Makeup for Acne Prone Skin: Solutions For Every Problem Skin Type!

Makeup for Acne Prone SkinSo you want to look good for your special night out, what do you do to get ready? Most ladies will shower, get dressed, do their hair and put on make-up. Some women wear makeup daily and others only for special occasions, either way, makeup is a part of our lives. So what do you do, if your skin is a bit oily and you are prone to acne? You shouldn’t have to avoid wearing makeup all together. Well, I’ve got ideas for makeup products that are designed for acne prone skin. Now, you can rock the look that you want, anytime you want! For makeup basics, check out our courses Makeup for Beginners and Apply Makeup Like a Pro.

Acne is a teen’s worst nightmare, but unfortunately, it’s common and it’s often genetic, so it can’t be avoided. Some people battle with acne all their lives and others just deal with the occasional breakout, either way, it’s not a fun ordeal. Acne is caused by hormones that can arise for any reason from puberty to pregnancy. Sometimes it’s even your diet or stress that can cause a breakout. Well, I’m going to show you some makeup options that will help you conceal and even treat that acne on your special night out. If prom is the special night, look at our Makeup Course for Prom Night.

You are typically going to want 5 things when looking for makeup: primer, foundation, blemish concealer, and setting powder. When applying your products, use clean brushes, so you can avoid touching your face with your hands. Its also crucial that you wash your brushes frequently, two to three times a week at least, based on how often you use the brush. Leftover makeup on brushes accumulate oils and dirt which is no good for your skin. When it comes to makeup, try to remember, less is more!


Makeup primers provide the first layer of makeup, keeping the skin nice and even. A primer will help the makeup stay in place and keep the oil from coming to the surface of the skin. I have listed some of the highest recommended primers for people with acne:

  • MAC Prep + Prime SPF 50 Primer,
  • Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer in Green,
  • Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer,
  • Bare Minerals Prime Time,
  • Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch,
  • L’Oreal Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base,
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Light
  • CoverFX Matifying Primer


Foundation generally covers the entire face and evens out your skin tone, covering small trouble areas. For acne-prone skin, you should stick to a mineral powder foundation because they are less likely to clog pores and create problems than liquid foundations. While liquid foundations provide better coverage, they tend to aggravate breakouts. However, if you like to live and die by liquid foundation, Neutrogena’s Skin Clearing Foundation is an oil free options that covers and treats acne at the same time. I’ve listed some of the top foundations for acne prone skin:

  • Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + Foundation,
  • Revlon Colorstay Combination/Oily Skin,
  • Estée Lauder Double Wear Makeup,
  • Bare Escentuals Matte Foundation,
  • Neutrogena Skin Clearing Oil-Free Makeup,
  • Lancôme Rénergie Lift Makeup,
  • Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup,
  • Physician’s Formula Healthy Wear Powder Foundation
  • CoverFX Pressed Mineral Foundation
  • Avon Ideal Flawless Skin Loving Beauty Balm
  • bareMinerals Ready SPF20 Foundation
  • Clinique Acne Solutions Foundation


Concealer is used to cover up trouble areas of your skin, typically for acne, under eye circles, redness or blemishes. I have given you some of the common concealers that are fit for use on acne prone skin:

  • MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer,
  • Physician’s Formula Conceal RX,
  • Dermablend Quick-Fix Concealer,
  • Estée Lauder Double Wear Concealer,
  • Covergirl + Olay Concealer Balm,
  • Clinique Advanced Concealer,
  • Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer
  • CoverFX Cream Concealer
  • Murad Blemish Treatment Concealer
  • bareMinerals SPF20 Correcting Concealer
  • Dermalogica Concealing Spot Treatment

Setting Powder

Mineral Powder can help set your foundation, so that it lasts longer, or it can be used as foundation. I recommend mineral makeup because it’s lighter and sits on top of the pores of the skin, instead of clogging them as many liquid foundations do. Here are some options that will keep you looking good, without making you breakout:

  • Maybelline Dream Matte Powder,
  • Neutrogena Skin Clearing Mineral Powder,
  • Clinique Instant Relief Mineral Powder,
  • Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder,
  • Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray
  • Make Up For Ever Microfinish HD Blush

Remember, before using any face product, look at the ingredients. Products that say “paraben-free, non-comedogenic, sulfate-free or oil free,” are better for use on acne prone skin. Absolutely try to avoid using products that have “isopropyl isostearate, myristyl myristate, lanolin oil, isopropyl myristate, coconut butter or lauric acid,” as these ingredients clog pores, aggravating and creating acne.

Now, when you apply the makeup, you’re going to want to use light strokes and be gentle on the skin. If you need more layers, apply them lightly, and let them settle before beginning with the next layer. Also, when you are trying any new product on your skin and you are unsure how your skin will react, I always recommend testing it on a small, discrete area of your skin in case you have a bad reaction to the ingredients.

In addition to these products for makeup, you want to make sure you incorporate a moisturizer into your routine to combat the dry skin and redness that often comes from acne treatment medications. If your skin is dry, red, and irritated, try a good moisturizer that is oil free and “non-comedogenic,” ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid keep the skin moisturized, but not greasy. At the end of the night, its absolutely imperative that you take your makeup off. Leaving makeup on all day and all night is sure to lead to clogged pores and acne. For more tips on keeping your skin clean and clear, check out this course on The Clear Skin Life.