11 Best Serum Foundations Of 2024 With A Complete Guide

A perfect amalgamation of makeup and skin care screaming, "pick me before others do."

Reviewed by Tim Quinn, Beauty Expert & Makeup Artist
Written by Shiboli Chakraborti, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach
Edited by Aditi Naskar, MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness
Fact-checked by Ramona Sinha, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach  • 
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

Why hide your skin flaws with layers of cosmetics when you can address them naturally! You got it right! The best serum foundations can help treat various skin issues like pigmentation and pores while giving good coverage for an instant glow-up.

A serum foundation is what it says on the tin: a serum combined with a foundation. It means you can use a single product to glam up your skin while correcting its faults. Oil-based serum foundations are usually light and airy. They address dryness, aging, pigmentation, acne, and uneven skin tone, among other issues. Scroll down to see our top picks!

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Overall:M.A.D SKINCARE Photo Guard SPF 50 Self-Adjusting Serum FoundationPrice on Amazon
Best Vegan: Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum FoundationPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For Enlarged Pores:No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum FoundationPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For Sensitive Skin:L'Oreal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum FoundationPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Anti-Aging: juice BEAUTY Phyto-Pigments Flawless Serum FoundationPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Nourishing Formula:ILIA True Skin Serum FoundationPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Semi-Matte Finish:Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation SerumPrice on Amazon
Best Long-Lasting: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum FoundationPrice on Amazon
Best Hydrating: PÜR Hydrafluid Water Serum FoundationPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For Natural Look: Faces Canada Unite Pro Second Skin Serum FoundationPrice on Amazon

11 Best Serum Foundations

1. Best Overall:M.A.D SKINCARE Photo Guard SPF 50 Self-Adjusting Serum Foundation

4.4

The M.A.D Skincare Photo Guard SPF 50 Self Adjusting Serum Foundation is a non-greasy but moisturizing formula. This liquid formula applies as white, then instantly adjusts to your skin tone.

It is powered with the broad spectrum SPF 50 that shields your skin from UV rays. This lightweight formula illuminates your skin and makes it feel silky-soft. Plus, it blends super-quickly. It is suitable for all skin types and checks all the foundation boxes!

Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.49 x 2.99 x 1.5 inches; 1.06 Ounces

Pros

  • Non-greasy
  • Lightweight
  • Illuminating, silky finish
  • SPF 50 protection
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • Fewer shade options

protip_icon Pro Tip
Synthetic brushes work well for applying serum foundations since they are simpler to clean and produce a smooth, uniform finish. Despite being excellent for sheering out creams and liquids, a sponge tends to absorb a lot of the product.

2. Best Vegan: Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation

4.3

The Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation feels weightless even when worn for a long time. It enhances your natural skin tone to provide age-defying undetectable coverage. The chameleon pigments look exactly like your skin as if you have not applied any makeup. The breakthrough color-match technology smoothens the skin and corrects visible signs of aging.

This lightweight foundation boosts skin elasticity and balances the skin tone, diminishing fine lines, and wrinkles giving a smooth texture. It keeps oily areas shine-free and also hydrates the dry patches. This vegan product provides a velvety HD finish and is available in three shades. It is cruelty-free and does not contain gluten, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, mineral oil, and synthetic fragrance. Take a look at this video to explore the reviewer’s experience with the product and learn more about it.

Skin Type: Dry | Color: Light/ Medium

Pros

  • Velvety HD finish
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Lightweight coverage
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty- free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • No synthetic fragrance

Cons

  • Expensive

3. Best For Enlarged Pores: No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation

The No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation is loaded with anti-aging and skin-friendly ingredients that address uneven skin tone and skin discoloration. It improves your skin texture and reduces the visibility of open and enlarged pores. This serum foundation is infused with a potent blend of optical blurring agents and light-reflecting particles that impart clinically proven results. It diminishes the signs of aging by reflecting light and shifting away the focus from fine lines and wrinkles.

It does not crack or melt, no matter how many times you change your expression. The product conceals the fine lines and masks sagging skin all day long. It hydrates and plumps your skin, protecting it from the sun with its SPF 15 formula. It is suitable for daily use and available in 14 shades. Watch this YouTuber’s honest review to get a better idea about the product and its features.

