Does makeup cause pimples?
Yes, it can. When it happens, it’s called acne cosmetica.
You won’t see blemishes immediately. It could take a few days to a few weeks to trigger a breakout.
The trick is to use makeup that won’t clog pores.
You need the best non-comedogenic foundation for acne-prone skin.
- Which foundation doesn’t cause breakouts?
- Top Non-Comedogenic Foundation for Acne-Prone Skin
- Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Foundation
- Neutrogena SkinClearing Liquid Foundation
- Neutrogena SkinClearing Mineral Acne-Concealing Pressed Powder
- Oxygenetix Acne Control Oxygenating Foundation
- Almay Clear Complexion Makeup
- e.l.f. Acne-Fighting Foundation
- bareMinerals Escentuals Blemish Rescue Loose Powder Foundation
- Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup
- NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Full Coverage Foundation
- COVERGIRL Clean Sensitive Foundation
- bareMinerals Barepro Performance Wear Powder Foundation
- bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Cream
- Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation with SPF 20
- Jolie Mineral Liquid Powder Foundation SPF 15
- Catrice | HD Liquid Coverage Foundation
- BaeBlu Organic Aloe-Based LUX Liquid Foundation
- Maybelline New York Dream Matte Mousse Foundation
- Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Combination/Oily Skin
- PÜR 4-in-1 Tinted Moisturizer
- L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup
- Maybelline Super Stay Full Coverage Liquid Foundation
- jane iredale PurePressed Base
- Isdinceutics Skin Drops Face and Body Makeup Foundation
- Mary Kay TimeWise Matte-Wear Liquid Foundation
- Marcelle BB Cream Illuminator
- Better’n Ur Skin HONEY TAN Organic Liquid Foundation
- Too Faced Born This Way Foundation
- Dermacia PRO Breathable Foundation
- True + Luscious Velvet Matte Oil-Control Face Powder Compact
- Temptu Airbrush Foundation
- Belloccio’s Professional Cosmetic Airbrush Makeup Foundation
Which foundation doesn’t cause breakouts?
It’s smart to use an oil-free foundation. It won’t congest pores and cause pimples (1).
You might also enjoy a powder foundation (2).
Powder is suitable for oily skin as it soaks up excess sebum.
In any case, it doesn’t matter if you choose sheer coverage for full coverage. It’s not the amount of pigment that matters.
What matters are the ingredients.
Some types of makeup feature salicylic acid, an acne medication. It keeps pores clear and reduces inflammation.
Then, if you choose a foundation with sunscreen, be careful. Mineral-based sunscreen is better for acne-prone skin.
Now, let’s look at foundations that are safe for blemish-prone skin.
Top Non-Comedogenic Foundation for Acne-Prone Skin
Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Foundation
The question often comes up about whether Tarte’s foundation is good for acne-prone skin.
I’d say yes, it is. First off, it’s water-based.
Then, it’s free of irritants like mineral oil, parabens, gluten, and phthalates. Those are all problematic ingredients that can either clog pores or irritate a sensitive complexion.
Plus, the buildable coverage lasts up to 12 hours.
Even better, it has a mineral-based sunscreen. It’s a blend of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, not chemicals, that reflect harmful UV rays.
Neutrogena SkinClearing Liquid Foundation
But what about a makeup brand that’s good for acne-prone skin in general?
Try Neutrogena. It’s often recommended by dermatologists.
The SkinClearing foundation is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic.
It features salicylic acid which decongests clogged pores to clear up pimples.
In fact, clinical trials found that 100% of the women who tried the foundation ended up with healthier skin.
Moreover, the makeup reduces shine for hours.
The only downside is that there are only 12 shades. You might need to mix two to get the tone you desire.
Neutrogena SkinClearing Mineral Acne-Concealing Pressed Powder
Instead of a liquid, try one of the best non-comedogenic powders.
It comes in eight shades for most skin tones.
Interestingly, it also contains salicylic acid in powder form. Neutrogena’s Micro-Clear Technology makes sure that the active ingredient reaches the spots where it’s needed.
While you wear it, it absorbs excess sebum to keep your skin shine-free.
Oxygenetix Acne Control Oxygenating Foundation
The Oxygenetix foundation has the maximum over-the-counter concentration of salicylic acid.
That’s because it’s made to eliminate breakouts.
The unique formula is based on aloe vera gel, not water. It also contains Cerevisiae, an oxygen peptide that heals the skin.
Furthermore, the foundation is water-resistant and won’t rub off on clothes.
