In The Buff: Acne-Safe Foundations
Acne-prone skin sufferers (raises hand) can fake a flawless complexion with makeup (thank G-d), but we don’t want our makeup making our complexion worse: i.e. causing breakouts under the coverage. That’s why the foundation formulation is so crucial. We’ve tried and tested the lot of foundations and narrowed down our favorites to these six formulas — that give good coverage without clogging pores. Because one thing an acne-prone skin type knows is that certain ingredients cause irritation and irritation leads to acne…and while we’re working overtime with our skincare routines to clear up our complexion, the last thing we need is our coverage to cause more issues.
We found these six foundation formulas to be safe for acne-prone skin. Of course, individual results may vary.
1. Marc Jacobs Shameless Youthful-Look 24H Foundation SPF 25 ($46) – An oil-free formula that gives buildable. medium coverage and blends easily. With 29 shades, there is a color for everyone. If you’re sensitive to SPF, we’d advise against this specific formula, but otherwise, it’s breathable, gives good coverage, and doesn’t provoke new breakouts.
2. Lorac Sheer Porefection Foundation ($35) – We really like how sheer (hey, it’s in the title!), this oil-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free formula is. It’s non-irritating and doesn’t look or feel like makeup. The light coverage is great for day and can be mixed with a heavier foundation (like Make Up For Ever or Oxygenetix) for a full-coverage evening look.
3. Bare Minerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 ($29) – Probably one of the most coveted mineral foundations for acne-prone skin, this original powder formula provides sheer to full coverage, depending on how much powder you apply. Works best with oily skin, as it blends with natural oils to create the coverage, but is also entirely non-irritating for sensitive skin, too. We like to spot treat certain areas of our face that need additional coverage with the powder, since it not only covers but also absorbs excess oils (we’re talking to you, T-zone). Comes in 30 shades.
4. Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation ($66) – A full-coverage foundation that minimizes and heals breakouts, blemishes, rashes, acne scars, rosacea, and wounds. Perfect for post-laser derm visits, but also great for reactive, acne-prone skin. This is one of Kourtney Kardashian’s favorite foundations (read our full review here), and it’s become a staple in our full-coverage, evening go-tos.
5. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($43) – With a range of 40 shades (!!!), and a formula that covers without cakiness, and never exacerbates breakouts or irritation, this has long been one of our absolute favorite foundations. It is on the fuller coverage side of the spectrum, so we use it mainly for evening, but it’s great mixed with a bit of Lorac Porefection Sheer Foundation for sheer-to-medium day coverage.
6. Osmosis Performance Wear Satin Foundation ($48) – A very natural-looking, buildable coverage foundation that is formulated with healthy complexion-loving ingredients that do not irritate sensitive skin types. We love the finish: a hybrid between matte and dewy, so it’s never dry looking, but sans the greasiness, too. It’s all you, but better.
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