Best Foundations For Acne Prone Skin – 2023 Reviews and Top Picks

best foundation

In our commitment to help you end your skin breakouts, we’ve dedicated more than 18 hours to choose the best foundations for acne prone skin among 25 of the top performing products today. Our top choices were ranked based on their coverage, extra ingredients and formulation. These foundations are set to help you upgrade your makeup routine to a whole new level.

At A Glance: Our Choices for The Best Foundations for Acne Prone Skin

For the best oil-free foundation for acne prone skin, we highly suggest Lorac Natural Performance Foundation. It offers medium to full coverage with its oil-free and paraben-free formulation.

For the best foundation for oily acne-prone skin, Revlon ColorStay Liquid Makeup for Combination/Oily. It has a lightweight formula that can control oil and shine while offering sun protection.

If you want an oil-free foundation, Maybelline New York Superstay Better Skin Foundation is the best one to go. Aside from the matte finish and buildable coverage, this one also has antioxidant benefits.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Invisible Skin Fusion Foundation is your go-to option if you have dry acne prone skin. It has this satin finish that doesn’t cling to fine lines and dry patches.

For the best drugstore option, you can’t go wrong with L'Oreal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup. It has this thin formula that’s really easy to work on the skin.


Key Features

  • Finish: Semi-matte
  • Coverage: Medium to full
  • Shades: 9
  • Finish: Matte
  • Coverage: Medium
  • Shades: 22
  • Finish: Matte
  • Coverage: Medium to full
  • Shades: 16
  • Finish: Satin
  • Coverage: Medium
  • Shades: 12
  • Finish: Matte
  • Coverage: Medium
  • Shades: 33

Ready? Check out the best foundations for acne-prone skin below.


Lorac Natural Performance Foundation offers weightless coverage that will last throughout the day. The product is free of oils, parabens, and fragrances which lessens that chances of your skin breaking out.

What makes this product impressive is that aside from the medium to full coverage it offers, it also includes three special ingredients that are geared to help soothe and reduce redness in sensitive skin. It has Xyleine, premier olive leaf extract, and vitamin A.

The foundation dries to a semi-matte finish. If you are the type of person who still likes a bit of dewiness (that isn’t oil), this one might work really well for your skin type.

The product doesn’t set too fast, which is great since it can give you enough time to buff and blend. Foundations that set quickly can be frustrating and stressful for the skin, especially with the pressure you need to exert to blend out the harsh lines.

It has good pigmentation and it tends to last long on the skin. For best results, I suggest you use a loose powder to set this foundation.

One issue I have with this product is its lemon fruit extract which can be potentially irritating to those who have extra sensitive skin.

What We Like:

  • Has good pigmentation
  • Lightweight
  • Noncomedogenic
  • Long lasting
  • Offers good coverage

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains lemon fruit extract
  • Costly
Revlon ColorStay

If your acne prone skin leans more on the oily side, Revlon ColorStay Liquid Makeup is your best option. It feels lightweight on the skin and can keep you looking fresh for 16 hours to 24 hours.

Now, imagine that.

The foundation has a lightweight and oil-free formula that can absorb oil and shine. It also features SPF protection so your skin can stay free from sun damage.

One of the nice things about this foundation is its wide range of shades. It’s available in more than 20 shades so you can easily pick one that matches your skin tone.

Apart from that, its packaging is something to look forward to as well. Unlike most brands, this one comes with a pump.

It makes the foundation a lot easier and more hygienic to dispense.

As for coverage, this one can go up to full coverage. And it goes without caking.The foundation, however, is fast drying. A thin layer can dry in a matter of seconds while a thicker layer can take a bit longer.

What We Like:

  • Buildable to a full coverage
  • Oil-free
  • Has SPF
  • Available in a wide range of shades
  • Doesn’t get cakey

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Dries fast
  • Appears too thin
Maybelline New York

Maybelline New York Superstay Better Skin Foundation is one of the most hardworking foundations you can get. Apart from the medium to full coverage it offers, it also claims to give you- what its name implies- better skin.

