Best Concealer For Acne – 2018 Reviews & Products Guide

Even those of us who strictly follow skincare regimens can wake up to find a few red, angry pimples scattered across our face in the mornings.

This is perfectly normal!

From the moment you hit puberty your face is vulnerable to acne breakouts, even as you age to well outside of your teenage years. Some men and women experience acne into their forties or even later; in fact, there are entire skincare lines dedicated to treating both acne and wrinkles with a single regimen. 

That said, knowing that your acne breakouts are completely normal doesn’t make them any easier to deal with, and the fact that everyone else is also dealing with them doesn’t mean you want to leave your pimples on display for the world to see.

But in spite of your best efforts, every now and then a pesky pimple is going to find its way past your army of makeup removers, oil-free wipes, toners, charcoal masks, foaming cleansers, and other skincare products. Whether you are staring down an “it’s that time of the month” breakout, one “can’t miss it” pimple, or battling your way through persistent acne, there are plenty of concealers on the market that you could to cover up your blemishes.

In fact, there are SO many products out there that sometimes it can be hard to know where to start.

Even if you have a favorite brand, the majority of cosmetics companies offer more than one type of concealer: foundations that do double-duty as a concealer, spot-application products, redness correctors, and so on.

Picking a product that matches your skin tone is only part of the process - you also have to know which type of product will be best for your skin so that you don’t pave the way for future breakouts while trying to hide the current one.

There are a few things that you can do to make sure that whatever product you try is as effective as possible.

First, never apply concealer to dry, flaky skin - the concealer won’t set well and, when it does, it won’t match the natural texture of your skin. This means that you should NOT use concealer after applying any type of medicated spot treatment!

Second, make sure that the product you choose does not stand out from your natural skin tone. A light or dark spot on your skin will stand out just as much as the acne that you’re trying to cover up!

But knowing how to apply concealer still doesn't answer the question of which ones are worth the money.

That’s where we come in.

The following acne concealers come with rave user reviews and are among the best on the market:

1. MAKE UP FOR EVER Full Cover Concealer

MAKE UP FOR EVER Full CoverMAKE UP FOR EVER (MUFE) is a complete cosmetics line with products ranging from brushes and lip liners to eyeshadows and bronzers.

It’s a boutique brand, so it’s not typically sold in CVS and Wal Mart stores along with more familiar household names like Maybelline, but don’t let the fact that you haven’t heard of this brand before turn you away; it was created by a professional makeup artist and is now backed by the multi-million dollar fashion conglomerate company that owns Louis Vuitton, so it has a fantastic reputation.

So what exactly makes this MUFE’s Full Cover concealer so special?

This concealer is designed to last throughout the day - it’s marketed to withstand your routine for as long as 16 hours - and to provide coverage for even the most stubborn breakouts.

In fact, this product is designed to conceal everything from burns to beauty spots, or even tattoos!

In spite of its ability to cover up just about anything on your skin, the concealer itself is light and creamy rather than thick or heavy; its coverage power comes from the concentration of the pigments in the product, so you shouldn’t have to slather it on to see results.

For lighter breakouts, you may even be able to combine the concealer with another product (such as a translucent powder or a liquid highlighter) to provide adequate coverage.

Finally, the oil-free formula and matte finish are designed to avoid creating a shiny finish on your skin, leaving behind nothing by a flawless finish.

MUFE’s Full Cover concealer comes in twelve shades to match most skin tones. However, you should know that MUFE recommends selecting a color that’s a shade or two lighter than your actual skin tone because Full Cover typically gets darker as it sets.

For full-coverage results, apply directly to the skin; if you’re just looking to add a little extra coverage, you can add a dab after your foundation instead.

