Best Foundations for Acne – December, 2018 Reviews & Buyers Guide

Searching for a foundation when you are someone with acne-prone skin can feel like an impossible mission. It’s difficult to feel confident applying anything to your skin due to the fear that it might break you out, let alone the thought of applying makeup can even become undesirable and frustrating.

We’re here to tell you that there is a multitude of foundations on the market that can not only cover up those pesky zits and blackheads but can even help to treat them and prevent them from coming back.

When choosing a foundation for your skin, there are some things you may want to keep in mind.

  • The Ingredients – Always, always, always check the ingredient list of a product before you use it on your skin, especially if your skin is sensitive or acne prone. Know your skin and what ingredients may cause irritation or breakouts and use this knowledge to choose the best-suited foundation for you.
  • Your Skin Tone – While it’s great to find a product that can treat your skin for acne and blackheads, it’s also ideal that it matches your complexion. Check to see the shade range of foundations and make sure there are enough options to choose from where you can find a shade that matches your skin tone well.
  • The Concentration of Acne -Fighting Elements – It’s great that makeup can contain acne-fighting ingredients but also take into consideration the concentration of these elements. Too little or too much of anything isn’t great and so be aware of how much of any given ingredient is being formulated into the products you choose.
  • The Coverage & Finish – Considering the finish a foundation leaves and the coverage it provides is important for anyone who wears makeup but especially for those with acne-prone skin. Foundations that are incredibly matte can become drying and accentuate the texture on your skin rather than covering it up. High coverage foundations can also have the same effect. Make sure you know your skin type and desired results before deciding on an acne foundation.

Keeping in mind these essential factors, here is our list of the best foundations for acne-prone skin:

