Best Concealers for Acne Prone Skin – 2017 Reviews and Top Picks

Concealers can be your skin’s best friend or your worse enemy.

They can either effectively hide your acne spots and blemishes or make your acne worse.

Unfortunately, there’s only one way to find out and that’s to test the products. That’s quite a challenge since you have to invest not just time but money, too.

The good news is that this doesn’t have to happen to you.

Here’s why:

After reviewing related studies and scrutinizing hundreds of reviews from Amazon, Reddit and other popular online sellers, we were able to create this handy guide anyone can use in choosing the right concealer that won’t cause more acne.

And we’re not even exaggerating as we spent 30 long hours just for this.

Now, you don’t have to take our word for it. 

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Key Features

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    Finish: Matte
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    Coverage: Full
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    Shades: 12
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    Finish: Matte
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    Coverage: Medium
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    Shades: 3
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    Finish: Velvety
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    Coverage: Medium
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    Shades: 10
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    Finish: Natural​​​​
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    Coverage: Medium to full
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    Shades: 6
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    Finish: Natural
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    Coverage: Medium
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    Shades: 9

Check out our full review of the best concealer for acne-prone skin and see for yourself.

#1 MAKEUP FOREVER Full Cover Concealer

MAKEUP FOREVER

If you have been struggling to find the best concealer for acne prone skin, then MAKEUP FOREVER Full Coverage Concealer can put an end to your search. It’s one of the professional level makeup products you can easily get your hands on today.

It comes in this squeezable plastic tube which is really convenient. It gives you a good view of how much product you have left.

Plus, it lets you get to the last bit of the concealer without the need to hack the packaging.

The product is on the thicker side, but don’t worry. It’s actually not that difficult to blend since it tends to melt once it gets in contact with the skin.

It does, however, contains minimal slip so it’s best if you can apply it in dots on your face. After all, you don’t need a lot of product for cover ups.

What makes this concealer great for those with acne is that it’s formulated without oil. Apart from that, it’s also silicone-based.

Silicone molecules, in case you are wondering, are bigger than your pores. This, in essence, means that the concealer won’t fill and clog them up.

Silicone also has that similar effect to primers which means they won’t make your dry patches more noticeable.

Another nice thing about the concealer is that it’s waterproof. Yes, you’ve read that right.There’s also no fragrance to irritate your skin.

Things We Liked

  • Offers full coverage
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Waterproof
  • Doesn’t enhance dry patches

Things We Didn't Like

  • Pricey
  • Thick consistency might not be for everyone

#2 Almay Clear Complexion Oil-Free Concealer

Almay

Almay Clear Complexion Oil-Free Concealer offers more than just good coverage. It also has salicylic acid that can treat and prevent any existing breakout.

It comes in this tube with a sponge tip wand. This helps you achieve a precise application for spot concealing.

The downside of the packaging, however, is that it tends to be less hygienic. Dotting the wand over your acne and putting it back inside the tube can cause transfer of bad microbes.

And that can make things worse for your skin.

Apart from salicylic acid, you can also find meadowsweet, aloe and chamomile in its list. These ingredients are known to have soothing and calming effects- perfect for those with irritated skin.

The coverage you can get from this concealer is only up to a medium. It leaves a somewhat dry-matte finish which is great if you have oily skin and not-so-great if yours tends to be on the dry side.

Its consistency is just right. It’s not too thick that you’ll have problems with streaks and not too runny that you can hardly cover up anything.

Things We Liked

  • Contains salicylic acid
  • Comes with an applicator
  • Has aloe and chamomile

Things We Didn't Like

  • Leaves a dry matte finish
  • Applicator can compromise the product

#3 Dermablend Quick Fix Concealer SPF 30

Dermablend

For something that’s full coverage, try Dermablend Quick Fix Concealer SPF 30. It earned points not just for its SPF content and great coverage, but also because of its ability to work with all skin types- even sensitive skin.

It’s formulated to be non-acnegenic, non-comedogenic and fragrance-free.

The product comes in stick form. It’s convenient to carry around and to apply on areas of concern.

It’s super saturated with pigments so one swipe is usually enough to cover acne scars and blemishes.