Pros

Cons

  • thumbs-o-up
    Comes in plenty of shades
  • thumbs-o-up
    Covers even the most stubborn blemishes
  • thumbs-o-up
    Lightweight formula
  • thumbs-o-down
    Darkens as it dries (can be hard to match skin tone)
  • thumbs-o-down
    Heavy coverage applications may leave cakey finish

2. Almay Clear Complexion™ Oil Free Concealer

Almay Clear Complexion Oil FreeIf you’re fighting just a handful of random blemishes this product could be your perfect fix.

Almay’s Clear Complexion™ line is designed with three goals in mind:

  • Help you achieve a smooth, flawless finish in your makeup
  • Soothe irritated skin to reduce redness and inflammation
  • Work to clear up and control acne breakouts

This may not sound groundbreaking, but many makeup products actually put you at a disadvantage in the long run when it comes to managing your acne.

Many products are heavy enough to clog up your pores, allowing dirt and oil to remain trapped beneath the surface, and products like these can stimulate additional oil production that may prevent your blemishes from healing quickly or could even make them worse.

This can turn into a vicious cycle if you continue to use the same bad-for-your-face product to cover up your breakouts every day. 

Luckily, Almay has developed the Clear Complexion™ product line to avoid these pitfalls, with a small range of offerings including makeup-removing towelettes and both liquid and powder foundations.

The concealer in this lineup is the gem of the bunch; with this product, you can cover up your acne without worrying about making it worse. 

Users note that it blends easily (though they also recommend not applying powdered foundation on top of the concealer) and that it provides great coverage.

The Clear Complexion™ concealer uses a mineral formula that absorbs oil to reduce acne outbreaks so that you can treat your pimples with the same product that you use to cover them up.

This product also uses natural extracts like chamomile and aloe to reduce inflammation and redness, which serves a dual purpose of making your acne less noticeable AND making it easier to treat.

Clear Complexion™ products are even tested by medical professionals, so you know that Almay is really committed to practicing what they preach with these products.

Pros

Cons

  • thumbs-o-up
    Comes with an application wand (keeps oils from your hands away from your acne!)
  • thumbs-o-up
    Contains salicylic acid to treat acne
  • thumbs-o-up
    Provides coverage without feeling heavy
  • thumbs-o-down
    Sensitive skin may react to salicylic acid
  • thumbs-o-down
    Smaller range of shades (three) to choose from
  • thumbs-o-down
    Users with dry skin may need to use additional moisturizer with this product

3. Dermablend Quick-fix Concealer Stick

Dermablend Quick-fix Concealer StickLots of concealers are inconvenient to apply when you’re on the go, requiring some kind of applicator to use (or your hands in a pinch).

While many makeup lines do sell a stick-style concealer, those tend to be a bit cakey rather than providing a natural finish. Women everywhere still use them even if they aren’t thrilled with the finished look (because, really, they’re just SO convenient).

But wouldn’t it be great if there was a better concealer stick on the market?

Lots of concealers are inconvenient to apply when you’re on the go, requiring some kind of applicator to use (or your hands in a pinch).

While many makeup lines do sell a stick-style concealer, those tend to be a bit cakey rather than providing a natural finish. Women everywhere still use them even if they aren’t thrilled with the finished look (because, really, they’re just SO convenient).

But wouldn’t it be great if there was a better concealer stick on the market?

Don’t worry. There is.

Dermablend is a trusted leader in fragrance-free and allergen-free beauty products.

You can find their lineup - which includes everything from makeup to hair care, and even a men’s product line - in higher-end stores like Macy’s, Ulta, and Sephora. (Or online, of course, thanks to the Internet of Things.)

This dermatologist-founded, women-everywhere-approved brand has been tested for all skin types and is designed to give you an even skin tone without irritating even the most sensitive skin.

But enough about Dermablend.

Let’s talk about the Quick-fix Concealer Stick.

Unlike most drugstore stick concealers, Dermablend has created a product that actually glides on smoothly without ever leaving you with a mask-like finish.

One reason you’ll be able to maintain the flawless finish to your look is that this product is specifically designed to last for up to 16 hours, so you won’t have to reapply constantly throughout the day.