The foundation relies on the power of actyl-C, which is known to possess potent antioxidant benefits. Using the product consistently can result in brighter, smoother and more even skin.

And the brand promises to give you that in just 3 weeks.

The foundation comes in a transparent container. It’s nice since you can see the shade from the outside.

You also get to see how much product you still have left. Plus, it has a pump.

As for consistency, this one is a bit thick which can require more effort when it comes to blending. Take note that it sets pretty quickly.

What We Like:

  • Contains antioxidant benefits
  • Packaging comes with a pump
  • Offers buildable coverage

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Sets quickly
  • Blending can take more effort
Guerlain Lingerie de Peau

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Invisible Skin Fusion Foundation might come with a high price tag but it’s sure worth as an investment. It has this silky texture that will leave your skin with a hint of glow.

The foundation feels lightweight. Its consistency is just right- not too thick or too runny.

It offers a medium (buildable) coverage and a satin-like finish that won’t dry your skin out. It doesn’t cling to fine lines and creases or even to large pores.

It’s a good choice if you want to wear a foundation without looking like you are actually wearing one.

Another nice thing about this foundation is that it also comes with an SPF rating of 20.

However, one of the things you might not like about the product is that it’s actually scented. Though, it’s not really that bothersome for me.

What We Like:

  • Has SPF
  • Doesn’t cling on fine line
  • Leaves skin with a glows
  • Doesn’t dry the skin out

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Pricey
  • Scented
L'Oreal Paris

L'Oreal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup is definitely one of the best drugstore foundations for acne-prone skin. It’s oil-free and noncomedogenic.Plus, it has SPF 17. Although it’s not the optimal, having minimal protection is still better than none, right?

The foundation has a silky formula that dries down to a natural-looking matte. It’s not the type to make your skin look flat.

Instead, it has the ability to allow a bit of your skin to show through the foundation while diffusing any redness and imperfections.

Take note, however, that it can still emphasize your skin’s dryness. It can also emphasize the lines under your eyes.

If your skin is on the drier side, make sure to apply a good moisturizer before you do your makeup.

In terms of application, you won’t have issues with this one. It’s actually true to its name of being super blendable.

What We Like:

  • Easy to work on the skin
  • Has SPF 17
  • Provides enough coverage for mild imperfections
  • Doesn’t make skin look flat

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Can emphasize dry patches and fine lines
  • Has a tendency to transfer
  • Doesn’t come with a pump

If you have been struggling to find the best matte foundation for acne- prone skin, go with Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation. It’s one of the very few that can actually deliver.

The foundation comes in a squeeze tube, which is really convenient if you are travelling. However, you might find it a bit difficult to get the last drop of the product out.

The formula of this one is nice, especially if you’re fed up with heavy foundations. This one feels really light and it doesn’t feel greasy or oily, too.

However, since it’s a mousse, don’t expect it to have the same effects on dry skin.

The foundation has a matte finish that feels baby-soft. You’ll love that this foundation can also minimize the appearance of large pores.

Plus, it has great oil control properties as well.

What We Like:

  • Lightweight
  • Doesn’t look cakey on the skin
  • Can minimize the appearance of pores
  • Packaging is travel-friendly

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Mousse formula may not work on dry skin
  • Thick consistency can make blending a bit hard

This lightweight foundation from Clinique packs a powerful punch of salicylic acid, sea algae components, and hydroxydecanoic acid to treat and prevent acne while concealing.

The foundation is designed to treat acne without stripping away dryness, but some may still experience mild dryness from the medicated ingredients.

Fortunately, a light layer of moisturizer can usually remedy this problem. The foundation also lasts for eight hours so consumers will seldom need to reapply throughout the day.

It offers a medium coverage which is a great help for acne-prone skin. If you have redness, however, you might want to consider using a color correcting concealer first to achieve a more flawless result.

The product fits acne-prone skin well since it is water-based. It’s light, too, and offers a matte finish.

Take note that the product sets quickly. Make sure that you blend it right away after applying- or else, your skin will end up with streaks.

