Why Does My Foundation Separate on My Face?

Several reasons a foundation will not set or work for you. If you’re thinking about makeup, the base will be the foundation. And then, on top, you can apply concealer, blush, bronzer, and all the other things. The main job of a foundation is to make the skin tone even for the person. They also hide all the imperfections, which is why a foundation is a must. The variety of foundations is so vast that even the most inexperienced person would be perplexed.

But with foundation, one fact must be mentioned that matches your regular skin tone. That would be the foundation being perfectly blended with the skin. The whole face will feel bad if you the entire face will feel bad. No matter how many things you add on top of the foundation, it will not work. And this is why a good, blended foundation is something that you need in your regular makeup routine. And then there comes the critical question: why does my foundation separate on my face?

The main reason the foundation separates from your face is the skin prep. If you haven’t put enough effort into the skin first, then there’s a high chance that the foundation will start to separate. We meant a balanced skin prep. We don’t want you to go overboard with your foundation, but rather use the minimum amount that will make the foundation stick to your skin. For that, there are a lot of steps before getting to foundations. And the steps also vary as the skin type varies. And for that, the foundation you choose must also vary.

When it comes to foundations, the first thing you should go through is by checking whether the foundation suits your criteria or not. If you’re someone with oily skin and buying a hydrating foundation will not cut the work, the face will look extremely oily, and there’s a chance of the foundation separating on the skin. And if you have dry skin and you go for a very matte foundation, it won’t stick, and at the end of the day, it will look cakey.

Again, when the skin is not well prepped, there’s a high chance that the foundation will not be blended into the skin, and it will just separate. And lastly, there’s the reason for how you blend the foundation. This article will cover every point addressing why my foundation separates on my face and how to take care of it.

How is the foundation separated?

How is the foundation separated

There are a lot of reasons why the foundation can separate. But how does a foundation separate? Well, there are a few theories on how a foundation separates, and mostly it has to do with the skin and foundation reactions. And next, we have the product itself. Foundation is an oil and water emulsion, and it still has some pigmentation. That makes it different from a regular moisturizer. But though oil and water are the keys, other facts make different kinds of foundations. And here are some facts on how a foundation separates from the skin:

  1. When the oil and water stabilizer of the foundation doesn’t work properly, the foundation separates.
  2. The foundation can separate when it has gone bad, and the whole thing separates.
  3. When there’s a chemical emulsion on the foundation, it will separate.
  4. High temperatures can also cause the foundation to be separated from the skin.

Why does my foundation separate on my face?

Here we’ll be going through different causes, addressing why the foundation will not set on your face. And also, we’ll be including all the reasons regarding the skin and the product. So read till the very last to understand why the foundation separates from the face.

Cause 1: not enough skin prep

Not enough skin prep

The first reason we want to start with is the skin. Obviously, you want the foundation to stick to your face. So when we are discussing the foundation, we have to look at the skin prep, to begin with. If you do not have enough skin prep, then the foundation will start to separate as soon as you begin. Well, there are some steps in skincare that are related to the foundation being smooth on the skin:

  • Exfoliation
  • Hydration

Exfoliants are a must for your skin care regimen if you wear makeup almost daily. You do not want to exfoliate every day, but once in a while, you will need to exfoliate. With this, the upper layer of dead skin cells will be removed, and both the skincare and makeup products will sit on top of the skin perfectly. Exfoliation also makes the skin hydrated.

Next, we have hydrotherapy. No matter what type of skin you have, you need moisture. When the skin feels too hydrated, there’s a chance that the skin will feel very unappealing. And that goes for the foundation as well. The foundation gas has nothing to hold on to with no proper hydration. And thus, they started to move. And this might be regarded as a separation of foundations.

Remedies: here we include some points that will help you to get the proper skin prep:

  1. Use chemical exfoliators once in a while.
  2. Or just go with the physical exfoliators.
  3. Use dermaplaning or shave the skin.
  4. Use exfoliating toners.
  5. Moisturize with a deeply hydrating balm or cream.
  6. Use facial mists before the makeup.
  7. Use a sticky primer for the foundation to stick.

Cause 2. Dry skin


This might be the key reason for the foundation’s separation for those who suffer from dry skin. With foundation and all the other makeup products, they are not going to go deep into the skin. But they will stay on top of the skin. So you need to hydrate the skin from the very beginning so the foundation will sit. For very dry skin, the foundation first starts to separate on the nose, then turns to separate on the smile and fine lines. Even the T zone for dry skin people is very vulnerable.

Remedies to prevent dry skin:

  • Use chemical exfoliators like alpha-hydroxy serums.
  • Use moisturizers with shea butter or heavy oils.
  • Use facial oil on the moisturizer.
  • Cream lathering can aid in the treatment of dry skin.
  • Facial mists before and after the foundation.
  • Use fewer powders.
  • Go for a cream or liquid foundation for dry skin.
  • Blend the foundation with a damp blender.
  • Try to avoid mattifying foundation and setting spray.