Skin Type: All

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Covers fine lines and wrinkles
  • Blurring effect
  • Long-lasting
  • Contains SPF 15
  • Provides medium coverage

Cons

  • Watery consistency
M.A.D SKINCARE Photo Guard SPF 50 Self-Adjusting Serum Foundation
Best Overall
Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation
Best Vegan
No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation
Best For Enlarged Pores
Package Dimensions ‏ ‎ 4.49 x 2.99 x 1.5 inches; 1.06 Ounces--
Skin Type- Dry All
Color- Light/ Medium-
Rating
Reviews-6003,257
Price$48$45$27.99

4. Best For Sensitive Skin: L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation

4.2
L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation Image: L'oreal Paris

The L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation provides ultimate moisture and radiance to mature skin. This full-coverage foundation contains vitamin B3 that evens out the skin tone with natural coverage to mask the fine lines. This serum foundation protects your skin from sun damage with broad-spectrum SPF 50. It is non-comedogenic and does not settle between the fine lines and makes your skin look sagging or cakey. This tried and tested product can help you achieve a dewy glow and a flawless makeup look!

Skin Type: SensitiveColor: Rose Ivory | Product Dimensions: 0.98 x 1.5 x 4.96 inches | Weight: 1.45 Ounces.

Pros

  • Contains SPF 50
  • Provides medium to full coverage
  • Lightweight
  • Masks fine lines and wrinkles
  • Ideal for sensitive and mature skin
  • Buildable
  • Dermatologically-tested
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • Might sting the eyes

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

Almost 12,527 happy users have mentioned the value and quality of this product.

5. Best Anti-Aging: juice BEAUTY Phyto-Pigments Flawless Serum Foundation

4.1

The juice BEAUTY Phyto-pigments Flawless Serum Foundation works as an age-defying serum. This popular product from a clinically backed skincare brand is formulated with fruit stem cells and resveratrol-rich grape seed. This serum foundation consists of plant-derived phyto-pigments that blend easily into the skin to give you a seamless natural finish and a youthful appearance.

The product contains key ingredients such as hydrating antioxidants like vitamins C and E that make your skin supple and bouncy while boosting its natural radiance. This vegan product covers the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles without settling between them to form cracks. The product has an impressive shade range and you can also use this lightweight serum foundation for all-day wear.

Skin Type: AllColor: Sand | Product Dimensions: 1.06 x 1.06 x 4.88 inches | Weight: 4 Ounces.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Silicone-free
  • Buildable
  • Provides medium to full coverage
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Petroleum-free
  • Propylene-free
  • Butylene glycol-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Gluten-free
  • No artificial dyes
  • No added synthetic fragrances
  • PEG-free
  • TEA-free
  • DEA-free
  • GMO-free

Cons

  • Unpleasant fragrance

6. Best Nourishing Formula: ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation

The ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation is weightless and provides an aluminous finish. It is buildable with flawless coverage and makes your skin appear vibrant. This dermatologist-tested serum foundation is formulated with a potent blend of botanical actives that refresh your skin.

It contains aloe leaf, jojoba, mastic, and marula oils that nourish and even out the skin tone. This serum foundation also melts into your skin to soothe irritation, minimize enlarged pores, and blur imperfections. It is vegan, cruelty-free, and does not contain sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, and mineral oil.

Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Dry, Normal | Color: Bowen SF4 | Product Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 5 inches | Weight: 0.35 Ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • None

protip_icon Pro Tip
Use buffing, stippling, and oval brushes with liquid foundations. For powder foundations, try fluffier, powder-centric brushes to get the coverage light and natural rather than caked into pores.

7. Best Semi-Matte Finish: Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum

4.1
Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum Image: Perricone

This serum works wonders on your skin by providing a semi-matte finish with SPF 20. To use it, take some serum on your fingertips or synthetic fiber brush and apply it on the skin in circular motions to create uniform coverage and flawless complexion. The serum is available in buff, ivory, rich, porcelain, and tan colors. This wonder product will fuse with your skin to give it a luminous and natural, healthy glow.

Skin Type: All | Color: Buff

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin tones and types
  • Sun protection
  • Smoothens the skin
  • Gives a semi-matte finish

Cons

  • May not be suitable for damaged skin
  • May have a strong smell

8. Best Long-Lasting: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation

4
Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation Image: Bobbi Brown

The Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation is loaded with a potent formula that recharges your skin. The Active Skin Energizing complex is a powerful combination of cordyceps and artemia, which help replenish your skin by boosting its natural radiance.