What We Like:

  • Leaves a matte finish
  • Offers good coverage
  • Great staying power
  • Water-based

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Sets quickly
  • Can be drying due to salicylic acid content

If you aren’t into liquid and cream foundations, a good choice for you would be Becca Perfect Skin Mineral Powder Foundation. It offers buildable coverage and a soft, luminous finish.

Its color range is quite impressive. It even has shades that can match those with olive skin tones.

It doesn’t oxidize or turn cakey once applied on the skin. The foundation isn’t that long lasting but you can expect it to stay on your skin for a good few hours.

Unlike other pressed powders, this one isn’t that drying to the skin. It won’t accentuate your pores or even your fine lines.

For an even better result, I still suggest you use a primer before applying this product.

What We Like:

  • Great in evening out the skin
  • Doesn’t turn cakey
  • Offers buildable coverage
  • Has mineral-based formulation

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not that highly pigmented
  • Contains bismuth

Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation isn’t your typical foundation. Specially formulated for medical uses, this product has no preservatives, oils, and fragrance that can trigger skin breakouts.

Apart from that, it also comes with an SPF rating of 25.

The foundation, despite offering a full coverage, has a breathable formulation. It feels healthy and light on the skin.

It isn’t completely matte. It’s actually quite dewy which can make your skin look a lot healthier.

Since it has a thick consistency, you may want to use a brush or a sponge during application. It’s not really hard to spread but just to make sure you get an even application, using a makeup tool would be nice.

Another impressive feature of this foundation is that it can resist humid weather and even sweat. It’s a good fit for people who live in areas where the weather is always hot.

What We Like:

  • Has a breathable formulation
  • Easy to spread
  • Feels light on the skin
  • Great coverage
  • Free from parabens and fragrance
  • Has SPF

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • Can be drying to the skin
Physicians Formula

Physicians Formula Nude Wear Glowing Nude Foundation comes in a great looking packaging. It looks sleek and very feminine.

Apart from that, it also comes with a pump which is really good, especially when it comes to hygiene.

The product has pigments that can boost your skin’s natural radiance. It is airy and feels really soft on the skin.

On top of brightening your skin tone, it can also even out the color of your skin. It’s a perfect foundation if you are aiming for a no-makeup makeup look.

And the best part?

It’s non-comedogenic which means it has less chances of clogging your pores and causing your skin to break out. It’s also free from fragrance, parabens and even gluten.

Keep in mind that this foundation can only give you a sheer coverage. It’s not the best choice for concealing severe skin blemishes.

But, with a full coverage concealer, this foundation can give boost your skin’s natural beauty.

What We Like:

  • Lightweight
  • Enhances skin’s natural glow
  • Pretty packaging
  • Comes with a pump
  • Gluten-free

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Only offers sheer coverage
  • Thin consistency

Reviews and Comparisons of the Best Foundations for Acne Prone Skin


Best Foundation for Acne Prone Skin

Best Foundation For Oily Acne Prone Skin

Best Oil-Free Foundation

Best Foundation for Dry Acne Prone Skin

Best Drugstore Foundation for Acne Prone Skin

Top-Rated Foundations for Acne Prone Skin 2017

Revlon ColorStay
Maybelline New York
Guerlain Lingerie de Peau
L'Oreal Paris









Medium to full


Medium to full

Medium (buildable)









1 fluid ounce

1 fluid ounce

1 fluid ounce

1 fluid ounce

1 fluid ounce


Bottle with pump

Bottle with pump

Bottle with pump

Bottle with pump

Bottle (no pump)

Get Started

How To Find The Right Foundation

Finding the right makeup doesn’t end in knowing what your skin type is. If you want to get a really flawless result (which I’m sure you do), you have to consider a lot of things.

Knowing your skin tone and undertone

These are two different things, actually.

Skin tone is simply the color of your skin. It has something to do with the pigments in your skin known as melanin.

Undertone, on the other hand, refers to how your skin reacts when matched with other colors. Your skin can have a warm, cool or neutral undertone.

