Recently, a reader asked me what the best foundations for acne-prone skin are. The only caveat? They shouldn’t contain salicylic acid. I’m not sure why she doesn’t like this ingredient.
Salicylic acid is wonderful for oily, acne-prone skin because it exfoliates the pores from the inside out, preventing them from getting all clogged up and causing breakouts.
But not everyone reacts well to this ingredient. In some people, it can cause irritations. In others, it may not work at all. And it can’t be used together with retinoids because it inactivates them.
In all these cases, a salicylic acid free foundation works best. Here are my favourites:
Clinique Stay Matte Oil-Free Makeup ($23.00)
Clinique Stay Matte Oil-Free Makeup has a creamy, slightly fluidy texture that provides medium to full coverage, helping to cover breakouts and other imperfections. Longlasting and easy-to-blend, it has a matte finish and oil-absorbing properties that keeps excess oil at bay (but you may still need to use blotting paper during the day). There are 20 shades available, but they are mostly warm-toned. If you are cool-toned, you may struggle to find a good match.
Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluid ($48.00)
Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluid is available in 24 warm, neutral, and cool shades, so most people will be able to find a good match for their skintone. The coverage is light to medium, but can be easily built up to full, and covers redness and small pimples well. The foundation blends like a dream, drying to a matte finish that looks very natural (but it can accentuate dry spots, so if you have any, moisturize well before application).
Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation ($4.99)
Are you on a budget? Then try Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation. One of the few matte options available at the drugstore, it provides medium to full coverage. But application can be a bit tricky. A little goes a long way, but, because the foundation dries really quickly, you may at first apply more than you need. Another drawback is the small shade selection. There are only 8 available, mostly with a neutral undertone. But if you can find a good match, this is definitely worth a try.
Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($42.00)
Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation has a creamy but fluid texture that blends like a dream. It provides medium to full coverage, which hides all imperfections, and a natural matte finish that makes you look your best both in real life and in pictures. With 25 shades, in all kinds of undertones, available, it’s impossible not to find a good match.
What are your favourite foundations for oily, acne-prone skin?