Despite its formulation, however, it’s actually never cakey or greasy. It doesn’t enhance fine lines and wrinkles, too.

The concealer promises 16 hours of wear. It doesn’t easily smudge or transfer, especially when set properly.

Things We Liked

  • Has SPF
  • Long-wearing
  • Good for sensitive skin
  • Doesn’t feel like a mask on skin

Things We Didn't Like

  • Pricey
  • Not full coverage

#4 Maybelline New York Fit Me! Concealer

Maybelline New York

Maybelline New York Fit Me! Concealer is another oil-free and non-comedogenic option. Apart from the affordable price, you’ll love that this concealer actually works.

It is a very lightweight product that’s able to provide medium to full coverage. It has great pigments so you’ll only need a small amount of the product.

As for packaging, this one comes in a standard tube with a doe foot applicator. Nothing fancy there.

Despite being a liquid concealer, this one isn’t too runny. It doesn’t feel too emollient either.

It’s really easy to blend, even without much effort. You simply dot it on your target areas and blend either with your fingers or a makeup tool.

It doesn’t set right away which means you have enough time to really work the product out. You can build it up without having to worry about looking cakey.

Things We Liked

  • Lightweight
  • Longwearing
  • Very pigmented
  • Doesn’t get cakey
  • Has no oil

Things We Didn't Like

  • Number of shades are limited

#5 L'oreal True Match Super-Blendable Concealer

L'oreal

Apart from the blemishes, another common concern people with acne prone skin have is dull complexion. This is exactly what L'oreal True Match Super-blendable Concealer aims to solve.

It has (as the name implies) a very blendable formulation that also aims to brighten up your skin. It comes in a wide range of shades so you can easily pick one that can match your skin tone the best.

Its lightweight formula doesn’t settle into fine lines as well as creases. It blends easily, provides moderate coverage and dries to a matte finish.

The packaging is travel-friendly. It also makes it easier for you to see how much product is left since it comes in a see-through bottle.

Things We Liked

  • Blendable formula
  • Doesn’t come with a strong scent
  • Has travel-friendly packaging

Things We Didn't Like

  • Can turn cakey when applied in thick layer
  • Only provides medium coverage

#6 Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage

 Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage is unique from many other concealers in that it contains two shades in one efficient compact. This feature enables the product to match the tone of your skin perfectly.

One of the shades matches the skin color while the other one can blend in well with your skin’s undertone. You can even custom blend your own shade because of the two colors.

You can build coverage as you see fit, while its antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and E nourish and soothe skin without clogging pores.

You can use your fingers but if you want a more even application, I suggest you try using a brush, especially since there are two shades.

The product has a hard waxy consistency that tends to melt once applied on the skin. It’s highly pigmented and goes on smoothly.

Things We Liked

  • Contains two shades
  • Has antioxidants
  • Highly pigmented
  • Good coverage

Things We Didn't Like

  • Feels a bit tacky
  • Can look cakey

#7 Too Faced Absolutely Flawless Concealer

Too Faced

Too Faced Absolutely Flawless Concealer offers full coverage and an impressive blend of peptides and hyaluronic filling spheres. It has a thick consistency and is highly pigmented which makes it a great choice when it comes to concealing dark spots.

And because of these exact same features, you can also use the concealer in concealing dark undereye circles. You won’t have to worry about caking as the product can also increase the hydration level on your target areas.

However, since it’s thick, I suggest you use a brush first to diffuse the product on your skin. Once it’s blended, you can pat it gently to ensure that the concealer won’t just sit on top.

If you directly pat a thick layer, it can result in creasing. And trust me, it won’t look anywhere near pretty.

It is a tad expensive for a concealer that only weighs 0.2 ounce. However, since the pigmentation is great, you’ll only need a small amount of it for concealing dark spots.

Things We Liked

  • Hydrating
  • Good for both dark spots and undereye areas
  • Offers great coverage
  • Highly pigmented

Things We Didn't Like

  • Tends to crease if applied thickly
  • Costly

#8 Exuviance CoverBlend Multi-Function Concealer

Exuviance CoverBlend

Dealing with acne prone skin is already a tough job. The difficulty greatly increases if you are also struggling with aging skin.

