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So, you have acne. Welcome to the club—breakouts are 100 percent normal, and something that the majority of the population experiences. While there’s no need to cover up your acne or blast it with acne spot treatments (you do you), we’re happy to report that the best foundations for acne-prone skin will disguise redness, blur over texture, and look like an extension of your skin—not like a mask.
Perhaps the most important factor when picking a foundation for acne is a non-comedogenic formula. “It’s not necessarily right to say that all foundations are bad [for acne],” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali. “I’d just recommend looking for ones that are non-comedogenic and don’t have any ingredients that can clog pores or lead to breakouts.”
Once you have your trusty formula in hand, it’s time to whip out your go-to brush or beauty blender—expert application is key for a flawless finish. “It’s all about patience and targeting,” says makeup artist Ehlie Luna. “Don’t treat your entire face like the more acne-prone spots. The skin will always look fresher if you keep things on the more sheer side wherever you can and go in a little more where you need more coverage.”
With these tips from the pros in mind, keep scrolling to shop the all-time best foundations for acne. From lightweight liquids that pack surprising coverage to heavy duty complexion products that won’t let redness peek through, here are our tried-and-true favorites.
Best Foundations for Acne-Prone Skin
The Best Sweat-Proof Foundation for Acne
Luna—along with thousands of others—can’t get enough of this Rihanna creation, which features a soft matte finish. “It doesn't emphasize texture like dewy foundations or make your skin appear dry or looking flat,” she says. It’s also a great option for extra hot or humid days, as it has a special technology that keeps shine (and sweat) under control.
The Best 24-Hour Foundation for Acne
This foundation has stood the test of time—and for good reason. It quite literally doesn’t budge on even the oiliest of skin types. It has a waterproof formula that is guaranteed to stay put for 24 hours—no creasing. As for the coverage? It ranges from medium to full depending on how much product you use, but manages to feel uber-lightweight regardless.
The Best Foundation to Reduce Acne
If you’re worried about your foundation causing breakouts, Luna strongly encourages WLGY. The entire line was formulated with acne-prone skin in mind, so you can breathe easy during application. “It not only provides full coverage, but it also contains niacinimide to help improve the texture of skin.”
The Best Skincare-Infused Foundation for Acne
Makeup—meet skincare. The Uoma range is infused with a handful of skin-loving ingredients. The ingredients differ depending on the shade range you fall into. “The foundation helps target the most common skin concerns of that family of skin tones,” says Luna. “It’s truly innovative.” For example, the light brown range contains woolly thistle, which helps reduce inflammation, while the dark brown range includes tomato extract, which boosts radiance.
The Celeb-Approved Foundation for Acne
Kim Kardashian, Gigi Hadid, and Meghan Markle are *obsessed* with this foundation, so you know it’s worth the hype. If that’s not enough to convince you to add this velvet matte formula to your cart, allow us to throw some more praise in Armani’s direction. The formula is oil free (no breakouts!), looks like a second skin, and doesn't mattify skin, which is ideal if you want a glowy look that still covers acne.
The Most Lightweight Foundation for Acne
If you can’t stand the feeling of foundation, allow us to direct your attention over to Pat McGrath. This non-comedogenic formula quite literally feels weightless on the skin. That’s not an exaggeration, you’ll forget you’re wearing anything at all. Another callout? It has a self-setting formula, so you don’t have to weigh down your face with powder.
The Best Foundation for Discoloration
Once your pimples have subsided, there’s the inevitable dark spots to contend with. While skincare products like retinol and vitamin C are going to be your best defense, this foundation is a close runner up. It’s formulated with sea daffodil extract, which has been shown to fade discoloration. The stick design also makes this ideal for on-the-go application.
The Best Full Coverage Foundation for Acne
Not in the mood to mess around? This full coverage formula doesn’t play games. It will camouflage everything it touches—from acne to birthmarks and tattoos. Because it delivers such intense coverage, it is going to feel a bit weighted. But that said, it’s not going to cause acne; it’s been dermatologist-tested and was designed with sensitive skin in mind.
The Best Blurring Foundation for Acne
Blur over blackheads and blemishes with a little help from this medium coverage formula. While it’s going to give you an even complexion in the moment, it’s also designed to help make your skin clearer over time. Oat helps address redness, while milk thistle fights against the effects of blue light and environmental stressors.
The Best Mineral Foundation for Acne
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Houshmand previously told Marie Claire that mineral foundations are a solid option for acne-prone skin types, as they “won’t clog pores, are oil-free, and have extra benefits due to the inclusion of kaolin.” But that’s just one of the reasons we love this formula. It also looks natural on the skin and gives buildable coverage.
The Best SPF-Packed Foundation for Acne
While we’ve written a love letter about the best sunscreens for acne-prone skin, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little extra protection in your foundation. This full coverage liquid formula checks all the boxes: It has SPF 40, color corrects, leaves a matte finish, and gives skin a little dose of hydration throughout the day.
The Best Redness Reducing Foundation for Acne
Water- and gel-based formulas are ideal for acne-prone skin types, so you’ll be happy to hear that this luxe cream is made of 60 percent water. And still—it gets better. The formula also features anti-inflammatory botanicals like aloe vera and chamomile to calm the skin and reduce redness.
The Best Hydrating Foundation for Acne
While this might be a little too moisturizing for really oily skin types, it’s one of our favorite options for anyone with dry, normal, or combination skin dealing with acne. The cream formula has a crazy full coverage finish that covers discoloration and blemishes in no time at all. Applying product with your finger is going to be your best bet for spots, but we love to use a stippling brush for all-over coverage.
The Best Salicylic Acid Foundation for Acne
Salicylic acid is the holy grail of acne-fighting ingredients, so it’s no surprise that this BHA-infused foundation landed on our list. Not only is this liquid foundation going to cover existing blemishes, but the salicylic acid is going to actively prevent new ones from forming. It’s a win-win.
The Best Luxe Foundation for Acne
With 24 hour-wear, sweat-resistant technology, and a non-comedogenic ingredient list, Dior’s foundation gets five stars across the board. It’s infused with floral extracts as well to help reduce shine over time and tighten pores with continued use.
Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.