Best Foundations For Acne-Prone Skin (Without Salicylic Acid)

by Gio

the best foundations for acne prone skin without salicylic acid
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

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 foundation

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 foundation

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.

makeup forever hd invisible cover foundation

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?

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Poonpo January 22, 2015 - 2:24 pm

Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation only for ($4.99) , i will try this 😀 😀 budget friendly as well 🙂

Gio January 22, 2015 - 8:57 pm

Poonpo, it’s a great foundation, especially considering the cheap price. 🙂

tirurit January 22, 2015 - 10:03 pm

I absolutely love the Laura Mercier foundation. It is my great discovery of the late 2014!

Gio January 23, 2015 - 8:46 pm

Tirurit, it is wonderful, isn’t it?

Anna @ The Beauty Section January 23, 2015 - 4:01 pm

I love the Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation, it works great with oily skin and is super cheap, I don’t know how they do it!! Great post!! 🙂

Gio January 23, 2015 - 8:48 pm

Anna, I tried a few Rimmel foundations and they were quite disappointed, but I am really impressed with it. A great foundation at a great price.

hanna January 23, 2015 - 4:56 pm

I like your list, and am actually quite impressed at all the products you found.

Gio January 23, 2015 - 8:51 pm

Hanna, glad you like it. Have you tried any of these foundations?

Laurie January 23, 2015 - 5:51 pm

I don’t have acne-prone skin, but Makeup Forever HD is brilliant, in my opinion. The texture just melts right in and the color range can’t be beat!

Gio January 23, 2015 - 8:50 pm

Laurie, I agree. Great formula and I love how vast the shade selection is. It’s impossible not to find a good match.

Taylor Hoffman January 26, 2015 - 5:30 pm

This is such a great post…I have acne prone skin and I currently use bare minerals (which I love) but its nice to know there are other options that work too so I can switch it up!

Gio January 26, 2015 - 8:53 pm

Taylor, thank you. Bare Minerals is a wonderful foundation as well. But if you ever decide to stray, I’m sure you’ll love these. 🙂

Sian January 26, 2015 - 6:09 pm

I love Makeup Forever products – need to try this one out!

Gio January 26, 2015 - 8:59 pm

Sian, they make some amazing products, don’t they? This one is no exception.

Ariana January 26, 2015 - 6:48 pm

Thank you for the helpful post! I struggled with acne for years and used that MakeUp Forever foundation and loved it. Glad to know there are salicylic acid-free options!

Gio January 26, 2015 - 9:02 pm

Ariana, my pleasure. Glad the Make Up For Ever foundation works so well for you too.

Toni January 30, 2015 - 8:52 pm

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light is pretty good

Gio January 30, 2015 - 9:41 pm

Toni, it is. Glad it’s working well for you.


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