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The Best Foundations for Acne-Prone Skin

By Carly Cochrane - 4 years ago | Updated
woman with problematic skin applying foundation

It doesn’t matter if it’s an odd hormonal pimple or the end of a brutal breakout; when our skin is acting out, we’ll do anything to cover it up.

Normally, we reach for the full coverage foundation in hopes that it will camouflage the lumps and bumps that have set up shop on our face. But, more often than not, it makes the zit-sitch worse.

If you're no stranger to a bad breakout, then slathering on the wrong foundation formula can suffocate the skin, clog pores and welcome more stubborn spots – not ideal. And whilst going makeup-free often seems like the best bet, sometimes we’re just not ready to bare it all.

With that in mind, we've done the rounds and found the best foundations for acne-prone skin.

bareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation SPF 15

£29.95 £38.50 (23% off)

Liquid foundation isn't for everyone, which is why we've recruited this super lightweight powder formula. Specially designed for oily and acne-prone skin, it keeps complexions clear, matte and purified thanks to a breakout-busting blend of pure ingredients.

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup

£29.50 £32.00 (8% off)

If anyone knows how to care for your complexion, it’s skin care superstars Clinique. Boasting a lightweight, oil-free formula, this foundation effortlessly covers up blemishes, controls breakouts and reduces redness, all whilst leaving you with a natural, smooth finish.

Exuviance Skin Caring BB Fluid SPF 50

£38.40 £48.00 (20% off)

Okay, it’s not technically a foundation but in this case, less really is more. This non-acnegenic, fragrance - and - oil-free beauty balm provides all the coverage and blurring technologies you need in order to conceal the appearance of pores, blemishes and uneven skin tone. Not to mention, it's bursting with skin caring ingredients that provide daily renewal and protection benefits.

NARS Cosmetics Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

£37.25 £39.95 (7% off)

Cult-favourite brand NARS brings a non-pore clogging formula that will soon become your favourite. A cocktail of raspberry, apple and watermelon extracts encourage a natural radiance and smooth skin texture over time, whilst transparent blurring powders minimise the appearance of enlarged pores and imperfections.

Heliocare 360 Colour Oil Free Gel SPF 50

£26.40 £33.00 (20% off)

This skin tint and SPF moisturiser hybrid promises to make your skin feel good. Offering natural matte coverage, it’s the perfect formula for mild breakouts. Bursting with skin-loving ingredients such as antioxidant Fernblock, DNA repair enzymes, green tea extract and vitamin C & E, your complexion is actively improved and protected, even after you wash off the makeup.

Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum Broad Spectrum SPF 20

£48.00 £52.00 (8% off)

Inject the life back into your complexion with the help of this skin-perfecting Perricone MD foundation. This formula boasts a serum base that melts into skin and creates a semi-matte finish. Neuropeptides and daisy flower extract power the formula to visibly improve dark spots and uneven skin tone.

Bobbi Brown Skin Long Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15

£28.75 £42.00 (32% off)

This fluid foundation is your one-stop shop to making imperfections invisible. Working around the clock to conceal blemishes, it laces skin with a uniformed finish that’s bursting with radiance. An added infusion of marine sugar cane and natural mineral powders keep oily skin under control, so you can rock a balanced, matte complexion for longer - up to 16 hours, to be exact!

PÜR Bare It All 4 In 1 Skin Perfecting Foundation

£21.50 £29.00 (26% off)

Primes, conceals and covers – it comes as no surprise that this 4-in-1 foundation is a bestseller. Specially designed to give you blemish-free skin for 24 hours, the featherweight formula utilises an Energy Complex and Ceretin® Complex to eliminate small pimples and spots, preventing future acne breakouts.

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Hydrating Foundation

£22.95 £27.00 (15% off)

The hype is real with this one. Not only does this foundation arrive in the biggest shade range you’ve ever seen, but the formula is out-of-this-world. With a medium to full coverage that’s long-wearing and super-blendable, you can expect a shine-free, filter-like finish that lasts all day.