And because it’s so smooth, you’ll hardly even notice that you’re wearing it. 

The stick-style application also means that this product is perfect for stashing away in your purse all day in case something pops up before you meet up with the girls for happy hour after work - quick, precise application with no mess on your hands.

This blemish concealer offers a few other benefits as well, not the least of which is that it offers SPF 30 protection from the sun. 

(Side note: If you’re not wearing SPF on your face on the daily, you should strongly consider doing so. Sun damage leads to advanced signs of aging and can actually make your acne pop-ups worse if you don’t protect your face.)

The Quick-fix Concealer Stick was also designed to be used to conceal under-eye circles - and who doesn’t need a little help in that department come Monday morning?

Pros

Cons

  • thumbs-o-up
    Comes in ten shades to match to your skin tone
  • thumbs-o-up
    Stick allows for precise application
  • thumbs-o-up
    Built-in SPF protects your blemish from sun damage
  • thumbs-o-down
    Heavy application can lead to cakey finish - use sparingly for best results
  • thumbs-o-down
    May not cover heavier blemishes, such as scars or beauty marks
  • thumbs-o-down
    Should be paired with a translucent powder to set properly

4. Maybelline New York Fit Me! Concealer

Maybelline New York Fit MeMaybelline is another drugstore favorite brand with a product on this “best of” list.

Though it can be used to hide dark circles, the Fit Me! concealer really shines when used to cover up blemishes.

Drugstore brands generally have a reputation for offering “pretty decent” (read: they work, but you get what you pay for) beauty products.

Even die-hard drugstore brand enthusiasts will admit that more expensive, boutique-y products outshine their less expensive competitors because, at the end of the day, no one really expects NYX to compete with names like MAC or Mary Kay.

But every brand has at least one diamond-in-the-rough product that offers some serious bang for your buck, and the Fit Me! concealer fits that bill in Maybelline’s lineup.

First off, let’s talk about the price point: roughly $5.

That’s right: FIVE DOLLARS.

This price could be low enough to send some potential buyers (price snobs) running, but customers love the look and feel of this totally inexpensive concealer. 

If you’re looking for a quick fix, something to supplement your routine, or something inexpensive to leave at your parent’s or boyfriend’s house in case of emergency, you should be able to find this concealer just about anywhere.

Now let’s talk about the finish.

While this product may not do a great job of concealing really nasty, angry pimples, it’s a fantastic option for correcting slight redness or inconsistencies in your skin tone.

It’s also lightweight and not greasy, which will help you to avoid ending up with an unnatural-looking finish at the end of the day. Goes on smooth, stays on without creasing, and outlasts other similarly priced products. 

This a no-nonsense product that customers use for everything from covering up pimples to touching up their eyebrows after filling them in or disguising dark circles under their eyes.

Finally, let’s talk about the formula.

  • No oils.
  • No added waxes.
  • No added fragrances.
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t block up your pores).
  • Dermatologist tested.
  • Lightweight pigments. 

For a $5 product, Maybelline has pulled out all the stops to make sure that the Fit Me! Concealer is one of the best - if not, THE best - $5 products on the market.

Pros

Cons

  • thumbs-o-up
    Did I mention that it only costs $5?
  • thumbs-o-up
    Lightweight feel and finish
  • thumbs-o-up
    Colors offered blend well with many skin tones
  • thumbs-o-down
    Only six skin tone options (for now - recently up from three selections)
  • thumbs-o-down
    May not provide full coverage for extreme breakouts or particularly aggressive pimples

5. L’Oreal Paris True Match™ Super-Blendable Concealer

L’Oreal Paris True Match Super-BlendableSpeaking of drugstore brands with impressive products, L’Oreal earned a well-deserved spot on this list with True Match Concealer.

L’Oreal and Maybelline share similar reputations, but L’Oreal offers a much wider range of beauty products and as a result tends to be more of a household name.

