Mattifying Lotions

Typical Mattifying Products

The wide variety of options allows consumers to pick the product best suited for them. You typically apply these products before putting on the rest of your makeup, but many of them can be reapplied over makeup throughout the day without having any detrimental effects.

As we described earlier, talc and powders are popular products for oil absorption.

Cream-based mattifying foundations help control oil while creating a smooth, consistent skin tone. Certain lines of mattifying foundations are designed specifically for stage and screen use, as they prevent shine from appearing even under hot stage lights.

Mattifying lotions are common, but they do vary in their consistency. Some are smooth, like an average lotion, and as you rub them into your skin, they absorb the excess oil. Lotions with a large amount of silicone initially feel like a clump of gel-like globules, but as you rub the lotion into your skin, these globules dissipate and the skin absorbs them. Some lotions come with added color, to use as a foundation replacement.

Balm and gel mattifiers can feel less weighty than either lotions or powders, and they can be reapplied as needed during the day. Some recommend using special sponges or brushes for application, but sometimes you can apply these just as easily with your fingertips.

Sprays and mists allow you to add a mattifier without having to rub a product into your skin. They can also feel refreshing, particularly after exercising.

Oil absorbing sheets are small sheets of rice paper that you blot oil with. These are especially good for midday touch-ups. These delicate pieces of disposable paper are more suited for slightly oily skin or times when the sebum is just starting to appear on the skin. If the oil is more prominent, just one sheet of rice paper may not be able to fully absorb it.

Many of the ingredients in mattifiers have been deemed safe for use. If dimethicone is an ingredient in a mattifier, it should be no more than 24 percent of the product [source: Cosmetic Ingredient Review]. If you're prone to breakouts, make sure that any product containing dimethicone is also non-comedogenic, to avoid clogging pores, or else avoid use of the product.

For more information on controlling oily skin, follow the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • American Chemistry Council. "The Basics -- Polymer Definition and Properties." (Date accessed: December 7, 2009.)
  • Cosmetic Ingredient Review. "Cosmetic ingredients found safe as used." July 18, 2009. (Date accessed: December 8, 2009.)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Acne." November 3, 2009. (Date accessed: December 4, 2009.)
  • The Personal Care Products Council. "Glossary." (Date accessed: December 6, 2009.)
  • The Personal Care Products Council. "Talc." (Date accessed: December 7, 2009.)
  • Starch, Michael. "New Developments in Silicone Elastomers for Skin Care." 2002. (Date accessed: December 4, 2009.)
  • WebMD. "Dimethicone Top." (Date accessed: December 8, 2009.)