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Best foundation for acne-prone skin (review) in 2020

Choosing the correct foundation for your skin type is crucial for ensuring your makeup blends well, does not look cakey and lasts all day. This can be particularly difficult for sufferers of acne-prone skin, as blemishes can make your foundation appear bumpy and uneven if an unsuitable foundation is applied. When dealing with acne-prone skin, a foundation containing elements of SPF, salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid is highly important for holding moisture in your skin, while also tackling clogged pores – this is the main driver of acne build-up. The best foundations for concealing and improving acne-prone skin are discussed here.

Best foundation for acne-prone skin

1
The Ordinary Serum Foundation
(My Choice)

This foundation has been developed by The Ordinary, an up-and-coming skincare brand which specialises in developing products for all skin types, from oily/dry to acne-prone. This foundation is perfect for providing a lightweight, medium-coverage base to your makeup, creating a glass-skin complexion. Its low-medium coverage allows for a more natural look, perfecting the balance between concealing imperfections and allowing your skin to breathe naturally. This foundation ticks all the boxes for acne-prone sufferers – its fundamental SPF 15 allows for ultimate protection from sun damage, while also accommodating for all undertones, spanning 21 shades.

Pros
R

Provides a natural complexion

R

SPF 15 provides protection against UV rays

R

Affordable

R

Lightweight and breathable

Cons
Q

Can appear streaky when applied with foundation brush – best to apply with beauty blender

Latest Deal: The Ordinary Serum Foundation

2
Maybelline Superstay 24 Hour Longlasting Foundation
(prime pick)

This foundation is an ultimate favourite among the beauty blogger community, and has been praised time and time again for its breathable, high coverage application. Its main features include being sweat resistant, heat resistant and transfer-proof, all while providing a semi-matte finish. For these reasons, this foundation may be a better product for lovers of dramatic full-coverage looks, as opposed to light and dewy complexions for everyday use. Not only does this foundation cover all bumpy blemishes and imperfections, it also claims to stay in place for 24 hours, removing the need for regular inconvenient touch-ups.

Pros
R

Provides a full-coverage base

R

Long-lasting 24 hour wear

R

Semi-matte finish

R

Affordable

Cons
Q

Does not protect against sun damage – best to use on top of an SPF moisturiser

Latest Deal: Maybelline Superstay 24 Hour Longlasting Foundation

3
Etude House Any Cushion All Day Perfect SPF50+
(Best value)

This foundation is the perfect buy for lovers of cushion-based application techniques, as opposed to foundation pump bottles. This product is a high coverage foundation, packaged into a convenient compact with an in-built mirror and sponge applicator – perfect for on-the-go application for busy makeup lovers. A small amount of this product goes a long way, meaning you’ll no longer need to stock-up on heaps of foundation. This foundation is perfect for acne-prone, sensitive and oily skin, providing all-day moisture and SPF 50+ for utmost sun protection. This product is available in 6 different shades.

Pros
R

Perfect for on-the-go application

R

Contains a sponge applicator and mirror

R

Full coverage

R

SPF 50+ sun protection

Cons
Q

Best for oily skin, rather than dry

Latest Deal: Etude House Any Cushion All Day Perfect SPF50+

4
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation SPF10

This product is a more luxurious foundation, commonly promoted by A-list celebrities, for those who dare to delve a little deeper into their makeup routine. This foundation provides a perfectly blendable creamy formula for transforming blemishes and discolouration into a completely natural, velvety complexion. This product is perfect for those who prefer a dewy finish, which is easily buildable to produce dramatic evening looks, all while feeling lightweight on sensitive skin. Its ingredients also comprise SPF 10, making this product perfect for durable everyday use, while promising protection from UV damage. This foundation is available in 11 shades.

Pros
R

Dewy finish

R

Medium-full coverage (can create natural and heavy looks)

R

SPF 10 for protection against UV rays

R

Fragrance free (suitable for sensitive skin)

Cons
Q

Slightly more expensive, but worth the additional cost

Latest Deal: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation 

5

Chanel Vitaluminere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15

This foundation is a luxurious product for all makeup lovers with acne-prone skin. Its lightweight, creamy formula allows for a breathable layer to be applied to the skin, while simultaneously providing medium coverage. Additionally, this foundation contains SPF 15, providing effective protection against the sun’s damaging UV rays, making this a suitable foundation for every day wear. Once applied, this product seamlessly melts into the skin, forming an airbrushed, soft focus complexion.

Pros
R

Natural finish

R

SPF 15 for protection against UV rays

R

Medium coverage

R

Lightweight formula

Cons
Q

Thin consistency

Latest Deal: Chanel Vitaluminere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15

6

Tarte Face Tape Foundation

This foundation comprises a hypoallergenic formula, perfect for acne-prone makeup lovers with worries of sensitive skin. With buildable medium coverage and a dewy finish, this foundation presents the perfect combination of a natural and non-drying makeup base for creating a flawless finish. Additionally, not only is this foundation suitable for sensitive skin, it’s anti-acne agents including hyaluronic acid and skin-firming collagen act to boost elasticity and minimise the appearance of prominent pores. This foundation will not crease, cake, fade or transfer onto clothing.

