10 Best Foundations for Oily or Acne-Prone Skin

BY Mary Kearl · April 10, 2017

Woman-applying-makeup-with-a-brush-2 | Dermstore Blog

Life with acne can be unpredictable, frustrating and embarrassing. For those who struggle with on-again, off-again moderate to extremely severe acne, it can be a struggle to eat right, moisturize right and even cover up blemishes the right way to keep breakouts at bay. To understand how to best deal with oily and acne-prone skin and select makeup products like foundation, we asked Rosalyn George, MD and Sandra Johnson, MD, both board-certified dermatologists, for their expert advice.

“Finding the right foundation that doesn’t feel greasy or make them break out more can be difficult for those with oily or acne-prone skin,” explains Dr. Johnson. “Generally, if your foundation isn’t formulated for your skin type, it could clog your pores and worsen acne.”

While most makeup products won’t necessarily indicate the skin type it’s best suited for, Dr. George recommends looking for “clues” on the label. For the safest bet, look for the terms “hypoallergenic,” “oil-free” and “non-comedogenic” on the label as these products tend to work better on problematic skin, as are mineral-based loose powder formulas.

Here are some other tips on how to apply your foundation if you have oily or acne-prone skin:

  • Use a clean brush or makeup sponge to apply your makeup instead of your fingers—and don’t forget to clean your makeup tools often.
  • If you must apply your makeup by hand, wash your hands before applying foundation.
  • Consider using a mattifying gel or primer under your foundation to help keep your makeup in place.
  • To minimize shine, keep blotting paper on hand.
  • When you’re trying a foundation for the first time, try the product on the inside of your arm for two weeks before trying it on your face so you know how well it works with your oily and acne-prone skin.
  • Don’t forget to cleanse your face at night and apply moisturizer (yes, even if you have oily skin) in the mornings and evenings before wearing foundation. Remember: Over-cleansing or skipping moisturizer could lead to irritation and more oil production and may make breakouts worse.

Ready to try out new foundations formulated specifically for oily or acne-prone skin? Check out our favorites below.

1. glominerals Pressed Base Powder Foundation

For a mineral-based powder designed for oily skin types, consider this five-star rated foundation. “I love this foundation and the coverage: GREAT for super oily acne prone skin,” writes one Dermstore reviewer.

2. jane iredale PurePressed® Base Mineral Foundation Refill SPF 20

Mineral based? Check. Oil-free? Check. Plus, it contains SPF 20-25 to help you fight against the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.

3. Paula's Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Serum Foundation

An anti-aging foundation that’s formulated for oily and acne-prone skin, this foundation delivers full coverage while fighting fine lines, wrinkles and breakouts. Also delivers a matte, non-greasy finish.

4. BY TERRY Eclat Opulent Nutri-Lifting Foundation

A foundation and skin care product hybrid, its moisturizing formula helps to reduce the appearance of uneven skin from acne and aging.

5. Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Fluid Foundation

Acne-prone skin can also be susceptible to scarring and redness, which this foundation aims to combat, along with premature aging and loss of skin elasticity.

6. Stila Cosmetics Aqua Glow Serum Foundation

This two-in-one moisturizer and foundation keeps your skin hydrated for a full day and then some, while enhancing skin tone and softness.

7. Honest Beauty Everything Cream Foundation

A hypoallergenic and lightweight find, Everything Cream Foundation, as its name suggests, helps with a little bit of everything, including reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

8. Dermablend Smooth Liquid Camo Medium Coverage Foundation

Featuring up to 16 hours of coverage and boosted with SPF 25 protection, this five-star-rated foundation provides full coverage for acne and acne scars.

9. Juice Beauty PHYTO-PIGMENTS Flawless Serum Foundation

Looking for a product to smooth out your skin while minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines? Consider this vegan, organic, plant-based, age-defying foundation.

10. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Healthy Skin Foundation

“This foundation is great! It has cleared my skin and I now have minimal clogged pores on my face,” writes one Dermstore shopper of this five-star-rated, vegan foundation with SPF 20 to 25 coverage.

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl graduated from NYU with a BA in journalism and Baruch College Zicklin School of Business with an MBA in marketing. She has 10+ years of experience as a professional writer and as a social media, digital content and ecommerce strategist. Re... Read More >

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