The two brands are sold at comparable price points (L’Oreal tends to be a bit more expensive, but nothing that will break the bank).

Perhaps the biggest difference between the makeup offerings of the two brands is that L’Oreal markets a much larger variety of beauty products.

So many types of foundation, eyeshadow, powder, and (of course) concealer to choose from! How’s a girl supposed to know where to start?

The True Match™ concealer is pretty impressive.

Of all the products on this list, this is the one that I’ve used off and on over the years, and I have to say that it really lives up to the hype. 

L’Oreal’s True Match™ line comes with a whole range of products, from color correcting crayons to foundations to powders, so you have the opportunity to pick and choose the type of products that you like best and to pair them together as you please. 

I still use and swear by the True Match™ Lumi foundation - Drugstore brand! Absolutely fantastic product! - and have likewise never been disappointed by this concealer.

Most users have had a similar experience to my own.  

This concealer doesn’t dull your skin’s natural brightness, which is largely because the product line caters to several types of skin tones (cool, neutral, and warm) and has separate shade spectrums for each of those tones.

The True Match™ line utilized patented color-matching technology to provide a truly excellent blend with your natural skin.

L’Oreal also isn’t kidding around with the “super blend-able” product; as long as you pick the right shade, you can blend this product fairly easily with products from other brands (though you may need a finishing powder to complete the look).

Proceed with caution when using this concealer for heavy coverage - try pairing with a powder instead or relying exclusively on this product or you may run the risk of ending up with a cakey, less-than-natural-looking finish (which is, to be fair, a typical risk for drugstore brand products).

One thing that I love about this product that you may not find in most reviews is that the applicator is REALLY fantastic. It’s a brush rather than a sponge, which gives you a lot more control over how much concealer you’re applying and also lets you use the brush itself to do most of the application process (minimizing how much you have to touch your face to apply). 

L’Oreal recommends applying in small dots for even coverage - the brush makes this a breeze! 

Pros

Cons

  • thumbs-o-up
    Super easy to apply
  • thumbs-o-up
    Wide range of skin tone and shade offerings to increase your odds of finding a perfect match
  • thumbs-o-up
    Blends easily, even with products from other brands
  • thumbs-o-down
    You have to understand your skin tone to get the best match, which may take more than one try
  • thumbs-o-down
    Dries very quickly
  • thumbs-o-down
    Can get cakey if you’re using this product for heavy coverage

Choosing a Concealer

Which concealer you ultimately choose should depend on your individual preference and, of course, your needs. 

  • If your breakouts can be a little intense, you’re probably looking for a more full-coverage option. In this case, the Full Cover concealer will likely be your best option, since this product can masterfully cover up even tattoos and dark under-eye circles.

  • Users who are constantly battling small acne flare-ups may prefer to use a product that helps to both cover up acne and treat it. If this sounds like you, then the Clear Complexion™ concealer could be a perfect fit for your needs, since its formula is incorporate chemicals and natural additives that soothe irritation and fight against blemishes with every application.

  • If you’re one of the lucky ones who rarely experience breakouts and just need something to cover up the occasional one-off pimple, then the Fit Me! Or True Match™ concealer is probably a solid choice.

    Keep in mind that drugstore brand products do not last as long as boutique brands, so you may still need to replace your concealer every 3-4 months or so even if you haven’t finished it; but at a $5-8 price point, these products are well worth the investment.

  • Those looking for a reliable concealer that they can easily apply on-the-go may find that the Quick-fix Concealer Stick more than meets their needs; it covers well, is easy to apply with precision, and can be stored right next to your lip gloss in your purse for easy access wherever you go.
Trysh
 

Trysh Sutton is a wife, mother, attorney, interior decorator, strategic leader and teacher. She has an eye for business, innovation and perfection - and a desire to help her family, her friends and herself live a healthy and happy life.