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Until several years ago, I struggled with acne, my bare face often resembling a dart board. This war with zits fueled my passion for makeup as I desperately searched for the best way to conceal my blemishes. Fortunately, my acne has largely resolved, and breakouts are now a rare occurrence for me. (How I was delivered of that dreadful affliction is a subject for another post!)
I learned much from that time, however, including those foundations which trigger breakouts — and those which don’t.
Today I will name my “Top 5 Foundations for Acne-Prone Skin.” Please note that I used each of these foundations during my acne years, and none of them caused a breakout.
So, without further ado, in no particular order:
1) Clinique “Superbalanced” Foundation – Now, when I mention acne in the same sentence with Clinique, you would probably guess that I would praise Clinique’s much-touted “Acne Solutions” foundation, which contains salicylic acid (a topical anti-comedogenic ingredient). Yet I tried that foundation and still struggled with breakouts! My local Clinique saleswoman recommended “Superbalanced.” It’s the creamiest foundation I’ve ever applied, and truly feels more like a moisturizer than a foundation — yet it nicely conceals any blemishes and scarring you might have from past breakouts. Best of all, it never triggered a breakout on me and feels very gentle on the skin. Its only downside is the lack of SPF.
2) Lancome “Teint Idole Ultra” Foundation – Another department store foundation. It offers sunscreen (SPF 15), full coverage, and oil control. Good oil control is important for acne-prone skin since increased sebum production facilitates breakouts — “Teint Idole Ultra” provides this advantage and prevents one’s face from looking like an oil slick at day’s end.
3) Revlon Colorstay Foundation (Combination/Oily) – It offers fantastic coverage of any existing pimples and scarring without causing more. Although it contains inadequate sun protection (SPF 6), this foundation conjures a matte finish, with great shine control until late in the afternoon. A great choice for those of us on a budget 😉
4) Bobbi Brown “Long Wear Even Finish” Foundation – Similar to the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra — offers full coverage if needed, strong oil control, and SPF 15. You really cannot go wrong with any of Bobbi Brown’s foundations if you struggle with acne; her “Skin” and “Natural Finish” foundations are non-comedogenic as well but do lag behind the “Long Wear Even Finish” in terms of oil control.
5) Bare Minerals Matte Foundation – It’s impossible to discuss makeup for acne-prone ladies without mentioning Bare Minerals. Since it’s mineral makeup, this foundation feels lightweight and shouldn’t trigger inflammation for problem skin. The coverage is buildable and can be applied as much as desired on breakout days; it covers pimples in a natural, non-cakey manner. Although neither the matte nor the regular Bare Minerals foundation precipitates acne flares, the matte version (as it’s name suggests), provides better oil control. This foundation contains SPF 15. As a side note, this product is so renowned for its non-irritating properties that some dermatologists sell it in their offices!