Foundation and acne just don’t mix sometimes. If you have ever dealt with any kind of it, you know what I mean. As someone who has struggled quite a bit with acne, I’ve gotten into the habit of double-checking the ingredients in any formula before I buy, just to make sure nothing is super the comedo (aka, will clog your pores, big time). However, Foundation can be particularly difficult. To get a little more insight into the matter, I called in the experts. Thaw dermatologists and one make up artist gave me a good perspective.
“[Certain] foundations can trigger acne breakouts, but don’t worry, with the right products and skin care regimen, you can wear makeup,” says board-certified dermatologist, Snehal Amin, MD. “Look for labels that say ‘oil-free’ and ‘non-comedogenic.'” The same rules apply to makeup removers—choose oil-free products and avoid scrubbing the skin. Sometimes it’s not the skincare product or makeup itself that triggers your acne, but rather the makeup brushes and applicators you use. They can harbor acne-causing bacteria, dead skin cells and oils. Clean often and don’t share them.”
Make-up artist Alexa Perisco also says there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the best foundation for acne-prone skin. “Don’t pick up the moisture-targeting foundation formulas, most of these contain a high percentage of mineral oil, which can cause breakouts,” she says. Finally, our third expert, board-certified dermatologist Azadeh Shirazi, MD, has one final piece of advice. “Avoid heavy formulas—especially those with petrolatum, mineral oil, lanolin, coconut oil, avocado oil, and silicones, as they tend to clog pores,” she says. “Also avoid added fragrances, which can cause new pimples to form and irritate existing pimples. You’ll also want to avoid foundations with a waxy emollient like myristyl myristate, as they tend to cause buildup and clog pores. Go for oil-free , lighter foundations that have hyaluronic acid.”
Phew, I know that was a mouthful. But don’t worry, I asked our panel of experts to give their recommended foundations for acne-prone skin so you can choose the right option for you—keep scrolling.