ZOEVA Authentik Skin Foundation

£22.94 £25.00 (9% off)

Zoeva has married makeup and skin care to bring you a foundation that goes above and beyond. The Authentik Skin Foundation stays true to its name by vowing to only enhance your natural complexion. With ingredients such as rosehip oil, squalane and nourishing vitamins headlining the formula, your skin is hydrated and protected, whilst the lightweight, medium coverage camouflages skin imperfections.

Dr Hauschka Foundation

£16.99 £23.85 (29% off)

Looking for a foundation that provides real results without triggering breakouts? Then make the Dr Hauschka Foundation your go-to. This natural formula delivers lightweight, even coverage that blends seamlessly with your natural skin tone and luminosity, plus utilises mineral pigments to reliably cover up skin irregularities and redness.

Inglot Cosmetics HD Perfect Cover Up Foundation

£26.55

Covering blemishes, acne scars and skin imperfections is made easy with this foundation from Inglot Cosmetics. The best part? It’s natural-looking.

The HD formula has been specially created to provide a flawless finish that leaves skin comfortable. Expect a silky-smooth result that never feels cakey, dusty or drying.

Urban Decay Stay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation

£34.95 £35.00 (1% off)

If anyone knows how to provide makeup formulas that work on all skin types, it’s Urban Decay. This foundation is a real-life Instagram filter for your skin. It creates a visibly clearer canvas by blurring pores, hiding blemishes and evening out skin tone. Better still, it supplies ultimate nourishment for a naturally radiant finish.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Foundation Makeup SPF 10

£34.07 £39.50 (14% off)

Beautify your skin like never before with the Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Foundation Makeup SPF 10. Expertly developed for oily and spot-prone skin types, it boasts an oil-free, lightweight formula that mattifies shine and beats the likes of heat and humidity. Your complexion looks and feels fresh, all day long. Discover the diverse shades and reveal Insta-worthy skin in an instant.

BY TERRY Cover Expert SPF 15 Foundation

£25.80

Showcase your skin but better with the BY TERRY Cover Expert SPF 15 Foundation – another multi-benefit liquid foundation that instantly smoothes over and conceals imperfections. This foundation is bursting with clever technologies and good-for-skin ingredients in order to provide a long-lasting, non-cakey, comfortable matte finish.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation

£7.04

What do you get when you combine hard-working skin care ingredients with makeup coverage and a wallet-friendly price tag? The Ordinary Coverage Foundation. We love The Ordinary as they cut through all the noise in order to supply genuinely good formulas. This foundation ticks all the boxes in order to leave your skin nourished, protected and perfected.

Maybelline Fit Me! Matte & Poreless Foundation

£6.99 £8.99 (23% off)

Maybelline might be a brand that defined your teenage years, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that some of their formulas are a classic. The Fit Me! Matte & Poreless is a cult-favourite across all ages, thanks to its ability to blur, refine and improve the appearance of your skin.

Burt's Bees Exclusive Goodness Glows Liquid Foundation

£3.24 £14.99 (79% off)

The Goodness Glows Liquid Makeup can help you camouflage angry breakouts and prevent them from returning. The 98.9% natural mineral foundation is made with Meadowfoam seed oil, which is great for moisturising. Paraben-, phthalates- and synthetic fragrance-free, it's the secret to improving skin on the inside and out.

Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation

£49.95 £80.00 (38% off)

Introducing the remedy for unwanted redness. Composed with 60% water and infused with aloe leaf and camellia sinesis extract, this foundation soothes, smooths and reduces the appearance of redness. Better yet, it boasts a buildable, light-reflecting finish that makes masking imperfections all the easier.


Take your pick from this list of the best foundations for acne-prone skin and you'll never have to worry about aggravating those stubborn spots again. Instead, you can rock a flawless makeup base where pores, blemishes and zits are made invisible.

Struggling to understand why your skin keeps breaking out? Check out our guide to Adult Acne: Why You Get It and How To Tackle It.

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Carly Cochrane

Written by Carly Cochrane

As the Senior Content Editor for Cosmetify, Carly is the go-to for all the latest (and greatest) beauty tips, tricks and trends. With over six years of experience in the industry, she knows all the ins-and-outs when it comes to health, beauty and wellbeing. 

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