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Best Foundations for Acne Prone Skin

Tracy Johnson
Makeup for Acne Prone Skin

Often thought of as the bane of teen years, acne can often transition into adulthood. Fortunately, a multitude of fabulous makeup brands offer foundations that help conceal and even treat acne. Finding a foundation that not only provides exceptional coverage to blemish-prone skin but also does not clog or irritate your skin isn't always easy. When selecting a foundation, look for products that are oil-free, non-comedogenic, and enriched with acne-fighting active ingredients.

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Make-Up

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Make-Up is designed to balance and camouflage blemish-prone skin, doing away with oil and unwanted shine. Best for young, acne-prone, and combination skin types, it provides up to eight hours of coverage. It conceals, controls breakouts, neutralizes the appearance of redness, and helps prevent future blemishes while providing moderate coverage. The non-irritating, oil-free cream foundation is listed as one of the best on Glamour's Skin Clearing Makeup-Foundation list and comes in 12 highly sought-after shades. Also an Allure Best of Beauty Winner, It contains medicated ingredients to help treat existing breakouts and keep new ones from forming


To apply, simply squeeze a few drops onto the back of your hand and blend using either clean fingertips or a foundation brush. Start at the center of your face and smooth out toward your hairline and jaw for a flawless finish.

Key Ingredients

  • Salicylic acid to remove excess oil and dead cells from the skin's surface
  • Llaminaria sacharrina extract (a sea algae that regulates sebum production)
  • Hydroxydecanoic acid to control the spread of blemishes
  • Caffeine to quell irritation and redness

E.L.F. Acne Fighting Foundation

If you are hoping to mask redness, cover uneven skin tone, and completely hide blemishes, then E.L.F.'s Acne Fighting Foundation may be right for you. Recommended on Entrepreneur Lauren Conrad's beauty blog, The Beauty Department, it soothes the skin while calming inflammation and redness. The powerful liquid formula is infused with acne-fighting ingredients to help prevent and treat unwanted, bothersome acne blemishes. Available in eight shades from ivory to chestnut, the lightweight texture melts into skin for a flawless finish.


Apply the silky texture to clean and moisturized skin. Squeeze a small amount onto a sponge, fingertips or a foundation brush. Starting at the center of the face blend outward. One layer gives a natural finish or apply in buildable layers for fuller coverage.

Key Ingredients

  • Salicylic acid to remove excess oil and dead cells from the skin's surface
  • Witch hazel to reduce inflammation and control oil
  • Camphor to calm and sooth
  • Tea tree to kill bacteria, calm the skin, and reduce inflammation
  • Aloe to soothe and heal

Neutrogena SkinClearing Liquid Makeup

Neutrogena's oil-free SkinClearing Liquid Makeup is the first liquid foundation formulated with MicroClear® technology to treat breakouts while preventing and tackling oncoming ones. It balances oil (a main symptom of acne), unclogs pores, and rids skin of impurities for fast, efficient acne relief. It provides shine-free, natural-looking coverage, allowing skin to breathe instead of clogging pores and causing more blemishes. It comes in 12 gorgeous shades, so you are certain to find one to match your skin tone perfectly. Found on Elle's list of 14 Foundations For Oily Skin, this foundation camouflages and treats imperfections at the same time.


Before applying the silky medication/foundation, cleanse the skin thoroughly. Cover the entire affected area with a thin layer one to three times daily depending on your preference. For a flawless look, dab makeup lightly onto face, then blend using gentle strokes in an upward and outward motion. Make sure to blend along your jawline for an overall even appearance.

Key Ingredient

  • Salicylic acid to remove excess oil and dead cells from the skin's surface

CoverFX Pressed Mineral Foundation

CoverFX Pressed Mineral Foundation applies smoothly while airbrushing flaws, mattifying skin, and calming inflammation. As with all CoverFX products, it's free from parabens, fragrance, gluten, mineral oils, and talc which is great for sensitive skin. It contains ingredients rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and essential skin emollients, yet still provides weightless full coverage. Getting the perfect match is simple, as it comes in 24 shades. This product is great for combination skin that tends to get overly dry, oily skin, or acne-prone skin. It is included in Glamour's list of best Skin Clearing Makeup-Foundation.


Using the handy sponge applicator that's provided, gently rub it on the surface of the product to pick up the desired amount of powder. Blend onto face as desired for medium to full coverage and re-apply as needed throughout the day. For an ultra-matte finish, feel free to apply with a damp sponge.