These are exactly where Exuviance CoverBlend Multi-Function Concealer becomes a great choice. It offers to correct and conceal skin blemishes while diminishing the signs of skin aging.

It contains a blend of nourishing, hazard-fighting antioxidants and polyhydroxy acid to maintain skin's hydration. This means that it can’t only help you with skin breakouts but with age spots and wrinkles, too.

The product is fragrance-free and paraben-free to work well even with the most sensitive of skin types. Available in a variety of shades and catered toward a plethora of skin types, this concealer's versatility makes it a top choice for those with mature acne prone skin.

Things We Liked

  • Works well with age spots and fine lines
  • Has antioxidants
  • Applies easily

Things We Didn't Like

  • Seems to have a change in formulation
  • Coverage isn’t that high

#9 NYX Cosmetics Concealer Stick

NYX Cosmetics

NYX Cosmetics Concealer Stick offers medium to full coverage which is great if you are struggling to cover mild to moderate skin blemishes. It is easy to work with and give a natural-looking finish.

Take note, however, that its pigmentation might not be enough if you are trying to conceal really bad dark under eyes.

It comes in 8 different shades- including ones for color correction.

The stick isn’t that thick which I think is great, especially if you need a concealer to hide away small acne scars. However, for larger areas, this one might be a bit difficult to use.

The concealer isn’t that moisturizing or drying. It has a cream-like texture that is easy to blend.

The best part? It’s actually waterproof.

Things We Liked

  • Has waterproof formulation
  • Good for concealing small acne scars
  • Has shades for color correction

Things We Didn't Like

  • Can be a bit difficult to apply on larger areas
  • Pale shades only give sheer coverage

#10 Boo-Boo Cover-Up Concealer

Boo-Boo Cover-Up

Boo-Boo Cover-Up Concealer offers great pigments to conceal your blemishes. It’s a great product to use on acne, scars and even bug bites.

The great thing about this product is that it doesn’t just conceal but it also works to heal. It’s packed with powerful ingredients to facilitate repair.

Some of its great ingredients include green tea, aloe and chamomile. It even has tea tree which is known for its benefits against acne.

The formula of this concealer is concentrated. It is thick and creamy so make sure you start out with a small amount of the product first.

You can build it up to a full coverage. It dries to a powdery finish which may not work really well if you are planning on using it on the dry areas of your face.

Things We Liked

  • Good for concealing scars, scratches and bites
  • Has good pigmentation
  • Buildable to full coverage

Things We Didn't Like

  • Finish is powdery
  • Expensive

Reviews and Comparisons of The Best Concealer for Acne Prone Skin

Rankings

Best Concealer for Acne Prone Skin

Best Oil-Free Concealer for Acne Prone Skin

Best Full Coverage Concealer for Acne Prone Skin

Best Drugstore Concealer for Acne Prone Skin

Best Affordable Concealer for Acne Prone Skin

Top-Rated Concealer for Acne Prone Skin 2017

MAKEUP FOREVER
Almay
Dermablend
Maybelline New York
L'oreal

Brand

MAKE UP FOR EVER

Almay

Dermablend

Maybelline New York

L'Oreal Paris

Finish

Matte

Dry, matte

Velvety

Natural

Natural

Coverage

Full

Medium

Medium

Medium to full

Medium

Shades

12

3

10

6

9

Quantity

0.5 ounce

0.18 ounce

0.16 ounce

0.23 ounce

0.17 ounce

Packaging

Squeezable plastic tube

Tube with sponge tip wand

Twist tube

Tube with doe-foot wand

Tube with applicator

Get Started

The Real Deal With Concealers

A concealer can be a life saver (not literally, though) if you’ve pulled out an all-nighter and need to look your best the morning after. It’s also a great help if you have lots of dark blemishes, acne marks and hyperpigmentations.

It basically does the same job as a foundation in the sense that both makeup products provide coverage. But, technically, what is concealer?

Concealers have more pigments and because of this property, they are meant to be used on the small areas of your face. Their heavy pigmentation makes them effective in covering blemishes.

Just think of them as a temporary and quick fix to make your face look more flawless. They are usually thicker which makes them not that ideal to use on your entire face.