This serum foundation with SPF 40 protects your skin from the sun, UVA, and UVB rays, and environmental aggressors. It also prevents collagen damage and combats any visible signs of aging. This lightweight serum foundation evens out the skin tone and diminishes pigmentation through a cold-fusion process to give you a radiant and flawless look. It stays on throughout the day without cracking and sustains hot, humid weather. And, if you are still not quite convinced, then check out the popular product on Amazon and read through the innumerable positive reviews to be confirmed. It is bound to become one of your favorite serum foundations!

Skin Type: Dry, Normal | Color: Brown | Product Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 5 inches | Weight: 5.6 Ounces

Pros

  • Provides medium to full coverage
  • Lightweight
  • Blends easily
  • Buildable
  • Nourishing
  • Contains SPF 40
  • Long-lasting
  • Available in 23 shades

Cons

  • None

9. Best Hydrating: PÜR Hydrafluid Water Serum Foundation

4.2
PÜR Hydrafluid Water Serum Foundation Image: PÜr Hydrafluid

The PÜR Hydrafluid Water Serum Foundation is formulated with the encapsulated water complex from the Swiss Alps. It is ultra-hydrating and imparts long-lasting radiance. The pure mineral water with antioxidant benefits refreshes, nourishes, and firms your skin. This serum foundation feels skin-like and is buildable, lightweight, breathable, and provides a dewy, silky and radiant finish. This cruelty-free product does not contain parabens, gluten, BPA, dermatitis herpetiformis, toxins, or preservatives, thus can easily be a part of your everyday skin care routine.

Skin Type: All | Color: Tan | Product Dimensions: 0.88 x 1.13 x 6.13 inches | Weight: 0.96 Ounces.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Cruelty-free
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Paraben-free
  • FDA approved
  • No toxins or preservatives
  • No Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • Gluten-free

Cons

  • Might feel greasy

10. Best For Natural Look:Faces Canada Unite Pro Second Skin Serum Foundation

3.8
Faces Canada Unite Pro Second Skin Serum Foundation Image: Faces Canada

The Faces Canada Unite Pro Second Skin Serum Foundation offers blendable, medium to high coverage. It leaves your skin smooth and velvety soft and imparts a natural, matte finish. This seamless formula is infused with marine sea algae extracts that eliminate aging signs, treat inflammation, and soothe your skin. It skilfully blurs out skin imperfections and has an ultra-thin consistency, making it easy to apply with hands, a brush, or a sponge. Plus, it feels lightweight and sits comfortably on the skin for a long time. This foundation is also powered with SPF 15 which protects your skin against harmful UV rays.

Color: Ivory 01

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Natural matte finish
  • Easy to apply
  • SPF 15 protection
  • Non-oily
  • Paraben-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • None

11. Best Buildable Coverage:Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation

4.2
Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation Image: Clinique

The Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation is the answer to your foundation prayers if you want a skin-like finish. It is formulated with serum technology which delivers flawless coverage to your skin. This weightless, liquid foundation is infused with active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin C that moisturize and brighten up your skin. It also contains salicylic acid that unclogs your pores and reveals clearer skin.

These key ingredients also work to prevent discoloration and leave your skin with a stunning satin matte finish. It is also powered with broad spectrum SPF 25 that protects your skin against harmful UV rays. This long-wearing foundation is especially suited for combination and oily skin types. Check this video to explore the tester’s experience with this foundation.

Skin Type: Oily, Combination | Color: Cream Whip

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin tones
  • Dermatologists-tested
  • Ophthalmologist-tested
  • Contains SPF 25
  • Crease-proof
  • Lightweight
  • Allergy-tested
  • Humidity- and sweat-resistant
  • Satin matte finish
  • Non-acetogenic
  • Long-wearing
  • Oil-free
  • Waterproof
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • None
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Let’s now look at what a serum foundation actually is.

What Are Serum Foundations?

A serum foundation is a potent blend of foundation and serum that offers makeup and skin care benefits. From correcting skin tone, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and combating sun damage to boosting natural radiance– a serum foundation acts as a multi-vitamin for your face. It hydrates your skin and helps combat signs of aging. A serum foundation is a vitamin-enriched product that contains minerals, antioxidants, and skin-soothing agents like hyaluronic acid. It is a healthy choice for your skin as it does not contain chemicals, toxins, and skin-damaging agents, unlike regular foundations.

The purpose of a serum foundation is to achieve that ‘no-makeup’ makeup look. Here is how you can nail the trick of applying a serum foundation perfectly.

