfortable set of breakouts. So you have to find a way to stop foundation from settling in pores.

To do this, start with clean and clear skin. Cleansing your skin twice a day will help remove residue, dirt, oil, and bacteria from your pores, leaving it smaller than before. Then exfoliate and be sure to moisturize.

And when you want to apply your foundation, use lighter coverage than full and stick to the one meant for your skin type. Also, always practice suitable skincare and beauty routines always.

That’s the only way you can protect your skin and keep your makeup flawless.  

Thanks for reading.

You can get more beauty hacks here on MBGON.