Cause 3. Oily skin

Oily skin

This point is for people who suffer from oily skin. Here the foundation separates throughout the day due to the oil on the face. Oily skin is hard to manage, but you should still use enough moisturizer and mist so the foundation will stick. Oily skin tends to separate primarily in the T zone, as that’s the place when oil first tends to stack. The foundation will blend easily with oily skin, but as the day goes by, the foundation will start to separate. Even using tons of moisturizers can get the foundation to separate. Here you can go for matte products, primarily those that’ll help control the oil on your face.

Remedies to prevent extra oily skin:

  1. Use a small amount of moisturizer on the face before the foundation.
  2. Instead of hydrating mist, go for mattifying products
  3. After the moisturizer and sunscreen, use a little bit of powder on top and then put the primer on. When the primer is set, put a bit of powder on top.
  4. Blend the foundation with a facial mist.
  5. Set the face with a finishing powder.
  6. Add a matte setting spray at every part of the application.
  7. Exfoliate the skin more often.
  8. Hydrate with lightweight or gel moisturizers.

Cause 4. Not using a primer

Not using a primer

Most people think that primers are overrated, but for us, primers are game changers. They tend to change the entire look of the foundation. With primer, there are two types of primers. Some of them are hydrating primers, and others are matte ones. And some are even on the gripping side. But most of the hydrating primers are used as gripping primers. But when you have combination skin, we suggest using different sorts of primer on different skin types.

How to use a primer for the foundation to stick?

Here we’ll be including a short description of what kind of primer will suit:

  • For those with oily skin, go for a matte primer.
  • For those with dry skin, use hydrating primers.
  • For the foundation to last long in extreme weather, we suggest going for gripping primers.
  • If you have textures on the skin, the gripping primers will work fine.
  • The priming mist will also work for those with sensitive skin.

✨ You May like: How to Remove Eyelash Extensions With Baby Oil?

Cause 5. Overapplying foundation

Overapplying foundation

You can’t just pile on the foundation and expect it to stick and cover properly. When too much product is applied, the foundation layers get thick, making it hard to blend the foundation. And eventually, with other products on top of the foundation, it will only make it non-sticky, and the foundation might even move a lot.

Remedies for overapplying foundation:

  • First, start with a little bit of foundation and then blend.
  • Once the first layer is blended well, add another layer of foundation on top.
  • Blend the foundation well, so it doesn’t look cakey.
  • For coverage, use a full-coverage foundation instead of layering the foundation.
  • Blend the foundation well, so it doesn’t separate.

Cause 6. The wrong type of foundation

The wrong type of foundation

If you have oily skin and are using a hydrating foundation, then separation of the foundation from the skin is very common. And the same goes for matte foundation and dry skin. For the foundation to be blended into the skin well, you want a product that suits the skin type well. And that’s how you find the foundation formula right for you.

To choose the right type of foundation:

  • You need to check what kind of foundation that is.
  • If you have dry skin, then an oil-based or liquid foundation will be perfect for you.
  • If you have oily skin, then powder or cream foundations will be perfect for you.
  • See what kind of finish the foundation offers and choose accordingly.

These were just a few causes that might affect your overall foundation experience. But for the foundation to stick to the face, we have included some steps to give a flawless base.

To stop the foundation from separating from your face, you need to

  1. Hydrate the face.
  2. Use a damp blender.
  3. Start with a little bit of foundation and then build-up.
  4. Setting spray is used to set the face.
  5. Don’t layer up the foundation.
  6. Choose a matte one for oily skin and a hydrating one for dry skin.
  7. Gripping primers are the perfect solution.


1. Why, no matter what I do, does my foundation look bad?

To solve this issue, you might want to switch the foundation. Or just use alternative foundations, and a tinted moisturizer will work just fine.

2. Why does my foundation separate from my nose?

There are two reasons your foundation is separating on your nose: your nose is too dry. Or the nose part is too oily.

3. Why does my makeup come off even with setting spray?

When the base makeup hasn’t stuck to the face properly, then there’s a chance that the foundation will come off even with setting spray.

4. What is the best primer to stop the foundation from separating?

The Milk Hydro Grip Primer is the best to stop the foundation from separating. The E.l.f. Gripping primer will also work.

Final Thoughts

The skin prep might be the key to the foundation, but the skin prep is the key to the foundation. And this is why you might want to start with the very basics. And you’d want the foundation to last all day instead of separating throughout the day. And this is why a foundation’s opposition and setting techniques matter the most. The answer to why my foundation separates on my face would be that you’re not giving enough attention before and after you apply the foundation. And even with all the points, if the foundation keeps separating, it is time to change the foundation itself. Buy a new one in the store. And patch test the foundation on your face.

Key Points

  1. Skin prep is the major reason the foundation separates from your face. If you don’t put in enough effort to prep your skin beforehand, the foundation will most likely separate.
  2. The foundation splits when the oil and water stabilizer fails to function effectively.
  3. The face may appear incredibly greasy, and there is a potential that the foundation will separate on the skin if you have oily skin and choose to get a moisturizing foundation.

✨ Next Attraction: Unblended Eyeshadow: The Ultimate Guide

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top