There are a couple of ways for you to know yours:

One is how your skin reacts to the sun. If you tend to tan easily, there’s a good chance you have a warm undertone. If you tan minimally, you can consider your skin to have a cool undertone.

Another trick you can use is to expose your skin to natural lighting and look closely at the color of your veins. If you generally see a greenish color, you have warmed undertone. You are considered cool toned if your veins have a bluish to purplish tints.

If you can’t decide, you have probably a neutral undertone.

Your accessories can also help you decide. In case you gravitate towards gold more, you could be warmed toned. If you look better with silver accessories, consider yourself with a cool undertone.

If you look good in both gold and silver, your undertone is neutral.

Choosing the right shade of foundation

Once you are able to know your skin tone and undertone, the next thing you have to consider is the right shade of foundation.

This is, perhaps, the trickiest part.

If you’ve bought a foundation that looked really great with swatching only to find out that it’s not actually the best match for your skin, then you’d know exactly what I mean. It isn’t only frustrating but it’s a waste of money, too.

For the perfect match, you should swatch the foundation on your chest instead of your wrist or the back of your hand. Keep in mind that your face and chest are not always the same color as your body, especially if you’re consistent with using sun protective products on the said areas.

If you swatch a foundation and the color disappears with the rest of the skin on your chest area, it’s the right match. But, that is if you are not acidic.

A skin that’s acidic tends to trigger oxidation in foundations. It’s when the product suddenly turns orange or a few shades darker.

For acidic skin, it’s a good idea to swatch a product first and wait for several minutes or even an hour to see if there is going to be any reaction. If the foundation changes color, buy it in one to two shades lighter.

Investing in a primer can help, too.

Deciding on the right coverage

For someone with acne-prone skin, you have to find a foundation that can successfully conceal your acne and other skin blemishes. 

If the blemishes are minimal, you can go for a foundation with sheer coverage. But, if you have moderate to severe blemishes, you might want to go for a full coverage.

Keep in mind, however, that coverage relates to how much of your natural skin you want to show.

Picking the right formulation

When you have acne-prone skin, the last thing you want your foundation to do is to make your skin issues more noticeable than they already are. Even if you pick the right shade and coverage, the results you’ll get won’t be that great if you don’t invest in the right foundation formula.

For your skin type, matte finish liquid foundations are your best bet. They are lightweight, easy to blend and won’t make your skin look more greasy than it already is.

If you have slightly (and I really mean slightly) oily skin and you need a quick fix to getting flawless skin, loose-powder and pressed-powder foundations might do the trick.

How To Apply Foundation

Foundations are amazing- that is if you know how to apply them properly.

A good rule of thumb is to start with a moisturized base. Yes, you got that right.

Acne-prone skin, just like most skin types, needs proper care and the right skincare routine. So, start off by cleansing, toning and moisturizing your skin.

Make sure that your moisturizer has already set or else, it can cause your foundation to sit on top of your skin.

Once your skin has absorbed the product completely, you can apply your primer. Now, this step is completely up to you, but if you want your makeup to really last, don’t skip it.

Primers, aside from acting as a barrier, can minimize pores and mattify the skin.

As for application, there are actually several ways. You can use your fingers, a foundation brush or a makeup brush depending on the coverage you want to achieve.

Start with a thin layer of the foundation. This will make it easier for you to build the product to the coverage you want without looking cakey.

Pay more attention to your skin blemishes. If your foundation isn’t enough to cover them all, you can apply concealer on top of the foundation.

Blend everything well. Make sure that there are no harsh lines to achieve a natural look.

You can set your makeup using a translucent powder. Apart from longevity, it can also mattify your face.


Finding the best foundation for acne-prone skin is never a walk in the park. It’s tricky and can seem like a gamble most of the time.

There’s no other way for you to know which foundations will work for you unless you give them a try.

This is where this in-depth review can help you.

Since much of the research, testing and evaluation have been done, it’s now up to you to decide which one will fit your needs the best. Take note that all of these foundations have been found to be effective on acne-prone skin so you won’t have to worry breaking out just to get the coverage you need.

Foundation for acne prone skin

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Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

A board-certified dermatologist who practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology

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