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The Best Foundations for Acne-Prone Skin

By Carly Cochrane - 3 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 foundation and products for acne-prone skin.

Clinique Superdefense CC Cream SPF 30 Color Correcting Skin Protector


Okay, it's not quite a foundation but it's definitely a product worth having. If anyone knows how to care for your complexion, it’s skin care superstars Clinique. Boasting a lightweight, oil-free formula, this CC cream effortlessly covers up blemishes, controls breakouts and reduces redness, all whilst leaving you with a natural, smooth finish.

Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundation


The Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundation can help you camouflage angry breakouts and prevent them from returning. The mineral foundation is a skincare-makeup hybrid, which is great for moisturizing. Paraben-, phthalates- and synthetic fragrance-free, it's the secret to improving skin on the inside and out.

Bioderma Sensibio AR BB Cream Anti-Redness Care SPF 30


Again, it’s not technically a foundation but in this case, less really is more. This beauty balm provides all the coverage and blurring technologies you need in order to conceal the appearance of redness, blemishes and uneven skin tone. Specially formulated for sensitive skin types, it also soothes irritation and strengthens the skin barrier.

IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation


Liquid foundation isn't for everyone, which is why we've recruited this super lightweight powder formula. Expertly developed by plastic surgeons, it works to even out skin tone and minimize the appearance of fine lines, pores and blemishes, all whilst giving skin an airbrushed finish.

bareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Foundation SPF 20


Cult-favorite brand bareMinerals brings a non-pore-clogging formula that will soon become your go-to. Next-gen, clean ingredients are proven to improve skin texture over time as they help to heal and protect the skin, plus minimize blemishes, pores and imperfections.

NABLA Skin Realist Tinted Balm


This skin tint is exactly what it says on the bottle – a realist. Offering sheer coverage, it’s the perfect formula for those off-duty, no makeup, makeup days. Bursting with skin-loving ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and microspheres, your complexion is actively improved and protected, even after you wash off the makeup.

KVD Vegan Beauty Good Apple Skin-Perfecting Foundation Balm

This balm-cream foundation is your one-stop shop for making imperfections invisible. Going viral for its impressive results, the foundation laces skin with fuller than full coverage and a natural matte finish that instantly camouflages blemishes.

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Powder Foundation


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 full matte coverage that’s long-wearing and super-blendable, you can expect a shine-free, filter-like finish that lasts all day.

Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation


Looking for a foundation that provides real results without triggering breakouts? Then make the Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation your go-to. This serum-like formula is made without silicones in order to ensure a blurred, refined and smooth canvas.

L.A. Girl Pro.Coverage HD Long Wear Illuminating Liquid Foundation


The L.A. Girl Pro.Coverage HD Long Wear Illuminating Liquid Foundation laces your complexion with a natural luminosity, thanks to its water base and true-to-skin finish. With an inclusive range of shades up for grabs, you can easily find your true match.

The foundation itself offers a semi-matte, full coverage that blurs imperfections, bumps and blemishes, making it a great choice for oily and acne-prone skin types.

The Organic Pharmacy Hydrating Foundation


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

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

Inglot Cosmetics HD Perfect Cover Up Foundation


If anyone knows how to provide makeup formulas that work on all skin types, it’s Inglot Cosmetics. 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.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation


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


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-favorite across all ages, thanks to its ability to blur, refine and improve the appearance of your skin.

Take your pick from these skin-friendly foundations 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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