Almay Clear Complexion Makeup
Almay’s foundation also has 2% salicylic acid to get rid of pimples.
It reduces oiliness to keep your complexion matte, but not flat, throughout the day.
There are no artificial fragrances or oils in it, either.
This medium-coverage makeup is available in 14 shades.
e.l.f. Acne-Fighting Foundation
We’re on a roll with makeup that contains salicylic acid.
The e.l.f. foundation also has it, plus camphor, tea tree oil, and witch hazel. All of these tighten up large pores, reduce oil, and soothe redness and irritation.
Finally, there’s aloe to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
As you may know already, e.l.f. makeup is vegan and paraben-free.
bareMinerals Escentuals Blemish Rescue Loose Powder Foundation
If you’re already using salicylic acid or other acne medications, you know that they can dry out your skin.
Fortunately, this powder foundation has only 0.5% salicylic acid. The low concentration is just enough to keep pores clear.
It shouldn’t cause dryness or irritation.
Since it contains protein, it actually moisturizes the skin. And the matte finish holds up well all day.
Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup
Clinique is a brand that is often recommended by dermatologists.
Their liquid foundation is non-comedogenic and offers medium to full coverage.
Users say that it clears up blemishes without making their skin red or extra-dry.
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Full Coverage Foundation
If you have a skin tone that’s hard to match, check out this foundation. It’s available in 45 shades divided by cool, warm, and neutral undertones.
The waterproof liquid makeup lasts up to 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the matte finish keeps your complexion shine-free.
COVERGIRL Clean Sensitive Foundation
This drugstore foundation for acne-prone skin is free of oils and artificial fragrances. It’s been tested by dermatologists for sensitive skin.
It feels lightweight and breathable.
Also, the medium coverage lasts for hours.
bareMinerals Barepro Performance Wear Powder Foundation
Here’s a non-comedogenic pressed powder foundation. It lasts up to 12 hours.
The silken texture is easy to blend and buildable. Users say that it hides blemishes well and doesn’t cake.
It comes in a compact and it’s available in 20 shades.
bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Cream
This gel-like cream is a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen. It will enhance your complexion with sheer to medium coverage.
Don’t worry, the sunscreen is mineral-based.
In addition, there is no acne medication, no artificial fragrances, no parabens, and no phthalates.
You’ll give your face a break from your regular makeup when you enjoy this product.
Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation with SPF 20
I’m a little conflicted because this is a foundation with a chemical sunscreen filter. It has octinoxate, which is not the worst, at least.
On the other hand, the buildable coverage leaves the skin with a beautiful satin finish.
Besides, it has hyaluronic acid and vitamins to give dry skin a boost.
Jolie Mineral Liquid Powder Foundation SPF 15
Jolie’s powder foundation feels like velvet. The matte finish looks natural ,and it reduces shine for hours.
It’s enriched with antioxidants and minerals to nourish the skin and counteract premature aging. They also provide sunscreen.
Lastly, the powder has micro-diffusers to reflect light and disguise blemishes. They act like an Instagram filter for your skin.
Catrice | HD Liquid Coverage Foundation
Catrice’s high-coverage liquid foundation is available in 24 shades for pretty much every skin tone.
For a drugstore foundation, it works surprisingly well.
Not only does it reduce shine for hours, but it also resists transferring.
It comes with a liquid dropper for no-mess application.
BaeBlu Organic Aloe-Based LUX Liquid Foundation
BaeBlue created this makeup for people with acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation.
It comes in 16 shades that adjust to your skin tone.
It’s buildable and won’t crease or cake.
Plus, the foundation is certified organic and vegan. It’s free of artificial fragrances, dyes, and preservatives.
Maybelline New York Dream Matte Mousse Foundation
Maybelline makes more than one type of foundation. This one is an airy mousse that sets to a velvet finish.
It’s so lightweight you’ll forget that you’re wearing it. And even though it controls oil, it doesn’t look chalky.
Luckily, it’s non-comedogenic and safe for sensitive skin.
Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Combination/Oily Skin
Revlon offers the ColorStay foundation in 43 shades. No matter how pale or how dark your skin is, you’ll find what you need.
Also, the medium to full coverage lasts up to 24 hours.
It’s oil-free, plus it reduces shine all day long.
PÜR 4-in-1 Tinted Moisturizer
What you do if your skin is extra-sensitive?
You could try PUR’s tinted moisturizer.
It revives dehydrated skin suffering from the effects of acne medication.
