The 12 Best Concealers for Acne in 2023

Zits? What zits?

model with acne
(Image credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty)

There’s no makeup struggle more frustrating than trying to cover up an angry, red pimple that not even one of the best acne spot treatments can zap away. As the story goes: You diligently pat concealer over your blemish only for the coverage to disappear or separate. But—and this is good news—using one of the best concealers for acne can ensure that your makeup stays on and your pimples stay incognito all day long. Even though there are dozens of products that promise to do the job, there’s only a select few that go above and beyond. 

If you want to cover acne (it’s a totally personal choice!), finding a formula that’s hydrating, has intense staying power, and is packed with pigment is non-negotiable. To help aid you on your search, keep scrolling. We’ve rounded up the best concealers for acne—and some makeup-artist approved tips for getting your coverage to stay put. 

How to Cover Acne With Concealer

The key to getting your concealer to stay in place? “Really prep the skin,” says celebrity makeup artist Shadi Malek. Your base should be hydrated (even acne-prone skin types require moisture) and primed. Once that’s said and done, it’s time to grab your concealer. “If you have stubborn acne, you can apply a thin layer of concealer and then apply your foundation,” says Malek. “Then go over your acne again with more concealer.” 

To make sure your spot coverage blends in with the rest of your complexion, Malek recommends using a flat brush at the get-go. Once your product is packed on, “go over the edges with a beauty blender so that the concealer blends seamlessly into the foundation.”

What to Look For in a Concealer

First and foremost, you need to find the right shade. Unfortunately, your under eye concealer likely isn’t up for the job. While a lighter shade is ideal to brighten the under eye, you want a true color match for blemishes. “Choose a shade that is the exact shade of your foundation so that you cannot tell the difference between where you have concealer and where you have foundation,” says Malek. 

On the texture front, you want to find a product that is going to be buildable, blendable, and has intense pigment. A slightly tacky formula won’t hurt either—it’ll ensure the concealer doesn’t budge throughout the day. 

The Best Concealers for Acne

Samantha Holender
Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar,,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.

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