The 5 Best Foundations for Acne-Prone Skin

We’re going to let you in on a secret: Foundation doesn’t have to aggravate your acne. In fact, some foundations soothe breakouts and contribute to your skin’s overall health while providing excellent coverage. The challenge, of course, is finding these “unicorn” products. Enter, our list of the five best foundations for oily and acne-prone skin—you won’t find a single pore-clogging, skin-sabotaging ingredient on this list.

The Best Moisturizers for Oily Skin

acne foundation sappho
Sappho New Paradigm

Sappho New Paradigm Essential Foundation

If you’re looking for medium-coverage foundation with a feeling so light, you’ll forget you’re wearing anything at all, this is it. Sappho New Paradigm uses mostly certified organic ingredients, so you’ll feel good just putting it on every morning. Aloe leaf juice, calendula and green tea extract soothe skin while tea tree oil helps prevent acne breakouts.

Sappho New Paradigm ($54)

acne foundation elf

E.l.f. Acne Fighting Foundation

This drugstore classic has earned a reliable reputation over the years. Infused with a trifecta of acne-fighting ingredients—salicylic acid, witch hazel and tea tree oil—this full-coverage foundation is both affordable and effective. (It also, in our experience, lasts all damn day.)

e.l.f. ($6)

acne foundation mfe
Make Up For Ever

Make Up For Ever Ultra Hd Invisible Cover Foundation

This product may not contain the specific acne-fighting ingredients that the previous two do, but it’s a pretty great option nonetheless. It’s perfect for women with both sensitive and acne-prone skin, as the gentle formula won’t irritate your pores and the natural-looking finish blurs any sign of redness. Best of all: The fluid texture blends easily and won’t leave your skin looking remotely cakey. 

Make Up For Ever ($43)

acne foundation chantecaille

Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation

Acne-prone and mature ladies: Listen up. You already know that most oil-free foundations tend to be too drying for you. However Chantecaille’s oil-free formula is 60 percent water with an innovative gel base that’s both light and creamy. The foundation is packed with natural botanicals—aloe, chamomile, arnica, rosemary, green tea—that calm irritation, and the formula allows for buildable coverage that reduces the appearance of acne scars and fine lines. Win-win for everyone. 

Chantecaille ($78)

acne foundation jane
Jane Iredale

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral Bb Cream

Glow Time is labeled as a BB cream, not a foundation; however, its flawless finish warrants its inclusion here. The non-comedogenic formula conceals blemishes, minimizes the appearance of pores, disguises wrinkles and smoothes and brightens skin—making it suitable for acne-prone, sensitive and mature skin types alike. Then, it also contains SPF 25 with broad-spectrum sun protection—making it a favorite of the Skin Cancer Foundation. 

Jane Iredale ($48) 

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Freelance PureWow Editor