How To Apply A Serum Foundation

  • Apply Primer

Apply a base layer of primer to ensure that your serum foundation blends seamlessly and glides smoothly on the skin.

Tip: Pick a primer whose texture matches with your foundation texture. If your serum foundation has a silky, sheer finish, use a primer with a silky finish. A matte finish primer might ruin the look of the sheer and silky serum foundation by dulling it down.

  • Dot And Blend

The dot and blend technique will help you blend the serum foundation easily for a skin-like finish. Use a beauty blender to dab and glide the product on your skin for an even tone. If you want to build it up, repeat the process until you get the desired coverage.

Tim Quinn, a beauty expert & makeup artist, adds, “If you want a more sheer application, dampen your sponge first and then apply the liquid foundation.”

  • Seal It like A Pro

Always use a translucent powder, a setting loose powder, or a setting spray to seal your makeup. If you don’t, the foundation might form cracks or get cakey due to humidity, pollution, or environmental aggressors. This negates the whole point of using a serum foundation for a skin-like texture. Hence, sealing your makeup is a MUST!

There are certain rules of who should and not use a serum foundation. It all comes down to your skin type and texture. Check out the following section to know about it all.

Who Should And Who Should Not Use Them?

Who Should Use A Serum Foundation

  1. If you have mature skin, try the serum foundation. As you grow older, your skin tends to lose its natural oilsand gets dry. A serum foundation hydrates and nourishes your skin to look replenished while glamming up.
  2. If you have dry skin, a serum foundation will hydrate the skin and make it supple.
  3. A serum foundation is also suitable for sensitive skin. It is lightweight and loaded with rich antioxidants and minerals. It is also toxin-free and does not contain harsh ingredients.

Who Should Not Use A Serum Foundation

  1. If you have oily skin, a serum foundation is not the best choice. Serums are usually oil-based and might make your oily skin even more greasy.
  2. If you have acne-prone skin, avoid serum foundation as it might clog your open pores. And clogged pores can lead to breakouts.

Infographic: Common Mistakes To Avoid When Using Serum Foundations

Serum foundations have gained popularity for their lightweight and hydrating formulas that provide a natural, radiant finish. However, navigating their realm requires a bit of know-how to avoid some common pitfalls. We have put together a list of key don’ts when using serum foundations to help you make the most of your beauty routine. Check them out in the infographic below.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Using Serum Foundations (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

The Bottom Line

Foundations are a great way to hide fine lines and wrinkles, providing a base for your makeup. Unlike generic foundations, the best serum foundation will be more hydrating to your skin. Therefore, these foundations are of great help to dry skin. The M.A.D SKINCARE Photo Guard SPF 50 Self-Adjusting Serum Foundation is a unique formula that adjusts to different skin tones, while the Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation is a great option for those looking for a lightweight formula with buildable coverage. However, if you are looking for a dewy and glowy finish, try the L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Serum Foundation. In addition, these foundations also offer a flawless finish and radiant glow. Moreover, a serum foundation provides great coverage, soothes irritation, and minimizes the pores. Some serum foundations can also prevent sunburn. However, always invest in dermatologist-recommended serum foundations if you have sensitive skin, and ensure to do a patch test prior to topical application to check for allergies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is serum foundation the ultimate summer skin hero?

Yes, serum foundations combine the benefits of a serum and a foundation. This way you get the goodness of serums like hydration, moisture, nourishment, etc., and the benefits of foundation which is to cover flaws on your face and gives you an even-toned look.

What is the difference between foundation and serum foundation?

A regular foundation works only as a cosmetic, whereas serum foundation not only helps gain a flawless look but also provides you with ample skin benefits.

How often do you use serum foundation?

You can use a serum foundation every day if you want to enhance your makeup regime and aid skin rejuvenation.

How long does serum foundation last?

Serum foundations have a shelf life of 9 months from the date of opening.

Is tinted serum the same as serum foundation?

No. A tinted serum doesn’t have the same coverage strength as a serum foundation. A tinted serum also has a thinner consistency than a regular foundation, making it better in providing skin-care benefits.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Shiboli Chakraborti is a certified skin care coach and has conducted in-depth research on many products to help you pick the best serum foundations for your skin type. She has gone through brand websites to study products in detail. Her knowledge of several skincare ingredients helps to compile the best serum foundation list. These products are lightweight and can address many skin problems like pigmentation and aging.

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