Best Foundations for Acne

Image
Our Favorite
Maybelline Makeup Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation Makeup, Natural Beige Shade, 1 fl oz
Highest Rated
Neutrogena Skinclearing Makeup, 10 Classic Ivory, 1 Fl. Oz.
Highest Quality
Oxygenetix Acne Control Oxygenating Foundation, Beige
New! Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup, 1 oz / 30 ml, 03 Fresh Neutral (MF-N)
It Cosmetics - Bye Bye Breakout (Medium Tan)
Description
This acne foundation provides buildable coverage, and with such an incredible selection of shades, you can find a foundation for the winter and summer months.
The Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation is a product that has been around for a long time and provided excellent results for many people.
The Oxygenetix Acne Control Oxygenating Foundation is a naturally formulated acne fighting foundation.
Although this product is considered to be somewhat pricier than its competitors, we think the extra splurge could be worth it due to the effectiveness this product could provide you.
It Cosmetics delivers products that are packed with benefits for your skin including hydration, reduction of redness, anti-aging benefits, and also treating acne.
Our Rating
Price
$5.94
$12.49
$76.00
$36.97
from $16.46
Our Favorite
Image
Maybelline Makeup Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation Makeup, Natural Beige Shade, 1 fl oz
Description
This acne foundation provides buildable coverage, and with such an incredible selection of shades, you can find a foundation for the winter and summer months.
Our Rating
Price
$5.94
Highest Rated
Image
Neutrogena Skinclearing Makeup, 10 Classic Ivory, 1 Fl. Oz.
Description
The Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation is a product that has been around for a long time and provided excellent results for many people.
Our Rating
Price
$12.49
Highest Quality
Image
Oxygenetix Acne Control Oxygenating Foundation, Beige
Description
The Oxygenetix Acne Control Oxygenating Foundation is a naturally formulated acne fighting foundation.
Our Rating
Price
$76.00
Image
New! Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup, 1 oz / 30 ml, 03 Fresh Neutral (MF-N)
Description
Although this product is considered to be somewhat pricier than its competitors, we think the extra splurge could be worth it due to the effectiveness this product could provide you.
Our Rating
Price
$36.97
Image
It Cosmetics - Bye Bye Breakout (Medium Tan)
Description
It Cosmetics delivers products that are packed with benefits for your skin including hydration, reduction of redness, anti-aging benefits, and also treating acne.
Our Rating
Price
from $16.46
Image
EVXO Natural Coverage Liquid Mineral Foundation Makeup - Organic Ingredients, BPA Free Glass Bottle, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Silicon-Free - (Sedona/Tan with Warm undertones)
Almay Clear Complexion Liquid Makeup, Naked
Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream Skin Clearing Perfector, Light, 1 floz (Packaging may vary)
e.l.f. Cosmetics Acne Fighting Foundation, Full Coverage Foundation that Fights Blemishes, Buff, 1.0 Fluid Ounces
Neutrogena Skinclearing Complexion Perfector With Salicylic Acid, Fair, 1 Fl. Oz.
Description
The EVXO Natural Coverage Liquid Mineral Foundation might be a great product to try because it is formulated with vitamins and minerals to nourish your skin.
This product is lightweight and can provide naturally looking coverage while still fighting breakouts.
We decided to include this product in our list of favorites because it does the job of a foundation by providing coverage but also has added benefits.
This foundation is also packaged with a pump which promotes hygienic practices.
This foundation contains salicylic acid which can help treat existing acne and prevent future acne from occurring.
Our Rating
Price
$29.99
$8.98
$8.99
$6.00
from $8.97
Image
EVXO Natural Coverage Liquid Mineral Foundation Makeup - Organic Ingredients, BPA Free Glass Bottle, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Silicon-Free - (Sedona/Tan with Warm undertones)
Description
The EVXO Natural Coverage Liquid Mineral Foundation might be a great product to try because it is formulated with vitamins and minerals to nourish your skin.
Our Rating
Price
$29.99
Image
Almay Clear Complexion Liquid Makeup, Naked
Description
This product is lightweight and can provide naturally looking coverage while still fighting breakouts.
Our Rating
Price
$8.98
Image
Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream Skin Clearing Perfector, Light, 1 floz (Packaging may vary)
Description
We decided to include this product in our list of favorites because it does the job of a foundation by providing coverage but also has added benefits.
Our Rating
Price
$8.99
Image
e.l.f. Cosmetics Acne Fighting Foundation, Full Coverage Foundation that Fights Blemishes, Buff, 1.0 Fluid Ounces
Description
This foundation is also packaged with a pump which promotes hygienic practices.
Our Rating
Price
$6.00
Image
Neutrogena Skinclearing Complexion Perfector With Salicylic Acid, Fair, 1 Fl. Oz.
Description
This foundation contains salicylic acid which can help treat existing acne and prevent future acne from occurring.
Our Rating
Price
from $8.97

Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless

Not only does the Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless do a great job treating acne-prone skin but it also has an extremely wide variety of shades to ensure that you’ll be able to find a foundation that fits your skin tone.

This product’s formula is suitable for all skin types as it has been dermatologist and allergy tested. The Fit Me line also has a dewy foundation if you’re someone who doesn’t prefer the matte finish.

This acne foundation provides buildable coverage, and with such an incredible selection of shades, you can find a foundation for the winter and summer months. We recommend this product if you’re someone looking for a reliable and reputable acne fighting foundation for everyday wear.

Pros and Cons

  • Product is suitable for all skin types
  • Dermatologist and allergy tested formula
  • Foundation has a wide shade range
  • Product contains alcohol
  • Foundation may be drying for some skin types

Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation

The Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation is a product that has been around for a long time and provided excellent results for many people. They have an entire line of “skin clearing” products that are specifically for acne-prone skin and their foundation is probably the most popular item from that line.

This acne foundation is popular because it can do a great job of controlling shine, even for long wear. This product provides high coverage but is also breathable, so it doesn’t clog your pores and cause an acne or blackhead situation to perpetuate.

If your pores are clogged, this foundation is formulated with micro-clear technology to help unclog them and keep them clear of any debris. If you want to try a reputable, quality product that can help treat your skin of acne, we think this could be a great product to try.

