What is a good foundation for acne skin?

Updated April 17, 2017

Acne-prone skin has special make-up needs. Foundation camouflages and soothes acne breakouts, but heavy, oily foundations cake and make skin look worse. It is important for acne sufferers to use foundations that are light and oil-free.

Medicated Makeup

Foundations that contain salicylic acid, like Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup, kill bacteria and reduce the appearance of acne cysts. In addition to masking pimples, medicated foundations address the causes of acne.

Tinted Moisturizer

A tinted moisturiser, such as Cover Girl CG Smoothers, evens skin tone while keeping skin moisturised. Skin that is not properly moisturised overproduces oil to compensate for dryness. This leads to pimples. The light coverage provided by tinted moisturisers will not cake up and emphasise acne lesions.

Mineral Makeup

Mineral make-up contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, two minerals that soothe skin irritation and redness. Mineral make-up does not clog pores and provides chemical-free sun protection. Bare Minerals and Everyday Minerals are two brands that are widely available.


Foundation covers acne blemishes and many foundations treat the underlying causes of breakouts.


Before selecting a foundation, assess your skin's needs. Tinted moisturisers are good for acne sufferers with dry skin. Mineral make-up is well-suited for oily skin.


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About the Author

Kari Livingston has been a freelance writer since 2007 with work appearing on various websites. She was also a special correspondent for the Log Cabin Democrat, an award-winning newspaper in Central Arkansas.