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5 Best Foundations for Acne Prone Skin

Makeup is really tricky for acne-prone skin. You try to cover your blemishes, only to reveal at the end of the day that it made things worse, so the next day you want to cover everything again, and the cycle continues. Over the years I have found that high concentrations of dimethicone are the main reason makeup has been breaking me out. Dimethicone forms a barrier over your skin, which is great for filling in pores, and for longevity, but isn’t great for your skin. The barrier traps oils, bacteria, and dirt underneath it, causing new breakouts to form. I use this website to check the ingredients inside my products. 

Best Powder: BareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation

This powder foundation is made with only FIVE mineral ingredients, making it safe for acne-prone and sensitive skin. The shade range features 30 shades in 3 different undertones: Cool, Neutral, and Warm. Don’t shy away from this powder foundation if your skin is on the drier side; it has more of a luminous, natural finish and never accentuates my dry patches. Also, even though this product has SPF 15, it still looks fantastic in photos. You can apply this with a dense foundation brush for a full-coverage finish, or with a fluffy powder brush for a sheer finish. My favorite method of application is applying it with a fluffy brush, then taking a small fluffy concealer brush and concentrating it over my blemishes. 

Best Every Day: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Skin Tint

Oily-skinned gals, don’t shy away from this product because of the name. This lightweight skin tint has a satin finish and will hydrate your skin without making you look like a greasy mess. This product gives me medium coverage when applied with a brush, or light coverage when applied with my fingers. It never looks like you have anything on no matter how much you apply. It is super blendable and can be applied in under a minute. Set with a powder and you’re good to go! 

Best Full Coverage (High-end): It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte 

Don’t think because this is a CC cream, it won’t have coverage. This is super full coverage and contains great ingredients for acne-prone skin. It contains charcoal to detox your skin, tea tree oil to battle blemishes, and kaolin clay to absorb excess oil. It can be applied with a brush, sponge, or your fingers. Disclaimer: It does set quickly so work in sections! I find that using a sponge gives me the best finish. 

Best Full Coverage Foundation (Drugstore): Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation 

This relatively new foundation not only has a completely clean ingredient list, but it is SUPER full coverage! It is completely free of pore-clogging ingredients, and contains great, skin-loving ingredients. The finish is a natural finish, so neither dewy or matte. I find it works best applied with a sponge because it is easy to go overboard. 

Best for Photos: Wet n’ Wild PhotoFocus Liquid Foundation 

This foundation is free of acne-irritants and is specifically formulated to look good in photos! It is a matte foundation, and has light-diffusing particles that make you look flawless in photos. This has medium-full coverage depending on how you apply it, but it does not ever look cakey. I think this is best applied with a sponge.

Disclaimer: It kind of has a smell like wet paint, but it fades after it dries down. 

Some things to keep in mind regarding makeup for acne-prone skin: you must start with a clean face, and you should definitely be mindful of the ingredients. A lot of foundations contain ingredients that irritate acne and will only worsen your skin. 

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Ro is a sophomore at BU studying Finance.
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