Additionally, it’s gluten-free and vegan.
L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup
L’Oreal’s True Match foundation has octinoxate for SPF 20 sunscreen protection.
If that’s not a problem for you, consider the other benefits. After all, this is makeup made for sensitive, dry complexions
First, it’s 40% pure water to hydrate the skin.
Next, the lightweight coverage is buildable and lasts up to eight hours.
Finally, Vitamin C and E promote healing.
Maybelline Super Stay Full Coverage Liquid Foundation
Maybelline’s Super Stay foundation comes in 28 shades.
It offers full-coverage that lasts up to 24 hours. That’s good news if you’re trying to cover up the latest breakout.
And right on the label, you can see that it’s oil-free and won’t clog pores.
jane iredale PurePressed Base
Perhaps the best non-comedogenic foundation for mature skin is this powder from jane iredale.
Unfortunately, blemishes don’t stop appearing once you get out of your twenties. They may worsen during pre-menopause.
Then there are the concerns of how to disguise wrinkles and uneven skin tone.
Who knew that a powder foundation could tackle all these problems so successfully?
This one is packed with antioxidants derived from pomegranate and pine bark. They reverse the damage caused by UV radiation and the environment.
It also has a mineral sunscreen with SPF 20 protection.
Isdinceutics Skin Drops Face and Body Makeup Foundation
ISDIN’s full-coverage foundation endures to twelve hours. It can conceal scars, tattoos, and pimples alike.
This is award-winning makeup, yet it’s only available in three shades.
Mary Kay TimeWise Matte-Wear Liquid Foundation
Mary Kay’s foundation is perfect for combination and oily skin. It soaks up excess oil to keep shine under control for hours.
As a result, your skin looks clean and natural. Meanwhile, pores and fine lines are less noticeable, too.
Marcelle BB Cream Illuminator
I couldn’t skip over this BB cream as it’s excellent for mature skin with acne.
It has self-adjusting pigments that make the complexion look naturally radiant.
Then, it’s fragrance-free and tested for sensitive skin. It defends against harsh environmental conditions and dehydration.
Better’n Ur Skin HONEY TAN Organic Liquid Foundation
If you’re looking for organic makeup, check out this American-made foundation. It comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
The non-toxic formula is free from parabens and gluten. There’s no talc or palm oil in it, either.
The dewy finish provides sunscreen as well.
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation
Someone asked if the Too Faced Foundation is good for acne-prone skin. It is.
There are several reasons why.
To begin with, it’s non-comedogenic. Even though it’s longwearing makeup, it’s oil-free.
It offers medium to full coverage for up to 12 hours.
In the meantime, it has hyaluronic acid and coconut water to provide moisture and prevent dry, flaky cheeks.
Users say that it has a powdery finish that feels very lightweight.
Dermacia PRO Breathable Foundation
Here’s an unusual foundation in that it’s gel-based. It contains silica to soak up excess oil without clogging pores.
It’s also oxygenating. That means it isn’t just breathable, but it also helps the skin heal.
Finally, the hypoallergenic formula is kind to sensitive skin. It won’t irritate acne, rosacea, or psoriasis.
True + Luscious Velvet Matte Oil-Control Face Powder Compact
Here is a pressed powder foundation that’s talc-free. It doesn’t have phthalates, parabens, or an artificial fragrance, either.
This sheer to medium coverage soothes red, irritated skin and reduces shine. It also helps hide large pores with ethically-sourced mica.
Temptu Airbrush Foundation
Do you airbrush makeup? In that case, you’ll be happy to know that Temptu’s foundation is non-comedogenic.
It comes in 12 shades that you can mix to create custom colors. The coverage is buildable, too.
Belloccio’s Professional Cosmetic Airbrush Makeup Foundation
Some pros would recommend this airbrush foundation over the one above. That’s because it’s better for oily skin.
The coverage is buildable and it won’t cake. Plus, the water-based formula is non-comedogenic.
If you read the label, you’ll get an education. Each ingredient has an explanation about its function.
You don’t need to avoid foundation if you have acne-prone skin.
Many brands now include acne medication in their makeup to clear up breakouts.
Also, there is a lot of oil-free makeup to choose from, whether you prefer liquid or powder.
The keywords to look for on the label are “non-comedogenic” and “non-acnegenic.”
If you found a foundation today that you love using, please tell us about the comments below.
1. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/causes/makeup accessed April 1, 2020
2. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/acne-skin-care-makeup#1 on January 10, 2019, accessed April 1, 2020