Pros and Cons

  • Product controls shine
  • Foundation provides breathable coverage
  • Product contains micro-clear technology to unclog pores
  • Foundation’s coverage is light
  • Product may oxidize on some skin types

Oxygenetix Acne Control Oxygenating Foundation

The Oxygenetix Acne Control Oxygenating Foundation is a naturally formulated acne fighting foundation. This product’s formula was created by plastic surgeons and dermatologists with their expert knowledge at hand to ensure that the foundation was beneficial for your skin.

This foundation’s coverage is breathable which means it’s ideal if you’re looking for a product that can provide long wear. Because this foundation is breathable, it can also prevent trapping excessive oil in the skin as well as the blockage of pores.

This product contains salicylic acid to fight acne and cerevisiae which is an ingredient that support collagen production in the skin. This foundation can provide you with all-around benefits, and we recommend giving it a try if you’re someone who has overly oily skin and need to combat acne.

Pros and Cons

  • Foundation’s coverage is breathable
  • Product contains salicylic acid and cerevisiae which supports collagen production
  • Foundation formula was curated by plastic surgeons and dermatologists
  • Most expensive acne fighting foundation on our list
  • Foundation may oxidize on certain skin tones

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup

The Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup is a favorite of ours because of the reputable brand name, benefits it can provide, and proven appeal with its popularity among consumers.

This acne foundation controls oil shine and neutralizes redness to help even out skin tones of all kinds. This product is both oil-free and non-irritating which means it can be suitable for all skin types. Clinique is an especially popular choice amongst those with sensitive skin because their products are allergy tested and fragrance-free.

Although this product is considered to be somewhat pricier than its competitors, we think the extra splurge could be worth it due to the effectiveness this product could provide you. We recommend this acne foundation if you have sensitive skin.

Pros and Cons

  • Foundation controls oil shine and neutralizes redness
  • Product is oil-free and non-irritating
  • Foundation is allergy tested and fragrance-free
  • Product’s coverage is light
  • Comparatively more expensive

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Foundation

he It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Foundation is well-known for being a strong choice for those with skin types that are more prone to acne. It Cosmetics delivers products that are packed with benefits for your skin including hydration, reduction of redness, anti-aging benefits, and also treating acne.

This acne foundation is full-coverage, and it can hide and visible blackheads or pimples. This product was developed by surgeons so you can feel confident about receiving a product that’s effective.


This foundation is ideal for those with oily skin and acne prone skin but can work on all skin types. If you’re in search of a full-coverage, reliable, and effective product to fight acne, we recommend trying the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Foundation.

Pros and Cons

  • Foundation is full-coverage
  • Product was developed by surgeons
  • Foundation is suitable for oily skin and acne-prone skin
  • Product does not have a wide shade range
  • Foundation may be drying for some skin types

EVXO Natural Coverage Liquid Mineral Foundation

The EVXO Natural Coverage Liquid Mineral Foundation might be a great product to try because it is formulated with vitamins and minerals to nourish your skin. This acne foundation is also gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.

We like this product because it allows for buildable coverage, so you can go as natural or as made up as you desire. In addition to flexible coverage, it’s also suitable for all-day wear, so this product may be great for you if you’re someone who works long, busy days or is constantly on the go.

Be aware that this foundation does contain ingredients that may cause it to oxidize so you might want to choose a shade that is lighter than your skin. This product is natural, high-quality, and could be an excellent choice for the busy person in you.

Pros and Cons

  • Product is gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan
  • Foundation is suitable for all-day wear
  • Product allows for buildable coverage
  • Foundation contains fragrance
  • Product may oxidize on certain skin tones

Almay Clear Complexion Liquid Foundation

The Almay Clear Complexion Liquid Foundation has an excellent reputation amongst customers, and that’s what makes it “Amazon’s Choice” in acne fighting foundations. This product is lightweight and can provide naturally looking coverage while still fighting breakouts.


This acne foundation is non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t clog pores so it can help prevent acne from developing as well as treating acne that is already present. This product contains salicylic acid which is a key ingredient in clearing away pimples.

