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13 Clean Foundations for Acne-Prone Skin That Won’t Break You Out

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Foundation can be a double-edged sword for women with acne-prone skin. Choosing the wrong formula can worsen your breakouts, but with minimal effort, it’s easy to keep your complexion even and control breakouts. OFC, you want something to cover ’em all and show off smooth skin. At the same time, you wouldn’t want to clog up your pores or have your skin looking even greasier. So what’s to be done?

How to pick the best foundation for acne-prone skin

Did you know that your foundation can actually contain ingredients that may improve the apparition of pimples? Salicylic acid, tea tree extract, zinc are a few of these. You’d want your foundation to be non-comedogenic and avoid ingredients that may exacerbate acne, such as benzaldehyde, isopropyl palmitate, sodium chloride, or stearic acid. When your pores become clogged from certain components, they attempt to flush out, resulting in pimples, blackheads, and acne. Most dermatologists recommend powder foundations over liquid ones for acne-prone skin types. “Powder foundations are less likely to clog your pores since the pigment particles are larger,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City for Prevention. However, if you still prefer a liquid foundation, it would be best if you’d opt for an oil-free and matte version.

Related: These 7 Ingredients Are All You Need to Control Oily Skin

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Briefly, a good foundation for acne-prone skin must cover well-enough without clogging pores. It also has to lack hazardous ingredients that might exacerbate acne but have elements that aim to heal blemishes. Also, acne-prone skin needs lighter-weight formulas that deliver enough coverage without drawing more attention to pimples.

Chemical-free foundations for acne-prone skin & breakouts

Obviously, you can slather on the first full-coverage foundation hoping to cover, or you can use one of these products:


1. Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation

Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation

With 8.26% zinc as an active ingredient, a serum-like lightweight texture, and semi-matte, buildable coverage, no wonder why Perricone’s foundation takes the first place. It’s enhanced with neuropeptides to support the skin’s barrier, bisabolol as an antioxidant, and daisy flower extract to naturally even out skin tone. Oh, there’s more: it offers broad-spectrum 20 SPF protecting your skin against UV damage.


2. PÜR 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup

PUR Pressed Mineral Makeup

For those who prefer their foundation to be multitasking, this can’t be beaten — you get a foundation, concealer, finishing powder, and SPF protection. Plus, it’s packed with skin-loving ingredients, like minerals, vitamin C, retinol, ceramides, ferulic and lactic acid, and a few plant extracts. Thanks to the vast shade range, anyone can find their perfect match! You can’t say no to this!


3. bareMinerals Blemish Rescue Powder Foundation

bareMinerals Blemish Rescue Powder Foundation

This mineral foundation makes an excellent option for your acne-prone skin, less likely to clog your pores. Made with 0.5% salicylic acid and zinc, it addresses acne breakouts, helping ward them off. The oat proteins and phytosphingosine nourish and soothe skin while providing you with a breathable, natural-matte coverage. Also, the sulfur and kaolin addition will purify your pores, eliminating dead skin cells.


4. Dermablend Cover Creme Full Coverage Cream Foundation

dermablend clean foundation

Dermablend foundation is suitable for acne-prone skin as it’s non-acnegenic and non-comedogenic. Also, it’s made with skin-loving ingredients, like minerals (titanium dioxide, magnesium, iron, kaolin), high-performance pigments for great coverage, and provides SPF 30 for ultimate skin protection. The creamy texture layers smoothly, protecting your skin barrier against environmental aggressors. With 21 shades available, it’s impossible not to find the one for you — check them out.

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5. Vichy Dermafinish Liquid Foundation

Vichy Dermafinish Liquid Foundation

For a liquid formula, there’s Vichy, excellent for oily and acne-prone skin. Not only it has a silky lightweight texture and is non-comedogenic, but it also assures flawless coverage and SPF 30 protection with 15% titanium dioxide. The Vichy mineralizing water it’s made with is rich in 15 minerals that help strengthen the skin barrier and add some more UV protection. Everybody says it blends nicely, lasting throughout the day, without the need for touch-ups — browse the reviews yourself.


6. bareMinerals barePRO Foundation

bareMinerals Foundation for acne

Are you an organic beauty lover? Cuz this foundation is made with 90% natural ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, and powerful natural pigments that support a healthy complexion, feeling lightweight and breathable on the skin. Oil-free, with a matte finish, it gives that natural coverage of your dreams which stays on for the entire day. Non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, bareMinerals’ foundation helps reduce pore size appearance and control shine, boosting the skin clarity without clogging pores or cause breakouts.


7. Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup

Created for acne-prone skin with salicylic acid as an active ingredient, this foundation acts as a healer for pimples. The extract of caffeine and brown algae (Laminaria Saccharina) has antioxidant properties, giving your skin some protection against pollutants. Obviously, it’s made without oil, making it the ideal liquid foundation for acne-prone skin, with a clear and matte finish.


8. ISDINCEUTICS Skin Drops Foundation

ISDINCEUTICS foundation

Isdinceutic Skin Drops has an oil-free, non-comedogenic formula, so no worries about clogging your pores. It creates a matte complexion with a velvety finish that stays put for up to 12 hours. It’s great if you aim for full coverage, lightweight feeling, and plant-based ingredients. Since it only comes in 3 shades, it’s limiting for skin tone selection, so here’s a minus for that. Hey, this foundation is also an award-winner product by Total Beauty and Hola! Magazine!


9. La Bella Donna Loose Mineral Foundation

La Bella Donna Mineral Foundation

If you want to cover, protect and nurture your skin throughout the day while having light, even coverage, this is it. La Bella Donna’s mineral foundation is free of all the harmful chemicals that may cause breakouts, does not clog pores, and protects your skin against sun rays with 50 SPF — which comes from natural minerals, obviously.


10. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne and Blemish Fighting Foundation

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne and Blemish Fighting Foundation

No, you don’t need to pay a fortune for your foundation. Neutrogena has this foundation with a wallet-friendly price that addresses acne-prone skin, made with salicylic acid as an active ingredient, oil-free and non-comedogenic. It’s the right one if you want natural coverage with a breathable feel, control shine and keep your pores unclogged. BTW, it’s formulated with MicroClear® Technology, shown to dissolve oil and boost salicylic acid delivery to the source of breakouts to help them heal.


11. Diego Dalla Palma Powder Compact Foundation

Diego Dalla Palma Powder Compact Foundation

Ok, so this foundation allows two types of finishes: if applied with a dry sponge, you’ll get low coverage or VV, a damp sponge will provide more coverage. What makes it great for acne-prone skin? It contains soft-focus ingredients that help camouflage blemishes and spherical polymers to mattify your skin for a velvety, silky finish. It’s that to-go option, great for quick touch-ups as it’s housed in a handy mirrored compact with a sponge applicator. It definitely won’t break you out!


12. Bella Terra Mineral BB Cream Foundation

Bella Terra cream foundation

You get a lightweight, flawless finish while the mineral formula works to protect your skin for a healthier appearance. No toxic chemicals, hypoallergenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties, and sun protection — pretty cool! With its creamy texture, it glides on as a gentle moisturizer and dries into a lightweight nearly-matte, satin finish, so you get a perfect, dewy complexion when wearing it.

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13. Au Naturale Semi-Matte Powder Foundation

Au Naturale Semi-Matte Powder Foundation

You want your foundation to be 100% natural, vegan, protect and nourish your skin ATST? Then go for Au Naturale. With only four ingredients (minerals), it aids in creating a natural, mattifying look without feeling heavy. Actually, this powder foundation feels really light and airy, you won’t even feel you have it on. And you can mix it with your facial oil for a liquid foundation if you want to!


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