Pros
R

Hypoallergenic for sensitive skin

R

Luminous dewy finish

R

Anti-crease and anti-transfer

R

Buildable medium coverage

Cons
Q

Not particularly long-lasting

Latest Deal: Tarte Face Tape Foundation

7

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Makeup Foundation

This foundation is known to not only cover blemishes and acne, but also physically acts to clear them. Its lightweight, non-greasy formula leaves a medium coverage dewy finish to the skin, acting to counteract dark circles and discolouration. This product is extremely long lasting, providing all-day sweat and transfer-proof coverage. Additionally, the formula is hypoallergenic, lacking fragrances and harsh chemicals, making this an allergy-friendly option for those with easily irritable and sensitive skin types.

Pros
R

Hypoallergenic for sensitive skin

R

Buildable medium coverage

R

Dewy finish

R

Lightweight and non-greasy

Cons
Q

Best applied with a beauty blender, rather than brush

Latest Deal: Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Makeup Foundation

Best Foundation for acne-prine skin buyers guide

When comparing acne-combatting foundations currently on the market, it is important to consider the most important features of anti-acne foundations:

  • Protection against sun damage (contains SPF)
  • Type of coverage
  • Lightweight
  • Sweat resistant

The foundation products discussed here all demonstrate these qualities to varying degrees, each with additional unique features. These foundations vary in terms of price, customer reviews and overall quality. It is important to consider these features when choosing the foundation best suited to your particular skin type.

Different foundations are suited to different roles and skin types. Some are suitable for dry skin, while others are best suited to oily or combination skin. In the same way, foundations aimed at tackling acne-prone skin must avoid being heavy and greasy – the leading cause of clogged pores and acne.

 

Recurring best features

The following points are some of the best recurring features of the products mentioned above:

Protection against sun UV rays – it is extremely important for a foundation to contain an element of SPF. The sun’s UV rays are extremely damaging to bare skin, in the absence of a sun blocking agent, such as SPF. These rays are capable of oxidising the DNA in our skin cells, eventually giving rise to skin cancers overtime.

To avoid this, it is important that the foundations we apply to our face are not only effective against healing and covering current blemishes, but must also prevent any further damage to these already sensitive areas.

Low/medium/full coverage – foundations can provide one of three possible types of coverage. In the context of acne-prone skin, it is particularly important to pick a lightweight, non-greasy foundation. This is crucial because this enables the skin’s imperfections to be effectively covered, while also maintaining the breathability and natural balance of oils within our pores. The products listed here all comprise lightweight formulas, with buildable medium coverage, to create fuller, more dramatic makeup looks if desired.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following questions are commonly asked regarding foundations for acne-prone skin:

How do I prevent my foundation from oxidising?
It is common for foundations to alter their shade slightly following application. Makeup consumers commonly have complaints regarding foundation turning a rather “orange” shade after applying to the face – this is caused by the exposed foundation reacting with the air, causing it to undergo the process of oxidisation.

There are several contributing factors to this issue, each of which can be tackled differently. Firstly, it is important to avoid oil-based products, as these often contribute to the oxidising process. The products listed here will help to prevent this. Additionally, using an applicator (whether that be a beauty blender or brush) to apply your foundation will further reduce the likelihood of this. Lastly, applying a translucent powder over your foundation to set it into place is also key.

How do I stop foundation from caking or patching around dry areas?
The likelihood of your foundation to clump or patch around particularly dry areas of your face relies on several factors. Firstly, it depends on your personal skin type. Secondly, it depends on whether you have chosen the correct foundation shade and consistency, in accordance with your skin type.

For those with combination/oily acne-prone skin, you’re best sticking to oil-free foundations, such as Estee Lauder’s Double Wear foundation, or Maybelline’s Superstay 24-Hour foundation. These products are key for oil-control and preventing clogged pores – the main cause of dirt build-up in acne sufferers.

For those with particularly dry skin, a foundation with increased moisture and oil is more crucial to hydrate dry patches of the skin. For this, we would highly recommend The Ordinary Serum Foundation and Etude House Any Cushion Foundation. Customer reviews have stated that these products are essential for providing moisture and dew to the skin, in addition to protecting against UV rays, reducing wrinkles and brightening the complexion of the skin.

 

Summary

Foundations targeted toward acne sufferers all contain several similarities, ranging from a lightweight texture, to being sweat-resistant, and providing protection against sun damage. Not only are these characteristics important for keeping acne at bay, but choosing the correct brand for you specifically is absolutely key to maintaining texture-free foundation application.

The products discussed here provide an effective starting point for acne-prone sufferers beginning to delve into the beauty world. Ranging in cost, quality and key features, it is beyond crucial to pick a foundation catered to you and your own skin’s wants and needs.

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