In the beauty industry, a clear complexion is the ultimate goal. No matter what shades we decide to wear or what kind of an eyeshadow look we opt for — if our skin isn’t clear of acne, a good makeup day might be hard to achieve.
Yet, there’s a huge conundrum we first have to solve — is there such a thing as the best makeup for acne-prone skin? We’ve been told time and time again that makeup is not the ideal acne companion. In fact, most experts agree that we should avoid it altogether until the flare-ups go away.
We all know that’s not really possible, though. At some point, we’ll have to show our face outside, and without something to cover the acne, our self-esteem will suffer. So, let’s solve this dilemma once and for all by tackling a well-known burning question — can wearing makeup over acne lead to even bigger flare-ups?
Acne and makeup — an unlikely match
Most dermatologists will say that wearing makeup while dealing with acne breakouts is the worst idea ever. Given that acne develops due to clogged pores, and there are inflammation and bacteria we first have to deal with, this expert opinion has gained a lot of prevalence in the beauty industry. However, we all know that sometimes, letting our skin breathe for weeks until the redness goes away is impossible.
Is there a middle ground here? Though many would argue that acne and makeup shouldn’t be mixed or even used in the same sentence, we beg to differ. In fact, wearing makeup over acne is not only possible but could actually help heal and prevent future flare-ups. The key is in the ingredients — now, more than ever, we have to check what makeup actually contains and carefully use the stuff that will make us both beautiful and acne-free.
Top 5 Best Makeup Products for Acne-Prone Skin
Best Makeup for Acne-Prone Skin — Liquid Foundation: e.l.f Acne Fighting Foundation
Covering acne scars, as well as recent flare-ups, will require full coverage. Luckily, e.l.f. took that into account when making their acne-fighting foundation!
Why we like it:
- Full of acne-fighting agents, such as salicylic acid
- Able to soothe redness and prevent new breakouts
- Lightweight formula
- Suitable for oily skin
- Buildable coverage
You might want to choose e.l.f Acne Fighting Foundation if:
You are looking for a foundation that won’t feel heavy yet will cover all the blemishes and even out your skin tone. This foundation doesn’t just contain salicylic acid — it’s also rich in other wholesome ingredients that fight acne and reduce inflammation, such as witch-hazel, tea tree, and aloe. The only issue we have with it is that it doesn’t come in too many shades, so it’s likely you’ll have to mix and match a bit.
Best Makeup for Acne-Prone Skin — Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Super Light Primer
Primer is the first thing that goes onto our skin before foundation, so it’s of the essence we choose the one that can smooth out our skin, especially if we have acne scars. That’s exactly what Smashbox Photo Finish Super Light Primer does.
Why we like it:
- Water-based gel formula
- Minimizes the appearance of pores
- Mattifies and blurs the skin
- Vegan and cruelty-free
You might want to choose Smashbox Photo Finish Super Light Primer if:
You want a primer that will not just help clear your skin but mattify it at the same time. The Smashbox primer works quite well on most skin types, but it truly shines (pardon the pun) on oily skin. It’s able to keep the T-zone shine at bay for an extended period of time, as well as keep the rest of our makeup looking perfect. Additionally, it’s packed with peptides and Vitamin C, so it even has some anti-aging benefits.
Best Makeup for Acne-Prone Skin — Bronzer: Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer
Are you desperate for a bronzer that won’t lead to extra flare-ups on your cheeks? Look no further — Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer is the real winner here.
Why we like it:
- Full of pro-vitamins and essential fatty acids
- Natural finish without glitter
- Fantastic shade range
- Melts into the skin and moisturizes it
- Paraben and oil-free vegan formula
You might want to choose Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer if:
You’re looking for a natural-looking bronzer that won’t aggravate your acne. Due to its ingredients and the fact that it’s paraben and oil-free, this bronzer won’t hinder the acne-healing process or cause any other breakouts. Furthermore, it doesn’t dry out the skin at all. Instead, it gives a beautiful sun-kissed glow and conditions the skin so that it looks amazing even after we take the makeup off.
Best Makeup for Acne-Prone Skin — Concealer: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage
As a staple of many famous makeup artists, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer is the go-to for hiding acne scars and breakouts.
Why we like it:
- Full coverage
- Comes with two concealer shades for a perfect match
- A little bit goes a long way
You might want to choose Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage if:
You don’t want to cover your whole face with makeup — just the acne. What’s fantastic about this concealer is that it offers full coverage with a minimal amount of product. You only need a sheer layer of it to conceal all the spots and blemishes. Furthermore, the two-shade system is perfect for those of us who are always in between shades. Now, there’s no need to worry about it — after all, there’s a reason it’s called Secret Camouflage!
Best Makeup for Acne-Prone Skin — Setting Powder: Maybelline New York Fit Me Pressed Powder
The name says it all — this powder is here to minimize the appearance of pores, as well as keep shine away!
Why we like it:
- Lightweight formula; doesn’t feel heavy at all
- Poreless-looking finish
- Great range of shades
- Suitable for normal to oily skin
You might want to choose Maybelline New York Fit Me Pressed Powder if:
You’re on a budget but still want your makeup to look perfect all day long. Drugstore powders are no longer the low-quality dupes of high-end brands. The beauty industry has come a long way, and now, Maybelline offers a pressed powder that’s able to blur, perfect, and extend makeup wear for up to 16 hours. What’s more, the formula is quite lightweight, and the powder itself is non-comedogenic.
What to look for in the best makeup for acne-prone skin
Non-comedogenic and oil-free labels
The worst thing that can happen when wearing makeup over acne is that we experience yet another zit and yet another huge flare-up. Therefore, before opting for a certain product, we MUST read the labels.
Since acne-prone skin is usually also quite oily, it’s vital to check whether there’s any oil in the stuff we’re planning to buy. Additionally, we ought to look for a non-comedogenic label. That essentially means the product won’t lead to new breakouts and clogged pores due to the ingredients it contains. In other words — it’s just what we’re looking for.
The ingredients are the second most important factor when choosing makeup. Although what we put on our face doesn’t need to have acne-fighting agents in order not to cause additional flare-ups, having something that can clear our skin while we’re wearing a full face of foundation is more than welcome. Thus, while checking the ingredients, see if you can spot:
- Salicylic acid: unclogs pores and breaks down dead skin cells
- Minerals: for example, titanium dioxide, which protects from UV radiation
- Sulfur: deals with ongoing inflammation
- Hyaluronic acid: moisturizes and softens the skin
That said, we couldn’t help but research makeup for acne-prone skin a bit more. Without further ado, here are products we definitely think could not just prevent and heal acne but give you the complexion of your dreams.
Check the ingredients and enjoy an acne-free complexion
We’ve given you our recommendations, but now it’s time for you to venture out for yourself. Take note of the ingredients that can help heal acne while you’re looking like your most beautiful self. It’s crucial not to aggravate acne further, as the recovery won’t look pretty at all and will last long.
And whatever you do, don’t listen to the naysayers. Makeup is here to help us feel better about our skin and even solve some issues we might be experiencing. Just remember to take care of your skin at the same time. Consult with a dermatologist and see if you should add a few other steps to your skincare and makeup routine.