Key Ingredients

  • Green tea extract to calm
  • Vitamins C and E to heal and prevent premature aging

BareMinerals Ready Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20

BareMinerals Ready Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 is available in 20 beautiful shades perfect for oily skin. The exceptional hydrating coverage lasts up to 12 hours with a lightweight, natural look and feel, and the time-released mineral hydration system increases skin hydration. Formulated without binders, fillers, or harsh chemicals, this product is proven to hydrate throughout the day while diminishing the appearance of lines and wrinkles for softer, smoother, younger-looking skin.


For medium to full coverage and an even application, use a face brush, tap brush very lightly on foundation, and buff gently onto skin with long, graceful strokes or in a circular motion. Clean fingers are also okay to use. Touch up as needed throughout the day.

Key Ingredients

  • Vitamin A to fight spots
  • Algae/seaweed to help support natural collagen, reduce visible wrinkles, and ensure moisture balance in the skin.

Almay Clear Complexion Makeup

Almay Clear Complexion Makeup is a must-try mineral complex that absorbs excess oil for shine-free skin while fighting blemishes and treating acne. It applies smoothly and evenly, blends well, and features good pigmentation for medium to full coverage. It's available in seven shades for a flawless, matte finish.


Cleanse skin thoroughly and apply in the morning for a natural look. Either use fingers or a foundation brush to sweep foundation evenly across face and other problem areas.

Key Ingredients

  • Meadowsweet and licorice extract treat inflammation and redness while calming irritation
  • Aloe and chamomile soothe skin to help reduce redness

Maybelline Mineral Power Powder Foundation

With Maybelline Mineral Power Powder Foundation, 100 percent micro-minerals provide flawless coverage while producing clearer, smoother, and more radiant skin. Available as a loose powder formula in three natural-looking shades, it lasts all day long, is dermatologist tested, and is safe for sensitive skin. It's free of oils, talc, preservatives, and fragrances, meaning less room for irritation. This foundation has numerous outstanding consumer reviews on


For optimal results and a smooth finish, dip the included brush into cap, tap brush to remove excess product, and sweep over entire face. Reapply as you move about and feel the need to touch up.

Key Ingredient

  • Mica to help amplify natural luminosity

LORAC Natural Performance Foundation

Highly regarded on Beautylish as well as all women stalk, LORAC Natural Performance Foundation is free of oil, parabens, and fragrance. It gives you picture-perfect coverage that stays put throughout the day. The gentle formula nourishes, protects, and soothes sensitive, oily skin while providing buildable coverage to conceal blemishes and scars evenly with the amount desired. With three naturally soothing ingredients to help heal skin from acne and ten hues to choose from, you can hide acne and treat your skin, resulting in a beautiful, healthy-looking complexion.


Easily twist cap to the right, pump out, and apply to entire face. It can be applied lightly for a sheer finish, or layered for fuller coverage. Make sure to blend well and twist to the left to close the bottle and keep the product fresh.

Key Ingredients

  • Xyleine containing papaya fruit extract, lemon fruit extract, and olive leaf extract is loaded with vitamins, flavonoids, soothing polyphenols, and natural cell regenerating properties
  • Premiere Olive Leaf Extract rich in oleanolic acid, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that helps your skin stay healthy and protect itself
  • Vitamin A is antioxidant that helps rejuvenate and improve your skin

The Secret to Clear Skin

Happy, healthy skin doesn't always come easy to acne-prone skin types. The good news is it's just something you have to work at. Put these simple tips into action and you will be sure to have smooth, clear skin:

  • Try to use clean makeup brushes or sponges to apply your products. This makes it much easier to blend your makeup for a more natural finish, and keeps you from touching your face with your fingers, which can harbor excess oils and bacteria. Wash your brushes at least two times a week.
  • Check the ingredients on every single product you use. If a product says it is non-comedogenic, paraben-free, sulfate-free, or oil-free, that's a definite plus.
  • When you're ready to call it a day, remove all traces of foundation and makeup with your favorite makeup remover and gently wash your face with an acne-fighting cleanser.
  • Wash pillow cases weekly to ensure you're sleeping on a clean, makeup-free canvas, and get ready to awake to fresh, clean, beautiful skin.

Finding the Right Foundation

With so many great foundations available, there is sure to be a perfect formula for you. Try several until you find one that gives you the look you want and the acne-control results you need.

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Best Foundations for Acne Prone Skin