This foundation does contain ingredients that can cause it to oxidize, so we recommend choosing a shade that is a bit lighter than your skin tone. The Almay Clear Complexion Liquid Foundation is a lightweight formula that provides natural coverage and may be ideal if you’re someone who prefers a natural-looking appearance in your cosmetics.

Pros and Cons

  • Foundation is non-comedogenic
  • Product is “Amazon’s Choice” in acne fighting foundations
  • Foundation contains salicylic acid
  • Product does not have a wide shade range
  • Some shades may oxidize on certain skin tones

Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream Skin Clearing Perfecter

Technically, the Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream Skin Clearing Perfecter is not a foundation but a BB cream. We decided to include this product in our list of favorites because it does the job of a foundation by providing coverage but also has added benefits.

BB creams provide hydration, pore minimization, the evening of skin tone, and different ranges of coverage. This product also adjusts to your skin tone which can be incredibly convenient! This cream contains salicylic acid making it suitable for oily skin, combination skin, and of course, acne-prone skin.

BB creams can be an excellent choice if you’re someone who doesn’t like spending a lot of time on their makeup but still wants some coverage. This product is especially great to fight acne, and we recommend trying it if you’re looking for something convenient and effective.

Pros and Cons

  • Product contains salicylic acid
  • Suitable for combination and acne-prone skin
  • Product has the ability to minimize pores
  • Product does not have a wide range of shades
  • The cream’s formula is very thin

e.l.f. Acne Fighting Foundation

Not only is the e.l.f. Acne Fighting Foundation a great product to consider for fighting acne, but it’s also incredibly cost effective which makes it so well-loved. This foundation is also packaged with a pump which promotes hygienic practices.

This product has the ability to cover redness, blemishes, and uneven skin tone. This could be an excellent option for you if you suffer from hyperpigmentation. It also provides heavy coverage and might be ideal for evening or more formal wear.

This acne foundation is made with salicylic acid, which helps treat pimples and blackheads, as well as camphor, witch hazel, green tea, and aloe vera which can leave your skin looking bright and feeling soothed.

If you are keeping things on a tighter budget but still want a quality acne foundation, we recommend this pick for you.

Pros and Cons

  • Foundation can cover redness, blemishes, and uneven skin tone
  • Product contains salicylic acid, camphor, witch hazel, green tea, and aloe vera
  • Foundation provides heavy coverage
  • Matte coverage may not be suitable for dry skin
  • Product does not have a wide shade range

Neutrogena Skin Clearing Complexion Perfecter

The Neutrogena Skin Clearing Complexion Perfecter is a well-known and highly-rated product among acne sufferers. This foundation contains salicylic acid which can help treat existing acne and prevent future acne from occurring.

This product is non-comedogenic, so it won’t cause pimples and blackheads by blocking your pores. This acne foundation is also suitable for this with sensitive skin types because it has a hypoallergenic formula.

This product can moisturize and hydrate your skin while still providing coverage and acne treatment. If you’re looking for a product to quickly apply to the face that will still provide coverage and hydrated skin, we recommend trying the Neutrogena Skin Clearing Complexion Perfecter.

Pros and Cons

  • Product contains salicylic acid
  • Foundation is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic
  • Product is hydrating and moisturizing
  • Product is a tinted moisturizer and may not provide full coverage
  • Matte finish may be drying for some skin types

Final Thoughts

While we understand the struggle of trying to find a foundation that does it all, we feel confident that our list can help narrow your search in finding the best product for you. Foundations are responsible for providing you with coverage, finish, quality ingredients, and flawless looking skin.

When choosing a foundation, remember to keep in mind the essential factors and decide what works best for your skin.

Do you prefer a foundation that provides a wide shade range or one that can give you full coverage? Do you prefer a matte finish or dewy finish? Should you use a foundation or perhaps a BB cream to provide you with added convenience in your beauty routine? Lastly, always be great attention to the ingredients and compare them with your skin’s needs.

To find a foundation that can do all of this AND fight acne may not be as difficult as you think. Between the products we’ve reviewed and your skin’s needs, we’re sure you can find an acne fighting foundation on our list that will suit your skin perfectly.