Here’s why:

Since you’ll be working on a larger surface area, you’re likely to use a lot of concealers, especially if you have redness and greatly uneven skin tone. As you pack the product on your skin, it will become cakier and cakier which gives you an unnatural finish.

And trust me, that won’t look pretty.

Concealer vs Foundation: Which To Use For Acne Prone Skin?​

Now, the trickier part.

If you are like some people who are into the “au naturel” look, you might think that you can easily get away with just concealer. Well, that can be true- to some point.

The problem with sticking to using concealer alone is that it beats the purpose of applying makeup. You’ll be able to camouflage your blemishes, but what about the other parts of your face?

The acne mark on your chin or your dark undereye circles, for example, are probably not the only issues you may have on your skin. Applying concealer on only these parts can make your skin look more uneven.

Should you just use foundation, then?

Frankly, when you build up the coverage of your foundation, you’ll be able to conceal your marks well, too. The trick is to layer the foundation on your problem areas little by little and make sure to blend properly until you get the coverage you need.

The problem with that technique, however, is that foundation can’t hide away every blemish, especially if there are discolorations, too. For acne prone skin, redness is a very common concern.

This brings me to the next topic, which is…​

How To Use Color Correcting Concealers​

Color correcting concealers can take camouflaging blemishes and discolorations to a whole new level. Instead of just providing coverage, it neutralizes the issue.

So many colors…

Just seeing the variety of colors correcting concealers can come in, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. And if you’ve every felt that way, trust me - you’re not alone.

To simplify the idea, there’s the color wheel. The principle is that opposite colors can neutralize each other.​

Green concealers

​If you have redness, your best bet are green concealers. If the discoloration is extreme, you have to find one that’s heavier and has more pigments. In case the issue is mild, pick a green concealer that offers sheer coverage.

Purple concealers

For people who have yellow undertones, adding purple concealers to their routine can result in a brighter and more radiant finish.

Pink concealers

For signs of fatigue, you can use pink or salmon colored concealers on your undereye area. You can also use it in correcting sallow olive tones.

Neutral concealers

Neutral concealers are great in camouflaging occasional pimple marks. It should be similar to your skin tone or go one shade lighter. This type of concealer can even double as a lipstick primer.

And to make your concealer last, there’s baking.

How To Bake Your Concealer​

Baking is a technique you can use to keep your makeup, or your concealer, from wearing off or caking. Apart from that, baking can also give you a highlighted look.

Since it can give you a matte look, you have to start off with a hydrated base. Moisturizing is a must even for oil and acne prone skin.

Once your moisturizer has been completely absorbed, apply your concealer on your target areas. Make sure that it is evenly distributed and that there are no edges visible.

Set the concealer using a translucent powder. Then, take a damp sponge and pack enough loose powder on it.

Apply the powder liberally on the areas you applied concealer to and do the rest of your makeup while you’re “baking”.

For the final part, take a fluffy brush and blend everything out. Pay close attention to the areas where you applied your loose powder to ensure that there aren’t any patchy spots.

​What Makes A Good Concealer For Acne Prone Skin?

There are general rules for concealers, such as picking a concealer that matches your skin tone, one that offers quality ingredients, and can be worn comfortably. When it comes to blemishes, however, there are a few added factors to keep in mind.

A concealer can provide the type of coverage on a blemish that makes it nearly or completely invisible. However, you need to select the appropriate type of coverage when it comes to acne.

For redness and zits, a concealer with pigment-rich, opaque formula can help neutralize flare-ups in just a couple of layers.

The best concealers for acne prone skin should also include one or a few ingredients that aim to treat and heal blemishes rather than simply concealing them. Concealers that contain ingredients like 2% salicylic acid is considered a great help in toning down irritation and inflammation.

Conclusion​

Having acne prone skin can be really frustrating. Aside from the idea of breaking out, you also have to find a way to conceal your acne marks.

This is one of the reasons why you need to invest in the best concealer for acne prone skin. You don’t need one just for coverage but you also have to find a product that can prevent or, at least, heal your existing skin breakouts.​

best concealer for acne prone skin

Hannah Do

Hannah is the founder of ThankYourSkin. Having personally battled acne during her younger years, she aspires to provide an invaluable guide to anyone suffering from it.

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